what a mess
I don't like Bill Odom. This is because, on the first day of his American national security policy class in the fall of 2001 (one week before 9/11) during the course "shopping period" that is one of the perks of course scheduling up there, he asked me to explain my research interest. I told him that I was writing a thesis on U.S. security policy towards Africa. "There's no such thing," he replied with a withering stare. I glared back, replied, "yes there is," sat quietly for a few minutes, decided that perhaps this was not the class for me, and left.
I do not regret that decision. In the boys' club that is American political science, you learn quickly who you can work with and who you can't. My friend Lauren and I figured out that if we would talk about weapons systems, some of the men would accept us, but for some boys, women just can't possibly have knowledge about these things, even if they work twice as hard and know all there is to know about the topic. Such is life. It doesn't really bother me any more.
So I am not a fan of Mr. Odom. But as much as it pains me to say this, he's right about Iraq. This piece is worth reading.
(Although I would disagree with his assessment that political scientists didn't argue in 2003 that creating a democracy wasn't as easy as the Bush administration made it out to be. We did. We do. It was glaringly obvious then and it remains so now.)