This is an interview with Jadaliyya Co-Editor Sinan Antoon on the Brian Lehrer Show (WNYC).
“Closure” is a very productive trope in political and other narratives. It drowns out all other voices (preferably with applause), produces silence and draws a fictitious end. The curtain is drawn and the crowd’s already brief attention is refocused on another spectacle on another screen.
The war in Iraq is over. The flag is down and the boys are back home. “We” tried to help those wretched Iraqis, but it was all just too messy (Sunnis, Shi`ites, Iran. . .etc). Mistakes were made along the way. Now, Iraqis will have to fend for themselves.
This narrative, with a few variations, is parroted by the mainstream chorus. It obfuscates the tragic reality that is Iraq and absolves the authors of the tragedy of any responsibility. For Iraqis, however, there is no end and no closure. It is precisely at these moments of orchestrated closure and false endings that we have to begin, again, to pose questions and resist collective amnesia.
The Iraq We Are Leaving Behind: Interview with Jadaliyya Co-Editor Sinan Antoon by Jadaliyya