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Analysis Last Updated: Jan 4th, 2007 - 01:08:31

The Zarqawi affair, part 17 of 23
By B. J. Sabri
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Nov 22, 2006, 00:39

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�This logic of extermination of a society and culture was inbuilt in the process since March 2003. In fact, the systematic annihilation of 2-3 percent of the entire Iraqi population, according to a study by The Lancet, not to mention the 1 million people displaced since March 2003, follow the more than 500,000 children who died during the 1990s as victims of United Nations sanctions. Iraq has been systematically destroyed for more than 15 years, non-stop.� --Brazilian writer Pablo Escobar, from his article, �'Stability First: Newspeak for rape of Iraq

One of the methods followed by neocon intellectuals to deceive their readers is narrating events backed by neither analysis nor facts. For instance, in the following quote, William O. Beeman, Director of Middle East Studies at Brown University, makes a statement that when analyzed would prove nothing but a manifest intent to propagandize historical falsehood.

Beeman: The three regions were incompatible in ethnicity, religious confession, and interests.

Analysis: before everything, let me argue one important issue: neither ethnicity, nor religion, or interests make a nation. All of these attributes are super-structural thus not relevant for nationhood. The paramount factor in nationhood is language and land. Without common language (including regional inflections and vernaculars), a nation cannot possibly form. Language is even more important than land in the sense it stresses shared origins regardless how distant we are from the land. Both, language and land, however, are the primordial and indispensable requirement to make a nation. In the end, language and land can reinforce each other by additional factors such as economic activities.

Two powerful examples sustain my view: the United States and Russia. Both countries are hosts to hundreds of groups that share no ethnic similarity, no religious homogeneity, or interests (in the general sense.) What distinguish these groups as Americans or Russians is a common language and land.

Consequently, language and cultural heritage of any state are, unavoidably, the same over most of its national territory despite ethnic diversities since interaction among the nation�s groups becomes a function of mutual dependency, social recognition, and identifiable identity. For instance, in matter of national recognition, I can recognize an Iraqi individual among one hundred million non-Iraqi Arabs solely by his or her phonetic inflection. In that moment, that is all I need to know about that individual, and, religion, interests, or ethnicity would have no value to the process of recognition, and their acknowledgement is conditioned solely by the extent of projected or established socialization with that individual.

It is redundant to state, that the Iraqi Arab dialect (with its local variations) has been the dominate dialect from Basra to Amara, from Nasiriyah to Karbala, and from Baghdad to Mosul, including Kurdish areas. As such, it has been the unifying force of the Iraqi identity.

Second, Beeman did not explain in which way the province of Basra is different from that of Baghdad, if both of their natural inhabitants are entirely Arab! As for the province of Mosul, had Beeman been coherent, he should have also stated that this province had its own diversity since its inhabitants include Kurds, Turkomans, Arabs, Assyrians, and Yezidis. Then what future would Beeman envision for this province?

So, where does this charge of incompatibility come from, and by what �empirical research� did Beeman decree that Iraqi national groups were incompatible? It is a fact that Iraq is a land rich with ethnic minorities -- small or large --, as the case in the United States, China, Russia, Italy, Bulgaria, and every other country in the world. If Beeman�s believes that a multi-layered society (ethnically or religiously) would necessarily suffer from an inherent character incompatibility, then all world societies or states should suffer from endemic, maddening incompatibility syndrome. This is not the case, regardless of the world diverse political systems.

As for Beeman including religious incompatibility as a factor in Iraq, this is a standard Zionist fabrication: Iraq is 98 percent Muslim. So where does incompatibility reside? Since the Iraqi provinces of the Ottoman Empire: Baghdad, Basra, and large swaths of Iraqi territory along the Tigris river from north to south were Arabic, confessional diversity does not mean incompatibility because ethnicity and language communality are predominant over ideology, in this case, confessional beliefs.

If he, on the other hand, implies by diversity Shiism vs. Sunnism, then he is scheming. Sunnism and Shiism are Muslim traditions, and as such, people embrace them across ethnic lines in Iraq, as well as the entire Arab world. Oddly, I read nowhere that U.S. imperialism pointed to Kurdish Shiite Muslims, or Turcoman Shiite Muslims. The U.S. applied this political distinction only on the Arabs. And that has very specific meaning: provoke confessional schism or antagonism among the Iraqi Arab Muslims.

Beeman, therefore, did not give an informed account of Iraq�s multiple �incompatibility problems� but only an ideological evaluation. The basic meaning of such an evaluation, however, is that of a conclusion not verified empirically nor substantiated positively. Beeman did not clarify by what sociological, anthropological, or cultural measures he felt entitled to decree Iraq�s national incompatibility. Nor did he elucidate on his concept of Iraq�s religious confessions. Does that mean that wherever there are religious confessions incompatibility must follow? If that were the case, then the United States is the primary candidate for partition because it contains hundreds of different religions and confessional denominations. Therefore, Beeman�s omission to provide substantiation is the elementary proof that he intended to deceive.

To debate this further, I do not see the presence of many ethnical or confessional groups as a problem in Iraq, or in any other country (let us not forget that the concept of a nation-state is only about 120 years old, while human societies and settlements have been forming continuously for the past 25,000 years.) Take France for example; France has many ethnic groups and descends from many ethnic groups including Celtic, Latin, Teutonic (German), Slavic, North African Arabs, Africans, Indochinese, and Basque. Yet, no Western sociologists have ever spoken of French national composition as being incompatible!

