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September 19, 2007

To be Clear: Iraqis Don't Want Sectarian Divisions

I want every pundit in the US to read "Future Look of Iraq Complicated by Internal Migration," by James Glanz and Alissa J. Rubin in today's NYT. Maybe after reading the article, they'll stop suggesting that Iraq should be split into 3 ethnic states. Such division does not exist in Iraq - it is only happening when people stare down the barrel of a gun.

Apparently, the point of this "war on terror" is to terrorize the people of Iraq and allow militias to rule over them.

Over all, the patterns suggest that despite the ethnic and sectarian animosity that has gripped the country, at least some Iraqis would rather continue to live in mixed communities. ...

But the new figures show that the migration is not neatly dividing Baghdad along the Tigris, separating Sunnis who live predominantly on the west bank from Shiites, who live predominantly on the east. Instead, some Sunnis are moving to the predominantly Shiite side of the river, into neighborhoods that are relatively secular, mixed and where services are better, according to Red Crescent staff.

All together now: people do not naturally divide themselves by ethnicity. They seek the best place to raise a family: the safest neighborhood with the best utilities and schools. Sound familiar? For the life of me, I can't understand why US'ers think Arabs are so different from us. All around the world, people want the same thing: safe neighborhoods, good schools, and modern utilities that operate 24/7.

Why is it so difficult for US'ers to understand that it is our government, our corrupt contractors that are screwing up in Iraq? If we had sent the Army Corps of Engineers in to create an eletrical grid, instead of relying on Halliburton and the like, Iraqis might have reliable power now, 4 years into the occupation. Obviously, the army isn't the best at all engineering tasks - you don't have to look further than New Orleans to see how big their mistakes can be. But we could've stopped some of the madness & expense on private security firms if we had handled this occupation as a public-effort rather than a private-profit grab funded by taxpayers.

Here's a novel idea - we could've worked through the UN Dept of Peacekeeping Operations. You know, it's not too late to bring in the DPKO. Throw in some recognition for UNSCR 1325 and the US might actually be able to turn its failed occupation into the beginnings of conflict resolution...

a girl's gotta dream.

related article: "Checkbook Imperialism: The Blackwater Fiasco," by Robert Scheer. Found via Portside

NYT article found via UN Wire

Posted by cj at September 19, 2007 10:04 PM


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