Thursday, March 22, 2007

Why will Iraq fail? Ask the British!


No other civilization has more experience in subjugation of foreign cultures than the mighty British Empire. Iraq was once part of the Ottoman Empire; many tribes migrated from place to place. It is incorrect to think of people living in that area at the time “Iraqis” they had no national identity as we know it. They had a tribal identity and they had a religious identity. Since Arab nationalism was late to enter the scene many of these territories were already carved out. Suddenly small villages were told by British and French troops that they were no longer subjects of the Ottoman Empire but “Iraqis.” It was the Sykes-Picot Agreement that subsequently led to French-British agreement on “spheres of influence.” Until 1930, when Iraq would win its semi-independence, however it would remain largely a British mandate. Since in 1941 the British re invaded Iraq for fear that the new king would cut off the oil supply they needed to fight there war in the Europe. Finally when 1958 came the Hashemite dynasty tumbled and Iraq withdrew from the Baghdad pact. It was then when Saddam Hussein came to be supreme ruler after disposing of his adversaries.

My point in this little history lesson was to make the case that the territory known as Iraq has suffered many different masters who have all failed ultimately to subjugate it, or its people. The British had a long and difficult time administering and governing what was largely a province. They also had some successes though because of there cultural non-involvement in the lives of the common Iraqi citizen. They did not ask them to change there religion or practices but only to play taxes and follow the basic code of laws laid down. Despite that mild doctrine, they were unable to maintain there empire.

We have a good deal to learn from this experience.

2 comments:

Brainpolice said...

Good historical perspective. It's sort of like a great big hint that most people dont get: this stuff don't work, folks, and it's incredibly harmful (cumulatively so).

kblair7 said...

Well you would think...I linked a great site for Iraq under the mandate years.