How To Get America Out of Iraq?
we shouldn't be excited and proud of getting America out for the sake of sects, tribes, civil conflict and the destruction of what is left of education, institutions and... logic. We should be excited and proud to get America out for the sake of an Iraqi nationalist plan that would be modern and developed.
How To Get America Out?
Hazem Saghieh, Dar Al-Hayat, 2003/04/23
If the choice were between the United Nations and the United States in Iraq, the answer is all too obvious. Most probably, only a small minority of Iraqis would prefer the U.S. Everyone agrees on the need to get the Americans out, especially since the U.S. announced its intention to establish military bases in Iraq. The question is: when and how?
This leads us to the need to constitute an Iraqi interim government. The faster we take this step, the faster the Americans will go. This is the Iraqis' responsibility. It is their responsibility to prove they will build a successful state and a society. Only then will they cut the road to the Americans.
However, let's consider the complications in this plan: First, the totalitarian years that brought repression to the people. Thus, we should expect, after what we saw yesterday in Karbala, that these people express themselves openly.
Second, the Ba'thist regime (53 years-old) didn't leave one political party standing. This explains why political Iraqi leaders had to be "imported" from abroad. In this sense, Iraq is more similar to Afghanistan after the Taliban (where Massoud's assassination came to close the mission of destroying internal substitutes) than to Central and Eastern Europe after the fall of communism.
Here, we should mention the warnings: There is a difference between the Americans leaving in favor of a national political Iraqi regime (the scenario set by the Egyptian Wafd Party or the Indian Conference Party when they kicked the British out), their departure and what happens thereafter, because then, we could see something we won't like.
First, the people's repression could turn into a long destructive civil conflict.
Second, before these internal differences, regional forces and interests will interfere, as happened in Lebanon in the 80's (with the difference of importance, size and... blood).
Third, a substitute as the Islamic Republic, as was suggested few days ago in the South (even if it withered away), would only enhance the demands of Arabs Sunnites and the Kurds and make them extreme demands. What is left is to understand by this Republic when its Iranian role model is a remarkable lesson in failure.
Fourth, it is hard, even harder, in this situation, with the civil conflicts, that the U.S. would accept to retreat, or even to let another force, like the UN interfere. So, Iraq is between an equal number of wars and powers at the same. To sum up, the Iraqi situation at the present time reopens the issue of the nationalism concept in the Arab world.
"Nationalism" isn't, in its negative sense, the totalitarian regimes added during the Cold war, or hostility against this or that party. In the positive sense of the word, it is acting for the best interests of the word, the most important being the reconstruction of the nation (nationalism with the Wafd party was under "long live Egypt;" with the Nasserites it began with "no to the occupation"). The nationalism could collide with the U.S., but this collision won't be the main element that erases any other. Thus, we shouldn't be excited and proud of getting America out for the sake of sects, tribes, civil conflict and the destruction of what is left of education, institutions and... logic. We should be excited and proud to get America out for the sake of an Iraqi nationalist plan that would be modern and developed. This is the responsibility of the Iraqis today.
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