There's one rumor in Baghdad these days that has become so big and spread beyond the normal limits of rumors…
This rumor speaks of an American plot, namely one of President Bush to orchestrate a military coup in Iraq, install a Pervez Musharraf-like general as head of state with a treaty signed between the US and the general to guarantee an honorable pull out from Iraq as well as Iraq's loyalty to the US to prepare for America's exit from the country and that this coup is to be carried out by the Iraqi army under command of a Sunni general from the former army since the American administration-according the rumor-believes officers of the former army are the only ones capable of understanding and controlling the security situation in Iraq.
It seems that this rumor in particular was created by a pro; he made a long and somewhat convincing (to the less informed) story on the origin of this coup scenario; the rumor says that President Bush was advised by former national Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzenzinski to give Sunni officers a free hand in Iraq to control the security situation and according to the rumor, this meeting of Bush and Zbigniew Brzenzinski was written about in the New York Times!
Of course I didn't even bother to search for such a Brzenzinski statement or NY Times report as the story in its entirety sounds illogical.
It's saddening to see people supposed to be politicians and leaders take such rumors and consider them solid facts. On one hand you'll see Sunni former officers and politicians daydream about how they're going to rule the country after their coup succeeds, which means it encourages the acts of armed resistance and discourages people from being involved in the system since it predicts that it's only a matter of time before the current system collapses and on the other hand you'll see Shia politicians use this rumor to justify a prolonged existence of their partisan militias, actually I heard Sadiq al-Mousawi (prominent Shia politician and former advisor of president Talbani) use this pretext in his argument on the necessity to keep the militias on a talk show last night.
It's really odd to see the same rumor promoted by both, the government and the opposition but that's understandable as both sides found in this rumor what can serve their interests.
This reflects that there's still a big chunk of the population here in the Middle East that is having a hard time believing that the change has happened, understanding democracy and throwing behind the old conspiracy theory mentalities; a tough but essential struggle for establishing a new system.
What worries me a lot is hearing people in Iraq in particular and in the Middle East in general saying that this region not good enough a land for democracy and that these countries will always need dictators to put things in order and preserve security and stability; these are remarks I hear all the time and some even go as far as saying that Saddam's reign was good for Iraq.
The indisputable fact is that dictatorship did not lead us to become an advanced nation and I never heard of a dictatorship that was able to make a nation free and advanced and the results we reached from decades of dictatorship was nothing we could ever be proud of.
Some here say that Saddam managed to control the country but they admit he was bad and they think that if only he looked after economy better than he did then things would've been way better…maybe the common dream among my people of generation is to become the one good ruler who can fix all the mistakes of the previous bad rulers but reality proves that everyone who came to power in any of the earlier nationalist tyrannical governments turned out to be "bad".
In fact this has nothing to do with the individuals in power and perhaps that's the core of the problem; here in the Middle East we need to understand that it's all about the system we choose for our countries and we're yet to absorb this.
For example if a person like Saddam got appointed in an important position in a democratic state then the system will guide him and keep him on track and of course dismiss him if he misbehaves; of course democratic systems are not perfect and error-free but they are better than no systems (chaos) or the systems we had here.
And vice versa…if you bring a "good" person from a democratic state into this region and appoint him in a position of power in a despotic system, he will undoubtedly become bad.
I may not be exaggerating when I say that we have accomplished so much with our newborn democracy and the building of the new system had in one way or another limited from the inclinations of individuals to become bad, even though that's not to the same extent of what we see in states with long history in democracy but these small steps are certainly better than nothing.
The important point here which should be taken into consideration is that we are not forming a government but we are forming a state and a system from scratch so naturally the difficulties we'll face during each stage will be much bigger than the difficulties that would face other states that are already democratic during similar stages, say after elections.
Patience and hard work are the key to victory and in the same time obstacles, violence and disputes are no excuse for quitting; just like al-Qaeda and its allies concentrate on Iraq and consider it the nucleus for their Islamic state, we and the whole world must unite to rescue Iraq and present our model of freedom and justice.
Iraq is the key to the change and the terrorists realize this so we must show how determined we are if we want to defeat them.