"There's no political party here, there are no police," Mohammed Jabbar railed at the blast site in the Shi'ite Kadhimiya area of Baghdad. "This targeted civilians, innocents. Why women and children?" he added, as bystanders shouted, "Why? Why?"Let's be clear about something: what is happening in Iraq is not what happened in Vietnam; this is not Iraqis 'killing the invader,' this is Iraqis killing each other. It bears less resemblance to Vietnam and more to what happened in Yugoslavia once the Tito thugocracy ended: tribal warfare fuelled by inter-tribal hatred that had been incubated for years under Tito's repressive dictatorship, but still there in all its virulence once the lid came off.
Another car bomber blew himself up in northern Baghdad, killing 11 people lined up to refill gas canisters, as bombings rocked the capital. Gunmen also dragged 17 people from their homes and killed them in Taji, a northern Baghdad suburb.
There is no guarantee of success when a slave pen is liberated. Liberating the Iraqi slave pen left Iraqis freer than they had ever been--it left them free to follow their own path, and also free to fuck up. Which they are.
Just like in Yugoslavia, what has been liberated is not just a desire to live free and find happiness; what has been liberated with it is the virulent centuries-old hatreds of ethnic and religious group against ethnic and religious group that Saddam Hussein's repressions had kept down, or at least hidden. What has been released is the tribal hatreds of centuries, and the inter-tribal warfare that went with it.
Like its soul-brother racism, tribalism is the product of irrationalism and collectivism. Combining irrational religious fervour with the self-arrested anti-conceptual mentality fostered by a religion demanding obedience rather than thought has led inexorably to what Ayn Rand described in her 1977 essay 'Global Balkanization':
As to the stagnation under tribal rule, take a look at the Balkans. Six or eight tribes... crowded on the Balkan peninsula, engaging in endless wars among themselves or being conquered by stronger neighbours or practicing violence for the sake of violence over some microscopic language [or religious] differences. 'Balkanization'--the breakup of larger nations into ethnic tribes--was used as a pejorative term by the European intellectuals of the time.The tribes never vanished after World War I, she noted presciently, "they have been popping up in minor explosions all along, and a major one is possible at any time." And explode they finally did once Tito disappeared.
There is no surer way to infect mankind with hatred—brute, blind, virulent hatred-than by splitting it into ethnic groups or tribes. If a man believes that his own character is determined at birth in some unknown, ineffable way, and that the characters of all strangers are determined in the same way—then no communication, no understanding, no persuasion is possible among them, only mutual fear, suspicion, and hatred. Tribal or ethnic rule has existed, at some time, in every part of the world, and, in some country, in every period of mankind's history. The record of hatred is always the same. The worst kinds of atrocities were perpetrated during ethnic (including religious) wars.We are now seeing precisely those atrocities being perpetuated daily in Iraq.
This is the root and cause of those atrocities: the poisonous idea that a human being is not an individual, but part of some group, some collective, some 'other' whose otherism is reason to hate and to kill. That is the poison that allows one man to park his van with the intention of killing himself and 114 day labourers looking for work. Ethnic and religious tribalism is the evil that caused this; individualism is the only antidote. We must recognize that everyone is a sovereign entity, with the power of choice and independent judgment. Nothing less will save the world from the ethnic conflicts erupting around the world.