April 15, 2003

Now Let's Get This Part

Now Let's Get This Part Right

By most estimations, the fighting in Iraq is pretty much over. One month, one fallen dictator, one liberated people. A pretty good scorecard by any measure.

Now comes the tricky future.

The naysayers, of course, are already saying "nay," which is to be expected from critics who can't see beyond their own small world. To them, everything that happens, has happened, and will happen, will simply lead to several more 9/11s. They're so scared of the world, they see disaster around every corner. To them, terrorists are everywhere and we shouldn't provoke them further. They can't see the big picture. They see only themselves, and not the smiling, jubilant people that have been liberated. They see the looting, not the hope. They are, in a word, pathetic.

As the war winds down, we look to the rebuilding process, a process that will undoubtably be more fascinating than the war itself, but will undoubtably be given only passing notice by a media still drunk on the drama of war. But, the rebuilding is the most important part, rebuilding not only structures, but trust. Trust in the U.S., trust in the West, trust in a world that has turned a blind eye to their suffering for a quarter of a century. No small task, that. But, I think we're up to the challenge.

Again, it won't be easy. There are so many Islamic religious sects in Iraq, particularly the Sunni and Shia, that deep schisms are only to be expected. Whether those sects can put aside their petty bickering in order to preserve their nation, and repair their national pride, remains to be seen. But, elections, true elections, where candidates don't automatically run unopposed and garner 100% of the vote, is an incredible step forward.

The Iraqi transformation will likely be lost to much of the rest of the Islamic world, a world that is so mired in its own propaganda there are those that honestly believe that the invasion of Iraq was meant to coincide with a Jewish holiday, apparently forgetting that Judaism has so many holidays you can't randomly point at a calendar without hitting one. Hate runs deep in the Islamic world, with 99.99 percent of that hate being focused on the nation of Israel. It's a conditioned response, really, stemming from a history of hearing their religious and political leaders blaming the woes of the people, their poverty and their hopelessness, on the Zionist nation that has the audacity to cling, rightously and legally, so tenaciously to the Holy land.

Hopefully, we can start to change that in Iraq. Hopefully, while rebuilding that country, and helping it to actually prosper, we can also help the people shed some of their hateful shackles. No, it won't be easy, but nothing so incredibly worthwhile ever is.

UPDATE: And this guy got everything soooo right.

UPDATE: So did this guy.

Posted by Ryan at April 15, 2003 10:24 AM
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