Tuesday, September 21, 2004

A Reply from Rose

I gave you a chance to read the emails form Eric and Jennifer, and now I'm posting this reply and I'd like to hear your opinion. It's along post but I couldn't make it shorter.

I think the American policy towards terrorism increased hatred for America from all over the world. For my point of view, I think America did what they did in Iraq only for their interest. If you go back to 1991 I think that USA was involved somehow with invation of Kuwait. I was young at that time to understand what really was happening but when you look for the benefits that USA had from that invasion I think there was a link. 1) they put their hands on almost all the Gulf countries and in that way they gained control over all the Oil in the Gulf. 2) Making Iraq an enemy in the eyes of Gulf countries helped USA in selling them a large amount of weapons. 3) The sanction put us in a cave and made us return tens of years backward. Believe me or not, only the ordinary Iraqi people were hurt from this sanction, while Saddam and his followers only got richer and it was for their benefits. The sanction made us far away from the technology in other countries. In that way we could not endanger Israel and their plants for expansion (Saddam started to develop some weapons that might reach Israel and threaten it). I’m not a politician but these are what I’m thinking.

3) The USA made a large military base in the Gulf and this thing was only a dream to them.
Their plan had come to an end so they started another plan and this time it is war against terror. I think this war was only used to justify all what the USA did, and plans to do in the future. I don’t think there is a link between Iraq and Al-Qaida in anyway. We are different than Afghanistan, we don’t have extremist like the way they had. And now all the terrorists around the world started to come to our country and we become the victims. We didn't have weapons of mass destruction like the USA said otherwise they would have been found after more than a year from Baghdad’s fall.

Anyway, USA made a good thing to Iraq by removing Saddam from his chair. We were just like in a life prison. We never were able to talk against him publicly or even to criticize his decisions or any one of his family. We might be executed or jailed for many years for doing that. A professor I know was about to be executed some one wrongfully accused him of talking against Saddam, but thank God they were able to prove that he didn't do that. A doctor I know was jailed for 5 years because his ex-wife recorded a tape of him while he was talking against Saddam, and so on.

But all the Iraqi people are sure that USA did not remove Saddam for the sake of their eyes only, and they came for the Iraqi oil to put her hand on it as well as the Gulf oil. For me I blame Saddam more than the USA, because he give them a chance to put their hands on our country. He destroyed our country completely socially, economically, all education fields and in all other aspects of life. We need many years to remove the damage he had made.

What is happening in Iraq is a tragedy. Every day tens of Iraqi people get killed either by mistake from American army or by some suicide bombers who found Iraq a fertile land to their acts against USA and their allies and somehow the Iraqi people became the victims instead of the US army.

I’m not against American people or even their army, I know they are only doing their jobs and they are misled by their government but I’m against the American policy which makes the things worse to its people.
During my trip to the north of Iraq (Kurdistan) I noticed one think: the security system they have. One could not drive more than a km without passing through a checkpoint and being asked for ID and questions about the destination and has the car searched. Why did not the USA army and now with the Iraqi police do so in Baghdad? There are many check points here as well but all they do is look at our beautiful faces and say go. When we arrived to Kurdistan's border, they searched our car and checked our IDs but when we arrived to Baghdad's border they were only smiling in our faces. There were two American check points in our road to the north and none stopped us. Can you tell me why? Is it that secure?
All these acts increase the hatred towards American troops in Iraq. The blocks they used to put in the streets only for their security, the carelessness they had shown when Iraqis ask for their help and the way they act when they are under pressure. They could have done a lot after Baghdad’s fall and prevented us from many things happening now but they were careless. I don’t blame them for their acts: It’s NOT their country.

We used to drive our car behind them in the street a year ago because we felt safer because of looters. Now we stop our car far away from them or try to avoid them because we don’t want to be killed. I went to Mousle four months ago with my father and all the way to there, there were an army troop driving slowly ahead of us, and they refused to let us pass them. In the last vehicle, there was a soldier standing with a gun pointed to our car all the road till they got to their base. We spent 7 hours by car instead of 4 and all because of them. I know they are afraid of being attacked and that’s why they act like this, but these acts make the Iraqi people more nervous and increase their hate toward the USA army.

anyway what happen is not in my hand or yours and I know we should work for the best of our country, but if those terrorist act won’t stop, we The Iraqi people will not be able to build the new Iraq that we are dreaming for, I do not know how far could we stand more, but I know all Iraqis are dreaming of peace that they lost for many years, they want to communicate with other people around the world.

I’m hoping to see Iraqi people participate in building their country and be able to say yes for that and no for others, like many countries were humans have a value. I’m hoping to see Iraqi people get rid of the tribunal traditions they had and move forward to civilization and by the way Saddam encouraged the tribunal system to come back after it had almost disappeared in cities. I wish we accept the fact that we are under occupation. Let's give the occupiers the chance to help us to build the country, and don't give them the chance to stay. The Iraqi people lost their patience and that's why they are acting like this.
.

I was watching the news today, and it showed some new hostages on TV (as usual) their eyes were covered. I did not recognize that my daughter was near me watching the news because I never let her watch such scenes, she asked me why was their eyes covered, I did not know what should I answer her, I told her because they had been hurt and they had put bandage on them, she kept asking many questions, how did they got hurt, are they in pain or not, when they will remove the bandage from their eyes and so on. Later there was another bad scene on TV, this time Iraqi victims in car explosion and they showed them covered with blood, she asked me again how were they hurt and why there was a lot of blood, I just turned the TV off and left the Room because I was unable to answer her this time.

338 Comments:

Blogger Carrie said...

Wow, this is tough Rose. I wish I could do more than just offer my sympathy for a situation I have never been in, and my empathy as a mother wanting the best and safest life possible for my children. My understanding of your position is that you are grateful that Saddam was removed, it should have been done earlier, but you are still glad it was done. But now you wish we would leave and let your people do the job of rebuilding your own lives instead of us trying to decide how much more you need still. Us being there has opened your country and it's innocent people to new threats that weren't there before. And lastly, our government is a greedy bunch of people. I wish I could do more than just understand your feelings. The truth is who ever is put in the office of the President will probably be just as greedy and hungry for control as the one currently there. Thank you for your honesty, I will continue to read your blog and would like to post a permanent link of your site onto mine. If you ever have anything that I may be able to help with, just ask. I'll be listening.
Jennifer

9:37 AM  
Blogger Josie said...

First I will say that I agree what has happened in Iraq is a horrible tragedy, and I wish that none of it ever had to happen. I feel very sorry for the Iraqi people, that they were ever put in such a position that they are now in. I pray for Iraq every day. Second, I agree that USA actions in Iraq were done for the USA's interests. Of course they were -- why would we have committed all this money and life if we had no interest? Yes, we're dedicated to humanitarian causes (see Bosnia), but in the case of Iraq, I think we probably would have left Saddam alone as long as he kept to himself and we didn't think he was a threat. However, I must disagree in your statements about the USA being involved in the invasion of Kuwait. That is pure bull manure. I have read and re-read that part of your post several times, thinking I am misunderstanding you. I thought perhaps you meant that we unintentionally (through conditions that we were involved in creating) caused Saddam to invade Kuwait, but that is not what you seem to be saying.

11:41 AM  
Blogger johnny said...

The invasion of Kuwait by Iraq in 1991 was an unprovoked attack on a sovereign country by Saddam because he claimed it was part of Iraq. You are probably right it was about oil, Kuwait's or Iraq's? The killings, torture and rape of innocent Kuwaiti civilians by the Iraq army were horrendous. There was also a planeload of British subjects caught on the runway when the invasion began. It was a unanimous vote at the UN that triggered the removal of the Iraqi army from Kuwait led mainly by the USA and Britain. Once this had been achieved many nations got cold feet and would not vote for a mandate to allow the US and Britain to go all the way to Baghdad and remove him from power. This resulted in two no fly zones to protect the Kurds in the north and the Shiites (marsh Arabs) in the south. This, plus 10 years of sanctions on Iraq, only achieved the hardship on the Iraqi people that you acknowledged in your letter. I was in favour of removing Saddam from power because I knew what a cruel dictator he was but I never envisaged it would put your country in the turmoil that it is now. Maybe the turning point will be the Elections early next year and the pull out of US and coalition forces but this can't happen until you have an effective army and police force to deal with law and order. With the different factions you will have fighting for power it will need more than prayers.

