Iraqi Liberation Day!
Today marks the third aniversary of the liberation of Iraq from the brutal, dictatorial reign of r imposed by Saddam Hussien. For three years, Iraqis have been able to choose their own destiny.
Now, for those of you out there who think that my claims of liberation and freedom are either bogus or stupid, let me point out a few things.
1. Iraqis have had several free and fair elections in the last year, and the last two have elected parliaments that were not led by the parties that the U.S. would have preferred (Iyad Allawi's secular party). Instead, a somewhat religious Shi'ite party has won both elections.
2. The U.S. is letting Iraqi democracy take shape without intervening. Trust me, I'm sure President Bush is really angry at Prime Minister al-Jaafri right now, since he is refusing to step down in favor of a candidate more acceptable to all Iraqis. However, I have not yet seen al-Jaafri thrown out of office by the U.S. Armed Forces. Instead, we are letting the elected parliament do its job and allowing them to debate ad nauseaum who should lead thier nation.
3. The sectarian clashes that you are seeing now are actually manifestations of the new freedoms that Iraqis now enjoy. Yes, they are a little over the top (not to mention destructive and dangerous), but they look to me like the earliest portion of U.S. history, when there were several rebellions over how the new nation would be governed. In all honesty, the only reason that these clashes didn't happen earlier was that Hussein's tactics of ham-fisted repression managed to keep the population in fear of the govenment. Any demonstration of Shi'ite pride, would probably have been met with a spray of gunfire from the Republican Guard. Hussein also bears some of the blame for these riots because he severely inflamed the tension between Sunni and Shi'ite during his reign. This new conlict is not only long overdue, it is absolutely necessary. The two groups need to resolve their issues before they can forge ahead in the process of building a better, stronger Iraq.
So, I send my best wishes to the people and government of a new, free Iraq on the aniversary of their liberation.
Tags: Iraq, War in Iraq,