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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Iraq: Well, THAT didn't take long...

I hate to say "I told you so" buuuuuuut...

For quite a long time now and most recently five days ago, I have argued that going to war in Iraq would have disastrous long-term consequences and chief among those is that without a "strongman" to hold that country together, Iraq will tear itself apart into sectarian strife. The classic model for my thesis is Yugoslavia: a "nation" that much like Iraq was cobbled together from leftover realms in the aftermath of World War I. And just as Marshal Tito kept the various factions like the Croats, the Bosnians, the Serbs etc. from killing each other, so did Saddam Hussein put a lid on the Sunnis, the Shiites, the Kurds and everyone else from destroying Iraq from within.

That's NOT any justification for Saddam Hussein, mind you. The man was an evil bastard. It's just the peculiar dynamic of any artificial nation like Iraq that it has to have a powerful central figure wielding exorbitant military force to keep the peace among the various ethnic and religious factions. That central figure was Saddam but when the United States deposed him, we took responsibility for Iraq!

(Okay, not the American people per se, but our government certainly did... and for the moment I'll let it remain an exercise for the reader as to whether our government is beholden to We the People anymore. But I digress...)

So with the United States military not even 24 hours departed from Iraq, that country's Shiite-controlled government has put out an arrest warrant for Iraq's vice-president, Tariq al-Hashemi, who is a Sunni.

Expect this sort of thing to continue to happen.

Incidentally, it was former president George W. Bush who had the "genius" idea of putting the Shiites in charge of Iraq. Some will try to blame Barack Obama for that, but there's no basis for it. And I ain't an Obama supporter by any means either. I'm just an American citizen who expects better of his elected representatives. Including a greater than basic grasp of history and culture of the places we muck ourselves up in.


Larry said...

The people of a nation have to see themselves as such before they can become one.
It didn't happen in Iraq. It doesn't look like it's happening in Afghanistan, either.