Why Iraq's A Mess: Or Does Culture Matter?
Source: Sunday Telegraph
MJ is currently reading Pat Buchanon's latest book "State Of Emergency." One of the things he focuses on in the book is the 'Neo-Con Peruasion' if you will, and in specific the notion that America is a "propositional nation" and that everybody around the world is simply lusting after democracy. Two notions I find delusional at best. This article by Colin Freeman seems to speak to that and why multi-culturalism tends to end badly for all involved...
"Yet, asked why this [lapse into sectarianism] has happened, the Iraqis I have met also cite another pivotal event alongside [last year's bombing of the Shi-ite shrine in] Samarra - the same one that Tony Blair and George W Bush insist has made the past four years worthwhile. The historic first elections of 2005, they say, have been disastrous for the country. Far from ushering in the Middle East's first secular, liberal state, as the West had hoped, they have allowed Islamist parties to take hold, encouraging Iraqis to identify as Sunnis or Shias and opening up 1,500-year-old religious tensions that might otherwise have lain dormant.Here's what we used to know to be true in this country: Democracy is precious and rare, not everybody on the planet is capable of handling democracy, and most of all, when we allow people the gift of living in this country we can only allow in the number that we can assist in their transition to understanding and appreciating democracy.
"The parties that are running the government now are all Islamists," said Saleh al-Mutlaq, a Sunni who is of the few secular politicians in a parliament otherwise dominated by Shia and Sunni religious power blocks. "All of them are sectarian, and mostly they cannot work together. Instead they pull the country in a sectarian way. The US and British might be proud of our elections, but personally I wish we had an Arab dictatorship which had peace and security, rather than a democracy which works on chaos."
The euphoria of polling day, he points out, eclipsed the fact that the elections were scarcely the informed, rational contest of policies that is supposed to characterise a democracy. Inexperienced in the ways of multiparty politics after decades of totalitarianism, millions of Iraqis voted for the Sunni and Shia religious parties simply because they thought they would go to hell if they didn't. "My own brother told me that the imam in his local mosque told him to vote for the Twaffaq [a Sunni religious party] if he wanted to join Mohammed in the afterlife," said Mr Mutlaq. "And it was the same with the Shias. Their hands would shake with fear if they didn't mark the box for their religious parties."
Political choices were also made in the expectation of jobs for the boys, a legacy of the nepotism that was a hallmark of Saddam's Ba'ath party era. Mithal al-Alusi, another secular Sunni, was convinced he was a hot ticket for prime minister when nearly 100,000 people joined his tiny, underfunded party. When they then scraped just one parliamentary seat, he realised people had only joined up in the belief that a party membership card might come in handy one day. "We had delegations of sheikhs coming up to lend us their support, but they probably went to every other party as well," he said, stirring coffee in his villa in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone. "They thought they would get some sort of benefits if we got into power. That's the old way, the Ba'ath Party way, and now the Islamists are doing the same."
Or you get this...
"These are changing political times where our basic and programs are being attacked. Illegal and legal immigration unfairly attacked. We have to band together and that means Latinos in Florida, Cuban-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans, South Americans - we have to network better - we have to be more politically minded - we have to put aside party and think of ourselves as Latinos, as Hispanics, more than we have in the past."What tickles me is talking to Hannitized or the retarded socialist* we chatted with at the pro-amnesty rally yesterday who make it sound like helping folks become Americans is as easy as making instant rice, know what? It isn't. Katie's Dad has made the excellent point several times in comments that it can take generations for folks to actually become a part of this society.
- Bill Richardson in 1996
The evidence is literally all around us that multi-cultural and bifurcated societies don't work.
Why not believe it?
* I won't presume to speak for the big H but talking to a socialist about Americanizing folks is a bit like chatting with a porn star about abstinence.
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