Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Elections hysteria

Today I’m going to talk again about the elections and the demands of the political powers that try to lead to the country and grasp all the authorities in their hands, and the call of others for early elections and all the hysteria about independence and the necessity of handing the authority into the hands of Iraqis as soon as possible.
This time I’m going to state my personal opinion that I think many Iraqis don’t share with me.
I’ve never seen a hilarious and appalling scene such as the one I’m witnessing these days and again I thank God that it was the others who liberated us.
I can’t understand why people never learn from the lessons of the past. Why do they have to commit the same mistake and face the same consequences to find out that they were wrong? And what independence and what sovereignty and such loose terms they’re cheering for? What are their ambitious programs for the future of Iraq? What resources they’ll count on to achieve their plans and what is the international society they want to join? Do they really comprehend the extent of the challenges they are going to face? And are they capable, once they get their independence and sovereignty, of dealing with those challenges?

Really, this scene reminds me of the same demand Iraqis called for following the (liberation?!) of Iraq from the Ottoman Empire at the hands of the British. At that time a naive group called themselves ‘patriots’ started to yell for similar demands and made a huge fuss about it, and when they got what they wanted and in the 1st meeting for the elected Iraqi ministers’ council, they found that the questions and challenges they were facing were much more than what they could handle with their modest abilities, so they hurried again to the British asking for their support and the British ambassador, with the members of the political council of the delegation, asked for a financial support for Iraq, which ensued in hard arguments among the members of the British parliament to approve at the end, at granting financial support to the new Iraqi government to help it perform its duties.

Here I remember the speech made by the late Jawaharlal Nehru at the 1954 (I'm not sure about the date) Bandong conference, when he was shocked with the naivety of the representatives of the (independent) Asian and African countries and how they underestimated the difficulties they were going to face, that’s if they were aware of such difficulties.

Of course here the situation is different, some will say (the naïves of these days), “We are an oil producing country!! We will be able to rebuild our country and accomplish all the missions by ourselves” and I ask; will the 12 billion, the 20 billion or even the 30 billion$ a year really suffice to rebuild Iraq? The only thing that I’m sure about is that it will be enough to fill the wallets of those (patriots) and their attendants.

I’m an Iraqi who lived his whole live in Iraq and I know very well those who claim to be the patriots looking for Iraq independence, they will besiege us in a corner once again, they’re asking for handing the security dossier to Iraqis and I know what that means, which you don’t understand clearly. We have more than 100 thousands IP members equipped with the very good arms, cars and technology and get paid more than any other government officer (and they deserve it), we have courts, judges and in the way of building a new law system. So what is left of their dossier to handle? I’ll tell you what:
Their major complain is that the civil administration don’t allow them to control this system and don’t allow them to use extreme force when investigating or interrogating suspects. They want this unconditioned authority and they want it so bad, only to make a firm grip over power. They claim that criminals will not confess unless power is used! They want to torture people. And suppose the terrorists deserve this, who will decide in the future which one is a terrorist and which is just a suspect. These people, although suffered a lot from tyranny and despite that many of them lived in democratic environments for a long time, still behave as if they didn’t learn anything from the lessons of the past, they still look at the government as a way of control and not of serving their people, they will need more time or most probably we need other parties and fresh minds and institutes instead of individuals. This will take time and we simply can't afford rushing things against nature.

Since 1958 and till now every (national hero) comes, claim to be a patriot and promise us peace and prosperity, but the plain reality is that since that time everything started to fall apart, we didn’t add anything significant compared to what was done at the times of (occupation). Take a look with me, before those national governments that came after 1958 we were exporting wheat and rice and now we import them, we had 30 million cattle heads and now only 3 millions, 90% of the railways were built before 1958, 90% of bridges, 90% of oil refineries and pipelines and even the main military bases for Iraqi army were all built at the times of the (occupation), even the largest football stadium in Iraq was built by Kolbenkian (Mr. 5%) as a gift to the Iraqi people. Every comparison made between the (British occupation) and the national governments that followed favors the (occupiers). Let’s imagine for a second what would Iraq have looked like if the British hadn’t left us to the national governments….?? Any idea? Hong Kong for example?
I know, the question will be” so what? Do you want us to stay and run your country for you for ever?”
Certainly this is not what I meant, I was only trying to state why some people are rushing things and my fears if they get what they want. And I’m absolutely sure that the day that we will lead our country for a better future by ourselves is very near, but certainly not within the next few days or months.

-By Mohammed.

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