Fear: Chief Source of National Unity

It's better to be feared than ignored.

Dictionary.com defines "nation" as a group of people who are united enough to have their own government.  That sounds good, but there are exceptions.  From 1945 until he died in 1980, Marshal Josip Borz Tito ruled Yugoslavia with an iron hand.  He kept order by killing anybody who talked about tribal divisions.  I remember thinking of Yugoslavia as a nation.  Was it really?

When Tito died, Yugoslavia split apart.  People who'd lived in the same towns for years, who'd gone to the same schools, who'd played soccer together since they were kids, started shooting each other.  The phrase "ethic cleansing" was invented in Yugoslavia.

The only thing that united Yugoslavia was Tito's secret police.  Once Tito was gone, tribal hatreds came back and the place went to pot.

Iraq was a united nation under Saddam, but we found mass graves all over the place.  http://www.usaid.gov/iraq/legacyofterror.html says:

'We've already discovered just so far the remains of 400,000 people in mass graves,' said British Prime Minister Tony Blair on November 20 in London. The United Nations, the U.S. State Department, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch (HRW) all estimate that Saddam Hussein's regime murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

The dictionary definition of "nation" suggests that a group of people find themselves united and then they form a government, but it can work the other way. Tito had the guns and the muscle to form a government; he forced unity on his people.  Yugoslavia was united, but the only thing on which Yugoslavs agreed was that they were afraid of Tito's police.

Saddam murdered 400,000 people, but he achieved unity in Iraq.  The butcher's bill was staggering, unity came at a high cost in blood, but unity there was.  Nobody knows how many "innocent people" have died since Saddam's government fell, but it's a lot.  The butcher's bill has been high, but there's no unity.

Will there be unity in Iraq?  Saddam proved that fear can unite Iraqis enough to get them to stop killing each other, but it's not clear that anything less will do the job.

Will Offensicht is a staff writer for Scragged.com and an internationally published author by a different name.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Will Offensicht or other articles on Society.
Reader Comments

"Will there be unity in Iraq?"
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simple answer: no.

more complex answer: iraq's borders were drawn on a map in the offices of british and french diplomats who didn't care anything about the people whom they were dividing and putting together. just as with today's ignorant elites, they had no idea of the complexities of islam, and didn't realize that sunni and shia muslims hated one another almost as much - if not more - than they and their descendants today hate one another as apostates. iraq has a 60% shia to 40% sunni divide, so saddam hussein and friends - mostly sunni - had no problems abusing and murdering their shia subjects. other religions only make up a couple of percent of the total population, and since all flavors of muslim are taught by their scriptures to hate and kill *non*-muslims (kuffar, or infidels, which includes other sects of islam), there is *NO* *WAY* to avoid conflict by forcing all these religions to co-exist in one nation.

of course, our elites are our betters, and, knowing more than we of the stupid stinking masses, will continue to believe that iraq can be salvaged. thus, american deaths in iraq will continue without end. and of course, since the children of our elites get political appointments to be officers with desk jobs in the green zone (viz. joe biden's son), they don't have to die in battle, except in extraordinary attacks.

May 9, 2021 7:29 PM
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