Thursday, October 19, 2006

Do we need the Americans? (II)

Since 1920 Iraq witnessed a significant growth in urban society. Baghdad was resembled to a large village by the British soldiers who entered the city in March 1917. They had heard a lot a bout (1001 nights) stories but they were astounded by the miserable town they conquered. The dominant lifestyle in Iraq was a mixture of tribal-religious traditions. These traditions did not evolve with the development of people's urbanization. People migrated from rural communities, for different reasons, could not cope with the constraints of cities.

Pacing toward state of law & civilization was taking place when it was interrupted by a series of coups. This series took place between 1958 and 1968. The final caused the bathists to gain power. Waves of villagers claimed possession of power since they were participants in implementing those coups. By the year 1979, in which Saddam seized power, the influence of tribal traditions started to regain dominance over the Iraqi society. The grip of law began to wane and people had to disclaim their rights, or to look for alternatives to help them in solving their everyday life's problems.

Nowadays, not resorting to law is a clear feature of the Iraqi society. Take a look at this article
which recites how political and militant Islam is clashing with tribal customs and a shared Arab and Muslim identity that have bonded Sunnis and Shiites for decades. The events are taking place in still-mixed neighborhood called Tobji, nestled in north-central Baghdad. One can notice, through the photo accompanying the article, the pastoral feature of the neighborhood (keep in mind it is in north-central Baghdad).

It is the rural and tribal values that prevailed over urban ones. It is expected, under global transition that this image would replicate in a world which is turning into a universal village. One of the unavoidable results of such globalized world is migration of people, and as a consequence their values, from the poor countryside of the world to the wealthy urban one. Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements programme says:
"International migration, just like urbanisation, cannot be stopped in any sustainable or humane manner. It has to be managed. One can argue that in a globalised world, where we have unrestricted movement of money, goods and information, restrictions on the movement of people remains a major contradiction."
It has to be managed. One way of managing migration is to develop the 'countryside' of the world to reduce the number of emigrants looking for better life situations. Developing poor regions does not mean to impose certain values on other societies. It means to back up shared human values; Mr. Tony Blair put it like this:
"…we must fashion an international community that both embodies, and acts in pursuit of global values: liberty, democracy, tolerance, justice."
It is either developing those 'countryside' regions of the world or accepting what comes out from there. I refer always to what I call 'educational rehabilitation' of communities like the Iraqi one. Otherwise, incidents like this one
or killing the Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh should be expected to intimidate western societies. It is the nowadays methods of communications, as one feature of globalization, which made it possible for radical Islamists to rally mob behind them protesting against cartoons satirizing Muhammad. And it is the airplanes which are mainly made to serve people and bring them closer to each other. This means of transport was used to attack the twin towers on 9/11.

It is not only a matter of military confrontation or security procedures. On 26 Feb, 1993 there was an attempt to blow up the world trade center and the US reaction was built on the idea that the states are immune and invulnerable, so did not retaliate.

Launching campaigns against Afghanistan and Iraq, after 9/11, is not a matter of argument under the status quo. It is either to cut and run accepting all the consequences, or to persist on completing the mission. Leaving Iraq without arranging things would, more likely, turn it into the most suitable incubator to hatch terrorists much faster than they do now. Iraq represents a magnet which drains those who are ready to commit aggressive deeds from all over the world. Is Iraq helping by draining these 'martyrs'? Yes it is.

Now the question becomes 'Does the US need the Iraqis?'

That’s another topic.


Anonymous DagneyT said...

America's press relations are going to be less than good as long as President Bush is in office. The truth is that Americans are much smarter than our old media believes us to be.

Ahmadinejad has said that the new "caliphate", which should be known as "hirabah", will have its capital in Iraq. When America begins calling these mufsidun by their real names, perhaps we will begin to make some progress in this war.

2:47 AM  

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