50 YEARS - 100 PEACE & CONFLICT PERSPECTIVES
Chapter 60 and 61 of the book
 MEN, WOMEN, MARRIAGE, CULTURE: A PEACE & CONFLICT PERSPECTIVE
There is usually a combination of culture and structure at work.
Imagine on the one hand a family logic based on collectivism and verticality, with the family as a very
tight group filled with mutual rights and obligations and at the same time very hierarchical along
generation-gender-age lines, from an elderly grand-father down to some little girl.
And then imagine, on the other hand, a family logic based on individualism and horizontality with
very much emphasis on self-realization, also outside the family Self, and little attention to norms
flowing along family generation-gender-age lines.
In the first logic a high proportion of life would be lived inside the (extended) family;
in the second a much smaller proportion and a much higher proportion outside, together with others
in the same generation, gender and age group.
In the first logic a new marriage is decided by the older generation, in the second generation
the older generation is informed. There is the in-between of the boy asking the coming father-in-law
for his daughter's "hand".
Imagine a marriage with a husband from one logic and the wife from the other, settling
in a country with one or the other logics dominating. This produces eight cases. What will happen?
The bond of love-sex-marriage is strong, but so are the social forces as witnessed the major case of Muslim immigrants
to Western countries.
Take one of the eight cases: a collectivist-vertical wife, with an individualist-horizontal husband,
in the husband's country. The wife's life would be centered on the family, having problems creating collectivist
verticality in other groups, the host society being weak in that regard. Given school and work outside logic will
penetrate into the family and children will see what to the mother is love as control.
The husband will easily relate to other women, share work projects, be infatuated, maybe have an affair,
maybe all three, totally at odds with the wife's logic of family first, children having the mother as primary authority
and the mother reproducing herself in the children -- particularly daughters. As a result the wife may become lonely socially,
have problems with children and an unfaithful husband who all see themselves as normal.
Take one of the other cases: they settle in the wife's country, where her logic is normal
logic. The children are close to the mother. Control is now also seen as love. The husband is the odd man out.
Family interaction overfills his time budget and the emotions.
In an extended family somebody will always have a problem or something to celebrate, he is supposed
to be in on all of that. Loyalty and faithfulness is not only to the wife but to the whole "system".
Unfaithfulness with body, mind or spirit takes on another tonality when it is inside the wife's system and might
evoke much more jealousy. The husband may travel a lot.
Some possible therapies would include:
- awareness of the social logics operating on them,
seeing the Other less as controlling, difficult, unfaithful and more
as enacting a logic without being fully aware of what happens;
- clarifying before marrying the "rules of the game",
which might imply calling on some outside expertise as such insight is rare;
- mutual respect for the logic of the others - simply learning to live with
the difference, "she is like that", "he is like that";
- either of them changing to the logic of the other or the society;
- settling in a third country, speaking a third language;
- creating their own niche with an individualist-vertical or collectivist-hoizontal logic;
- separating, divorcing or not marrying. (02X)
 USA-UK vs IRAQ: A PEACE & CONFLICT PERSPECTIVE
Let us assume that the only motive behind the US-UK war on Iraq that started March 20 2003
(Baghdad time) was human security against the Hussein-secular-Ba'ath-Sunni regime.
By May 1 the state-capitalist regime was demolished and the power was in the hands of the USA-CPA (
Coalition Provisional Authority). Nine months after the war started Saddam Hussein was a POW. Success story?
Within the simplistic logic of Hussein-in-power vs Hussein-not-in-power, yes. But that logic hides two important questions:
A: What were the total cost-benefits of the regime change? and,
B: Were there less costly, alternative, methods of regime change?
The argument is not against regime change, nor against regime change from the outside with intervention.
The basic assumption of human security through humanitarian intervention is accepted.
States are not sovereign. Humans are. Not only states need security; humans do.
To assess the cost-benefits we use basic human needs, BHN, as benchmark.
Justification of intervention then depends on comparing:
Benefits: BHN level with intervention-BHN level without intervention
Costs: BHN costs of the intervention.
This comparison could be on an annual basis after March 20 2003 as some BHN benefits might be long term,
adjusting upwards for the benefits without intervention, the costs of deep UN inspection of weapons of mass destruction,
a human rights regime, and the benefits of sanctions lifted. Most Saddam regime atrocities were in the past.
The following is only indicative of ways of thinking, using the four BHN classes survival, well-being, freedom and identity.
. Evidently decreasing. There is talk of 10-15,000 killed so far,
high for an intervention even in our era. The US casualties have passed 500.
The ratio is indicative of the strategy of terrorism, state or privatized:
keep the victims/perpetrators ratio high by making the perpetrators unavailable for retaliation.
