Senator John McCain said today on "Meet the Press" that Iraqis are no longer Sunni, Shia or Kurd in their loyalties. Instead, he believes that they are essentially Iraqi and that they feel this identity much more than they do their ancestral group identity.
He is mistaken. Iraq was a state in transition at the time of US intervention. During its long history before WW1, this region of the Islamic World was ruled in whole or part by a variety of states. None of them made any serious effort to create a common identity among the various ethno-religious nations that occupy modern Iraq. It was left to the British occupiers after WW1 and the various Arab dominated governments that followed to try to create an "Iraqi" identity. This process was attended with a great deal of pressure from Arab nationalists in a succession of governments. The process was incomplete at the time of the US intervention, and the sudden disappearance of this pressure released the "ingredients" of emerging Iraqi identity to seek to realize the interests of their own "nations."
The neocon/Bush/Cheney government believed and still seems to believe that Iraq was created by divine intervention and endowed with a special and indelible character which possesses some ineffable mystic and spiritual unifying principle.
Guess what? That is all nonsense, concocted from a line of romantic twaddle about the nature of man that started with the ravings of Jean Jacques Rousseau and descended through the murderous hysteria of the French Revolution, the communist manifesto, Leninism, the Frankfurt School and then on to infect the oh so superior minds of pretentious academic know-it-alls like Wohlstetter, Wolfowitz, Bloom, Feith, et al. Their acolytes were legion. The opportunist careerist Yuppies who abetted and to some extent still abet them were even more numerous. Burke was right.
Cheney? Who knows? An enigma wrapped in a riddle. Maybe he is just a man who does not like constitutional government, government that limits power and divides it.
I expected better of McCain.