The US political design to shape Iraq as a democracy had catastrophic consequences on the country’s political and social levels, which will remain apparent for decades to come. The new ethno-sectarian Iraqi media, an extension of this new political reality, has played a major role in enhancing the divisions in Iraqi society. In their book Erasing Iraq (2010), Otterman, Hil, and Wilson refer to the change that occurred in Iraqi society after the occupation as a ‘sociocide’ caused by forced displacement and targeted violence. This is, unfortunately, part of the USA’s pragmatic policy, which also entails a misreading of Iraq’s history and society and a miscalculation of the potential damage of sectarianism. Although the sectarian violence in the country has dramatically decreased in recent years, and the Iraqi media rhetoric has positively improved, there is still a physical and social rift — the city of Baghdad and other strategic regions have become divided into Sunni and Shiite neighbourhoods that are mostly separated by concrete walls. Socially, intermarriages between Sunnis and Shiites have become a rare event. Indeed, the wounds inflicted during the sectarian tension need a great deal of time to heal, but first Iraqi media outlets must address Iraqis as a whole and seek independence from their sponsors before a positive change can occur.
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Ahmed K. Al-Rawi
- Palgrave Macmillan UK