posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 12:33 PM
Hint: When you cause more harm that the good you do.
The other day I heard that killing people because of religious differences is no longer much of a problem in the world, Darfur aside. There is
no place today where a person will be killed because of what he thinks or believes about the Divinity. That was once a popular practice in Europe (and
elsewhere) until the Peace of Westphalia of 1648 when they hit upon a solution. “The religion of the king was the religion of his people.” There
is a Latin phrase for that, but it escapes me. Religio de Regnum? Except for a few instances, that ended the religious wars in Europe that started
after 1517. What it meant was the Popes would stop contriving to have Protestants killed. And vice versa.
This person went on to say the reasons for the current civil war in Iraq is the re-ordering of power sharing. It’s not a religious war.
Muslims no longer kill one another over who was the proper successor to the Holy Prophet. But which struggle in Iraq is directly related to the
location of the oil fields. It is just coincidence religious labels more or less identify the groups and the oil. By brute force and excessive
violence Saddam had imposed his own power sharing solution. In the north, the Kurds number slightly less than 20%, and in the central and west the
Sunni, numbering slightly more than 20%, and in the east and south the Shia number about 60% of the population.
Those 3 disparate groups have never thought of themselves as Iraqi. (Iraq was created in 1922 by the UK.) They knew they lived in a place
called Iraq - as defined by outsiders - but that did not make them or anyone an Iraqi. They were descended from different tribes. What today we call
ethnicity. Culture, heritage, tradition all mixed with DNA. Commonality? Language and religion (not including the Kurds). Iraq was always a region
inhabited by three different ethnic groups. After WW1, it was combined into one place for the administrative convenience of the United Kingdom. That
did not unite the people.
Iran is the “natural” hegemonic power in its region. By natural I mean it is the largest by population, very large in area and replete with
that natural resource over which we are arguing or bottom line, fighting, oil. Although Iranians say they are Persians, and speak Farsi, so as to be
distinguished from Arabs, who speak Aramaic, the speaker said that is a local preference and is not supported anthropologically. DNA wise, Arabs and
Persians are the same. And if you can read Farsi, you can read Aramaic. About 30% of the spoken words are close enough to make basic level
communications possible. Like A Frenchman speaking to an Italian. And etc.
It is true that Iran is the current center of the Shia sect of Islam. (In Comparative Religion 101, Sunni more nearly resembles Protestantism,
while Shia more nearly resembles Catholicism.) It is also true there is a competition for dominance of Islam between the Shia and the Sunni. OK,
skip all that. It is an aside. It adds nothing to the problem we face in Iraq and in the region. They may kill each other, but not because of how one
person views the Holy Prophet. Its more mundane than that.
Today’s news says the Kurd president has taken down the Iraq flag and replaced it with the Kurdistan flag. Although the Kurds are playing along
with the fiction they are still a part of Iraq - an autonomous region - it is not true on the ground. Kurds are Muslim, but I don’t now which sect.
It is not important to the Kurds. By the by, I heard also that Kurdistan is a beautiful place much like the foothills of the Alps. The Kurd region
hopes to become a tourist mecca and is in contact with Holiday Inns. Hmm? Maybe I should not through “Mecca” around too casually?
What have we learned since the Nine Eleven Event? It is universally agreed that Saddam had no truck with Osama. It is a simple fact there were
no WMDs in Iraq. Up to March 18, 2003, Iraq was the only real counter-poise to Iran and its hegemonic aspirations. Each country had suffered
grievously during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War. Ostensibly fought over the control of an island in the Persian Gulf, to which Iraq wanted access but
which Iran denied, the war ended in a stalemate and nearly 900,000 total KIA. Ironically, the US surreptitiously supported Iran and openly supported
Iraq, the aggressor.
Where are we today? Iraq is effectively divided into 3 distinct zones. The north is held securely by the Kurds. The west is held not so
securely by the Shia and the capital and east are in dispute. Before the US launched its pre-emptive strike on March 18, 2003, the US was widely
respected not only for its good deeds, but for its superior military might. 10 super carriers and 2 more abuilding! But now, the US is shown to be
incapable of subduing an estimated 30,000 insurgents from around the Islamic world. Our mighty army, with all the technology unlimited funds will buy,
is unable to stop the killing in Iraq. Visitors to America’s headquarter are unable to leave the Green Zone. There have been assaults into that
so-called secured perimeter. This sounds exactly like Saigon, 6,000 miles east and 40 years ago.
What’s our plan? Although we managed to capture Hussein and to kill Zarqawi (murdered IMO) the insurgency did not get “better” as Bush43
so promptly announced on the tv. It has gotten much worse. And despite Gen. Casey mimicking Rumsfeld and Cheney, there is no reason to think that
after 18 more months, it will be resolved to our satisfaction. Sec Rice is strangely silent in this run up to November 7. I guess you’d say she is
working behind the scenes.
We have broken an egg in Iraq, and we can’t reassemble it. We are making an omelet not to our own liking, but if you can concede we cannot
make it better, then is it not better to give it up, and stop our own losses if we cannot stop the other killing around Iraq. If we can’t be
winners, at lest let us be decent.
[edit on 9/2/2006 by donwhite]