04/03/2008 06:24 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Culture Diversity in Iraq

While Americans in the workplace, the university, and the arts, are laboring to find ways to express their cultural diversity, we are witnessing a consummate example of the process in Iraq. Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds, among other tribal hegemonies who have been refining cultural identities and religious differences for hundreds of years, have finally found a way to express them fully under the American occupation. Indeed, we are presently seeing an even more exquisite example of cultural splits among the Shiites alone.

I am referring, of course, to the current hostilities between the Al-Muri-al-Maliki government and the radical Mahdi Army militia of Muqtada-al-Sadr. This conflict represents a further refinement of brother against brother beyond simply cousin against cousin. Previously, the culturally diverse units of the Shiite sect have been in conflict with the culturally diverse units of the Sunnis, and, in the time of Saddam Hussein, the culturally diverse Sunnis were eager to exterminate the culturally diverse Kurds. Shiites battling Shiites represents a significant advance, and an encouraging example of what happens when the separate members of a single nation or tribal group have the opportunity to express their differences through the medium of automatic weapons, poison gas, and improvised explosive devices.

Of course, there are many previous examples of how the promoting of differences among similar peoples can produce belligerent results -- the North versus the South in Civil War America, the Jews versus the Palestinians, the Indians versus the Pakistanis, the Protestant Irish versus the Catholic Irish, the North Koreans and South Koreans, the North and South Vietnamese. But never have the consequences been so superbly demonstrated as in Iraq. Perhaps when the United States has finally managed to fully satisfy the identity longings of its African-Americans, Jewish-Americans, Female-Americans, Latinos, Asians, and other minority groups, the world will have the opportunity to witness the ultimate expression of the diversity dream through explosions on the streets of our cities and massacres on the roads.

So all praise to those who practice the blessings of cultural diversity. And woe to those Barak Obamas who would labor to unify this country, and distract us from the supreme Iraqi model.