The second American hostage has been decapitated today and it's the turn of the Englishman Kenneth Bigley tomorrow. These were three ordinary men who had wives, children and loved ones and were only helping to rebuild your country.

I wish you well Rose

2:29 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

I added further comments as a response to the comments to my e-mail in Rose's last entry.

Rose's views are important because that's what we have to work with. She is who we have to work with. The debate itself is important, and we Americans endlessly love our debates, but as with everything else, it MUST be guided towards positive, real-world constructive steps towards accomplishing our mission in Iraq.

Again, I recommend Thomas Barnett's strategic reasons for the Iraq mission in relation to global security needs in the 21st century, which he discusses in 'Mr. President, Here's How To Make Sense Of Our Iraq Strategy', at http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/published/esquire2004.htm .

I also recommend this presidential speech,
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/06/20040602.html , wherein Bush Jr explains why he changed course with Saddam:

"For decades, free nations tolerated oppression in the Middle East for the sake of stability. In practice, this approach brought little stability, and much oppression. So I have changed this policy. In the short-term, we will work with every government in the Middle East dedicated to destroying the terrorist networks. In the longer-term, we will expect a higher standard of reform and democracy from our friends in the region. (Applause.) Democracy and reform will make those nations stronger and more stable, and make the world more secure by undermining terrorism at it source. Democratic institutions in the Middle East will not grow overnight; in America, they grew over generations. Yet the nations of the Middle East will find, as we have found, the only path to true progress is the path of freedom and justice and democracy."

I'll emphasize again: without Americans and Iraqis working strongly together in partnership, we all will fail. Our shared enemies will make sure of that. Whatever doubts and misgivings we have about the mission or each other, we need to unite in order to realize the greater purpose of the mission.

3:14 PM  
Blogger Mister Ghost said...

I think the American policy towards terrorism increased hatred for America from all over the world. I think the killing of thousand of innocent Americans by your fellow members of Islam speaks for itself.
There was plenty of hatred against America before, or can you not comprehend this?

For my point of view, I think America did what they did in Iraq only for their interest.Generally nations act in their behalfs, but bringing democratic reform to the Mideast helps
all of us and the U.S. did get rid of Saddam - So obviously contrary to your statement, America's action was also in your interest.


If you go back to 1991 I think that USA was involved somehow with invation of Kuwait.That is a completely insane statement.

I was young at that time to understand what really was happening but when you look for the benefits that USA had from that invasion I think there was a link.

1) they put their hands on almost all the Gulf countries and in that way they gained control over all the Oil in the Gulf.
OPEC controls the Gulf Oil, not the US, that's why prices are ridiculously high. If the US controls Gulf Oil, why is OPEC in charge of regulating the prices?

2) Making Iraq an enemy in the eyes of Gulf countries helped USA in selling them a large amount of weapons. As the premier manufacturer of Armaments and Weapons Systems, the U.S. doesn't need to artificially inflate the need for its goods. Countries will buy them, especially Middle Eastern Nations, most of which are run by corrupt tyrants wallowing in oil dollars, wanting to go to war against their fellow Arabs.

3) The sanction put us in a cave and made us return tens of years backward. Believe me or not, only the ordinary Iraqi people were hurt from this sanction, while Saddam and his followers only got richer and it was for their benefits. The sanction made us far away from the technology in other countries.Blame the UN honey, not the US. The corrupt UN used the sanctions to siphon off billions of dollars.

In that way we could not endanger Israel and their plants for expansion (Saddam started to develop some weapons that might reach Israel and threaten it). I’m not a politician but these are what I’m thinking.Man, you really hate the Jews. And what Israeli plans for expansion? They seem to have their same borders
and you can't blame Israel for wanting to defend themselves. Besides, do you really think the UN would side with Israel? Get serious!

3) The USA made a large military base in the Gulf and this thing was only a dream to them.The US has bases around the planet and can easily
sign leasing agreements with a multitude of nations, including ex-enemies like Vietnam.

Their plan had come to an end so they started another plan and this time it is war against terror. I think this war was only used to justify all what the USA did, and plans to do in the future.Apparently you never heard of 9/11? That was a big justification.

4:32 PM  
Blogger Mister Ghost said...

I don’t think there is a link between Iraq and Al-Qaida in anyway.

Well Al-Qaida or Proto-Al Qaida or Quasi-Al-Qaeda
or Neo-Al-Qaeda, you've got a bunch of thug/terrorists running around Iraq.


We are different than Afghanistan, we don’t have extremist like the way they had.Tell that to the charred corpses in Al-Sadr's basement.

And now all the terrorists around the world started to come to our country and we become the victims.But you just said there was no link between Al-Qaeda and Iraq. So, who is sponsoring these terrorists?

We didn't have weapons of mass destruction like the USA said otherwise they would have been found after more than a year from Baghdad’s fall.They're still turning up WMDs in China from Japan's Second World War occupation. It's still to early to conclusively state there are no WMDs, especially when there seems to be some evidence that they were transported to Syria.Anyway, USA made a good thing to Iraq by removing Saddam from his chair. We were just like in a life prison. We never were able to talk against him publicly or even to criticize his decisions or any one of his family. We might be executed or jailed for many years for doing that. A professor I know was about to be executed some one wrongfully accused him of talking against Saddam, but thank God they were able to prove that he didn't do that. A doctor I know was jailed for 5 years because his ex-wife recorded a tape of him while he was talking against Saddam, and so on.So, it was in your interests to have Saddam removed!


But all the Iraqi people are sure that USA did not remove Saddam for the sake of their eyes only, and they came for the Iraqi oil to put her hand on it as well as the Gulf oil.Please Rose, this is silly. For the $200 billion Iraq is costing, a Manhattan-like Project to find an alternative to oil could have begun.
Or the U.S. could have bought $200 billion worth of oil. Or the US could have initiated reserch into the oil shales of Canada, which contain even more reserves than Iraq. Or, research into harvesting the new hydrogen isotope on the moon.

For me I blame Saddam more than the USA, because he give them a chance to put their hands on our country.Rose, sweety, a country is only as good as their citizens. It took the U.S. to overthrow Saddam, you and your fellow Iraqis couldn't do it. He destroyed our country completely socially, economically, all education fields and in all other aspects of life. We need many years to remove the damage he had made.

What is happening in Iraq is a tragedy. Every day tens of Iraqi people get killed either by mistake from American army or by some suicide bombers who found Iraq a fertile land to their acts against USA and their allies and somehow the Iraqi people became the victims instead of the US army.
Peace and stability don't originate overnight. It's a struggle that will take years. But progress is being made and there are already large sections of Iraq like the Kurdish areas that are subdued and peaceful.
If the Kurds can do it, why can't you Sunni types?
Are the Kurds more advanced than you? Could be!I’m not against American people or even their army, I know they are only doing their jobs and they are misled by their governmentSweety, no one's misled by their government. "We The People" are the government. We the majority endorse the policy in Iraq.

5:00 PM  
Blogger Carrie said...

Hey Rose... Please pardon me for a second....

Mister Ghost..
I think you have completely missed the ENTIRE point of the emails and Rose's replies. Rose isnt part of the government there, she isn't part of some military movement. She is a woman living and raising a family in a place that is a world away from any that I am sure you are living in. A request for the common man's view point was issue. What she felt and what she saw, not some outsider like you. We here are told what THEY want us to know. Rose was asked to give her thoughts and view on what she SEES. For you to verbally bash someone's insight and her daily dealings with HER world makes you exactly what the media here in the USA wants you to be. Just reading what you wrote, my husband pointed out MANY flaws in your reasonings and comebacks. Point being? You dont know all that you think do, and neither do we, and neither does Rose. But the hopes that the request and reply would bring is a better understanding of feelings and common day lives in regards to an event that has both our worlds connected for the time being.

