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 An Integral View of the War in Iraq

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Number of posts : 1919
Age : 47
Location: : Connecticut
Registration date : 2007-01-24

PostSubject: An Integral View of the War in Iraq   Thu Feb 21, 2008 6:09 pm

This is from an interview in 'What is Enlightenment' magazine of the Integral thinker Steve McIntosh. Here are his thoughts on Iraq.

Quote :

WIE: That brings up the question of the Iraq war, which is dominating the media in America. What does integral politics have to say about the war in Iraq?

McINTOSH: Part of the reason that we failed in Iraq, and why we’ll continue to fail when acting militarily and unilaterally as a nation-state, is because the battle is not so much on the ground as it is a battle for hearts and minds. And hearts and minds can’t be won if we’re acting from national self-interest with a history of exploitation and colonialism. They’re never going to believe us, even if we have genuinely good intentions, and for good reason. We’ve screwed it up at the modernist level, and until we heal that history, the moral fragrance, the spiritual fragrance that’s going to be required to win hearts and minds, will not be evident. We need the larger moral vision of integralism, which transcends but also includes postmodernism. And what postmodernism brings is a sincere worldcentrism, a multicultural solidarity, an environmental priority, and a spiritual sophistication, which are all prerequisites to making the approach to all of these problems more moral than it can be with modernism.

So in Iraq there were several missteps along the way. The first mistake was invading unilaterally, but even then it wasn’t completely hopeless. I was giving talks about global governance back in 2003 and advocating that at least now that we had invaded, we had to recognize that having this colonial artifice created by the British called the nation of Iraq is part of the problem. The Iraqi people have not gotten to the modernist level, which would allow a functional, healthy, multiethnic nation-state. What I advocated was dividing up the country—maybe not into separate countries, but at least significantly independent districts. And I felt that they were not ready for the separation of church and state, so they needed, for example, to put somebody like Shiite spiritual leader Sistani in charge of the Shiite faction. Then we have to help encourage the more moral aspects of the religion and work with them so that they don’t become too harsh in their application of sharia law. Then there would need to be some kind of a trust that holds the oil wealth and divides it equitably among the three districts.

So integralism would help us move forward in Iraq by recognizing that trying to get them to become a Jeffersonian democracy and function as a nation is hopeless at this stage in their development. The failures in Iraq are actually an evolutionarily potent life condition because they show how inadequate the nation-state structure is on ten different levels.

As soon as you begin looking through the lens of the spiral of development and you cast that lens on the situation in Iraq, everything comes into view. All of a sudden that lens turns and—boom—you’ve got clarity. That clarity doesn’t exist now, even among our most intellectual, well-intentioned leaders and pundits. And it’s also a showcase for why the United Nations is not adequate and why we need a functional world federation. A world federation is many years away, but when we recognize that this is the future of positive political evolution, we can begin to see where we’re heading and use this knowledge to make better strategic decisions in the present.

"Enjoy every sandwich" ~ Warren Zevon
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Age : 57
Location: : Toronto
Registration date : 2007-09-14

PostSubject: Re: An Integral View of the War in Iraq   Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:34 am

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