Defending the virtues of liberty, free markets, and civilization... plus some commentary on the passing scene.

Freedom's Fidelity

Saturday, February 07, 2004

More on Federalism in Iraq

As a follow up on my Chaos/Progress post, I want to point out some thoughts on a federalist Iraq from famed Iraqi blogger Salam Pax:
I have been standing on the wrong side of the fence concerning the Kurdish issue. Even before the war, when people were theoretically discussing future models of Iraq the idea of a federal state made me feel a bit uneasy, the thought that the Kurds might not like us Arab-Iraqis at all was always brushed away.

I needed to hear someone talk about the issue form a very Arab-Nationalistic point of view to realize that I am not looking at the other side at all. The Arab nation is a myth that many Arabs still believe in, the main problem with that point of view is that it forgets the diversity of traditions, culture and races in the so-called Arab world.

The way I saw it was, the Kurds HAD to stick to Iraq, the bonds, the ties, "Kurds and Arabs united" and all that. Well, it is all bullshit. It is actually Arab Iraqis who seriously need to beg Kurds to stay along for the difficult ride the rest of the country is going to go thru the next couple of years.

The Kurds have been thru this and an almost working democracy and governing system has emerged after 13 years of self rule. We will be the unwanted load on their shoulders. We should be grateful if they agreed to stay within the boundaries of Iraq as part of a federation.
It's a point I hadn't much thought of. The Kurds have been generally autonomous and self-ruling since Gulf War I. Their successes present a strong real world antidote to the "Middle East is culturally incapable of self-rule" meme and their experience should help to start Iraq down the right path.


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