Syrian’s View on the “Liberation” of Iraq
“الديمقراطية في العلاقات بين الدول و الأمم هي المحرك الذي يولد الديمقراطية بين مواطني الأمم و حكوماتهم.”
أو بالأحرى: “لا ديمقراطية في العلاقات بين حكومات الأمم و شعوبها حتى تتحقق ديمقراطية في العلاقات بين الدول والأمم مع بعضها البعض.”
وجهة نظر سورية في موضوع “تحرير” العراق!!
By Riad Matqualoon
From Damascus, Syria
Yes, it is great that Saddam is removed, but the way by which he was removed is not acceptable at all by any mean or by any logic, not to be removed by invading forces whoever, whatever these forces are even if they were led by “divine heavenly angels.” It is not acceptable at all from both theoretical and practical point of view; invasion is invasion and it cannot be labeled “liberation” whatever sugar one may use to sweeten it up and make it seem palatable.
Let us imagine this case, if there are some indications that some parents are abusing their children, does anybody have the right to interfere and take these children for adoption? No one has the right to overthrow these parents unless a legal authorized institution, acknowledged by a community, gives such right otherwise no one would feel safe about his/her children with the fear that somebody may take your children by force under whatever pretexts may have. Only in American cowboy movies, it is acceptable when the hero disregards the “law” or the “collusive sheriff” and follows his “good instincts” to achieve the good in his town, but the world is not his town and unfortunately perhaps, we are not living in a cowboy movie. I wonder what happened to these “good instincts” when genocides were committed in unprivileged-Oil country like Rwanda for example??
All my life I have been against Saddam and his regime, I detested him heartedly; I vehemently stood against his regime, his rhetoric his way of thinking, his shortsightedness, and above all his bloody fist on his people. However, I will never support toppling him by any outsiders whoever they are, because I do believe that nobody has this right except the Iraqi peoples themselves and nobody else. If it happened by some other’s hands it gives unprecedented mean to subvert some other sovereignty and independence of other states for this reason or another which is absolutely unacceptable.
Saddam’s regime was a second permanent curse in our region after Israel, but overthrowing him by aggressive invasion is a disaster, which threatens stability in the region and takes back the whole region into the past dark half a century when people had to fight for their independence from foreign military forces and then to fight for their freedom from the national military forces that helped in achieving the independence: obviously, this is a vicious circle that should be broken once and for all.
Yes, now Iraqis are free from a bloody dictatorship, but now they are trapped by the most atrocious outcome of occupation and what such occupation generates in the society like falling into what Arab intellectuals have been struggling against for more than half a century, which are religious sectarianism, local and tribal allegiance instead of nationalism and secularism. But resorting to such mechanisms represents a kind of legitimate resistance and self-protection of identity and existence from a foreign control and a foreign hegemony; these mechanisms subvert building a society on secular and civilian bases, which are crucial in achieving a national democratic regime.
After we, the people of this region, achieved independence, from France and Britain, we were fighting for democracy and a civil society, a society that could be ruled by civilian governments not by military, but implanting Israel, which since it was founded waged wars after wars against all its surroundings in the region created permanent threats and instability. These threats have necessitated military governments in the whole region. Obviously, to be controlled and ruled by national military “boots,” though it is most regrettable and detestable yet it is much better than being controlled and oppressed by foreign occupying forces, at least they are national, definitely they are much better choice than to be ruled by outsiders as the Palestinians are ruled and oppressed by the Israelis.
This invasion of Iraq has generated new threats beyond imagination; I, for example, cannot now ask my government to set a civilian regime a regime not run by military figures because I will not accept to be ruled by Israeli or American forces, not under any pretext. Now I cannot ask my government to allocate larger budgets for the national educational system and national health care because the safety and security of my country from outsider invasion is more vitally crucial priority for us now.
I do not want to lose my national identity, freedom, and I do not want to be controlled by foreigners those who are not from my country and I do not want to be controlled by anyone who is ruling in the name of somebody else, my enemy in particular: Israel is my enemy, our enemy and its very existence in our region is the most aggressive act committed against us ever. Every time Israel kills any of the Palestinian people, demolishes their homes, imprisons them, impoverishes them, confiscates their lands to build Israeli settlements, I am assured that Israel is my enemy and the enemy of my country and surely everybody, anybody that supports, unconditionally, this enemy, vetoes hundreds of times on behalf of this enemy is logically not my friend and I should not accept their troops on our territories and should not believe their lies about “liberating” us or some of us.
