Friday, January 12, 2007

Away from Tribal Loyalties

This is interesting too. ( Italics, Smoothingplane)

TS: No. No, as a matter of fact, we are snipping the cords and untying the hands. You know, it wasn’t merely so-called PR concerns. Even more dramatic was the fact that politicians in Iraq could get on their cell phones and call up and say stop going into Diwaniya. Stop going into Sadr City. Stop going into some place or another. Or you have arrested this person, his uncle’s a good friend of mine, you must let him go. I mean, that’s the kind of thing…you want to know why Shia militias are thriving? In part, because bad guys get caught, and they get released. There’s no consequence for bad behavior. You want to know why Sunnis are now siding with Saddam rejectionists and forming their own sort of quasi-military operations? Because they don’t trust the local police. If you get to a situation where you’re going after the bad actors, then the public can have some faith in the legal system, and in those who are supposed to keep the peace. That’s a very important thing, but you can’t do it unless you have rules of engagement that say if you’re drawing a bead on the bad guy, go get him. No more political interference.

I think if tribal loyalties are superseded by larger loyalties, the idea of Iraq, and civil authorities and a rule of law gets stronger. We trace this concept in the west back to 1215, the English nobility, King John and the Magna Charta. It's so taken for granted we forget it is an idea we adhere to, something made up and agreed upon. The prominence of laws applying to all and the primacy of tribal loyalties are mutually exclusive. In Civilzation and Its Enemies, author Lee Harris points to a Roman civil authority, (I forget his name, sorry) who put his own sons to death in loyalty to Roman civil law. (Contrast that with the Sharia nonsense, specifically rules for rape. The raped woman must have four male witnesses. The Nifong nonsense seems like Sharia inside out and upside down. There ought to be a parody.) The Islamic absolutists remind me of Calvinist Zurich in their zeal to enforce murder and righteousness. Applied to all except Calvin and themselves. (See William Manchester's book, A World Lit only by Fire for a few paragraphs about Calvin's Zurich. Calvin tortued to death a son and daughter-in-law for lack of zeal. Zealously I suppose. Afghanistan under the Taliban without cell phones.) This spat with militant Mohameddism is a battle to preserve Christendom.

No comments: