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As America Sinks Into the Mud, Iraq's Neighbors Breathe a Sigh
Writing from London, the writer explains that Iraq's neighbors, either actively or passively, have been working against the Americans due to the heavy-handed way in which Washington has gone about its experiment in democracy in Baghdad.
By Salah Al-Qallab
Edited By Rob Gibran
July 7, 2005
Article (Arabic) provided
The Americans, and some Iraqis, have accused
Iraq’s neighbors of interfering in its internal affairs
and of looking to ensnare Washington in a quagmire similar to their famous predicament in Vietnam. This, the accusers say, is because neighboring
countries are worried that they will be infected with the virus of change
and democracy, and because they fear that military and political stability
in Iraq would encourage the United States to move its experiment to another Middle East nation.
Most of Iraq’s neighbors had different and conflicting positions
with regard to the new war that began in March 2003. But all were in agreement
that Washington’s task should not be made easy, that their victory
should not come cheap, and to prevent the Americans from deploying to a new
country in the region, they should be buried up to their necks in the Iraqi
KILLING TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE
There is no doubt that all of the region’s
nations were happy that Saddam Hussein’s regime was toppled, and that they
all supported his removal. But some of these neighbors were also pleased
that this war would allow them to kill two birds with one stone:
--The elimination of a reckless, bloody
regime that has been a source of fear and instability for many years.
--The blocking of the plans and aspirations
of the “fools” in the U.S. administration, who think that their country is
the new Roman Empire, running the world from one end to the other as if it
were the White House’s backyard.
Some of Iraq’s neighbors provided no real support to the forced
of instability in that country. But these same countries felt immense relief
when American forces started to sink into the Iraqi mud, especially when the
“fools” in the U.S. administration made it clear that these very same
countries are next on the list for change in the region. Now that it looks
as though Washington has gotten itself into a terrible mess and won’t likely
get out of it in the near future, these countries are less frightened that
America’s dream of moving from square one to square two on the Middle East
chessboard will happen soon.
IRAQ AS BATTLEFIELD
Other countries in the region, however,
have discovered that attack is the best defense, and that it is safer and
more effective for them to wage their anticipated war with the Americans on
Iraqi soil, and not on their own land. Thus, and from the moment when U.S. forces started to invade Iraq, these countries have resorted to any means at their
disposal to intervene in Iraq’s internal affairs in any shape or form.
The Americans should have realized this
before sending their forces to occupy Iraq. It is illogical to expect countries like Syria and Iran to stand by meekly and wait for American forces to
arrive at the center of their capitals. This is especially true after all
of the thoughtless and idiotic threats uttered by the “fools” in the U.S. administration (such as Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld, before
they were bloodied by the subsequent war), who said that they were coming
to affect regional change and not just change to a single country.
No one could possibly have convinced Iran or Syria not to seek to fight the United States on Iraqi soil, and to wait patiently with an attitude
of sportsmanship and fair play for the American knife to slit their throats.
It was the responsibility of the “smart” people in the U.S. administration to realize the dangerous nature of
the threats some of their colleagues were uttering. These threats put all
of the region’s countries on maximum alert, some of them felt targeted, and
most would not stand idly by waiting for a fate similar to Saddam’s.
Some Iraqis believe that the position taken
by some of its neighbors is a result of a fear of Iraqi’s experiment with
democracy. While it’s true that some of these countries were terrified at
seeing Saddam’s regime fall under the chains of American tanks and his statues
toppled by U.S. soldiers, the United States made the mistake of not keeping its mouth shut and
letting matters flow naturally, without threats and saber rattling. This would
have allowed Washington to show the peoples of the region (after stabilizating
Iraq’s security situation) a true experiment in democracy,
and not a deformed one.
Had the U.S. administration wisely kept
silent and let matters flow naturally, working on developing a mature “Iraqi-democratic
experiment” without noise-making and fist-shaking at the faces of the region’s
regimes, leaders and peoples, then it is certain that the hostile mobilization
and rejection of the region would never have occurred. It is also certain
that this “experiment in democracy” would have seeped smoothly into neighboring
countries, where the region’s peoples would have welcomed it with open arms,
and would have protected and defended it against the tyranny of the present
The biggest mistake the Americans committed
was to give the region’s people (not to mention the regimes) the impression
that democracy was coming on the back of their tanks, and that they will impose
this democracy on the region in the same way that they forced it on the Iraqis.
Because of this, all the peoples and regimes in the region have taken a position
of self-defense, either by keeping silent and compliant, or by being vocal
and unyielding. But both positions had a single goal: To sink the Americans
in the Iraqi mud, and to bury them and their “democracy” with them.
Due to the Americans’ deadly mistakes,
the region and its inhabitants no longer look at the “Iraqi experiment” as
one worth repeating. Even for those who were (and still) favored the removal
of Saddam Hussein and his regime, this experiment has become a glaring example
of chaos, infighting, and the indiscriminate shedding of innocent people’s
blood. Neighboring countries no longer fear that Iraq will export democracy to them, but now are worried
that Iraq will turn into another Afghanistan and end up exporting terrorism in the guise of a
thousand “Qaeda” and a hundred thousand Osama bin Ladens.
It is true that some of the region’s regimes
feared being infected by Iraqi democracy, were things to have stabilized.
They also feared that American tanks were rolling in under the banner of forced
change. But what is also true is that now, these regimes and their peoples
have become even more frightened that the Iraqi situation will get worse than
it is today. This will lead to an Iraq that, far from being a model of democracy, is a den
of terror more potent and destructive even the Taliban regime with Osama bin
Laden and his al-Qaeda.
VIDEO FROM THE MUSLIM WORLD
Iranian Television: Friday Sermon at Tehran University; Mullah Denounces Terror
Attacks in London, July 8, 00:02:37, MEMRI:
“The entire Iranian people condemns this. Massacring women, children, old and young is entirely inappropriate for a human being.”
Friday Sermon in Tehran
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