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The Flag of the World

-G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

This here blog is a glimpse or two or three at the condition of the 'fortress of our family' through the eyes Timothy Goddard, a Christian writer with an unhealthy interest in politics living in the Puget Sound area.

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Wednesday, April 09, 2003

 

Who are the Iraqi people?
I just read possibly the most encouraging thing yet regarding the future of Iraq. In an email update from Chris Allbritton of Back in Iraq at The Command Post, he recounts a conversation that gives me more hope about it than I've had yet.
Joining Said in Taqtaq was Brig. Gen. Jalal Aziz and a PUK member of the Kurdish Parliament in Arbil, Mala Shaki. As he turned on the television to Fox News (of course,) Shaki expressed his gratitude to the United States.

"In the past 30 years, we have been suffering from genocide and Anfal, chemical weapons," he said. "We are very grateful and thankful for the American support. They crossed thousands of kilometers to liberate the Iraqi people--"

" -- and Kurdish people," interjected Aziz.

"_Including_ the Kurdish people," Shaki responded. "We don't think about revenge. Our aim is democracy and human rights for a country that will be free.

"From now on, _all_ of the Iraqi people will be happy."

Why does this make me so happy? Because "Iraqi" has, to one man, at least, stopped being an ethnicity. Just as "American" is not an ethnicity, and shouldn't be. When land and government gets tied to genetics and clothing styles, bad things happen (see: Serbia, Rwanda, etc). This is not to discount genetics and clothing styles, which are important things to be cognizant of. But they are no basis for a government or a nation. This is a good sign for federalism in Iraq, and therefore a good sign for Iraq in general.

Ironically, this opportunity is due, in large part, to randomly assigned colonial boundaries and the blatant tyranny of Saddam. Because the boundaries laid out for Iraq were never based on ethnicity, the nation as a whole is not based on ethnicity. There are many who are pessimistic about freedom, and love talking about how "the Sunnis hate the Shi'ites hate the Kurds hate the Turkomans" and so on, but I don't buy it. I think there is the opportunity now for a nation based not in common religion, common blood or common culture, but a common desire for freedom--and a desire only made greater by the tyranny they have escaped from. Once again, what was meant for evil has been somehow turned to good. Funny how that happens.

So who are the Iraqi people? Well, who are the American people? Citizens of the United States of America. We love freedom, we love our family, we love our country. If there are many more men who think like this in Iraq, then they will be much the same--citizens of Iraq, who love their freedom, their family and their country.
Agree, disagree, have more information on the topic? Please, feel free to leave a comment. No profanity!
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