Learn more about the ethnic, religious and political powerplays in and around Iraq during a virtual tour of the region led by NBC’s Richard Engel.
This is an incredibly well-put together, video/slideshow about the complex geography of within Iraq that has lead to so many difficulties in the post-Saddam Hussein era. The ethnic patterns, religious divisions, spatial arrangements of resources as well as the larger regional context all play roles in creating the a contentious political environment.
I have always felt that Iraq is very complex. And it is. However the videos shed some light on clarifying what most of the turmoil is about. A valid question is why not divide Iraq into three seperate countries? One for the Kurdish, one for the Sunnis, and one for the Shiite? The video explains that it is not that easy. Iraq has been unstable since it formed after WWI.The Sunnis feel that the Shiite stole their power and they want to reclaim it. The three ethnicities are quarrelling for control and it has to do with more than religion. Resources play an important role in the dispute. The country cannot divide into three regions, because the Sunni (about 20% of Iraq's population) are in a region where they are not close to water and they have no oil. The Sunni and Kurdish are close to natural resources- water and oil. If the country divides, the Sunni will not last.
Via Seth Dixon