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..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Saturday, April 14, 2007

It is something the Western mind has something getting itself around..
How Islamic terrorists.. Shi'ite v Sunni, can cause such violence.
It is difficule for us to encompass the concept, that waiting for a bus, going to the local market, going about one's daily routine, can be the death of you.
And not at the hands of foreigners...
Not at the hands of the Occupying Forces..
But at the hands of one's own countrymen.. by groups encouraged, supplied, financed, given specific training and indoctrination, by those who encourage such action in the name of patriotism.. of religious fulfillment..
Now it's not to say the West hasn't had it's own horrific Civil Wars.. There isn't a country in the West that hasn't had it's own..
And it's not to say that atrocities were committed by countryman against countryman in our own societies..
We can't claim that we haven't been goaded into such action by religious fervour..
But, these are all in our 'history', and as such, regarded as a behavior pattern long forgotten..
We've 'evolved' past such.. with the last, we might maintain, ended with the resolution of the Sinn Fein / UDP problems in Northern Ireland..
It is utterly inconcievable to us, how suicide bombers could detonate their cars just feet from hundreds of people at a Baghdad bus station, as one did this morning.
Almost a hundred killed, and that number subject to rise.. almost 200 injured..
The scale of this eludes us, and the motivation unsufficient.
We are, in a way, seeing our past re-lived for us, with far more sophisticated weaponry..
And we must ask ourselves, what would our forefathers have said, being fervently dedicated to one cause or another, if they were told by an outside force, itself insufficient to stop terrorist action, had they been told to lay down their arms.. that their cause was not worth fighting for..
The Middle East is a culture that has not essentially changed, in centuries.
Ahh they have adopted, to a small extent, the trappings of Westernisation.. cars.. cities.. industrialisation..
But it is only a veneer, and one which is fundamentally despised.
The salient word being, fundamentally.
We cannot make the average Iraqi, Iranian, Syrian, Saudi Arabian, any Middle Eastern citizen, adopt a Western point of view.
Thus, it is utterly inevidable that whether we believe we have established a 'stable' government in Iraq, and we leave.. there will be an immediate civil war.
There is absolutely nothing we can do about it, and all our good wishes.. all our attempts to the contrary, will lead to nothing.
We can, before we leave, try to restore as much of the civil infrastructure. Engineers can try to keep up with repairing bridges and roads, as terrorists continue to destroy them.. supply running water and sweage systems..
We can try to leave a government in place that will last a couple of months, at least.. so some work can be done by the Iraqi's themselves..
But we cannot 'win' this war..
We're fighting our own history..

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