Ratios in the 20-30 range are low relative to 3,000-3,100:19=158-163 for the 9/11 terrorist atrocity.
If we expand the definition of the "war in Iraq" to cover the US-UK air raids in the periods after the
First Iraq war in 1991, the number of victims, but not perpetrators, would increase, making for higher ratios.
And the war continues.
. Destruction of housing and infrastructure brought about by battle,
of orchards and farmland as reprisals against farmers suspected of cooperation with the resistance,
unemployment rates cited as 70% in some regions, and overcrowded hospitals, are indicative of serious
declines in meeting such basic needs as food, clothes, shelter, health care and education.
That decline, relative to the high level of basic needs satisfaction in the oil-rich Ba'ath welfare state,
had a pre-history in the 1980-88 war with Iran, the First Gulf war, and the economic sanctions and air raids thereafter.
There are some benefits from the lifting of sanctions, however.
. September 19 2003, Bremer enacted Order 39, announcing that 200 Iraqi state companies
would be privatized; decreeing that foreign firms can retain 100% ownership of Iraqi banks, mines and factories;
and allowing them to move 100% of their profits out of Iraq. The Economist declared the rules a "capitalist dream".
The Geneva conventions stipulate that this decision can only be taken by the Iraqis themselves, not be imposed.
It was well-prepared autocracy, not freedom. And the same tendency is seen in the postponement of direct elections,
using the loya jirga Afghanistan model of handpicked delegates to an assembly or to the cabinet.
. Muslim Iraq was attacked by two Protestant permanent Security Council members
opposed by the other three, one secular-Catholic, one secular-Orthodox and one Confucian.
The attack started on one of the holiest sites of shia Islam, Karbala, even on the day, spring solstice 2003, when Hussein ibn Ali,
Mohammed's grandson, was decapitated in the Sunni-Shia battle and became shia Islam's martyr.
The US command referred to their attack as "decapitation", based on a hint as to where Saddam Hussein, the head of Iraq,
might be hiding.
In the wake of the US military came Christian fundamentalist missionaries to convert,
and political missionaries to impose a separation between church and state, the sacred and the secular,
contrary to the Islamic faith that they are inseparable. There may be a road to democracy via the mosque
and the ulema, but that was not the road traveled by the USA or Saddam Hussein. So far intervention brought
no identity benefits, only heavy costs.
General conclusion: neither security, nor basic human needs.
And thus it will continue, under occupation.
Solving the conflicts in and around Iraq, using an 11 parties model of the conflict in
and around Iraq, with 3 parties inside and 8 outside, they can be subdivided, and more can be added:
I. CONFLICT PARTIES INSIDE IRAQ: Kurds, wanting independence, or very high level autonomy;
Turkmen, wanting security, autonomy from Kurds; Sunni, wanting to rule Iraq from Baghdad with secular,
socialist, welfare state features (ba'athism); Shia, wanting Islamic Republic for Iraq or at least for themselves;
II. CONFLICT PARTIES OUTSIDE IRAQ: USA, wanting control of Iraq from Baghdad for geopolitical control
of Gulf region and for Eurasia control, corporate economic control of oil, also for geopolitics,
Judeo-Christian fundamentalism, and to protect Israel; UK, wanting to settle old imperial accounts with Iraq
and the special relation of being chosen by the country chosen by God; Japan, wanting to "normalize Japan"
by legitimizing Japanese military (SDF) and the special relation of being chosen by the world No. 1; Australia,
Spain etc., wanting US anti-terrorist help in return for participation; France, Germany, wanting EU independent of
USA in foreign-security affairs; Turkey, wanting no Kurdish autonomy as a precedent for Kurds in Turkey and protection
for Turkmen; Syria, Jordan, Kuwait, Iran, wanting not to be attacked by USA and good relations with the next Iraq;
Saudi Arabia, wanting to survive between Wahhabism and the USA.
11 parties, 19 goals is a simplification, but better than "the world against Saddam Hussein".
The solution is neither a unitary state imposed by colonialism, based on the Mosul, Baghdad and Basra
parts of the Ottoman Empire (with a 61% Shia majority dictatorship), nor fragmentation in 18 provinces,
nor a division into three states. The solution might be a (con)federation with high autonomy for the Kurdish,
Sunni and Shia parts, with a con-federal capital, but not in Baghdad. Kuwait, the 19th province before it was
detached in 1899 as a protectorate under the British Empire, might in the longer run like to be an independent,
associated member, with a status like Liechtenstein relative to Switzerland.
Alternative: Basic needs+soft intervention+conflict resolution.
Aggressor pull-out, Iraq as confederation, open borders to other Kurds and Shia-Arabs,
USA-UK and the Coalition of the Willing in general apologizing and compensating, a Conference for
Security and Cooperation in the Middle East, CSCME. (031, 03y)