Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"What Iraq Tells Us About Ourselves"

Web exclusive in Foreign Policy, by Col. Patrick Lang, here
"... Unfortunately for us and for them, that was not the real Iraq. In the real Iraq, cultural distinction from the West is still treasured, a manifestation of participation in the Islamic cultural “continent.” Tribe, sect, and community remain far more important than individual rights. One does not vote for candidates outside one’s community unless one is a Baathist, Nasserist, or Communist (or, perhaps, a believer in world “flatness” like Tom Friedman and the neocons). But Iraqis know what Americans want to hear about “identity,” and be they Shiite, Kurd, or Sunni Arab, they tell us that they are all Iraqis..."
"... Finding ourselves in the wrong Iraq, Americans have stubbornly insisted that the real Iraqis should behave as our dream Iraqis would surely do. The result has been frustration, disappointment, and finally rage against the “craziness” of the Iraqis. We are still acting out our dream, insisting that Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s Shiite sectarian government “unify” the state, imagining that Maliki is a sort of Iraqi George Washington seeking the greater good for all. He is not that. His chief task is to consolidate Shiite Arab power while using the United States to accomplish the deed. To that end, he will tell us whatever we want to be told. He will sacrifice however many of his brethren are necessary to maintain the illusion, so long as the loss is not crippling to his effort. He will treat us as the naifs that we are..."


Salem said...

Hi, you reported months ago about Bahia AlHariri's declared connection to Jund Al Sham in south Lebanon.
This just in:
Lebanese authorities arrested two persons suspected of involvement in the July 16 bombing of a U.N. peacekeeping patrol in south Lebanon, the daily An Nahar reported Thursday.
It said their detention came after security forces found and seized a "remote control" that had been used and left behind in the roadside bomb that targeted a UNIFIL patrol on Qassmiyeh Bridge near the southern port city of Tyre.

There were no casualties from the attack on the vehicle belonging to the Tanzanian contingent, which was slightly damaged.

A preliminary investigation showed that the two detainees were Palestinians with links to Jund al-Sham, An Nahar said.

It said authorities were still hunting for a third suspect.

Information obtained by An Nahar revealed that immediate investigation of a Fatah al-Islam member arrested on Wednesday as he tried to escape the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared by sea was labeled "very important."

The daily identified the captive as Abu Omar al-Attar, a Palestinian.

It said Attar made "significant" confessions about Fatah al-Islam, saying they are "near collapse."

Attar also uncovered that Fatah al-Islam leader Shaker Abssi was still alive, standing side by side with his comrades.

Beirut, 23 Aug 07, 07:48

Now, normally i wouldn't trust Naharnet but this info is irresistible.

Salem said...