Saturday, October 30, 2004

Iraqis, Looking to Build "a New Iraq" Hope for Bush Victory

I often see the the oh-so-sensitive-and-compassionate liberals sporting their fashionable "Kerry-Edwards" bottons, often smartly accessorized with a "No War on Iraq" button. Note the words; No War ON Iraq. The point, of course, is that once again the U.S. is in the business of waging a war of oppression upon a defenseless people for oil or Haliburton or whatever nefarious reason-du-jour is popular in their peculiar little circle of friends at the time.

I've often wondered if they even cared what the purported "oppressees" thought of our actions since in truth, the purpose of the wars that we have fought has been liberation rather than oppression. None of the foreign wars that we have fought has been in the cause of imperialism and every country in which we have fought was left in far better shape than we found it. The exceptions to this were Vietnam and Cambodia which spiraled into a genocidal nightmare after we were forced to cease our "oppression" due to popular opinion and North Korea with whom we are technically still at war.

Which brings us to Iraq. An article by Lawrence F. Kaplan, a senior editor at the New Republic highlights that the intellegent, sophisticated Iraqis that see a bright future ahead for their country not only approve of "Bush's War on Iraq" but hope that he is elected to a second term:

We know what John Kerry thinks of Iraq. But what does Iraq think of him?
Since he may soon be presiding over a war there, the question merits an
answer. Yet, while the press has devoted page after page to the electoral
preferences of the French, the opinions of those who count most overseas
have received nary a mention.

Partly this derives from the simple fact that, as polls show, the overwhelming majority of Iraqis don't care who wins our election. Their concerns run closer to home--especially how to stay alive. There's an exception, however: the thousands of academics, lawyers, rights advocates and other educated elites leading the effort to create a new Iraq--nearly all of whom have hitched their fortunes to our own and nearly all of whom hope that President Bush wins.

Liberal Iraqis repeat the same question: Will the U.S. leave? These, after all, are the Iraqis building institutions, occupying key positions in ministries, and cooperating openly with the U.S. And they're the Iraqis with the most to lose in the event John Kerry makes good on his pledge to "bring the troops home where they belong."

This prospect, once unimaginable, has become very real in Iraq. The fear
of abandonment has transformed meetings between Iraqi and U.S. officials, until
recently arenas for grievance, into forums for the expression of solidarity.
Leading Iraqis stayed up late into the night to watch the presidential debates.
"Sophisticated Iraqis are listening closely," Iraqi national security adviser
Mowaffak Al-Rubaie says in a telephone interview. "Any discussion of withdrawal
worries them." Echoing this, Manhel al-Safi, who recently left his post as an
aide in the prime minister's office for a job in the Foreign Ministry, says,
"There's a level of fear--people in the government are afraid the Americans will
leave Iraq." He adds a personal plea to Sen. Kerry: "Mr. Senator, destruction is
easy; building takes a long time."

Do read the whole thing as it is fascinating and instructive.

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