Friday, September 24, 2004

US elections and Iraq

I have been following the US election race for some time now, and to be quite honest with you, my main concern is what each candidate will be trying to achieve in regards to Iraq in the next 4 years. The way I see it, Bush is not actually offering anything new, it will be 4 more years of the same failed policies that has turned Iraq into a terrorist haven.

Kerry on the other hand is saying that he will seek a greater involvement of the traditional allies (I presume, France, Germany etc…), and the UN to help sort out the mess. The significant difference between Kerry’s message and that of Bush is the fact that Kerry has promised to pull out of Iraq within 4 years and bring the army back home.

Let us assume that Kerry is genuine with his promise, as an Iraqi I wholeheartedly support him on this issue. I think it is about time for Iraqis to take responsibility for their own affairs. If they want to live together then they will have to deal with each other without having an outside power playing favourites with the local population. If they want to separate then so be it. If they want a federalist/confederation/religious/secular or whatever regime, then it will be their own problem to sort out. As long as there is an American umbrella hanging over Iraqi affairs, local politicians will never sit down and start deal making for the future. They will always look to the Americans to force the issue to the detriment of others. By pulling out, lots of people will argue that civil war might kick off. That is a possibility, but that possibility will always be hanging in the air when the eventual time for US troops to pull out comes. Look at Czechsolvakia, and Yugoslavia as an example after the fall of communism, years of repression and outside infulences did not stop the people from going their own seperate ways. If civil war does occur, Iraq will not be the first failed nation state, and it certainly won’t be the last to go down that road. Although I’m quite optimistic in that respect, and draw on Somalia as an example, in the sense that if people wanted to take the route of civil war, then even the physical involvement of the biggest superpower on earth will not stop them from fighting each other. Iraqis have shown that they do not want to fight each other, and they are united against the terrorists who try to ignite the sectarian/racial feuds, and have shown extraordinary resiliency in the face of killer blows.

If I had the right to vote in the US elections, then I will be voting for Kerry, because unwittingly, he is handing the initiaitve back to the Iraqi people, and will be forcing them to be responsible for their own actions, if he carries through with his pull out promise.

It is time for Iraqis to sink or swim.



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