Sunday, April 29, 2007

Der Tagesspiegel

The Iraqi writer Abbas Khider who lives in Munich points out in an interesting article that Iraqi society has been bound up in the process of militarisation for decades. "The daily violence in Iraq, which we have seen on our TV sets since 2003, has not come out of the blue. It's part of a long process which began with the Iran-Iraq war. In 1980 the Iraqi government decided that the war should not only be fought on the front, but also in schools and on the streets. The militarisation of life was the leading principle of the Baath party and its leader. So over the course of the years, violence has secured a hold in the consciousness of Iraqi society – and in its subconscious. All Iraqis had to learn how to use a gun. Alongside the regular army, the government founded a 'children's army', a 'youth army' and a 'people's army'.... During this and all subsequent wars in Iraqi, Baath was the ruling ideology. There were public executions, deportations of Shiites as 'an impure Iraqi race' and imprisonment of political opponents. The country knew almost only one colour: khaki, the colour of the military."


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