As the “HOT” Iraqi war settles down, the new war in Iraq begins. Maybe Saddam was right, and the only thing that can keep stability in the Arab Middle East is the iron fisted rule of a tyrant?
Even as Iraqi people take to the streets for the first time in over a quarter of a century, without the fear of being arrested by the authorities, they’re using this new found freedom to berate the people who gave it to them.
I see the crowds chanting “YANKEE GO HOME”! I hear the individuals on the “street” who say that the Americans are invaders and have to leave. I see the hatred in the faces of a liberated people who hate their liberators.
It is of no surprise to me to see the Iraqi Shiites marching to their holy sites practicing self flagellation in what was until liberation an “outlawed” pilgrimage.
And now that Shiite Iraqis are FREE to practice their beliefs, many want to surrender this FREEDOM for religious rule. ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM governed by a Theocracy.
I also see beyond the looters. I see men and women pushing away weaker members of society as they scramble to get ALL the food and water. I see humanity, not at its best. But rather at its worst.
I hear Christian Iraqis who are terrified that a newly emerging Islamic Theocracy will strip them of their rights to practice their Christian religion at worst. And at best, force the Christians to observe the rules of Islamic fundamentalism. Many Christians want out.
I see the Kurds in the North, who have already set up a sort of viable democracy, now eyeing the oil fields and the cities of the North, such as Kirkuk. I see the Turkomans, also in the North, who are more unsettled than somewhat, as they see their arch enemies establishing themselves in their backyards.
I see Iraqi police, many, if not most of whom are “former” Bathists, who are using the same strong arm tactics of the “defeated” Saddam regime they just so recently served.
Remarkably, and sadly, what I am seeing is a portrait of the Arab world which goes beyond fixing. Iraq has only one viable industry and export product: OIL.
It could have great agriculture and limited industry as well. But, to enjoy the benefits of agriculture and industry, the nation must apply itself to non sectarian cooperation. Unfortunately, this seems not to be part of the Middle Eastern Arab mind-set.
Cooperation amongst the many different Iraqi religious and cultural factions seems to be near impossible. The other Arab states that have a pretense of stability are more or less unipolar in terms of culture and religion.
When I write of religion, I refer to the various “flavors” of Islam.
I fear the USA has bit off more than just a mouthful.
In this past week’s Arab mini summit, many of the USA’s “best” Arab friends came together to denounce the American occupation, and warn of dire consequences if the Americans do not vacate Iraq post haste.
And for good measure, Israel was lumped in as part of the reason why the Americans went to war against Saddam in the first place.
It appears not to be important that Saddam was a tyrant. But how could it be of any consequence to the leaders at this mini summit, since all of them are tyrants as well?
These Arab leaders also want the UN to have the responsibility of “occupying” Iraq during the rebuilding process. This makes sense, since the UN is a pliable Duffus to the whims of the Arab despots.
The last thing the so-called moderate Arab allies to the West want is the creation of a democratic Arab state within their midst. Especially one that becomes home to the world’s most powerful military. READ USA.
This bothers the Arabs to distraction. It also bothers the French, Russians and Germans who will be up to all sorts of mischief.
I certainly hope the Americans are really up to the task of democratizing Iraq. But I doubt if they can. I sincerely believe that the Middle Eastern Arabs are absolutely determined not to become a region of Democracies.
There is a hardened resolve and history of more than 1,400 years of obeisance to Thugocracy and Islamic Theocracy. There is no history or tradition, whatsoever to the rule of secular law and Democracy.
Watching the Iraq Shiites blissfully marching in lockstep with their theological past, while practicing self flagellation on their pilgrimage, seems to me, to be an impassable roadblock.
I hope I’m wrong, and the Americans are up to the task. But I think that I’m right, and for their efforts, the Americans will receive a black eye in a fist fight governed by the rules of a religious and cultural Thugocracy.
For some cultures and regions, there seems not to be any hope of redemption.