11:30 am on October 11, 2006 Email Stephen W. Carson
The Solution for Iraq: Toss the State Out the Window
…In any country torn by violent ethnic or religious conflict, what each faction fears most is that one of the other factions will gain control of the central state apparatus and use it to oppress, exploit, or crush its rivals. In such a situation, “democracy,” if understood as majority rule, offers no more security than dictatorship; to Iraq’s Sunni minority, for example, “democracy” simply means the threat of oppression by the Shi’ite majority.
…The real root of Iraq’s civil strife is the shared presumption that there must be a territorial monopoly of power — a centralised state exercising authority over the entire geographic region known as Iraq, and thus over all the different factions, Sunni and Shi’ite, Arab and Kurd.
As long as that presumption prevails, then given the mutual distrust among the factions, it is only to be expected that each faction will be desperate to ensure that it, rather than one of its rivals, gains control of the central state. A violent power struggle is thus only to be expected.