7:38 PM  
Blogger Josie said...

Eric, I totally agree. Mister Ghost, I agree with the substance of your response, I just wish you could be a little more patient/less condescending with Rose. Even if you think she's mistaken about something, she is sincere in her feelings and deserves a great deal of respect for her willingness to even have this dialogue. As Eric pointed out, both sides have to work hard at this.

7:47 PM  
Blogger Mister Ghost said...

Okay my apologies to Rose for being a little hot headed, but come on, the lies and half-truths and
departures from logic that she's espousing, it's enough to drive someone over the edge.

Rose can spout conspiracy-riddled nonsensical
mistruths up the ying-yang now, thanks to Saddam and his fellow Baathists being removed, and that freedom
to state your own thoughts and beliefs without fear of censure or retribution is the most important thing we can take from Rose's post today.

On a more concilatory note, I wish Rose would follow her heart's desire and go into Medicine. If Iraq isn't a possibility, then why not the U.S.? We love Foreign Doctors here and there's certainly a lot of them. LOL.

9:59 PM  
Blogger mtnyogi said...

Rose,

As my response is also rather long, I posted it in three parts on my blog. It seems that your post talks about Iraq's past, present and future so I have made a response to each. I would be very pleased if you could find the time to read and respond to these.

Thank you for making the effort to reach out and communicate with us!

My blog site is: http://www.mtnyogi.blogspot.com (don't know how to make a link for this here...).

Trying link here.

3:41 PM  
Blogger Josie said...

mtnyogi,

I read your post "Iraq the Past." You said, "It is hard for most Americans (like me) to imagine that America has some vast evil hidden agenda... The reason is that the Americans that we know are generally good people."

But this isn't the most important reason, mtnyogi. It's that we know we are SELF-governing. Even if I know that a country's people are "good people" (I'm sure that they are!) if they are ruled by a wicked despot, then all the "good people" in the land aren't going to matter much, are they? Whereas as a US citizen, I not only see the "good people," but I see them getting elected to office! I VOTE, I sit in on the legislative debates, I see the law-making process first-hand.

4:41 PM  
Blogger susi from california said...

Rose -

A couple of things - you must take the time to educate yourself regarding the Kuwait invasion. You have access to the internet and you should take the time to educate yourself regarding this matter. If you do the research you will notice that Iraq/Saddam invaded Kuwait because Kuwait was interested in lowering the price per barrel for oil while Iraq/Saddam could not afford the reduced price per barrel because Iraq/Saddam owes LOTS AND LOTS of money to Saudi Arabia for the Iran/Iraq war. Yes if you take the time to educate yourself you will notice that basically Iraq is a bankrupt country.

The estimated oil revenue is not nearly enough to service Iraq's debt!! This affects your future and your daughter's future because you & her will be paying the debts of Saddam. Check out the UN website for information regarding this. With any luck at all - maybe just maybe some of the countries will forgive SOME of the debt.

If you did some research on your own regarding the Kuwait War you will have the cold hard facts in front of you and will better able to make wise decisions regarding your future. Otherwise if you are making decisions based on rumors and conspiracy theories, you might be doing yourself a big deservice.

5:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mister Ghost,
I am a Muslim Iraqi living in Baghdad and I would like to make some comments on yours.

The terrorists who attacked American civilians in 9/11 are no more related to Islam than the American soldiers who abused Iraqi prisoners are related to the American people. If they say, or think that, they are Muslims that does not necessarily mean that they truly are. Please don’t judge a majority because of the acts of a minority, we have learned this the hard way and I hope that you do too.

In most of your comments you sounded so sure of your statements, that it looks pointless to argue them even though I doubt the correctness of many.

It is well known that Iraq holds the worlds second largest oil reserve after Saudi Arabia. We know that the US did not come to Iraq to steal the oil or to get cheap prices. But one of the main reasons have been to guarantee that Iraq be on the US side and not against it and to make sure that something like the stopping of oil export to the US in the 70s never happen.
Many Iraqis have different believes as to why did the US come to Iraq. But I think that none of them think that they came for the sole purpose of freeing Iraqis and removing Saddam.

Invading Kuwait is not to be justified in any way and it is a black spot in the history of Iraq. But there is a widely spread theory that the US new about this invasion before it happened and implicitly gave the green light to Saddam. Regardless of what I or Rose think about that, this is a widely spread theory here and it had an affect of what many Iraqis think of the US policies and intentions.

Iraqis are very fond of the ‘conspiracy theory’ and this affects most of their reasoning.

As for the sanction, do you really think that if the US had wanted to end the sanction, the UN would have stopped it?

The subject of Israel is very sensitive to Iraqis and Arabs in General, but please take the time to review the UN’s history with Israel and what the world have done to force Israel to obey the UN’s decisions and what they have done with Iraq on the other hand.
Dear Mr. Ghost, there are generations of Iraqis who are raised to hate Israel, and the Israelis are doing nothing to help in change this. We hate Israelis and not Jews, please note the difference.

If there really was someone called Abu-Mos’ab Al-Zarkawi, who is Al-Qaida leader in Iraq, then as the news says he is not Iraqi and most, if not all, the suicide bombers are non-Iraqis. Al-Sadir on the other hand is a big problem and it looks like he is a puppy being controlled by Iran. I can imagine what you would say now ‘why do we Iraqis keep blaming others and refuse to take responsibility’ believe me, we are trying and many Iraqis are dying in doing so.
The majority of Iraqis are simple, poorly educated people who can easily be manipulated in doing many thing (unfortunately) using the name of Islam.

I have been in Kurdistan lately, and I did not see a single American soldier. Perhaps that is why Kurdistan is so stable!

I don’t think that rose would mind leaving Iraq in those circumstances to any other country, let alone the US. But try to ask your government if it will give Visas to Iraqis? Perhaps you don’t know this but the US like most countries in the world now, don’t give Visas to Iraqis. We are trapped here and given what we are going through, I don’t think that anyone not living here has the right to judge us.

Dear Mr. Ghost, excuse me if I sounded too aggressive, but in the past two days, two cars exploded in my neighborhood and yesterday I missed a road bomb by few minutes. This is the life we are living through and it certainly has an affect on our attitude. Being calm and subjective is something we cannot always afford.

Ghostbuster

10:39 PM  
Blogger susi from california said...

Ghostbuster -

I believe that the reason Kurdistan is a relatively stable portion of the country is that they are 12 years ahead of Baghdad & rest of Iraq. Under the US/UK protection they have been free of Saddam's rule and have had the freedom to build their infrastructure & military/police force.

I liked your post and am truly sorry for you and your family regarding the current security conditions of your country.

9:38 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:39 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

The Kurdish region is more peaceful because of lesser US military presence? Um, no.

As was earlier commented, the Kurds, with American help and protection through the 90s, were already years advanced with the systemss that we hope take hold in the rest of Iraq. Insurgents don't have a footing with the Kurds, who are much better equipped to take care of themselves.

As I pointed out in my response to Rose's Sept 18 entry, US global military presence is based on EXIGENT security needs, not a 19th century imperialist-colonial land-grab strategy. Largely due to the evolution of the global economy, and changed cost-benefit considerations, US security strategy in the 21st century is collectively and cooperatively focused. More regional in a global context than local.

Our military, simply, is concentrated where security is needed.

Back in Jan-Feb, I looked at one of the more telling graphics about the mission, a (CNN?) map whereon US troop presence was highlighted. There was minimal troop presence in the Kurdish north and, surprisingly, the Shia south, where most of the non-American coalition troops are based (large Korean contingent with the Kurds, excepted). American troops were mostly in the so-called 'Sunni Triangle'. Of course, this was around the time the terrorists stated their intent to foment a sectarian civil war in Iraq, and al-Sadr subsequently tried to stomp his way to revolutionary power.

