Thursday, August 30, 2007

Almost-fall cleaning

Here's me, trying to catch up on some things. School's coming, and I'm more and more motivated to do this whole "get my ass in gear" project. But first, let's clear out some old links:

-- US/UK catfighting over Iraq! Y'see, the British realize that Iraq is going to be an ungodly disaster no matter what they do, so they're leaving. Clearly, they don't understand how this means they hate freedom.

-- And yes, Iraq is an ungodly disaster. Let's try this:
What the NIE is saying is that, more than four years after the war began, the strategic goal has not been achieved -- and there is little evidence that it will be achieved. Security has not increased significantly in Iraq, despite some localized improvement. In other words, the NIE is saying that the United States has failed and there is no strong evidence that it will succeed in the future.
It's clear, at this point, that US troops are going to be kept in Iraq until Bush's term ends, simply to make it look like someone else "lost" the war. The immorality of it all disgusts me.

-- Or there's this: "Iraq does not exist anymore".

-- But this is interesting: despite the oft-heard claim that Iraq is an "artificial" country, that it was merely created by the Brits post-WWI, at least one historian argues that in fact, Iraq has been a single political unit for much longer than westerners realize -- 19th-century documents regularly refer to the Arabs of Iraq, and even occasionally refer to the Kurds of Iraq as well. The exact borders may have been different, but the binding of Baghdad, Basra, and occasionally Mosul as a historical community is pretty old:
Galbraith’s “Iraq was just cobbled together” thesis is similarly trite and equally misleading: it is true that for some thirty years between the 1880s and 1914 there was administrative separation between Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, but before that there had been frequent intervals of administrative unity between some or all of these areas (especially Basra and Baghdad) – as was the case under the Ottomans and Georgian mamluk rule in the early nineteenth and eighteenth century as well as during long periods of the classical Islamic age (and even under a succession of Mongol rulers after 1258, if more flimsily so).
It gives me some hope that Iraqi nationalism might put the country back together again.

-- Switching gears, slightly: 1 in 4 Canadians is facing medical costs from environmental pollution. They clearly don't understand that we can't afford not to pollute -- it would hurt the economy! See also: Pollution causes 40% of deaths, worldwide.


Jer said...

It gives me some hope that Iraqi nationalism might put the country back together again.

Yes, well, we'd have to stop interfering with Iraqi nationalists who want to put the country together again to have that happen, now wouldn't we?

Iraqi nationalism is the best hope for keeping the country together, even if it means a massive civil war. OTOH, Iraqi nationalism is the one strand of ideology that is guaranteed to not want the US to sit around on permanent bases "protecting" the Iraqi people. How do you foster nationalism in a country that you are occupying? You can't - a "nationalist" movement that is "sponsored" by the occupiers is obviously a puppet entity, while a nationalist movement that is homegrown is guaranteed to see the occupiers as "unifying threat number one" to pull the movement together.

john said...

Jer: I agree.