1. In the aftermath of a war in Iraq, the possibilities of creating a stable
post-Saddam state will depend on managing Iraq's multiple social
cleavages. Describe and evaluate Iraq's primary social cleavages.
How have they impacted Iraqi politics until now?
The history of Iraq has been dominated by two factors – the wealth of its oil fields and the turbulence of its politics.The country's oil and its key strategic position in the world made it a focus ofCold War rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union. In its ancient past it was the home to various empires: Sumer, Mesopotamia, Assyria, as well as the Babylonian Empire. During the spread of the Islamic influence under the Prophet Mohammed, Baghdad became a center of art, science, and literature. With the coming of the Turkish Ottoman Empire the area of Iraq again was assimilated.
With the coming of the First World War and the defeat of the Turks, England acquired Iraq as a protectorate and utilized for oil exploration. In each of these circumstances, the rule by a singular individual with ultimate authority was the norm. "The right to rule was by conquest and not by local consensus."
Therefore, the tradition of singular rule by force continued to be the norm. Indeed, the very formation of Iraq's boundaries failed to take into account the diverse backgrounds of the various peoples living there. Even though grateful that the Ottoman forces were removed, the victorious Allies didn't take into account their wishes for any autonomy or sovereignty of tribal regions. Oil exploration and not cultural considerations remained the primary focus. With Iraq
gaining its independence from the British, a weak monarchy was toppled by a Pan-Arab group known as the Baath Party.
Under this nationalist organization, the call went forward to other Arab nations to break with their differences and form a new identity through a…

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