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Fouad Ajami on What Went Wrong in Iraq

Aug 31, 2006 (Morning Edition)

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Fouad Ajami supported the U.S.-led war in Iraq. In a new book, The Foreigner's Gift, he writes about went wrong with that war.

Ajami says the Arab world was prejudiced against the Shia Muslims who were poised to lead Iraq, and it was prejudiced against the Americans who confidently expected to help them do it.

Ajami was born in Lebanon to a Shiite Muslim family. Today, as an American journalist and academic, he has advised the White House on Iraq. He traveled to Iraq several times while writing a book called The Foreigner's Gift.

To Ajami, that gift was supposed to be liberty for Iraq and a new political order for the Arab world. He says the disaster came when Arab governments, Muslim imams, even Western-leaning intellectuals, rejected that gift.

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