Friday, March 13, 2009

Dexter Filkins's The Forever War, Part II

Filkins talks a lot about Iraqis being resentful of their country being occupied.

He comes back to this theme so often that it's gotten me thinking about the invasion in a different way: one of the causes of the insurgency and general opposition to the American presence may have been a purely emotional response (as opposed to political, ideological and/or religious responses, which I have no doubt also played huge roles) that was rooted in wounded ego.

I imagine this is/was particularly true for Iraqi men - as a male, I know the role of ego in contributing to the way I respond to certain things, and based on conversations with women I don't think it plays as big a role for them.

I have not heard commentators talk specifically about ego, but it seems like ego is such a powerful motivator that - particularly when presented with armed invaders/intruders/arrivers from a completely foreign culture - it must trigger an enormous desire to "stand strong" and demonstrate that you can handle your own affairs just fine without outside help.

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