Dreaming of Democracy

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With U.S.-led forces closing in on his hometown of Baghdad, Kanan Makiya says he is both elated and worried. For many years he’s been plotting what he calls the de-Baathification of Iraq. By that he means not only getting rid of Saddam Hussein, but getting rid of all the corruption and corrosive influences of the President’s Baath Party.

For months now, Makiya has been negotiating, and cajoling and insisting on the right of Iraqi exiles to build a democracy once Saddam Hussein is gone. Though he still faces squabbling among the Iraqi opposition, his biggest battles have been with the U.S. State department and American officials who think that the U.S. military ought to run Iraq in the months after Saddam Hussein’s departure, and still the debate is not over, we look at the options for Iraq, after war.


Kanan Makiya, Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at Brandeis University, and member of the Iraqi National Congress.