Iraq's Unity Government, and Ours

The left tries to have a little fun with this issue:

In a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry stressed the importance of forming a unity government in Iraq but refused to commit to a timetable for creating one in the United States.

Taking this in, al-Maliki agreed that it was an excellent idea and politely asked Secretary Kerry if the United States had ever considered forming such a government…

“Let’s just get one formed in Iraq,” he said. “If it works out for them, maybe someday we’ll give it a try.”

What the Iraqis will probably end up with is partition.  One reason this will happen is because al-Maliki’s government has tilted the table in favour of the majority Shi’ites to the detriment of the Sunnis and the Kurds.  The former have turned to ISIS while the latter are headed for the exits, which they’ve wanted to do for a long time.

Wonder how funny the left would think it be if we started moving towards that result here…

8 Replies to “Iraq's Unity Government, and Ours”

  1. Funny, I thought that was what the 13th and 14th Amendments established.

    But maybe you’ve been hanging out with some of those Republicans who want to undo them, Don?

    -dlj.

    1. The government that passed those amendments was hardly a “unity government”, either in fact or in intent.

      1. Don,

        Apparently you *have* been hanging out with ’em..

        What you say here is of course quite wrong — but in some circles fashionably seditious.

        Re-unification of the United States on the lines of Founders’ Constitutional intent — except perhaps to the extent that some of the Founders’ intent was to escape British anti-slavery court rulings and impending legislation — was exactly the aim of the 13th and 14th.

        -dlj.

        1. You obviously–along with many on this side of the border–confuse “unity” with “what we think is right”.

          The government that passed the 13th and 14th Amendments did so without most of the Southern states. That’s not a unity government, irrespective of the merits of the result. Had Abraham Lincoln lived, the result for the 14th Amendment at least might have come closer to one, but it didn’t. He was assassinated and we got Reconstruction, hardly a “unity” government.

          The British did not abolish slavery until two score past the adoption of the Constitution of 1787, let alone the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution. That act came a lot closer to being one of a unity government than the American Civil War, although now we have a move in the Caribbean for reparations.

          Turning to Iraq, they had a stable government in Saddam Hussein. But that was hardly a unity government; it was, in typical Middle Eastern fashion, one held up by a minority against the majority. You maintained yourself in power through a combination of the security apparatus, patronage, and playing one group off against another. When the minority Shi’ites got the chance, they turned the tables. They got blowback, now they have to deal with that.

          Today, of course, people like you and John Kerry say that, if we really had a unity government, then things would be well in the U.S. But that’s not what you’re really saying; what you’re saying is that, if people who think like us run the show instead of those others, life would be good. That’s duplicitous; it represents an attempt to use a rigged democratic process to cover up a one- (and self-serving) sided view of things. If that’s what you want, you should just come out and say it rather than attempt to cover your position in moralising blather the way we see every day down here.

          I for one don’t believe the line you keep feeding me that everything that is wrong with the U.S. is the result of a bunch of “nutters” that stand in the way of progress. What we have is a system where the rule of law is being undermined by a combination of its sheer complexity, the militarisation of all levels of the state, the expansion of the surveillance state and the simple fact that, over the years, the Congress has given the executive branch wide powers it has no business having and now can’t bring itself to revoke. Focus on the “nutters” is a red herring. Continued drift in this direction will transform this place into a third-world country. It’s that simple.

          I would also say that, if you’re thinking about the Somersett case, you’ve undercut your own point that the 13th and 14th Amendments were at attempt to re-unify the country on the Founders’ intent.

          1. “You obviously–along with many on this side of the border–confuse “unity” with “what we think is right”.”

            I would be sorry if you thought so, for this is certainly not true. I assume it’s just a light insult to get your blood moving in the morning, so I’ll let it pass.

            “The government that passed the 13th and 14th Amendments did so without most of the Southern states.”

            There were no Southern States at the time. Not even three fifths of them.

            What you say about Iraq is quite right, and the same is of course tragically true of Syria.

            “If that’s what you want, you should just come out and say it rather than attempt to cover your position in moralising blather the way we see every day down here.”

            If I would just come out and plead guilty to all the sins you in your imagining impute to me, everything would be fine?

            “I for one don’t believe the line you keep feeding me that everything that is wrong with the U.S. is the result of a bunch of “nutters” that stand in the way of progress.”

            I don’t think you will find me saying this anywhere, though the American right, perhaps desperate for allies, promotes a large number of nutters to prominence they would not otherwise achieve. (One of the advantages of the free enterpise system is that I was able to wean my liability insurers away from their brief sponsorship of the egregious Rush Limbaugh — though no doubt other manufacturers were as irritated as I was, and no doubt made themselves heard.)

            Promotion of nutters apart, even their tolerance has a cost: the Evangelical Churches, for whom I have a good deal of sympathy on emotional, historical and personal grounds, are reaping the wind in this regard at the moment.

            “What we have is a system where the rule of law is being undermined by a combination of its sheer complexity, the militarisation of all levels of the state, the expansion of the surveillance state and the simple fact that, over the years, the Congress has given the executive branch wide powers it has no business having and now can’t bring itself to revoke. ”

            Excellent! I could not put it better myself, and agree with you on every word. I have often preached those texts in historical — and even-handed non-partisan — detail.

            “I would also say that, if you’re thinking about the Somersett case, you’ve undercut your own point that the 13th and 14th Amendments were at attempt to re-unify the country on the Founders’ intent.”

            I was. That’s exactly why I had the words “to the extent that” in my original post. I imagine there’s going to be a god deal more research and writing around this question in the coming year or three. In part I think the abuse of the history of the Constitution by the “nutters,” to use your word, has woken up a lot of legitimate scholars to the need for getting genuine knowledge out in public.

            I doubt that there will be too much change in the overall tone of things. Cf. Maggie behind Ron’s back in 1976 or so. “Why do the Americans always talk about freedom as though they invented it?” It will be left to us furriners to contemplate the attitude of, e.g. Boston debtors to their London creditors, and the impact of that, if any, on the upwelling of Lockean idealism. 🙂

            Best wishes,

            -dlj.

          2. “There were no Southern States at the time. Not even three fifths of them.”

            None of the old Confederacy ratified the 13th Amendment, largely because it was ratified so quickly after cessation of hostilities. The 14th Amendment is another story; Tennessee ratified it on 18 July 1866, which paved its way to readmission to the Union and avoidance of Reconstruction in the technical sense of the word, i.e., military occupation. Gov. William G. Brownlow, who rammed it through the General Assembly, is the most reviled politician in TN history as a result of that, but by making it possible for the state to “dodge the bullet”, he did a great if unappreciated service for the state.

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