Monday, June 16, 2014

Iraqi Tribalism

Iraqi Tribalism
I have already written about my notions of tribes and tribalism:
See-- What is happening now in Iraq, but also in Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan, is tribalism writ large. The groups armed and dangerous, pretend to represent a religious viewpoint, but mostly, they represent a manic desire for power of one tribe over another (see the 12th century). Within these regions, and in places such as northern Mexico, Columbia and a few other South American regions, there is a related phenomenon that most closely resembles organized crime. In Afghanistan, for example, the Taliban are, for all practical purposes an organized crime ring, masquerading as a religious tribe. They make their money through the sale of illegal drugs, much as the Mexican drug lords, and they kill anyone who gets in their way.  Similarly, the Iraqi Sunni (ISIS) have been busy looting banks, stealing equipment and killing folks who get in the way. They impose “Sharia law” but mainly that is their way of imposing their own power over the populace.  Mainly, they are thugs.
Here, we have an activist GOP who seek to undermine our President. In the current context of American tribal warfare, they wish him to insert our military, so long, of course, as their own sons do not have to be inserted. Of course, had Obama decided to send in troops, or to bomb the ISIS thugs (assuming he could identify them) the GOP would have objected and threatened impeachment.

Mainly, though, I wonder how we can act rationally to prevent the thugs from killing innocents beyond those already dead. It is not at all clear. When tribalism raises its ugly head, especially when laced with generous heapings of religious fervor, indiscriminate killing is sure to follow. Short of invading Iraq (see George W. Bush) I cannot imagine what we might do to calm things down. I assume that John McCain wants us to send in troops, but John always wants us to send in troops. John is still trying to win the war in Vietnam. Perhaps it would be useful were NATO, Russia, Iran and China to meet and decide to impose international order on the Middle East regions currently in disarray (say, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan). But, after everyone finishes laughing at the absurdity of that idea, try thinking of an alternative (stopping short of turning the region into a nuclear wasteland, of course). All ideas should be submitted to Sarah Palin for vetting, before being submitted to Eric Cantor, before being submitted to John Boehner . . .
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