Tuesday, February 27, 2007

"Such displays of hagiographic rhetoric to persons in power may sit uneasily with the ideal of a free and critical press. But another question is: If Talabani is, as the newspaper asserted, “in very good health” and “stable condition”, and suffers of no serious ailments, why all the concern on the part of the newspaper? Lastly, the Iraqi academic Falih 'abd al-Jabbar wrote an article in the government-owned Al-Sabah al-Jadeed warning against the flight of the urban middle class from Iraq. The emigration of the educated and the skilled from the country, 'abd al-Jabbar argued, follows a more basic need than economic opportunity or future prospects, instead, middle-class Iraqis are leaving in order to save their lives. 'Abd al-Jabbar believes that this loss is irreparable, since most of the émigrés will probably never return. The analysis takes a more sinister approach when 'abd al-Jabbar establishes a formula of “quality vs. quantity” among Iraqis. The major problematic for 'abd al-Jabbar is that “authentically urban” Iraqis are being replaced by “rural” ones who are now flooding the cities. These newcomers, whom the author refers to as “the marginal and migrant groups,” carry in them the seeds of social ills, they are “pre-modern”, their society is “closed,” “hierarchical” and “has a strong tendency towards violence,” according to 'Abd al-Jabbar."" (thanks Amer)