Whenever someone criticizes the Iraqis for failing to do their duties and rise up to the requirements of the present and future challenges, my mind takes me back to the old, still unanswered, question which could be applied to any country at anytime:
What makes people evil, coward or lazy? This is a very complex question, to which religions, philosophy and science have different answers that are all far from being convincing.
Through all this controversy, I’ll not try to cross my brain’s limits and I’ll try only to present my point of view about why many Iraqis fail to see and stand up for their responsibilities.
This cannot be answered by looking at each incident alone, as –in my opinion- the response of people to sudden and hard changes is usually shaped as a result of a multifactorial process including instincts, the way they were raised and previous experiences with similar incidents.
This long introduction was necessary to show why Iraqis in many cases (like the last attack on the police station in Fallujah) failed to meet the expectations of the rest of the world, especially their friends and the people who paid so much to set them free.
During the years of Saddam’s regime and especially after 1980 the Iraqis lived in what was close to total isolation from the world; no satellite channels, no cell phones ( with the poor ground lines under intensive surveillance), no access to internet and extreme restrictions before allowing someone to travel across the borders.
This was all Saddam’s doings, which some people could again blame Iraqis for submitting to, an opinion I don’t agree with but one that cannot be easily refuted.
But let’s take a look at the world’s doings, especially after 1991.
After that and for a considerable period of time the whole world closed his doors to Iraqis, no Iraqi was welcomed outside his national borders, and after that only Jordan, Libya and Yemen allowed Iraqis to stay and work but with sever conditions also.
But sure millions of Iraqis were accepted as refugees all over the world, but is that something that you accept for yourself? When you have a job opportunity in a certain country would you accept to live as a refugee (legal, or even worse: illegal) to get this job?
Again millions of Iraqis accepted this as they had no other option, some of them with enough resources applied for immigration and after years managed to make it (they had to do this outside Iraq because it was a serious charge to go to another country’s embassy and ask for immigration or refugee) others less fortunate with their qualifications chose the dangerous costly short-cut which led –not in few times- to them sunk at the bottom of the ocean or handcuffed and forced back to Iraq and you can imagine how Saddam’s security dealt with those fugitives.
This is another reason for writing this post because this happens all over the 3rd. world as a result of poverty and oppression. Another important reason that makes me, as well as it should encourage the free world, to support freeing and democratizing the Arab and Muslim world.
The majority of Iraqis (chose) to stay. Motives??
It’s not easy to leave your home, at least in our culture, many were prohibited to travel outside Iraq; military officers and their wives, relatives of politically opposing personalities, doctors…etc. some (few) chose to stay and fight, others found it very difficult to accept the humiliation of being a refugee (kept in a camp and supervised on and examined for months) and others had combination of all the above. Humiliation here and humiliation there.
Iraqi people were punished for Saddam’s crimes (the borders of most of the world are still closed for Iraqis and yes, even our saviors’ borders with our American travel document!).
Iraqis were left alone to Saddam to do whatever he wants and practice his sadism and hatred (combined with cowardice) teaching without any opposing power.
Alone and isolated, Iraqis were supposed not only to survive and resist but also to emerge through this river of s*** after 35 years as clean and pure as babies and as brave and hopeful as men who were born, lived and taught to be free and brave.
I’m not defending Iraqis, we are, after all responsible in part in what happened, but I’m asking others to be more understanding and patient. This is a hard and important process in which Iraqis together with Americans and other coalition forces and freedom-loving people should stick together, accept each other flaws and understand rather than exchange blames and accusations.
One should add that the IP who showed that day at their police station, knew that they were risking their lives and yet they did show, and after that horrible attack where they faced an enemy who is much better supplied, trained and yes, determined, they showed the next morning and still do. I, on my part would call that bravery, and let's not forget that there are still some Iraqis who look at the IP as part of the (old guard) and there are others who look at them as traitors.
It is been said that" the worst enemy you may face is the one who his goal has turned into a complex inside him"
We are fighting all the evil powers in the world, which their ultimate goal is to destroy the western civilization represented by its leading power, the USA and destroying all their efforts to transmit the disease of freedom and democracy into the Arab and Muslim world via building a model for it in Iraq. These powers are supported by all the shortsighted enemies of the USA including some free and democratic countries! Their dream can be summarized in destroying their enemy or opponent, while ours is freeing the people of the world starting from Iraq. They cannot be more united than us.