Michael Yon describes a mind-set; sure he’s chauvinistic, but its also the power of an Army of Davids in Baqubah:
When Americans move into Iraqi buildings, the buildings start improving from the first day. And then, the buildings near the buildings start to improve. It’s not about the money, but the mindset. The Greatest Generation called it “the can-do mentality.” It’s a wealth measured not only in dollars, but also in knowledge. The burning curiosity that launched the Hubble, flows from that mentality, and so does the revenue stream of taxpayer dollars that funded it. Iraq is very rich in resources, but philosophically it is impoverished. The truest separation between cultures is in the collective dreams of their people.
The blend of tribalism and individualism, of pride and of history that shapes a people’s imagination is summed up in that connotative description: “the collective dreams of their people.”