Dohiyi Mir
    In Which NTodd Says His Peace

Monday, January 19, 2004
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Culture Clash


[Iraqi cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani] believes in the separation of religion and politics; however, the junk-food version of instant experts on Iraq inside the United States and those who are part of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) were quick to confuse his version of that separation with the Western notion of separation of church and state - which underscores the biblical notion of "render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's".
Even though he has been in Iraq for several months now, Bremer could never fathom the nuances of Sistani's thinking. Viceroys in colonies don't mingle too much with the locals. They only learn the "truth" from the chosen sycophants who tell them what they want to hear. This is so true for Iraq, where the Iraqis have been old practitioners of never speaking the truth to the powerful ones at a given time. To them, the Americans only represent the current fleeting phase of such rulers.

No time for analysis--busy day (and week) ahead.


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