Our security forces in Iraq are positioned where they're needed. Now, our people need to do a better job of providing that security, but so do the Iraqi forces. And that's the point, right? There is a common enemy in play here.

I understand anti-American propaganda is wide and thick, and years invested in people's minds. There's a reason for that. To blame Americans as the cause of the violence is a designed strategy of the enemy. It's a dangerous thing to lose sight of the enemy's goals for Iraq, their capabilities and commitment, and their favored (assymetrical, soft-target focused) methods to achieve those goals.

2:53 PM  
Blogger Josie said...

Excellent post, Eric. Thank you.

7:23 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Thank you, Josie.

Anyway, to get us back on track of why I hoped Rose would expand on her views . . .

The main themes seem to be Security and Mistrust.

Security. From Rose, THE priority issue at this time for Iraqis boils down to security and stability. Economic, political and social reforms, hopes and dreams, and trust - worth saying twice - TRUST in both the interim Iraqi government and Iraq's allies inevitably comes back to the security area.

EVERYTHING the globalised (ie, not just American) community wishes to accomplish in Iraq with those as-yet unspent billions of dollars of aid requires a foundation of security, stability and control.

Everything the terrorists and insurgents want to accomplish in Iraq requires the destruction of that same foundation of security, stability and control.

We are the builders in Iraq. Our enemies in Iraq are the destroyers. Unfortunately, it is far easier and cheaper to destroy than it is to build. In that way, our globalised powers and the terrorists' powers are evenly matched. Who can break that tie? The answer lies with the Iraqi people, but I digress . . .

The second issue is, which we have been discussing, is Iraqi mistrust of American intentions. I can understand that mistrust. After all, Americans know why from our own history (Vietnam War phobia) and from the globalised perspective (Bush didn't want to alienate our allies) the US-led coalition stopped the war prematurely in 1991. Most Iraqis don't understand why Saddam was left in power, and it is Iraqis who suffered for that mistake - not us. I hope I have addressed Rose's concerns about US intent in Iraq with both Tom Barnett's (FYI, a Democrat) and President Bush Jr's explication of our 'liberal' strategy.

I will take issue with Rose's idea that "somehow" innocent Iraqis have been killed, as though it was an accident. The fact is, innocent Iraqis, in addition to non-Iraqi civilian nation-builders, ARE the targets. In addition, the terrorists and insurgents' tactics are designed to force Iraqi and coalition forces to inflict undesired casualties among civilians. That's by design. I used to be intel as a soldier, and part of my job was to study guerilla warfare (specifically, north Korean version). So, nothing I see on the news about the latest terrorist attacks surprises me.

Here's a tip. Look up Carlos Marighela's guerilla strategy. It will seem familiar to the people experiencing violence in Iraq. According to Marighela's strategy, guerilla-caused death and destruction among the populace is central, and is accompanied by a propaganda campaign so that the people will blame their guerilla-caused suffering on the government.

Ultimately, the goal is for the government to be rendered popularly ineffective to the point the guerilla force can take power and implement their own preferred system. Therefore, it is vitally important for Iraqis not to lose sight that the enemy's end-state goal is not merely defeat of the US. The enemy's end-state goal is to isolate Iraq from allies and the globalised nation-builders, so they can take control of Iraq's future.

It's a race, a contest for Iraq's future wherein Iraqis like Rose will need to choose a side, and thereby choose their future. We Americans can only help, like we helped the South Koreans, if people like Rose can help us to help them.

9:13 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Sorry, folks. New blogger, and I didn't know what the trash-can meant, so I clicked on it and accidently deleted this post ->

As an American, I would be very reluctant to accept a US mission, especially one involving billions of our tax dollars, great uncertainty and risks, reliance on another (Iraqi) people, and the lives (dead and wounded) of our finest men and women, if it lacked a national interest.

So, what is the US self-interest in Iraq?

As I said, oil is an implicit issue in the Middle East, but controlling OPEC doesn't make sense. First, the US, and the world, has proven it can get by with a minimum of Iraqi oil, which speaks to potential Iraqi influence in OPEC. Second, Iraq would only be one member of a diverse many (11, 12, something like that) in OPEC, some of whom are politically friendly to the US; some aren't. Remember, OPEC is a business organization; they want to sell oil (eg, Iran has to pay for those nukes somehow), and we want to buy. Heck, we don't even necessarily need to buy our oil from the Middle East, or indeed OPEC, if the cost didn't fit right. OPEC's oil embargo in the 70s was conducted as a business measure (raising prices), not ideological or military. Since the 70s, the US business relationship with OPEC has maintained relatively smoothly because of reforms from the 70s embargo, and mutual BUSINESS self-interests.

With a government friendly to the US in Iraq, I still would be hard-pressed to envision an Iraq defying its own economic self-interests as an oil producer within OPEC, especially given that the current supply-demand global oil trade is smoothly conducted. Also, it's expressly in the American national interest, reflected in our billions dollars of Marshall Plan-esque investment for Iraq, and indeed, our historic nation-building tradition, that Iraq becomes economically viable AND regionally influential.

Think of it this way. If in the US self-interest, we helped build (former enemies) Japan and Germany to an economic status rivalling that of the US itself, what then is the rationale for impeding Iraq's economic growth, if we want Iraq's role to be equally influential in its region?

Bottom-line. We don't need Iraq to protect our business interests, we can do that for ourselves. But Iraq's role can be applied to a greater security and stability model in the region. Yes, democracy and globalisation is a security and stability model.

So we return to the question: what is the American self-interest in Iraq? Read Dr. Thomas Barnett's article and President Bush Jr's Air Force Academy speech. For those of you who speak poli-sci, Bush Jr is conducting the global war on terror and pursuing American self-interest in Iraq from a 'liberal' perspective (think Wilson, FDR and JFK), as opposed to a 'realist' or 'cultural constructivist' rationale.

'Conspiracy Theory'. I agree it is dismaying to read some of Rose's characterizations of US intent in Iraq, which makes me more grateful for her sincerity in providing her views. This is where we must remember Rose and the Iraqi people are our partners in this historic endeavor, and that we know already that Rose is a good person.

Keep in mind, if this mission was easy, America wouldn't be needed to do the job. As much as any other factor, Rose's views must be included with the conditions we face and must resolve. The future of Iraq lies in Rose and people like her, and our help and commitment to their success.

That said, should Americans respond to Rose's comments unhappily and disagree with them? YES! That's communication. If we (or at least I) ask for Rose to put her mind and heart on the table, so must we. As we Americans need to understand Rose's perspective, Rose needs to learn and understand our American perspective. Ultimately, we both need to change in this relationship so we can do the job.

Do I agree with Rose's 'conspirary theory' characterizations? Well, I'll put it this way. We Americans are often accused of not understanding other nations. I would say many people around the world, including Rose, often don't understand our nation, our position, and why we do what we do. Heck, Americans don't always understand why we do what we do.

The one criticism where I agree with Rose is that the US, under President Bush the elder, made an egregious error by not ousting Saddam in 1991. What if, in 1944, FDR called a halt to combat operations and decided to negotiate a 'peace' with Hitler and Hirohito? We are guilty of allowing Saddam to stay in power in 1991, when many Iraqis were ready for regime change. Bush did so for politically prudent, 'peaceful' reasons, but he made a mistake. Much unnecessary suffering resulted due to that short-sighted decision NOT to carry Desert Storm through to its logical conclusion.

By 1998, when Clinton effectively declared the UN/US mission a failure, the question was not 'if' we would oust Saddam and his sons, but 'when' and 'how'. Yet, the US goes to war with great difficulty, despite our global responsibilities. The fact is, a decade-and-counting later, solving the Saddam problem was going to be painful for all involved, regardless.

For years, the decision has been whether our generation would do the painful, hard job in Iraq or if we would pass that job, as it grew harder, to our children and their children . . . and Rose's children and her grandchildren.

