Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Failure to Unify Iraq

When you look at a stable thriving nation, (basically any nation in this world that is not currently fragmented within), what is it about those nations that keep its people glued together? What compels them to be loyal and united to the abstract cause of the nation? because a nation is only as real as the people support it, and this is something that is clearly evident in Iraq. Is Iraq currently a nation, or a conglomerate group of tribes that used to be unified under threat of death? What is holding Iraq's population together under the idea of an Iraqi nation? for example, in today's New York Times, an article talks about the armed groups formed originally for policing the country, guarding pipelines, etc., but who have left those duties (normally a treasonous offense in most countries), and assassinated political leaders and apparently even their own commanding officer! Can you imagine American marines doing the same? or French special forces? British commandos? There are many failures in Iraq, but the greatest of all is the failure to find something that unifies the country under the idea of Iraq. That failure occurred when America attempted to create a country FOR the Iraqis, rather than letting Iraqis form their own. Why should Iraqis hold allegiance to their country when it really isn't their own, when they have no attachment to it? This is the failure of those who think they can do nation-building without actually doing nation-building. So, what can be done now? The best case scenario at this point is to let the Iraqis duke it out, let them fight it out on their own. Let them find their allegiance and let that new group take charge. That's the best case scenario. Why is it the best-case? Because other scenarios will require America to take over the entire country for at least a generation, be the glue, the allegiance, that will hold the country together until they are truly ready to be on their own. That scenario, with America being the colonizer is not a viable politcial option, hence not the best-case scenario. Even the civil war scenario, while the best case, is not that great, as there will be a great risk of destabilizing the rest of the Middle East. Kurds in Turkey will definitely want a piece of freedom that their brothers in Kurdistan will have with a civil war in Iraq. But then again.....if you think about it, if you are really for freedom in the Middle East, do we not want the people to rise up against their totalitarian governments? Can you name me one democratic country in the Middle East that is not Israel? The most important point is that we have to let these people gain their own freedom. We cannot give it to them at the point of a gun. They will be better off in the long run if they free themselves. Let the Middle East destabilize. Let some of those governments fail. Too many of them are corrupt to the core and need a replacement. Too many of them are supported by our government---something that needs to stop. If we are truly for democracy, we will not fear a destabilized Middle East. We will welcome it warmly.

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