Corruption versus Zarqawi

Concerning Cruelty And Mercy, And Whether It Is Better To Be Loved Than Feared,” by Nicolo Machiavelli, The Prince, 1513, http://www.drizzle.com/~jcouture/1_world/zzz_the_prince/0405a%20Prince%2016%20to%2018.htm.

Sunnis Working on Iraq Constitution Slain,” by Sameer Yacoub, Associated Press, 19 July 2005, http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050719/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq (from Captain’s Quarters).

Iraq is corrupt. This helps us.

Deaths are tragedies. Murders are monstrosities. But in our souls, we ultimately accept these things as part of the world. God calls people, and they come home.

But money, that’s a different matter. Murders are forgiven. Thefts aren’t.

As Machiavelli wrote centuries ago:

 

Men more quickly forget the death of their father than the loss of their inheritance

 

It is this force that is hurting Zarqawi in Iraq.

Take the recent news that two Sunni Arab lawmakers were recently assassinated

 

Gunmen assassinated two Sunni Arabs involved in the drafting of Iraq’s constitution Tuesday, another blow to U.S. and Iraqi efforts to draw members of the disaffected community away from the insurgency and into the political process.

Mijbil Issa, a committee member, Dhamin Hussein al-Obeidi, an adviser to the group, and their bodyguard died in a hail of gunfire from two vehicles as they left a restaurant in Baghdad’s Karradah district, police said.

Issa, a prominent lawyer, was among 15 Sunni Arabs appointed last month to the 55-member constitutional committee — made up mostly of Shiites and Kurds — to give the Sunni minority a greater voice in building a new Iraq. Ten other Sunnis, including al-Obeidi, were named as advisers to the committee.

 

In Iraq, a high-ranking government job does not just mean that you are on the people’s payroll. It means work for your brothers and cousins as advisers and senior secretaries, it means work for your smarter nephews as junior secretaries, It means work as bodyguards for your “regular guy” nephews. It means money for their wives and things for their children.

In a non-corrupt Iraq, these murders would be seen merely as murders. Merely a premature departure from the mortal plane by elder statements. But in a corrupt Iraq, murder of government officials means theft from dozens, if not hundreds, of family members.

Zarqawi’s attempt to eliminate Sunni participation in the drawing of the Iraqi Constitution means theft from hundreds, if not thousands, of Iraqis.

Corruption will hurt Zarqawi, and there’s no easier way to “hearts and minds” than that.

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