9:23 PM  
Blogger Faisal ... said...

Rose I think you have got the point. When you say that there were no links between Iraq and Al-Qaida, most people here forgot about any chronological order. If Al-Qaida is present in Iraq now does not mean that Sadam was linked to them. Terrorism and fight against terrorism cause hatred separately. It's true that hatred against the west was their before Bush's fight against terror but many of us forgets why (or prefers to). For many years (and still) America has been sponsoring, indirectly, the killings of innocent palestinian people (and because of this many innocent israellis as well). America turned a blind eye on the Weapons of Mass Destruction that Israel has and vetos any resolution that can protect more lives overthere.

This puts in question why America is two-sided (or multi). America itself has a military base in the Indian Ocean where the people where forced to leave their home. Guess what happened to their pets, well they were gased. You may check this here if you wish:
http://www.coraltools.com/~jillianbain/home.htm

12:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am an immigrant to the US from an asian country. I came to US when I was 21 and have been living in the US for the last 17 years. Until a few years back, i was always suspicious of US motives.

Slowly I have come to realize that US is very different from past super powers. For people who think US is in Iraq for oil, one just has to calculate the money US govt spents in Iraq every day it is in Iraq, and how much it would gain from any contracts.

That does not mean US does not have a slef-interest. It does. But the self-interest is to help make Iraq a rich, friendly democracy in the middle-east with the hope that this will spread to other countries in the area.

For a similar reason US was in Vietnam, where it sacrificed tens of thousands of its soldiers. There was NO oil in Vietnam. At that time, US was trying to fight the spread of communism. To understand the importance of fighting the spread of communism one can just read about the number of people Stalin or Mao killed.

Which other country, after defeating its enemy (Japan and Germany in world war II), helped build those countries, to achieve long term peace. That has really worked well as Japan and Germany are model countries today. (Same was not the case after world war I, when defeated Germany went on to becoming an agressor).

Most Americans are too nice to brag about America.

As someone who used to be also suspicious of everything America did, I can not not help myself now, to point out these things.

The above does not mean that American actions have not negatively affected others. It has. But often, doing nothing would have been worse. (Also, there have been
mistakes too.) Take the US involvement in Afghanisthan for example. There is a very high chance that if the US had not intervened there, there would be communist governments all over South asia.

Finally, to sum up, US always does things for its self-interest; but this self-interest is a long term kind, whose tenet is: ``trade with free, democratic countries and people is of the best for Americans''. This happens to be good for the world as well.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

In response to Faisal . . .

It is interesting that you wish to promote Rose's mistrust when trust between Iraqis and Americans is necessary for this endeavor to succeed.

As an American, I won't apologise for US support of Israel. Supporting Israel as we have for decades is the right thing, and a commitment we have kept. That relationship should encourage Iraqis as far as what American friendship is worth. I really have in mind South Korea when I speak of American friendship, but of course, I served in Korea so I'm biased.

I understand the Israel-Palestine issue is a flash-point, but I will say two things to consider.

One, the US has worked as hard as, harder, than any mediator over the decades to bring peace to the conflict. We support Israel, true, but we do not side against the Palestinians. In the 1990s, we came VERY close to a peace agreement, but it broke. Sad to say, there are bad people who feed on that conflict and they would starve if a peace was made with Israel. There are people - maybe the same people - who would not allow the new Iraq to succeed for similar reasons.

Two, I would encourage you to study the history so you know the roots of the conflict. I will not say Israel is blameless, that wouldn't be true, but Palestinian suffering has been as much the fault of neighboring Arab nations.

For years, we have seen cycles of the peace process in our news; I don't know if you have seen it in your news. As Americans, we've become wearily accustomed to promising peace initiatives in the Israel-Palestine conflict, only to watch them sabotaged by assassinations and suicide bombings. Again, there are bad people who fight any peace between Israel and Palestine in order to serve their own corrupt ends.

On a side-note, I haven't heard of any compelling US pressure on Iraq to support Israel. I do believe Iraqi mediation would greatly help the peace process and thereby benefit the region.

President Bush Jr on Israel-Palestine:

"And we're working toward the goal of a Palestinian state living side by side with Israel in peace. Prime Minister Sharon's plan to remove all settlements from Gaza and several from the West Bank is a courageous step toward peace. His decision provides an historic moment of opportunity to begin building a future Palestinian state. This initiative can stimulate progress toward peace by setting the parties back on the road map, the most reliable guide to ending the occupation that began in 1967. This success will require reform-minded Palestinians to step forward and lead and meet their road map obligations. And the United States of America stands ready to help those dedicated to peace, those willing to fight violence, find a new state so we can realize peace in the greater Middle East."

As far as Saddam's place, we know he long has been a state-sponsor of terrorism in and outside of Iraq, we know about the WMD use and intent, we know there were contacts with al Qaeda (although our intel says they were ultimately fruitless), and Russian intel warned US intel after 9/11 of Saddam's plans for using his own assymetrical means to attack the US. We know al Qaeda used the 90s UN/US disarmament->sanctions->containment mission in Iraq as the lynchpin of their call to jihad. In short, we know Saddam was a very bad guy who caused many problems for many people, including terrorism. Saddam was a problem that needed to be solved.

We also knew, even before 9/11, that America's three choices regarding Iraq were, A. Continue indefinitely and head-lining the corrupted, provocative, harmful and failed sanctions and 'containment' UN/US mission. - B. End the mission and release Saddam from constraint, in power and victorious. - or C. Give Saddam a final chance, and if he triggered the final enforcement step, move ahead with regime change and nation-building.

Faisal, if you want historical reminders, here's one. Before we took down Saddam, he was given a final chance via Resolution 1441 to fulfill the conditions of the 1991 cease-fire and the subsequent UN resolutions. It was never the UN or the US's responsibility to prove Saddam still held WMD; it was Saddam's responsibility to prove his compliance or face "serious consequences". He could have done so in 91-92, let alone 02-03. By Dec 1998, Clinton was forced to declare Saddam had failed his final chance. Yet, in 2002, we gave Saddam a post-final chance to comply. He failed to fulfill his obligation again. In consequence, we completed the regime change we cut short in 1991, when we foolishly trusted that Saddam would comply with the conditions of his surrender.

8:08 PM  
Blogger susi from california said...

Eric -

You're right in that Israel and Palenstine were VERY close to a peace deal vis a vie Oslo Peace Accords. Unfortunately, Arafat could not & does not want to have peace with Israel. And why should he, he and his organization receive millions in aid. If you look up Arafat's estimated net worth its about $300 Million. His wife and daughter live very nicely in Paris all the while Arafat wants young men (kids really) to blow themselves up to become martyrs. Hmmm.... a little ironic don't you think.

What Rose and family should be interested in is where is the $2 Billion that Saddam had. That should go to the Iraqi people if found. I hope Saddam's family in Jordan don't have access to that money.

9:30 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Susi,

The most frustrating part is how much international economic development aid was there, prepared and ready to invest in the Palestinians. But the Palestinian Authority, really Arafat, was unwilling to provide the necessary legal and structural reforms to facilitate that investment, because of the effect on his position. If the PA had worked correctly, the economic aid would have made a huge difference towards Israeli-Palestinian cooperation with untold ripple effects in the region.

Unfortunately, the terrorists learned from the failure of the Oslo Accords the great value to their goals of sabotaging the peace-building process. By the ferocity with which they're attacking the infrastructure, nation-builders and the people of Iraq, the terrorists are clearly applying that lesson in Iraq.

10:53 PM  
Blogger Dee said...

Hi Rose...

I want you to know that I am praying for you and your family. There is no way that I can understand what you and your family are going through. I have been reading many blogs from Iraqi people and I don't understand why some of them refer to the USA as if "we the people" sent our troops over in Iraq. Yes, we are a democracy, but we have no control over what our government does. We just elect them into office, (btw I didn't vote for george w!), and by chance got an idiot for president. I am against war and against the war in Iraq, though as I hear about people talking about their new "freedoms", I start to understand why we went in there. I do think we should have waited for NATO, before going in. The US Military has helped many people. They have no choice to go serve in Iraq. Can you imagine going over seas and being away from your family for over a year??? That can be hard on the soldiers, and no one wants to die. Its hard to be overly friendly when you have people who want to kill you.

