Salameh Nematt, Dar Al-Hayat, 2003/04/21
Some of the admirers of Saddam Hussein's regime see what took place in Iraq as only an American military occupation to an Arab countries, chaos and looters supervised by the invading forces. They see, or don't want to see, anything else, because any other view would reveal the decisive evidence to the crime that the regime had committed against its people, and the crime that was committed by its supporters and admirers.
They don't want to see because they are aware that the destruction of any of its statues and the removal of any of its symbols represents an accusation against those who contributed to maintaining an oppressive regime, and in justifying its practices. They don't want to admit that Iraqis can now demonstrate against Saddam and his cronies, as well as against the presence of the American troops, and to express their different feelings without fear in first practice of democracy that the country witnesses in three decades.
Those who admire Saddam and regret his demise are the same ones who opposed the liberation of Kuwait as they have opposed the American effort to end the ethnic cleansing against the Muslims in Kosovo. They are also the same ones who continue to demand that the U.S. assume its responsibility in finding a solution to liberate the Palestinians from the Israeli occupation.
The problem with those who want to expedite the departure of Amereican troops from Iraq after the ouster of the Iraqi regime and before the appointment of a provisional government is that they don't want stability in Iraq that is necessary for the Iraqis to build a democratic state. Not only does such a proposition not serve their narrow interests, its success also exposes all the forces that have an interest in maintaining the regional situation in its desperate state. But isn't such state that prepared the ground for the return of the American troops to the region for the second time in 12 years?
Without any illusions about the aims of the temporary American occupation of Iraq, and regardless of legitimacy or lack of it of the such occupation, it is na´ve to assume that having paid such a huge economic and political price for its military campaign, America will be prepared to leave with realizing its declared and undeclared objectives.
Failure to attain such aims represents a failure to all what the U.S. is trying to achieve in terms of restructuring the international order while facing unprecedented regional and international opposition. Can anyone believe that the U.S. purposely split NATO, and undermined the UN in order to enter a failed adventure in Iraq? Is there anyone who believes that America will withdraw its troops to satisfy thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of demonstrators?
No one can predict the outcome of the ambitious American program in the Middle East before enough time had passed and an Iraqi government has been established. But it is certain that the cost of American failure will be much higher on the region than that of its success. Can one imagine the consequences of the withdrawal of American troops before establishing stability in Iraq?