Iraq’s Ancien Regime

The original discussion on Mountainrunner has spawned a reply post by me, two posts by Nykrindc (both at his blog and at TPM Cafe), a response by Castle Argghhh, and now a new post at MR.

The topic?

The destruction of Iraq’s education system

The best comments are on TPM Cafe and is… someone critical of the tdaxperspective:

Well, you know Dan and have more experience with him than I do. So as to whether he’s a psychotic madman or not, I cannot say with certainty.


To me, Dan’s view, in the very limited and restricted window I have of it, seems psychopathic, just my opinion. I also have the sense that you are all too ready to give credence to psychopathic views… at least as long as they fall short of nuking major cities of our own allies.

Nykrindc is also active there, and does an amazing job summing up my beliefs. He sums up my beliefs much better than I could — an all-the-more incredible feat since he disagrees with them:

The Sunni minority in Iraq has ruled the country since independence, crushing and repressing the aspirations of Iraq’s Shiite and Kurdish populations.

The Iraqi state, because it was an imperialist imposition has no legitimacy with the Shiite or Kurdish populations (from his point of view, neither do most other states in the region, except Iran). As such, the conflict that is happening now, would have to have eventually taken place to either divide the Iraqi state among the three major groups, or to have one or another win absolutely and impose their desired system on the others.

Once we decided to invade Iraq, and these fissures became apparent, we had to choose a side: Either Shiite/Kurd (80% of the population) or Sunni (former Baathists, Hussein loyalists and 15% of the population). In order to move decisively, and given that those who attacked us on 9/11 were Sunni and not Shiite, the US needed to side with the Shiites to overturn the regimes in the region. Why? Because it is these regimes who have kept the region repressed and stagnant for so long, that they allowed for the birth and growth of al Qaeda. This is part of his reasoning behind our needing to humiliate Sunnis, to show them that their systems (dictatorships, autocracies, fundamentalists theocracies, etc.) have failed and that its time to either change or die…

Dan is a good blogger, not because of some of his most controversial views, but rather because in that controversy he challenges conventional wisdom and forces one to not only defend one’s position but to modify it if any part of it is wrong. That’s important because it’s one of the reasons this administration committed all of the mistakes it committed, because it refused to listen or entertain views that were not already their own. That disease is not solely a disease of the right, republican party or the Bush family, it is a disease we all fall prey to from time to time. Debating those who disagree with you is one way to cure it, because it is only in having to defend your argument that you can see where the weak points are, the wrong and the good. This allows you to learn and adapt and makes your theories or world view more complete.

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