The Balkanization of Iraq
continues at a quick pace
Today, I had lunch with my Iraqi-American friend Tony. Naturally, the subject
of Iraq took up most of the conversation.
"You know what pisses me off the most?" Tony asked. Before I could
answer, he injected, "Today people are Shi’ite, Sunni, Kurd, Turkmen,
Chaldean, Assyrian. Nobody’s an Iraqi. I grew up in Iraq and everybody
was an Iraqi then."
Tony then went on to describe the local Chaldean community in San Diego. He
basically breaks it down into two categories: the average traitor; or the big
traitor. The average traitors have accepted money from the U.S. government to
go to Iraq and translate. The big traitors collaborate with the F.B.I.
Tony makes about $35,000 a year working up to 12 hours a day in his own business.
He has been offered an annual wage of $150,000 to go to Iraq as a translator,
but has refused. He says he would not be able to live with himself if he accepted
such employment. He then would be an "average traitor."
I bring up this point because Iraq is falling apart quickly along sectarian
lines. On August 7, 2005, Al-Jazeera News ran an article titled, "Iraq’s
Kurds to Insist on Federalism". Massoud Barzani is the president of Iraq’s
autonomous Kurdish area. He held out little hope that his people would be Iraqi.
According to the article:
"We will not accept that Iraq’s identity is Islamic," Barzani
told the autonomous Kurdistan parliament in Abril on Saturday. He also rejected
suggestions that Iraq be termed an Arab nation. "Let Arab Iraq be part
of the Arab nation — we are not," the Kurdish leader said.
Barzani’s remarks drew criticism from the stooge Iraqi government. Federalism
will not work, they maintained. However, their message fell upon deaf ears.
On August 11, 2005, Al-Jazeera News published an article called "Iraq Shia
Leaders Call for Federal State." Same horse dung, different group. The
Iraqi Shia leaders have called for a federal state of their own in the
"Regarding federalism, we think that it is necessary to form one entire
region in the south," said Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, leader of one of the Shia
Muslim parties in the Iraqi government.
Federalism was also favored by another Shia leader.
"Federalism has to be in all of Iraq. They are trying to prevent the
Shia from enjoying their own federalism," Hadi al-Amiri, head of the Badr
Brigades militia, told thousands of Shia gathered in the southern city of Najaf.
This is quite a complicated scenario. The Kurds do not consider themselves
to be a part of an Arab country, a country that until March 2003 was considered
the crown jewel of the Arab world. In addition, the Kurds reject an Islamic
On the other hand, the Shia want an Islamic government. The implications of
varying cultures applying their own rules in a supposed unified country are
immense. Imagine a Kurd drinking a beer at a local bar and then taking a few
bottles with him when he went on a trip to the south of Iraq. If he gets stopped
in Najaf by a policeman for a minor traffic violation and the cop sees the beer
bottles in the car, the Kurd will soon be sans cojones for possessing alcohol.
I have read much about the federalism debate. A commonality is that the word
"Iraqi" is rarely, if ever seen. The Kurdish leaders and the Shia
leaders have openly stated that they are not interested in an Iraqi agenda.
So much for Bush’s term "Operation Iraqi Freedom." There are
few Iraqis left in the south and north of Iraq.
There is one group, however, that has put Iraqi interests at the top of its
agenda: the Iraqi resistance. Instead of using the sectarian term "Sunni,"
which many resistance members are, the word "Iraqi" is always in the
The Kurds welcomed the U.S. invasion. They do not consider themselves Arabs
or want to be a part of an Arab country. Yet, they can now call the shots that
will dismember Iraq.
In the South, a major portion of the Shia leadership that has now come forth
is anything but Iraqi. They are Shia first and many spent years in Iran, waiting
for the day that Saddam was toppled. Their allegiance definitely is not with
We hear the term "Balkanization" frequently. The U.S. government
has stated that there will be no Balkanization of Iraq. However, U.S. intervention
in a solid and unified Yugoslavia of the 1980s intentionally created the Balkanization
of that area. Iraqization is the logical extension of Balkanization, and it
is occurring at a rapid pace.
Someday, even the opponents of the Iraqi resistance will realize that those
who are fighting the U.S. occupation and their quisling allies were the only
true "Iraqis." The resisters are now pursuing their own version of
"Operation Iraqi Freedom."
Tony was right in his assessment of Iraqi expatriates living in the San Diego
area. It is only a reflection of what is going on today in Iraq. Those
in the stooge government are the big traitors, while those who openly work with
the occupiers as translators, cooks, policemen, national guardsmen, and chauffeurs
are the average traitors. They are also the same people who have robbed Iraq
of an Iraqi identity.
I find it quite curious that those who opposed Saddam Hussein now are dismembering
Iraq. This shows that they had no plan whatsoever for the country, only the
pursuit of their own selfish interests.
Before the illegal March 2003 invasion of Iraq, the country represented much
more than the sum of its different parts. It was Iraq and Saddam Hussein and
the Ba’athists made it worth fighting for. Today, if you add up all its
parts, Iraq represents much less than the total of Iraq prior to March 2003.