The Once and Future Iraq
Cdr Salamander quotes David Brooks, writing in the New York Times, who reviews an history of Iraq. "Kedourie, a Baghdad-born Jew, published the essay in 1970. It’s a history of the regime the British helped establish over 80 years ago, but it captures an idea that is truer now than ever: Disorder is endemic to Iraq. Today’s crisis is not three years old. It’s worse now, but the crisis is perpetual. This is a bomb of a nation. ... The Iraq of his youth, Kedourie concluded, “was a make-believe kingdom built on false pretenses.” He quoted a British report from 1936, which noted that the Iraqi government would never be a machine based on law that treated citizens impartially, but would always be based on tribal favoritism and personal relationships."
An history of many parts of the former Ottoman, European or Tsarist empires would read like that. The world is full of the rotting remains of former imperial glories. Iraq did you say? Sykes-Picot. Did you mention Palestine? The Balfour Declaration. All loose ends left, by nations endlessly admired as it's betters, to the one nation that never had an empire, which asked only for enough land to bury its dead.