Power of Nationalism: Why Iran is not Iraq.

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Power of Nationalism: Why Iran is not Iraq.

Postby alimostofi » Sun Oct 23, 2005 4:47 am

Power of Nationalism: Why Iran is not Iraq. Divide and rule Iraq, NOT Iran

I just came across this interesting article, comparing the Clinton and present day Bush administration. I have lost count the number of discussions I used to have, with numerous Pakistani and Indian intellectuals, when I was an undergrad at Princeton Univesity, when Ayatollah Khomeini landed, about how Iran will become Iranistan. Carter was different to Clinton, but the democrats were quite keen on divide and rule. In an awkward way, many left wing and so called intellectual people in Iran then, supported the Islamist ideology against Communism paranoia, especially in light of the political vacuum that was created, once His Imperial Majesty Shahanshah Aryamehr had gone into another existance (remember as an Astrologer I do not believe in death). His material existance is surely missed, but his Spirit is with us, as is the Spirit of all true Iranians is in all of us. Iran stands for unity that is there, and many will try to dissect it. But Iran is not for Balkanization. As we see the Islamists, and more reform minded moslems around the world bicker amongst themselves, the very fabric of Iran, the carpet on which we all stand on, will be stronger. As I have said for many many years, we all stand on the same carpet, and it is the best carpet in the world. Iranian philosophy, art and tolerant attitude has unified the people of the world for millennia, even in moments when Iran did not really exist. Our contribution to the world philosophy remained as milestones in the human thought. Only recently have many people realised that most of those thoughts were originally common sense Iranian nation building rules. The dialectic that has been created against dogma has forced Iranians to rebuild their soul spirit and culture, and claim that which is righteously theirs. You all saw it when we all unified to protect the phrase Persian Gulf. Never have I seen Iranians, be they mullah or Zoroastrian or atheist or just plain Iranian be so unified. The Spirit of Iran is all about nation building. We were afterall the first nation of nations. Idealism and dogma tried to do the same, but Christianity and Islam brought wars. Nationalism based on human rights never did. So when you read the article below and see the references to nation building, reflect upon the three empires that lived for three hundred years, that are at the root of all civilizations.

Galbraith's logic on Iraq

Anyone who heard "Last Chance for Iraq: Civil War, Iran, and the Constitution," the talk given by former Ambassador Peter W. Galbraith in Brattleboro Thursday night, came away with a sense of regret.

Galbraith, who was the first U.S. ambassador to Croatia in the mid-1990s and is one of the leading experts on Iraq in the United States, knows a little something about nation-building.

He contrasted the diplomatic and military efforts to bring peace to the Balkans to what has happened in the last 21/2 years in Iraq. The Clinton administration, Galbraith said, had a plan for occupation and sent competent professionals to carry it out. U.S. troops are still in the Balkans, but 10 years after they arrived, not one U.S. soldier has died due to hostile action.

And then there's the Bush administration's actions in Iraq.

Galbraith said the Bush administration saw Iraq "as a place for political patronage and an ideological crusade."

That was evident by its lack of postwar planning for after the fall of Baghdad in April 2003. Galbraith was there within days of the U.S. occupation and said he was shocked at how nothing was done to stop the widespread looting of government ministries.

That act alone, he said, set back the postwar recovery effort and allowed the Iraqis to see that perhaps the U.S. was not as mighty and powerful as first thought.

That shift in perception helped to make the insurgency possible, Galbraith said. But what also made it possible was the series of inept actions by people sent to Iraq by the Bush administration that had absolutely no clue how to rebuilt a shattered nation -- particularly a shattered nation with no history of unity except under dictatorship.

Given the long-standing religious and ethnic divisions between the Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis, the idea of a unified, multiethnic, democratic Iraq is not achievable.

Galbraith has been one of the leading proponents of letting happen what has already begun to happen in Iraq -- namely, allowing the three groups control their own regions of the country under a federation.

"We cannot build a nation where none exists," he said. As a result, the U.S. should bow to the inevitable and let Iraq evolve into a three-region state. These are the realities. Iraq's Kurds want their own country in what is now northern Iraq, a place Galbraith called "an independent state in all but name."

Fortunately for the U.S., this is also the one place in Iraq where U.S. forces are welcome and President Bush is seen as a hero.

The Shiites, who are the majority group in Iraq, have chosen to create an Islamic state in the southern part of Iraq. It has close ties to Iran and wants no part of the U.S. vision of secular, multi-ethnic state.

The Sunnis, the minority group in Iraq, once ruled the country but now barely control Baghdad, which has become the front line for the ongoing civil war between the Shiites and Sunnis.

These three groups want nothing to do with each other. They've not wanted anything to do with each other for centuries. And no U.S. plan to bring them together will work unless the Bush administration recognizes this.

In Galbraith's view, dividing Iraq into Kurdish, Shiite and Sunni states would not necessarily be a bad idea. It is the only workable political solution, and only a successful political solution will make it possible to start a significant withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

The key, Galbraith believes, is for the U.S. to shift its focus from trying to unify Iraq to trying to prevent a civil war.

Sadly, Galbraith admitted Thursday, there are too few people in the Bush administration who support this idea. The people who came up with the idea of invading Iraq as part of their plan to transform the Middle East -- "the Illusionists," as Galbraith called them -- still seem to hold sway.

There are people in the U.S. military who share Galbraith's ideas, and a few senior staffers in the State Department and the CIA, but no one in Bush's inner circle. As a result of the Bush administration's general ineptitude regarding every facet of its Iraq policy, U.S. forces may be stuck in Iraq for a very long time in pursuit of policy goals that are unachievable.
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