On the third year anniversary of beginning of America's Iraq misadventure lots of debates are taking place in the United States about the wisdom of the war and whether US forces should stay. George W. Bush expects the US military to stay in Iraq even after he has left office. I'm inclined to agree with that prediction though I'd rather withdraw now.
However, the American mainstream debate on Iraq bores me because it takes place under the same thought crime rules for denying biological factors in human nature that govern debates on American domestic issues. The mainstream debate on Iraq has hit a stalemate as reality has collided with faith (surely everyone has the capacity and desire to support a democracy regardless of what our lying eyes are telling us). As a result I'm more interested in discussing patterns of behavior happening in Iraq. Most notably, the ethnic cleansing in Iraq has accelerated since the Samarra Golden Mosque bombing.
Saeed Haqqi, head of the Iraqi Red Crescent Society, said Shiites have fled mainly to Sadr City and to the southern cities of Najaf, Karbala and Basra. Sunnis were headed mostly to Baghdad's Abu Ghraib suburb and to Tarmiyah, where Shiites were recently run out of the town 30 miles north of the capital.
Minister of Migration Suhaila Abed Jaafar said her department has helped 3,705 displaced families nationwide since Feb. 22.
U.S. military engineers working to upgrade the Iraqi electricity grid estimate each Iraqi family at six people. The math, then, shows the known number of displaced at more than 22,000 in the past month alone.
And that figure does not count what must be hundreds, if not thousands, more families who have moved in with relatives, taken shelter in community centers and mosques or occupied partially built homes and those abandoned by displaced members of the other Muslim sect.
Read the full article for anecdotes of killings, threatening notes, sudden flight, and the rest of it.
Now I can just hear some of you: "Oh, this is horrible. Oh, this is a great tragedy." Others who support the war think I'm just doing my regular negative schtick about Iraq. But you would be wrong. The internet being what it is and my mind also being what it is I often find myself clicking around reading many articles in parallel. Well, I clicked over to Adam Lawson's Modern Tribalist and saw a post about how Israel was founded on ethnic cleansing where Adam linked to Geoffrey Wheatcroft arguing that obviously Israel's modern democracy was founded on ethnic cleansing (which is a true statement btw).
And yet those admirers missed some salient truths. That beautiful democratic Israel of 50 years ago was founded on ethnic cleansing. The later expansion of Israel was actually less brutal: after 1967 a number of Palestinians were uprooted, but there was nothing to compare with the wholesale expulsion of three-quarters of a million Palestinians in 1948 - an event to which the right-thinking liberal west closed its eyes at the time.
Then it dawned on me: we are overseeing a civil war that is causing an ethnic cleansing that will lead to the creation of 3 states in Iraq. These states could, like Israel, become sufficiently ethnically pure to function as democracies. "But wait", I hear the human biodiversity realists saying, "the Iraqis still lack sufficient loyalty to the state due to consanguineous marriages, Islam, low average intelligence levels, and perhaps still other cultural and genetic factors". Well true enough. You got me there. Still, the ethnic cleansing is at least a step in the direction of democratic states and Rome wasn't built in a day.
As previously mentioned, one of the reasons that ethnically pure break-away states in Iraq won't turn into liberal democracies is average levels of intelligence that are too low. Well, events in Iraq are making the intelligence deficit worse as the smarties are getting killed and driven abroad.
The growing insecurity has set off a massive brain drain, as more and more Iraqis slip away from the country, perhaps never to return. While the fall of Saddam Hussein opened the door for an earlier generation of Iraqi exiles to go home, now the flow is going the other way again. Kidnap survivors are the lucky ones. Hundreds of Iraqi professionals are being murdered in what some Iraqis see as a deliberate campaign to destroy the country's best and brightest. The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research says that 89 university professors and senior lecturers have been killed since 2003, and police investigations have led to nothing.
Iraqi academics have compiled a longer list of up to 105 names of assassinated colleagues. The most recent was Professor Ali Muhawesh, the dean of the engineering college at Mustansiriya University, one of Baghdad's two main campuses. He was shot this week.
The rate of killing is increasing. Some 311 teachers have been murdered in the past four months alone, according to the Ministry of Education. It is not only Baghdad that is suffering. The medical college in Mosul, a city in northern Iraq, has lost nine senior staff.
Even outside Iraq, fear consumes many exiles. In Jordan's capital, Amman, the first port of call for most refugees, requests for interviews produced repeated rejections. Others would only talk if false names were used and no mention made of where they work or live.
But this flight abroad could be a positive development. If all the smarties get driven out of some countries the clustering of smarties in other countries could jump-start the economic development of the latter countries. Jordan in particular could benefit from an influx of relatively smarter Iraqi Sunnis.
"Always look on the bright side of life."