The title of this article is actually quite tricky. It is a loaded question. A lot of lawyers love to employ this rhetorical device called the “loaded question.” Usually, when people ask questions, they ask with an open mind. They ask with no presumptions, assumptions or advanced idea as to what is true and what is not true.
A loaded question, on the other hand, makes an assumption. It already assumes that things are a certain way. Well, the loaded question in the title, just in case you’re unaware, is that Iraq is wracked by turmoil; that it is in the grips of war.
Well, until fairly recently, Iraq has actually calmed down. Thanks to the surge in American forces as well as systemic changes, Iraq had more than its fair share of peace. It’s only until recently when the recent flare up of the Islamic State that things turned upside down.
Well, the good news is that this has actually pushed the movement for a federal system in Iraq. Just judging from initial reports, as well as how things are turning out on a region by region basis, it definitely looks like a step in the right direction.
As you probably already know, if you are in any way, shape or form a student of Iraqi history, Iraq is not a monolithic country. It is actually made up of Shia, Sunni, and other Muslim sects. It is also home to Yazidi and Kurdish minorities.
Many of these minorities have been around since forever. Indeed, Iraq is not a new country. While the names have changed, the communities and cultures that make up the cultural patchwork that falls under the territorial label of Iraq stretches back thousands of years. We’re not talking about hundreds of years-and this would be quite considerable enough as it is-but thousands of years.
In fact, if you look hard enough at Iraq throughout the years, it’s actually a melting pot. It has its fair share of Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, you name it. Well, it has only been fairly recently that a lot of this has been put under a tremendous amount of pressure. A lot of this had to do with access to resources and shared government funds.
Thankfully, the switch to federalism has enabled the Iraqi people, regardless of their creed, religion, walk of life, or specific group identification and group history, to take part in a larger Iraqi identity while at the same time retaining local and regional protections.
This is the beauty of federalism. It’s actually tailor-made for countries where there are many different competing religions; there are many different causes for strife and war due to resources, geography and what have you.
So it is our hope that this switch to a new federal style of governance would ensure peace in Iraq. Instead of people having a ready boogeyman to blame for whatever is going on in the local scene, people are more likely to take responsibility for their actions because of the regionalized form of a federal government.