About this blog...

I am a former leader of a Human Terrain Team in Iraq. My intent with this blog was to identify relevant, open-source materials on Iraqi culture, society, politics, religion and economics - just about anything on or about the Iraqi population in general.

I am continuing the blog now only sporadically, as a means of information distribution in support of efforts to improve a vital program hamstrung by failures in execution.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

America's cultural blinders

This recent commentary in Foreign Policy holds America and Americans responsible for the turn things have taken in Iraq: we assumed that all peoples--including Iraqis--ultimately share our cultural values, and that was the source of most of our missteps. So, "through our refusal to deal with alien peoples on their own terms, and within their own traditions, we have killed any real hope of a positive outcome in Iraq." This is exactly why the Human Terrain System exists. (Full disclosure: The author, COL (Ret) Patrick Lang, conducted part of our initial training this summer.)

Internet access in Kuwait is pretty limited, so I haven't been reading much, which means I haven't been posting much. I've started to catch up a little in the last few days, though, so there should be lots to come as I catch up...

No comments: