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The New Iraq by
Call Number: DS 79.5 .B73 2003
Publication Date: 2003-03-25
Iraq is the most ethnically diverse country in the Arab world today. The country's historical transformations have stemmed in part from conflict and contact with newcomers - invaders, itinerant preachers, traders, and refugees - who have each left their own mark and become integrated into Iraq's social fabric. After three major wars, 13 years of sanctions, and the domestic legacy of a police state, the country's isolation has worked to preserve and reinforce an old culture with attitudes and skill sets that other traditional societies would be hard pressed to match. In The New Iraq , Joseph Braude draws upon his deep knowledge of the country's history and people to show how a viable Iraqi economy will liberate its society and thereby transform the Middle East. A new religious establishment that fosters liberalism and interfaith dialogue in the spirit of the creative theosophical debates sponsored by the Caliphs of Baghdad in the 10th Century will promote ideals of coexistence and tolerance in countries that badly need them. By transforming its military from a force that threatens neighboring states into a 21st century army of nation-building and defense, Iraq can provide a model that strengthens security in the region and reduces bloated military budgets that divert public funds from investment in education, health, and industry. A viable Arab government spending less on defense and more on its people will raise expectations among societies-in the Gulf and all over the world-- vis a vis their governments region-wide. Braude challenges all of us, from many countries and walks of life, to take part in facilitating Iraq's reintegration into the global economy. The recipe for a prosperous new Iraq will marry the external demands of the global marketplace with an internal reappropriation of the unique attributes of Iraqi civilization.