Emergence of nationalist identity in armed insurrections: A comparison of Iraq and Nicaragua
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- Emergence of nationalist identity in armed insurrections: A comparison of Iraq and Nicaragua
- Tatar, Bradley
- Issue Date
- GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIV INST ETHNOGRAPHIC RESEARCH
- ANTHROPOLOGICAL QUARTERLY, v.78, no.1, pp.179 - 195
- This article relates the similarities of the Nicaraguan insurrection of 1978-1979 and the Iraqi insurrection of 2004. One of the major factors in common between the historical insurrection in Nicaragua and the insurrection occurring in Iraq is the inability to distinguish clearly between armed civilians and members of the insurgencies. As a result, the armed forces attempting to extinguish the insurgency cease to make a distinction between insurgents and civilians. In a similar manner, the National Guard of Nicaragua bombed residential neighborhoods in 1978 and 1979, in neighborhoods of Managua and Masaya that the troops dared not enter. Indiscriminate bombing tends to enrage the population and increase sympathy for the insurgency. To the occupiers, this confirms their belief that the civilians killed were not innocent, but collaborators with the insurgency. The cycle of violence does increase civilian support for the insurgency, but civilian insurgent militias are nevertheless quite different from political organizations like al-Sadr's Mahdi Army. Many Nicaraguans have described the insurrection of Monimbo as an expression of the neighborhood's ethnic identity. They emphasized how the militia members used the paraphernalia employed in the religious festivals that make Monimbo famous.
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