The English have a penchant for maps, and a benefit of having an Empire is that they were able to draw straight lines, and make things look tidy for students of geography Back Home. No strangers to the notion of good breeding, the English also had an eye for bright tribes, and in creating Iraq in 1920 they got the Sunni minority to administer the kingdom.
Picking the brighter minority makes sense, though from time to time they get slaughtered by the resentful majority. This still leaves the intellectual problem encountered in all genocide: how do you know who to slaughter? Since human beings are more alike than different, this presents a problem. One approach to this dilemma is to classify friend and foe by consanguinity, and to side with one’s close cousins against one’s more distant cousins. In Iraq the 50% cousin marriage rate is one of the highest rates in the world, comparable to places like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan (and certain neighborhoods in Bradford). If you have been indulging in cousin marriage for generations (in various complicated variations of the same thing) you end up being close, very close. Your obligations are to them and, since they are very like you, that obligation makes sense. You should find work for them, not for some mystical Best Person for the Job who is not your cousin. Cousins matter, nations less so, (unless they are playing football). Democracy sits uncomfortably with cousin obligation. Why should the opinions and interests of distant cousins trump the needs of your close blood brothers?
Here is a map provided by HBDchick in her post below.
This helps me understand who is fighting who. I was not trained in nation building, but it looks as if there are three different groups with slightly different views as to what constitutes the national interest. I would not design a new Iraq without looking at the cousins in the nations next door, so perhaps the solution needs to be wider, much wider. I leave these practical matters to others. However, I cannot resist suggesting the name of the new caliphate: Sumeria.
If there is a prize going for the suggestion, I promise to share it with my cousins.