My problem isn't the people in Iraq, I just think the mindsets of people needs to change. People are always wanting to blame someone for their troubles. And if 1 person says its the USAs fault, then they all join in.

I seriously don't understand why many people in Iraq are so comfortable with death. I remember seeing images of Iraqi's celebrating after a US helicopter went down and killed the soldiers. It probably didn't happen as many times as it seemed on tv, but I don't understand how they can act that way when someone has just died. Well, I'm going to leave it at that, I already rambled on, and please excuse my poor grammar!

11:30 PM  
Blogger Faisal ... said...

To Eric

First of all, I am in no way trying to encourage the mistrust of Rose. The question I tried to answer was "Why the Hate against the West".

I have been following the peace process in Israel ever since I was a kid. The same President that encouraged the road map (to remove all settlement in the Palestinian Area) also agreed to change it to Sharon's Plan (only to remove some and keep the major one).

The closest point that the deal got to was 100% agreement on both sides (Yes). Unfortunately, Isaac Rabin, a great Prime Minister was then assassinated. The deal changed since then by the Prime Ministers who followed. It's true that the other Arab Nations are at fault as well but this conflict all started since 1920s because of the British.

As far as Sadam is concerned, I am by no mean his fan. However, there are some questions I keep asking: "Who Provided him with the weapons?", "Who encouraged him to use them?", "Who shook hand with him when he used them on the Kurds?", "That person in that American Administration, has he left or were there more scandals?".

Well Eric, I am not "Anti-American" or "Anti-West" because afterall we are all individuals. I have always believed in peace and not war. I wish peace on everyone.

2:24 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

Dee,

In the imperfect world in which we live, a United States that adopts a dogmatic war aversion hurts (or at least fails to help) as many, probably more, people than you think war aversion helps.

In the 90s, we helped many people with Desert Storm, but how many people did we hurt (or again, fail to help) by war aversion in the Gulf War, by ending the campaign prematurely and by subsequently using war-alternative methods to deal with Saddam? How many people were harmed because of our war-averse retreat from Somalia? How many people were harmed in Rwanda, where we failed to intervene entirely, because of our war aversion? How many people died in the Balkans during those years a war-averse US looked away, and then only stepped in with a bombing campaign? How did dogmatic war aversion help or hurt our nation in the 90s as we failed to react coherently to the terrorists' increasingly aggressive attacks? Today, how many people are dying in the Sudan every day in what Powell has unequivocally labelled "genocide" while the UN, again, balks at a military 'war' investment?

Dee, dogmatic war aversion is a luxury Americans could afford before 9/11 largely because of our success in previous wars, but we irresponsibly used up our war-earned security cushion. Now it's a different day, and we're paying the debt, the penance for our irresponsibility, with our soldiers' lives. When called upon, previous American generations made the compromise to accept harsh realities. From winning wars, they could and did wage peace. That's our choice today.

I highly recommend you read Tom Barnett's explanation. http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/published/esquire2004.htm

You make the flip-side of the same mistake of many pre-9/11 military planners who didn't want to fight terrorists or nation-build. They, and you, see war only in the context of war. That's no longer good enough, if indeed it ever was. To understand what we need to do, you need to see war "in the context of everything else", as Tom Barnett says. Winning the war is a foundational component of waging the peace.

As a liberal, I have my own beefs with President Bush Jr, but if you understand the goals, you'll see he's made many more right strategic decisions than wrong ones in the global war on terror, to include Operation Iraqi Freedom. GWB may be barely articulate at times, but he's certainly no idiot. In its historic intent, OpIF itself is fully invested with liberal belief.

For our soldiers on the ground where Rose is? It is extraordinarily tough for them, but that's their job. Their sacrifice is the historical investment needed for a "future worth creating" (again, Barnett-speak). Soldiers are ordinary people tasked to do the extraordinary. Dead is dead, and scarred is scarred, but it's why 'hero' and 'soldier' are near-synonymous in our history. Even as our heroes, Dee, they could still use all the support and help you can spare them for their work in Iraq.

We will only be able to fairly judge our soldiers' sacrifices in Iraq decades from now. I saw it happen 1st hand in Korea with 80-year-old Korean War vets who are Medal of Honor holders. Some were veterans who hated the mission then, but returning to Korea for the 1st time since the war, they cried as they looked upon the vibrant, free Korea of 2000 built from the Seoul they defended, and many of their friends died for, 50 years ago.

The moral and HARDER right is not to be anti-war or against the war in Iraq. The right thing to do is succeeding in helping the Iraqi people bring into reality what we promised and, more importantly, what we started. So they can build their "future worth creating" where all of us in the world, and more importantly, our children benefit.

2:06 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Faisal,

Yes, the Brits should have done a better job with the Balfour Declaration, but we've moved past that.

And, yes, there's blame to go around for why the (second) Intifada continues today. With the Oslo Accords, the deal essentially traded economic improvement and post-1967 land (to the Palestinians) for security with a long-term focus on coexisting, cooperative peace. Arafat and the PA failed the economic improvement (the worst offender, I feel), the Palestinians failed to end the terrorism and provide the security Israelis demanded, and Israel gave up a chunk but not all the land/settlements the Palestinians expected. The terrorists whose power is based on the conflict came out the winner.

As for Saddam, American Cold War and 'realist' strategy was that he serve as a secular counter-balance to extremist regimes. (Dee: this prior US support of Saddam was a war-alternative.) Saddam wasn't a puppet nor was he installed, but he did enjoy favorable economic and diplomatic relations because of who he was against. The base problem was serious, as it remains today, but the solution itself became increasingly problematic. (An analogy can be drawn to Pakistani support for the Taliban in Afghanistan, where the Taliban also became more problem than solution.) By the late 80s, however, the US was increasingly aware and concerned over Saddam's Stalin-esque propensity for excess; however, the status quo counter-balance 'realist' strategy remained in vogue. So, the US sought to rein in Saddam diplomatically. (Dee: more war-alternatives.) Obviously, that didn't work and Saddam decided to go into Kuwait for Round 2 of his dream to conquer the region, plus possibly a desperate bid to remedy his vast debts and bankrupt infrastructure. (The same debts we're trying to convince nations to forgive, and the same infrastructure we're trying to reform.) In the US, we've come to appreciate the inherent, variable dangers posed by 'failed states', like Saddam-led Iraq and Taliban-led Afghanistan.

In his speech I've cited, President George W. Bush explicitly rejects the old 'realist' strategy of Saddam as US security, the strategy you refered to, and institutes the 'liberal' strategy of institutional and systemic reform via democracy and globalisation. Of course, Iran remains a problem, but GWB has started the US on the course of better global solutions.

On point, what weapons DID the US provide Saddam? As far as I can tell, the vast majority of Iraq's weapons are of predominantly Soviet/Russian vintage, although he also had a smattering of weapons purchased from greater Europe and Asia, and probably the US, too. Saddam WAS a prolific arms purchaser, on which he spent the greater portion of his nation's budget, when he wasn't building himself palaces.

As for nuclear-biological-chemical weapons. Saddam did out-source nuclear scientific development and construction know-how from Europe - the French and I believe the Germans.

Chem I don't know about, but I don't imagine synthesizing something old-school like mustard gas or even a more sophisticated poison gas like VX requires a first-tier level of tech proficiency.

Iraq's bio weaponry is usually what the US gets panned for, and a mistake was made. However, the transaction was actually the government not disallowing a private bio-tech firm to sell to Iraq for medical research purposes. Unfortunately, someone in State didn't appreciate/anticipate Saddam's abuse of 'dual purpose' technologies. The germs sold from this bio-tech firm for Iraqi "medical research" - and my understanding is that Iraqi medical science was/is indeed of high quality (perhaps Rose can confirm) - were used instead for Iraqi weapons research and development.

