Mitch I really don't like any of these things but they are just annoyances compared with a life under Saddam. You see, when people are not allowed to criticise and held in fear all their lives it hurts a lot. You didn't destroy our country in this war, you destroyed it in 1970 when you supported Saddam against the Communist Party of Iraq in a military coup - you went on to destroy it in arming Saddam over his
war with Iran. You destroyed it with sanctions which only hurt the poor people of Iraq, and even more when you encouraged us to rise up against Saddam but didn't support us. After Kuwait was invaded you destroyed it when you carpet-bombed our cities with less than perfect military precision, wiping out thousands of innocent people. You even bombed a civilian shelter!
I can forgive you all that now you have helped to remove
Saddam.Not only can I forgive you but would also extend my hand and genuinely thank you. No I couldn't have forgiven you if you had sided with the UN "decision" with France and Russia on Saddam's "payroll." But for my part - all is forgiven to the one who rids us of Saddam.
I could get killed for saying this but I don't care, I'm already on the terrorist hit list after campaigning for women's rights and against Sharia Law in Iraq. I'm not scared anymore - I have already had the chance to see an Iraq rid of Saddam, in which people are no longer afraid to express how they feel.
Of course one thing that keeps people afraid is terrorism, but every day more Iraqis risk their lives lining up to volunteer for the police force, and many have died in car bomb attacks. They are not as afraid as they were under Saddam though - there is the largest of differences between a death of certainty and one of mere possibility.
All those things you mention are really terrible, and all of them should be worked on. There is an excellent campaign that addresses important issues concerning debt and the economy (www.jubileeiraq.org
). But you can only work on things when you start being able to talk about them without fear and to criticise
. Now we have that - the rebuilding will be a long struggle and we will have our work cut out. But we have the ability to talk
- something we did not have under Saddam - something that I think people don't appreciate in democratic and free states as much as they should - the right to speak - and the right to criticise.
I have seen Iraqis in this country struggle to swallow tears before speaking in public, saying things like "Thank you and thank your government for allowing me to speak freely."
Liberals who were against the original invasion are in my mind misguided - in human terms - though they may be perfectly right in legal terms, and if they are I would say the law needs to be changed. People in Sudan deserve their freedom too.
If you think it's a bit much me sounding like I'm expecting you to take responsibility for your government's actions remind yourself that we, the Iraqi people, never elected Saddam, so why should we all have had to take responsibility for his actions? Why do you deserve better from your government just because you were born there and not in Iraq? And how can anyone begrudge me - like Neil with his "anti-war" figures - my newfound right to vote that I have waited all my life for, my new rights to speak and criticise.
Everyone deserves their freedom to speak and challenge, to protest and to elect their government. We are a long way away from that all over the world. But it is not your
I feel lucky we had enough oil in Iraq to have interested the US enough to get rid of Saddam, just as I would thank my lucky stars if a thief were to rescue me from drowning just because he happened to be interested in my wallet.
We all have to make compromises and sacrifices. The US needs to realise there are worse things than communism and should never support a totalitarian regime even against it. The liberals need to realise that the choice between killing more people and killing fewer is not necessarily the same as the choice between waging and not waging war.
Mitch Kuntz wrote:
Can I qoute my friends that are serving over there? Have you ever heard of Uranium depleted shells before? Do you like the fact that the US government will be controlling your resources? Do you like that our government has given the new Iraqi leader the power to declare martial law at any time? Do you like that we destroyed many parts of the country only to rebuild it? Do you like that the first thing we secured are the oil fields? Foremost, I feel that civil liberties in the US are lacking as of late...as a liberal in america I can honestly say that I have been demonized and shunned. Not to mention physically threatened, etc.