The road to “new Iraq”

November 15, 2006

With what is going on in Iraq, it is not surprising that many approaches are being suggested to dry out the Iraq morass, or at least to help us step out of it. Train more Iraqi police, draw down US troops, involve Syria and Iran, resolve Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

All these solutions share a feature which I find not just curious but extremely revealing of western attitudes: being either political or military, they do not require Iraqis to change, but rather turn on the vision of Iraqis of tomorrow as we see them today – tribal/religious bigots with murderous/suicidal disregard for those around them.

But why not tell the Iraqis to change? Their religious views being wrong – because they are based on the idolatrous “True Faith” religiosity – why not open their eyes to the fact that, in talking of “True Faith,” they cannot possibly know what they are talking about, and, in religious terms, commit idolatry? Why not explain to them that the problem of the third party makes full separation of church and state (and of “truth” and “faith,” for that matter), and democracy not just an imposed western innovation, but a universal necessity?

Why not CHANGE the Iraqis? Why not take their eighth-century mind, and upload into it the wisdom and experience accumulated in thirteen centuries that followed?

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