Saddam's abuse of 'dual purpose' technologies also explains why the 90s sanctions were so stringent (eg, those controversial aluminum rods), and to layman's eyes, unduly harsh in scope. Saddam burned the US with 'dual purpose' tech once, and we tried our best to make sure we wouldn't be burned again. Even so, since returning to Iraq, proscribed 'pre-cursor' bio material has been found, which seems innocuous until we recall Saddam's history.

To sum, to counter one group of bad guys the US supported another group of less scary bad guys. The US dogmatically anti-war crowd might say this was a good idea because theoretically, doing so kept the US out of war, which to them is the ultimate wrong. To his credit, the current "idiot" (had to get that in, Dee) US president made the decision - and said as much - that 'realist' support of a tyrant for the sake of security was a mistake, and that the US was changing course to a 'liberal' security strategy.

On a final note, judging from the human price paid by regular Iraqis like Rose under the disarmament sanctions, I'll say that I don't believe 1980s trade between the US and Iraq was in and of itself wrong. Trade is beneficial and even contributes (vastly) to social goods. The Iraqi people should benefit from extended trade again once security and stability is established, and the necessary economic reforms take place.

Viewing Saddam as a more controllable, 'lesser evil' type of solution was a mistake. However, rather than blame the favorable trade status extended from the US to Iraq, I would argue the problem was Saddam, who abused that status, and who today, is fortunately no longer in power. ("A gift from Allah", to quote Muqtada al Sadr.)

3:25 PM  
Blogger Faisal ... said...

Eric

Thanks for your informative post but again you did not really get my point.

1) I never really gave my full support to the Palestinian Authority. Surely enough if someone stays in Power for so long, that person is most likely to become corrupted.

2) The parts that Israel recently agreed to give back to the Palestinians are infact lots of very small chunks rather than the main ones initially agreed in the 90s

3) Again, I am in no mean a fan of Sadam and will not make him a lesser evil

4) I never condemned any American-Iraqian trade done in the 90s

5) If really the American Administration were so good then why in the hell did Donald Rumsfield flew all the way to Iraq just to congratulate Sadam for his actions against the Kurds. Why is such a person still in the administration anyway?

6) Such a nice description of what Sadam had in the 90s. The very proof your are supporting has finally (truth prevails in the end) been dismissed by one of the very person who supported the war, Tony Blair:

"I can apologise for the information that we gave that has turned out subsequently to be wrong - although I maintain very strongly it was given in good faith and shared by other people."

This is enough to say that the war was infact illegal

7) As it was a good idea to remove Sadam, it still does not justify war against a whole country - Putting the people at risk, destroying its sovereignty and history. Your own general Tommy Frank said that All war leads to Chaos.

Anyway, what has been done has been done. We are individuals and the government is working for us (must not be the other way round). We are all made of flesh and blood and must not tear each other apart. We all have brain and must not think that we are superior than someone else. I wish the best for the Iraqis for a very prosperous and peaceful future. History is not over yet for Iraq (remember that you had the first universities in the world and first electrical battery as well). Many more to come.

2:32 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

Faisal,

As far as Israel's current unilateral (attempted) contribution to the peace process, what has the Palestinian side initiated or contributed in return, besides the second Intifada? I don't blame the Palestinian people. I blame a Palestinian leadership tasked with a historic responsibility, but is hopelessly corrupt (which might be okay if they could still effectively serve their appointed function), bound to the same terrorist organizations that feed on the conflict, and incapable of enforcing and delivering upon peace agreements. In short, the PA meets the standard of a 'failed state'. Israel has no one to deal with. The Israelis have a government that can deal for a peace, but the Palestinian people do not - and they deserve better.

FYI, I was talking about the US and Iraq in the 1980s before the Gulf War, while the US was still trying to deal with Saddam diplomatically, which is where your picture of Rumsfeld comes in. If you don't understand diplomacy, picture Madeline Albright in north Korea, in a much higher ranking capacity than Rumsfeld. In the 1990s, the Kurds flourished under US protection, and Rumsfeld wasn't working public-sector. I don't believe he worked in Bush the elder's admin either, as Saddam defied the US's diplomatic efforts to rein him in. It doesn't surprise me that some of the government officials most supportive of regime change in Iraq are also officials 'burned' (lied to, fooled) by Saddam in the past.

Is Operation Iraqi Freedom illegal? No, and Blair didn't say that. This isn't the US attacking, say, a Canada, or even an Iran. The circumstances in Iraq were different. Why? Because under the 1991 cease-fire and subsequent UN resolutions, the legal responsibility was on Saddam to prove he had complied to those conditions. In other words, Saddam was already established as guilty; it was his responsibility to prove his innocence, and he failed. The responsibility did not belong to the US or anyone else to prove Saddam held WMD.

What did the infamous and vilified case for war really lead to? Not war in actuality, but a return to a rigorous and originally intended disarmament enforcement regimen, as opposed to the indefinite 'containment' mission. In fact, many people overlook that Saddam was given the chance to avoid "serious consequences" in 2002-2003 by complying with the same long-standing conditions. If he had done so at the end, right or wrong, Saddam would be in power today. In effect, the 'law' the coalition went into Iraq to enforce was the same 'law' Saddam broke unto the very end.

Where is Iraq's WMD? Not where the intel said it was, obviously, but there's a reason UN teams are still scouring Iraq and, well, the world to make sure it really is gone. Because the standard has always been 100% assurance, which Saddam refused to provide.

The fact of Saddam's failure to comply in 2002-2003 isn't under debate. The current popular theory to explain Saddam's intransigence in the face of regime change is that he was delusional and really believed he owned the secret WMD stockpiles he was accused of having. That's sad, but like a Palestine or, say, a north Korea, you get a people unnecessarily suffering due to the belligerence and defiance of their leaders.

And, really, Faisal, where is your solution, other than amorphous talk of "peace"?

If you oppose the regime change and nation-building, then you support Option-A, indefinite continuation of the sanctions and 'containment' mission, or Option-B, pulling the mission with Saddam in power, victorious and unconstrained, perhaps free again to punish the Kurds whom you clearly care much about.

Practically speaking, since you claim the war is illegal, then by extension, you must believe Saddam, his sons, and their Baath Party legally should still be in control of Iraq and the Iraqi people. By your thinking, the world community should dedicate itself to restoring Saddam to power.

Think further. If you oppose US-led intervention, and you believe in a better post-Saddam future for Iraq (ie, not involving Uday and Qusay taking over for their father), where was it coming from? A limited war, sans regime change? Desert Storm. A popular uprising? Shia revolt. Limited protection? No-fly zones. The sanctions regimen? Oil-for-Food. Limited enforcement? 1998 bombing, Op Desert Fox. Funding of ex-patriot Iraqi dissidents? Policy since the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act.

It's all been tried, Faisal. Again, I see your blame for Iraq and Israel-Palestine. But where is your solution?

7:22 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

Faisal,

Also, when and where did the US congratulate Saddam for gassing the Kurds? I've seen the Rumsfeld picture, but I've never seen what you're saying.

7:30 AM  
Blogger Pat in NC said...

