Iraq is Not as Simple as You Think Lefty

In the spring of 2003 the United States launched its preemptive invasion of Iraq as a campaign in the War on Terror. The reasoning of our government was unfounded and counterproductive to ameliorating growing resentment towards America.

Launching a war in Iraq, where terrorism and radical sentiment was not allowed to burgeon on the level that it has in other Middle Eastern states whose governments turned a blind eye to the cause of radical Islamic extremists (particularly due to the influence of members of the upper classes who act as supporters to the movement), and/or, lacked the power to monitor their citizens on the level that Iraq under Hussein was able to, was not strategic to winning the War on Terror.

In actuality, Saddam was, if anything, effectual in combating terrorism that so seeks to harm the homeland of the United States of America. Disposing of the formidable and controlling dictatorship he had built was stupid and counteractive to decreasing hatred towards America, the ‘Evil Empire’ that so many more people in the world now view the United States as being. In reality a dictatorship was the only viable way to control such a diverse, tribal and nationalistic populace. And no, Mary Howland and Kathleen Brown in particular, I do not use ‘nation’ as you understand it, as the population of Iraq within the borders of the state, but as a group of peoples who have a common identity above all else. There is not one nation of Iraq but many.

In fact, there are nations, espousing nationalisms, for clarity we should refer to it as tribalism. Allegiance is pledged to sect of religion, class, family, neighborhood, city, region of Iraq, dialect, customs, et cetera, et cetera. Inhabiting common territory and feeling an irreducible right to a certain area where your peoples maintain a distinct way of life defines one clans identity and pits them against others in this perpetual territorial tribalism.

This model of nationalism has not disappeared with the presence of the occupying forces of the United States military, it is very much alive and breathing within the Fertile Crescent, so much in fact that we have Sunni Muslim groups bombing Shia leaders, holy sites, mosques, and neighborhoods, causing the Shia Muslims to reciprocate act for act. There is no single ‘nationalist resistance’ working in Iraq, but many, fighting each other rather ruthlessly.

One only needs to read the news from the past week to understand this; a Sunni suicide bomber killed thirteen at a Shia mosque north of Baghdad, nine people died after an Iraqi opened fire on other Iraqis at a Baghdad bakery, a prominent Baghdad sheik was nearly assassinated, attacks upon infrastructure (police stations and hospitals) occurred, also a caravan of newly elected Kurdish officials was ambushed.

This violence is not directed towards a common enemy but towards each other, towards competing nations within a state. Yes, Kathleen, you have some reason to say, “If Iraq moves to civil war, it has only the US to thank,” specifically because our government removed a strong dictator who controlled the diverse opposing nations of people within the 1920 partitioned borders of Iraq. However, your logic in the means to prove your ends is very confusing. You state, “If the US succeeds in this it will be the first time that a wedge has been forced decisively between the two factions.” What are you speaking of?

You yourself call the Sunnis and Shiites ‘factions’. Good for you, I agree with you here- they are factions and a faction is a group that, a priori, opposes another. Then why use this language if your goal, along with Ms. Howland (silly propagandists you are, when you ignore the reality of the issues at hand; you two should have attended and truly listened to what Daniel J. Flynn had to say two weeks ago in the Ira Allen chapel) is to conclude that there is a single nationalist movement fighting against the United States’ forces?

We both know that Sunni and Shiite Muslims decisively divided in the seventh century based upon strongly differing views on who should maintain leadership over the spreading of Muhammad’s visions and the straight path of submission, the path of Islam. After reading your history (I am very skeptical of this Tariq Ally you recommend) it should be apparent that since the British imposed Amir Faysal as the first King of Iraq the real power in the government has belonged to the Sunni minority.

This tradition continued through Saddam Hussein’s rule. Only now, through democratic means, is the Shiite majority getting its chance to be represented and the apparent result is mass violence against one another, not just the American troops. This leads me to ask, do you read the newspaper?

If so, what kind of ideologue print are you reading? Might it be the Socialist Worker? There is a place for opinions, it’s called the editorial page. Until then get an objective point of view and if you believe that all media in the US is tainted then read some French, British, Indian, Italian, German, or Australian publications. But, whatever you do, don’t be so ignorant as to repeat this editorial page propaganda as fact and say that a unified national movement is fighting American troops; this simplifies the most complex of histories born on this planet we walk upon and makes you and whatever ideologies you willingly represent as unconscious and apathetic to reality.

On a side note; one benevolent aspect of the United States’ outside hand in the elections is a mandatory twenty five percent holding of the national congress belonging to women. Quite extraordinary considering females in our own country are only represented by fourteen percent of Congress. Was this likely to happen if we left the country before having elections? In this mode of looking at the situation, we see the p0tential freedom of half the Iraqi population through the auspices of American guided democracy who would’ve continued to be oppressed under the patriarchical tribalistic traditions of the Middle East if the United States had left prematurely.

However, with the absence of a strong dictatorship in Iraq there is a great chance not only for terrorism against the United States to blossom, but also civil war due to the unleashing of restraints upon hatred of opposing nations within Iraq.