Tuesday, 22 December 2009
Mithal al-Alousi's dismissal of internal fissures in Iraq as exaggerated, that reference to (splits among) "Sunnis and Shi'a and Kurds and Turcomans" as if it were a fiction, is not something one may share -- I don't -- but one can recognize in Mithal al-Alousi a Iraqi patriot, a secularist, and possibly the most attractive political figure, among those known to the outside world, in Iraq today. And his allusion to the fragility of other regimes, in other countries -- Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia -- compared to the relative sturdiness, so far, of Iraq, is worth pondering. Soon enough Iraq may be the largest producer of oil in the world; its reserves may well be larger than those of Iran or Saudi Arabia (we will soon - within a few years -- find out), and if, because of the six years of the American presence, the class of rulers, in Iraq or in separate parts of iraq, turns out to consist of intelligent patriots at or near the level of Mithal al-Alousi, that will have been an achievement. But I suspect he is not representative but quite different from the others, and of course American policy cannot be made on the hope that in Iraq, or elsewhere, the Mithal al-Alousis will triumph. I suspect he has the support of at most 5% of the population -- the best 5%, but the problem is, numbers matter.
Watch, and listen to him, here.
Posted on 12/22/2009 3:10 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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