Monday, February 23, 2009

Note on previous blog on tribes

Below I commended various tribes in Al Anbar for banding together against AQI (Al Qaeda in Iraq) and stated that they could be positive players in building the Iraq state and society.

I did not mention that I have serious reservations about this as well. For starters, tribes are notoriously oppressive toward women. For example, usually the western media mistakenly blames Sharia for what is actually attributable to tribal law. (Honor killings.)

Also while states must be built from the bottom up, guns and groups based on nepotism and are not the proper building tool. Tribal solutions are neither political solutions nor just solutions in many areas.

If tribes are given too much power, what is to say they will eventually change their ways - like their favoritism and their attitudes toward women.

It is important in statebulding to have legitimate, traditional players and ideas but if they are going to participate in a modern, progressive state they must also accept its norms.

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