If you do really care about us why do not you help in solving the essence of all the problems that we are suffering from? The problems that made us have no choice but to be ruled by military regimes, instead of sending your forces to change our regimes whatever they are, why do not you be morally consistent to yourselves and to your “high values” and send your troops to help the Palestinians who are tragically suffering from the most pernicious racist tyranny regime ever exists on earth???
Does America want to create democracy in Iraq?
Now everyday Iraqis protest against American presence in Iraq and their motto is this “No for America, no for Saddam, yes, yes for Islam”
This in fact does not please us, the intellectuals in the Arab world; the majority of Arab intellectuals stand against any theocratic regime exactly as they stand against military regimes, but the invasion has given vitamins to both and the public opinions of the majority of the Arabs now stand with those that stand against America…why against America? Because America stands against them when it stands by Israel!!
If I borrowed all the naivety of the world I would not be able to believe that America invaded Iraq to achieve democracy there; I would not forget that America invaded Iraq under the pretext of disarming Iraq of weapons of mass destruction that they have not found any trace of up to this moment; I would not forget that American troops did not pay attention to anything except to everything related to Oil and oil-industry; America has never achieved democracy in any country of this world when it interfered in its affairs (remember what America did in Chile, Algeria, how America supported the despotic regime in Iran before the Islamic revolution,…and how America subverted democracy everywhere in this world.) On the contrary, America has supported the states that have nothing to do with democracy as long as these states are its allies or allies to one of its allies; for example the most friendly Arabs states to America are the states of the Gulf (like Saudi Arabia, Qatar..etc.) and some other conservative medievalist states, these states bred those who operated September 11th, why? Because these people had no other democratic choice to mark their resistance to American hegemony over their countries, besides of course to mark their condemnation of American double standards against Arabs issues, except by committing the most unjustifiable and horrible action of September 11th attacks.
If we accept the logic of “the good cowboy” who follows his “good instincts” to achieve “justice” as he sees it, if we accept violating the international law and imposing what one’s thinks is “the law,” then we are heading to an absolute chaos; the logic of waging a war on Iraq without legitimate authorization and under whatever pretexts is exactly like the logic by which those who operated the most repulsive heinous crime of September the 11th, yet there are some differences that should be considered in such comparison: those who committed the horrible acts of 9/11were small group of outlaws, not a super power state that supposedly has the duty of being the example of fulfilling and respecting the international law, those terrorists who thought that by committing such horrible wrong they could correct something horrible like occupying the Arab Peninsula by Americans and correcting the double standards that America keeps operating between the Arabs and the Israelis, but that, and despite the fact that these acts are the most heinous they were reaction and not an action. Two wrongs never do anything right.
I will not be naïve and think that America wants to achieve democracy in any Arab state: simply, if 300 million Arabs were ruled by a democratic governments, believe me, 22 Arab countries would have fought against American invasion of Iraq; believe me America does not want democracy to be achieved in Iraq because if Democracy has been achieved in Iraq whose 60% of its people is Shiite Moslem, Iraqis would be allies to Iran not to America which means that such democratic state would be pro Iran which is one of America’s number one enemies.
Now, two of Iraqi’s mechanisms, similar to those of the Palestinians’, in resisting American occupation are the religious-sectarian and the tribal-clannish spirits, both of which have hindered achieving a progressive opened society socially, economically, and politically. Unfortunately, these two mechanisms are the only hopes to kick the Americans troops out of Iraq now.
Yes, sir, we want democracy to prevail in our countries but not the democracy of Tomahawks missiles, of Apache, F16 and Moab smart bombs…etc, we want democracy as a result of our society development and its own evolution not as a result of outsider forces by invaders dictating “democracy” on their terms; we want it by our own hands, by our blood because it is supposed to be for the advantage of our national interests not for the interests of anybody else on this earth!!
Yes, sir, we want democracy but not the one that has killed and mutilated thousands of our children and our beloved ones.
After all we should remember this: democracy among nations or among states generates democracy among citizens and their governments within each state and vice versa.
By Riad Matqualoon
“الديمقراطية في العلاقات بين الدول و الأمم هي المحرك الذي يولد الديمقراطية بين موطني الأمم و حكوماتهم.” رياض متقلون في مقالة كتبها في نيسان 2003 أبان احتلال العراق ونشرها موقع : Middleeastinfo.org