Conclusively, ascribing an incompatibility problem to Iraq uncovers a precise plan for the structural destabilization of the occupied country to strengthen the imperialist rationalizations on the incompatibility concept thus preparing for partition as a solution.

Is the partition of Iraq a new idea? No. Zionist historian Bernard Lewis advocated it, Zionist Leslie Gelb embraced it, Imperialist Joseph Biden teamed up with Gelb to write a blueprint, and, recently, two veteran traditional imperialists: James Baker and Lee Hamilton (the ongoing: Iraq Study Group) endorsed it. But, as you can see, the origin of the idea to partition Iraq is exclusively Zionist.

Moreover, yes, the Kurds are ethnically different from the Arabs, but they share with them religion, three quarters of their vocabulary, over 2,000 years of neighboring, over 86 years of shared statehood, and all that, besides marriage and countless other social habits, culinary taste, and culture. In addition, as for the Arabs, why should there be incompatibility just because Iraqi Arab Muslims follow Islam but with different interpretations of events that surrounded early Islamic history? Discussing the Kurdish Question, however, goes beyond the scope of this series.

Beeman then speaks of different interests. It is evident Beeman has only one purpose: divide the Iraqis, since he did not explain what these interests are and what makes them different. Is he talking about differences as hobbies, religious rituals, leisure time, marriage, attire, or what else? How can any one define interests by a nation? If African-Americans, Hispanic, Arab-Americans, and American-Polish Jews have different interests, would that make them lose their American identity?

To refute Beeman�s theory on Iraqi incompatibility, take another example: India. India has over 120 different ethnic groups, and, while 70 percent of the people speak Hindi, the rest speak many different languages and associated dialects. In Iraq, linguistically and ethnically, the ratios are similar but with 80 percent of the population from Arabic stock, while the rest divides between Kurds, Turkomans Assyrians, Yezidis, and other small minorities. This is very normal in a land as ancient as Iraq. Now, can Beeman declare that India suffers from incompatibility problems?

Through out history, from Iraq to China, from North Africa to its south, and from Northern Europe to its south, no land ever existed without ethnic or religious mosaics. Human races and their development are not canine shows where breeders groom and exhibit the selected few, but dynamic phenomena made of struggle to accomplish two feats: survive the rapacious looting by other humans and experience life fully.

Furthermore, is Beeman of the opinion that to �correct� past European colonialist experiences in the world the U.S. should redistribute the populations of occupied or to be occupied non-European-nations according to specific U.S. or Israeli objectives?

Beeman appears to supply affirmative answer by theorizing what if Britain had made different choices in Iraq. In doing so, he also supplies implicit ad hoc alibis to dismantle accepted historical legacies and re-shape them according the objectives of the United States and Israel: 1) control of world resources, and 2) expand the frontiers of the American and Israeli powers to rule, unopposed, the planet.

About the issue of reshaping nation-states by imperialist violence, it mandatory to state that any project, even minimalist, by any state to reshape the national assets and populations of any another state is slavery in form and substance. The life of people, their emotions, family ties, and all things that make existence a unique experience are not the property of aggressive nations to theorize on or remake.

In one such theorization on Iraq�s occupation, Dan Froomkin (a Washington Post Columnist) put on display a rare Zionist show that, after three and a half years of brutal, genocidal occupation, would provoke nothing but a scornful laughter. In his recent article, The Ugly Truth, Froomkin writes, �Bush's goal is a stable, secure, democratic Iraq. His strategy is for American troops to stay there until that happens. The tactics are getting those troops killed.�

Froomkin well knows that these �noble goals� never figured in Bush�s neocon agenda for Iraq. It is not conceivable that Bush, who killed hundred of thousands of Iraqis and destroyed their cities, entertains such lofty ideals for Iraq and the Iraqis � history, actions, and culture of colonialist domination is diametrically opposed to such ideals. Conquest is predation, but predation is an act of supreme violence where the predator destroys the existential fabric of the prey. How stability could come out of invasion, occupation, and mass destruction? How security could come of daily bombardments, raids, electronic bombs, and white phosphorous? How could democracy come out of foreign military dictatorship and its dialogical and economic agenda?

Froomkin also well knows that calling the U.S. protracted occupation, including the building of permanent military bases, as a strategy based on the notion, �to stay there until that happens� is not a strategy but a tactic to stay in Iraq indefinitely. Dialectically, every proposition that Froomkin advanced is antithetical to what the U.S. is doing in Iraq beginning with Bush�s fake war on terror.

Last, using an ideological gimmick, Froomkin, called the strategy to conquer Iraq, �tactics." Of course, nowhere in his article you could find that neocon Froomkin proffered any word on the calamitous Iraqi human cost because of the U.S. aggression, but he made sure to pay cold lip service to American fatalities by saying, �The tactics are getting those troops killed.� In other words, he is only critical of the tactics, but not of the war or its objectives.

Having briefly discussed Froomkin�s deceit on the purpose of Iraq�s occupation, we shall discuss next, how Froomkin�s ideological relative Beeman views Iraq under the British occupation in 1917, and how he intends to resolve what he sees as Iraq�s main problem (social, religious, and ethnical mosaics) after the occupation.

Next: Part 18 of 20

B. J. Sabri is an Iraq-American antiwar activist. Email:

Previously published

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12
Part 13
Part 14
Part 15
Part 16

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The Zarqawi affair, part 17 of 23