on iraq

Hallucinatory. There are no "Iraqis"; there is no "Iraq." Oh, yes, we have a tiny minority to trot out from time to time -- degree-holders from US universities who've assimilated in our terms our 19th-century-European notion of nationhood, and some crypto-Ba'athists whose statism is mostly just Saddamism minus the sociopathy -- that they may warble comfortingly (and, in their cases, sincerely, as far as it goes) about their/our vision of a unitary "Iraq." In addition to these Potemkin spokespersons, we rely for reassuring ourselves that we're not in full cry on the heels of a chimaera on selectively presented effusions from the proverbial and statistically irreducible "man on the street" (or "in the souk" here), who, when asked for a position on the viability of that putative "nation," either (a.) reverts to habits of survival long ingrained by centuries of Ottoman imperial oppression and, in classic Spenglerian fellahin mode, says what the representative of the overlord wants to hear, or (b.) does indeed endorse the future of "Iraq" -- but by that he (and I say "he" advisedly, as women there nowadays are not apt to try putting in their two dinars) intends a tribal/sectarian notion quite different from what's meant in a Western poli sci class. It's all a dumbshow, and both those charged with governing us and those from whom they seek counsel persist in ignorance and self-delusion that has on the evidence of this piece attained a stage beyond recovery.

Get out now. A millennium will not suffice for this deranged project when the humans on whose malleability success depends come from a culture sphere still suffering collective PTSD from Chinggis Khan's sacking of Balkh. All we will ultimately compass in prosecuting this folly further is our own ruin.

Kevin McFoy Dunn, Atlanta, GA

Hulago and Tamerlane came and went.

The Turks ruled by murder.

Read your history. Either we leave like the Mongols or stay for 800 years like the Turks. Mesopotamia has seen the Persians, the Arabs, the Mongols and the Central Asian Turks and the Ottoman Turks, the British and now US.

— Khaled A Qasem, GA

No comments:

Blog Archive