Making Iraq Work

One of the reasons that Iraq was the best place for the "neocon experiment" was that it had the most chance of working. With these 3 major ethno-sectarian groups, the only thing that can realistically work is liberal government (ie tolerance of other races and religions). And it's that liberalness that is needed to prevent another 9/11, quite apart from the benefits it provides the people who actually live there.

So, to all Americans who refuse to go to war unless it's in their national interest - there you go, it's in your national interest. If you don't want another 9/11, you either need:

1. Liberal governments and people in the Middle East.
2. To nuke the Middle East.

Doing neither is not an option, although I guess that will be fine if you don't mind car bombs in New York every now and then etc etc for eternity, and hope that the terrorists never come up with better weapons than that.

So all the previous years of effort and heartache was a mere technical prelude to what we have now.

There's no question of anyone usurping Iraq's democracy by force. Certainly not the terrorists. Killing random civilians does not win wars. You can kill civilians just as easily in car crashes. And indeed, Iraq has 38.1 road fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants, which puts the death toll at around 12,000 per year, compared to the approx 2,000 per year that the terrorists are managing. No-one thinks for more than 2 seconds about banning cars to save lives, any more than they think for more than 2 seconds about surrendering to terrorists in order to save far less lives. Ain't Gunna Happen. The cultural problem with Arabs/Muslims thinking they can use violence to get their (bad) way is what needs to be addressed.

Just while I'm "in the area", South Africa's murder rate is 12,000 per Iraq's population per year (52*365*31/49). I doubt many people in South Africa or the world are saying "oh my god, with a result like that, I think a return to apartheid would be better, and I should stop wasting my time talking about how the days of Saddam were better".

Anyway, back to the topic. Now that the prelude is over, and we are faced with the fact that Iraq is now a democracy, it's time to make it work. With the 3 major groups, and splits within the Shiites too about how much religious bigotry is good, they're having great difficulty deciding who to make Prime Minister. Ideally we shouldn't have to deal with "who has the best religion" type questions, but that's what these numbnuts are all up to. At this point in time, I would recommend that they go with a more honest broker. No, not Paul Bremer. How about of Nawshirwan Mustafa from Gorran (Movement for Change - a newish Kurdish party). Note that Maliki himself came out of nowhere to become PM, so why not Mr Mustafa?

It's not like he can do any real damage. You know, the Scots were won over (ie integrated into England), simply by handing over the reins to them. The Russians can probably be won over the same way, with a little bit of care - ie hand over NATO to them. And now the same can be done with the Kurds. They are the one party that can be reasonably trusted to not favour one religious Arab sect over another.

In the movie "Lawrence of Arabia", it was Lawrence who they could trust. And indeed, Bremer can be trusted too. But since people in the 3rd world can't stand the thought of being "colonized" (when if they had a brain, they'd be queuing up to get Hong Kong pre-1999 deals), this is the next best thing. It will take them decades to actually build up trust, so that Shiite vs Sunni is as irrelevant as Norman vs Anglo-Saxon in the UK.

Oh, and for the ceremonial post of President, make that Jaafari. He can't do any real damage with his religious bigotry there. So the Religiously Bigotted State of Iraq will have a religiously bigotted head of state. That is perfectly in line with Iraq's religiously bigotted constitution.


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