Interview With Yale Law Professor Considers Questions of Diversity in Iraq

January 2, 2004

Source: The Washington Post

On January 2, 2004 The Washington Post printed an interview with Yale Law professor Amy Chua, who argues that the United States "may be the least well-equipped nation in the world to manage the kinds of group hatreds that threaten Iraqi society today. Because of our beliefs in the "melting pot" and the United States' own relatively successful -- though halting and incomplete -- history of assimilation, Americans don't always understand the significance of ethnicity, both at home and especially abroad, she adds. The U.S. government's ethnic policy for Iraq has essentially been to have no policy, she argues. The administration seems strangely confident that Iraq's ethnic, religious and tribal divisions will dissipate in the face of rapid democratization and market-generated wealth. Unfortunately, recent history suggests just the opposite." Online guests posed questions about the Sunni majority in Iraq and their attitude toward the Shi'tes as well as the potential for a liberal government that would allow religious pluralism.