From the Desk of George Barnard
The Strength of Kinship
In its rush to reform the Arab and wider Muslim world, The US of A and its Coalition partners have overlooked a factor that threatens to militarily and economically – if not morally – undo a nation of 200 million citizens and the western world at large.
An Early Lesson in Psychology
Just a few doors down the road from me lived a set of non-identical twin boys. They were just eleven years old, and they would go fishing together, swimming, poaching, blackberry picking. It was rare for one of them to turn up alone. They were the closest of friends, not all that bright, and they were hotheads.
I was just thirteen at the time, and visiting them in their back yard when a rare fight broke out between these two. One armed himself with a pitchfork, the other with a five-pound ax, and they were about to cause each other some very grievous harm.
Quickly I grabbed the pitchfork and threw it over their back yard fence. I then wrestled the ax from the other ‘young warrior’ and it followed the pitchfork out of harm’s way, at least for a time, so I thought.
What followed in just seconds left me pondering for years, until I began my studies in psychology. The twins turned on me with a vengeance, and when they were through with me, I was a painful, sorry-looking mess.
I had broken the unspoken rule of kin protecting kin from any aggressor, and for whatever reason -- even for my protecting them from a punctured gut or lung, or cracked skull – but I had learned a lesson.
Iran and Iraq
Two such terrible, hotheaded twins are Iran and Iraq. They’ve been at each other’s throats for years, and with more than pitchforks and axes. They are hardly identical, but they have a lot in common. They mostly hate Iraq’s cruel Saddam, and they don’t like the strict Iranian ayatollahs, either. That’s where it ends.
They are Arabs, they are Muslims, they occupy the same general region, which they consider to be ‘sacred land’, and they have all experienced recent and long-ago US global policy, and western imperialism, and they don’t like it. They also share a language, and they are ancient civilizations, though the West does not consider them to be very civilized.
That’s very much a matter of opinion. It’s western opinion, and such opinions do not count for much in their views. Additionally, there are a great many ‘Muslim relatives’ in the extended family.
In the last few days, Australian polls show a drastic change, a sea change. Firstly, there is now much more support for the Aussie prime minister, and secondly, there is now also more than 50% support for this coalition war. The pendulum has swung wildly.
Surely, it will swing even further with an inevitable terrorist act on poorly defended Australian soil, trade mission or embassy.
But that local support is deceiving, for it cannot last, and it will not last, either here or anywhere, because it’s driven by this nation’s backing of its troops, as it is doing in the US and Britain. It’s the kinship rule of the west that will sooner or later drive the Muslim world to turn on the west, as troops will mass on the borders for a second Vietnam.
Presently, every dead Iraqi, man, woman and child, will be thought of as being just another Iraqi – a stupid, misguided martyr for a lost cause, perhaps, unfortunate but acceptable collateral damage -- yet every Coalition fatality will be seen to be a tragedy, until the pendulum swings and the Coalition learns of the Arab/Muslim kinship rules, and the increased vulnerability of its countless officers in foreign lands that will be targeted.
Pray with us for a speedy end to this unacceptable carnage.
© 11:11 Progress Group.