Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Kanan Makiya and the Iraq Memory Foundation

NPR offered a recent profile of the Iraq Memory Foundation which is documenting human rights violations from Ba'thist Iraq. The foundation is headed up by Kanan Makiya, himself the subject of a profile in the Rights Readers selection Calamities of Exile by Lawrence Weschler. Be sure to visit the foundation's grim art gallery. Kanan Makiya also offers up some reflections on the current state of affairs at NPQ. On Saddam Hussein's trial:
...it seems to be driven by a purely sectarian agenda, with lists of crimes against Shiites, then against Kurds. There seems to be no focus on the fact that Saddam’s regime terrorized everybody in Iraq in various ways, that the system was totalitarian.

It would have been much wiser to have focused on the ways in which the former regime victimized everyone, irrespective of sect or national origin. Wise leadership in Iraq today cannot be merely about me and what is in my self-interest; it has to be, and to be perceived to be, about “us,” the people of Iraq, and our Iraqi self-interest.
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