“The establishment of a free Iraq at the heart of the Middle East will be a watershed event in the global democratic revolution,” Bush said in November 2003. In 2003, there was indeed, as Bush noted, a “freedom deficit” in the Middle East, where repressive authoritarian regimes dominated the region. Yet, in spite of tremendous upheaval in the Middle East over the past two decades, many authoritarian regimes remain deeply entrenched. Indeed, in 2023, Freedom House continues to score Iraq as “Not Free” in its measure of democracy. It is hard to know if U.S. efforts at democracy promotion accelerated or delayed political change in the Middle East.
Source: The North Africa Journal March 18, 2023 16:54 UTC