Saturday, June 14, 2014

Iranian society and Iraqi society

The panel on Dateline London discussed the fighting in Iraq earlier today:

Ian Birrell (Columnist and former editor of The Independent) said:  "It would be helpful if everyone would stop fighting the wars of the past" (referring to the 2003 Iraq war).

What is going on in Iraq seems to be a return to a war of the past - the Iran-Iraq war 1980 to 1988 which is resuming after a break of sixteen years.

One of the saddest books about this conflict is Khomeini's forgotten sons by Ian Brown.

Indeed it is not possible to understand the tensions of the region without considering the impact of this war on its veterans and their impact on Iranian society and Iraqi society.

In many ways the situation is similar to central Europe after the First World War with bands of armed freikorps, ethnic in-fighting and the rise of demagogues.

The brutalised and humiliated populations of Iran and Iraq show many similarities with the brutalised and humiliated populations of Germany, Russia, and the successor states of the fallen empires. 

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