Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ba'ath Nostalgia?

I read with interest the reports about the Ba'ath restorationists within the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior--lower level officers apparently interested in some sort of revival of the Ba'ath Party. It raises an interesting question--and I don't know whether there is any sort of polling on this--the level of nostalgia for the past in Iraq, compared with the security and economic situation of the present.

It also raises the question as to whether at least some elements of Ba'ath ideology--particularly secularism and nationalism--might still have some appeal, especially against the sectarian divide of the current government.

I've read about the rise in Yugo-nostalgia even in Slovenia, which by all accounts has done much better for itself since it separated from Yugoslavia. Is there a similar phenomenon at work here?

Pray tell me in what sense Slovenia has done better but in a narrow, short-lived economic sense?

She and the other republics have no political weight in EU, no influence in London, Bonn, or Paris, and cannot even wage war to defend themselves.

Culturally, they have bcome parochial ethnic enclaves whose intellectual/artistic/scientific work will always be provincial.

They destroyed a good country in order to achieve exactly nothing. [Someone please tell me what was wrong with Yugoslavia that required all of this.]
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