Monday, June 14, 2004

The Iraqi trap

Some people think that the American officials didn’t expect such fierce fight from the Islamic groups that keep flowing into Iraq from almost all directions after toppling Saddam. They say that the American army have fell into a trap in Iraq. I want to say that I agree on Iraq being a trap, only it’s a trap for the terrorists not the Americans.

Given their belief in that the war on Saddam and establishing democracy in Iraq was the key stone in combating terrorism, the American administration surely had expected (not planned) this situation as a result of freeing Iraq. The American administration said it more than once that it’s better to fight terrorism outside America than wait until being forced to fight it inside her borders.

This war is good for America in many ways; it eliminated a potential danger, it gives America a good and very much needed ally in the heart of a hostile area, one that is a ‘member of the family’, unlike Israel and Turkey, it secures American interests in the region and makes America safer by attracting the main efforts of the terrorists away from her borders and by building a sort of a nucleus for a democratic Arab Muslim world that will surely diminish the dreadful threat of a combined terrorism and WMDs.

Here comes the question: why Iraq? What’s there about Iraq that makes here the best location for such a battle?

To start with, and from the political point of view, Saddam’ regime was one of the weakest regimes in the world with a very limited support whether from outside or inside Iraq and this fact made that regime much easier to topple than any other dictatorship. The other fact is that in almost all Arab and Muslim countries, the opposition is mainly formed of Islamic parties which makes the change rather dangerous, as it may well result in a theocracy that’s if those parties were ready to accept the change and didn’t fight the “infidels” side by side with their oppressors the dictators since “they’re still Muslims”.

It’s true there are Islamic groups in Iraq and some of them are radical but they’re still much weaker than anywhere else in the Muslim world and are far from being the majority and most of them have accepted democracy even if they dream of a theocracy since they know they have no chance in making their dreams come true with only a minority of Iraqis on their side. Even geography favors Iraq being a plain area with no jungles or mountains that favors the guerrilla fighting (except in the very friendly northern parts).

Now America is of course paying a high price in this battle but it has to be done and it’s incomparable to what she would lose had she decided to leave the terrorists alone. Not only the American officials have agreed that they can afford this high price, as most of the soldiers I’ve met or heard seem to accept and respect their mission along with their families, friends and many other Americans.

That’s about the Americans, but what about the Iraqis? What will they win and what will they lose? Well, the Iraqis have lost and will lose many lives as a result of the terrorist attacks in addition to the economic losses. In return, and at the end of this struggle, they will win their freedom, democracy and prosperity.

From the technical point of view and if we count on numbers and statistics, Iraqis' losses in lives are much less than the regular losses during Saddam’s times with different reasons, and regarding economy and despite the damages that the terrorists are causing, Iraqis' average income is increasing day by day. Iraqis' money was never their money, it was Sadam’s and now it’s back to them. Still this sounds cruel, as does anyone have the right to put Iraqis lives into such “chaos” and risk just because he saved them from a worse situation?!

I think the answer to this question is NO, since it’s still up to the Iraqis to decide between going the hard way or giving up, ask the Americans to leave and go back to “safe” sheep’s life, to the organized and controlled torture, rape, murder and humiliation. This is not very difficult to acieve, it's enough to stop cooperating with the coalition and demonstrating to ask them to leave. The coalition may not oblige but they will certainly lose.

I, being an Iraqi have accepted the challenge and I’m not alone; hundreds of thousands of IP, soldiers, officials and workers in different fields have decided the same by doing their job, cooperating with the coalition and marching persistently towards building their country, maintaining their freedom and embracing the changes towards democracy. Other Millions of Iraqis are supporting this process each in his own way.

We didn’t take the decision of the war, that’s right, but we’ve accepted it with full knowledge of the consequences and that’s why you cannot see one large demonstration asking the coalition to leave. We gained our freedom, after Saddam’s fall almost for free, as most of the enormous losses we suffered before that time were not the result of real attempts to gain freedom; they were in most times the result of mere disapproval with the Ba’athists or were part of the systematic killing to maintain the paralyzing fear at a maximum. Maybe it’s time to pay and this time we are ready because we are free from that fear after seeing the weakness of our enemies and we have seen what we were missing and are not ready to lose it no matter what happens. We will pay the price and we will not surrender or compromise, we will fight and we will win.

-By Ali.

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