Rose, I am so glad to have found your blog. I have been hoping to find an Iraqi woman who was open to discussion. I am a senior citizen from the US and am very concerned for the status of the world. Having always lived in freedom, it is difficult to truly know
how to interpret the good will of the American people to those who have lived under tyrants. Iraq has so many good and intelligent people who are willing to write what they feel and see in their daily lives. Thus far it has been the Iraqi men and the youth who seem open to accept what average Americans think and feel. I am so happy that you now have the freedom of speech. The internet provides us opportunity to question each other and learn about views held. The Iraqi sense of family is one in common with what I have lived. I can understand the joy experienced when a child is born and the grief that occurs when a family member is lost from whatever the cause. I have seen tolerance for other Iraq
citizens whose ethnic and religious beliefs differ. I see a people who have a lot of hope for the future but have not yet developed trust. I can understand this because both of our governments and indeed those of the world have made many mistakes. What I hope for is continued dialogue so that our understanding and our common goals become more apparent to all of us. I know that your city is currently in a chaotic state and I fear for the innocents who nay be harmed. I see the courage of the Iraqis in continuing to join the security forces in Iraq despite the terrorists targeting and killing so many. I truly believe your leaders are trying their best under very difficult conditions. I also believe that the coalition forces are working to improve the situation in your country.
Keep on writing as you have. Try to have as open a mind as possible as we in America will be open to your thoughts and ideas. I pray for the Iraqi people-for their safety, for their hopes and for their ability to learn to trust those of us who are well intentioned.

8:14 AM  
Blogger Faisal ... said...

Eric

As you are trying to teach me what diplomacy is well I would like to know how much does the American Administration (especially the current one) knows about it. For nearly three decades this has been the routes (and will be) that the people of Diego Garcia has taken. Unfortunately you know what, your country would rather let them suffer. Anyway, that's a different issue.

As much as I do not support Israel, I did not say I supported the corrupted administration of the Palestinian Authority. However, you yourself has said that the Palestinian did not have a Government. Unfortunately I cannot see it happening because since when was Palestine a State. Palestine is still part of Israel.

Blair did say that they went to war for the wrong reason (said yesterday). It wasn't report from the UN inspectors that he refered to. Going to war for regime change, under the UN, is illegal.

It's amazing that the only solution to remove Sadam was to bombard the country and destroying it's sovereinty. It's also amazing how repeatedly I say that I am not a fan of Sadam that you come up with these theories that links me to him. Maybe because you think that denial is not a reason. Maybe that's what happened in Iraq afterall. This goes to the picture of Rumsfield as well really.

As far as I can say is that the life of every friend is important to me and will never sacrifice onne for the other. I'd rather sacrifice my own. Peace rather than war. Diplomacy rather than war.

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C'mon, if you've studied the situation as intensely as you say you have, then you know the Palestinian Authority was invested with the powers of government to work with Israel and the international community to process Palestine's sovereignty.

Do you want peace or not? You can't have it both ways, laying blame and then refusing the most basic, logical connection extending from your position. Case in point, if you hold forth the war in Iraq was illegal by your reasoning (more on that below), then you must support Saddam's regime as the rightful and legal government of Iraq. Again, you can't have it both ways if we're talking real world change.

The flaw in your argument is that you prioritize your dogmatic bias and disregard what fails your standard of blame. The strength of my argument is that I acknowledge mistakes; however, I believe in a greater priority. My intent is to identify where we've come from and why, the good as well as the mistakes, what is in front of us, where we want to go and how we can get there.

I'm not a Jew or Arab (not that Arabs can't be Jewish, too, and vice-versa), an Israeli or Palestinian. I'm an American and, therefore, my focus is on global solutions. If you want to solve the Saddam problem, rather than just blame someone for it, if you want to seek 'liberal' solutions in Iraq and the Middle East, this is how we're trying to get the job done - in the real world.

On point again Faisal, diplomacy was pursued in Iraq - extensively - along with all the other war-alternatives in the 1990s, even the 1980s. If Saddam had complied with the war-alternative measures, he would still be in power today. In fact, diplomacy is still strongly in play today in Iraq along with security, structural, social, political, and economic aid. Personally, based on the attempts already made, I'm dubious diplomatic means can work against the terrorists, of the type in Fallujah, Saddam loyalists and would-be revolutionaries like al Sadr. But we try.

Again on Rumsfeld. No doubt we made mistakes in dealing with Saddam, as the current US president acknowledges, but there is no evidence the US government actively supported Saddam's WMD acquisition, other than the slip-up of allowing dual purpose (actually, the right term is "dual use") purchases. There IS ample evidence that while Reagan indeed provided limited means of 'realist' support (in fact, as did many Gulf nations) for Iraq's opposition to Iran, the US also practiced active policy and diplomacy (now remember, Faisal, YOU advocate "diplomacy" in place of military action) via State and the UN to discourage Saddam's chemical warfare and WMD acquisition. This opposition to Iraqi WMD includes Dec 1983, when Rumsfeld was sent to Iraq as a 'special envoy' to practice - once again, what you advocate - diplomacy.

Were the 1980s US policies towards Iraq a conflictive balancing act of interests, perhaps doomed from the start? I won't deny that.

As a clarification, the question of the legality of OpIF can be pursued in two directions.

The first is the contravention of UN procedure, which was the premise of Annan's recent characterization, not the actual case against Saddam. From the US-led coalition's POV, over decades of precedent, US-led and other coalitions have been the actual enforcer of the UN's larger 'grand jury' decisions, including the Iraq mission (eg, no-fly zone was 'unilaterally' imposed). Furthermore, Rez 1441 empowered enforcement within a specified time-frame if Saddam again failed to meet the long-standing conditions. Nations, like France, claiming OpIF's illegality, argue that despite Saddam's failure to meet the set-conditions - which he did - within the specified time-frame, the US-led coalition should not have pursued actual enforcement sans explicit UNSC authorization. Buried in a biased history, too, is the fact that the disagreement over Rez 1441 was NOT about war/no-war; the disagreement was over the time-length to be allowed for extending this Nth round of inspections.

Side-note. Other than the Saddam-is-crazy argument, it is quite possible Saddam believed that with French, Russian and German support, he could weather this round of international enforcement without compliance, as he had done many times in the past decade. In effect, the prolonged inspections process, as a viable war-alternative, was already undermined by anti-war factions.

Now, Faisal, the second, and your, argument for the illegality of the war is popular but it fails inspection (pun intended). Your position presumes Saddam's innocence, whereas by 1991-1992, let alone 2002-2003, Saddam was proven and universally recognized as guilty. Saddam only reinforced his guilt throughout the 1990s, which is tragic because he was given an avenue to peace. Saddam's 'innocence' could have been established at any time in accordance with the conditions spelled out in the 1991 cease-fire and subsequent UN resolutions. But he decided to play his game with the international community.

And why not? Saddam used people like you, who opposed effective enforcement of the resolutions . . . you know, even if you didn't support him.

To sum, Faisal, IF Operation Iraqi Freedom is illegal, it's not because of your reason ('wrong' evidence in 2002), it is illegal only within the realm of UN procedure. As a further expansion of that point, the post-Saddam Iraqi government and nation-building mission have been internationally recognized and sanctioned. If the war was illegal by your reasoning, Saddam should still be in legal control of Iraq, and any post-Saddam efforts should be outlawed. But, since Saddam was already guilty, the enforcement itself was legal, although the path taken to that point continues to be hotly debated.

So, Faisal, I'm saying you can still claim Operation Iraqi Freedom is illegal. Just make sure you get your reasons right.

Last point. If you reject war as a means towards building peace, then as I said to Dee, you deny what has historically been a foundational component of peace-building, at least in the most difficult situations.

If you must place your blame on someone for on-going chaos in Iraq, I ask you to use this criteria. In Iraq today, who seeks to build, and help build, a democratic and globalised future for Iraq? Who seeks to undermine and ruin that future? From there, that should help you better focus your 'blame' efforts, if your goal is truly a better future for the Iraqi people.

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offers or buyers

These days trade business much easier since internet development.
On net, we can find well made trade portal site.
In fact, those cool sites help your trade business.
How many countries? what kinds of products?
Yes, we can not count.
Around the world, someone looking for your products, and a company
want to import your goods.
Trade portal site become huge marketplace so it called "emarketplace."
How many emarketplace do you know.
Which emarketplace do you recommend.
I am proudly tell you the emarketplace "Buykorea.org"
You may not buy korea, but you can buy and sell what you want.
Buykorea.org trade service managed by kotra(un profit trade agency)
Your marketing budget will be save and business increased.
Check what do you want to know about
directory international lead trade.

7:05 PM  

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