What Happens When Iraq Remembers?
by James Glaser
For days the media has been showing us all the smiling Iraqi people waving little American flags and working with our troops to take down Saddam's statue. Those people in Baghdad might be happy that Saddam is gone, they may be greatful that we have stopped night and day bombing of their city, or they could be feeling intoxicated from their first taste of freedom.
After these first few days of euphoria wear off and they realize that they are in a city that has been bombed and looted to rubble, they will start to wonder just what happened. The Iraqi people are going to realize that, yes Saddam Hussein is no longer in power, but they will also see that their lives are in ruin.
Pretty soon those Iraqi people are going to start looking around and see just what we have done to their country and they are not going to be thanking us for that. Friends and relatives will be telling each other what happened in different parts of Iraq and they will start to see the whole picture. People will find out that old friends and relatives were killed or wounded, nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles will be telling their stories.
Remember, the Iraqi people have been living in a news blackout for decades and now they will get to learn everything the rest of the world has known. These people are going to learn that most of the world did not want this war to take out Saddam, but wanted to try a more peaceful approach.
The Iraqis are going to learn that it was America that brought all the misery to them for the last decade. They are going to find out that the American Secretary of State, Madeline Albright told the world that it was worth the lives of over 500,000 Iraqi children so we could keep sanctions on Iraq
Oh yes, America will be telling those Iraqi people that those sanctions and those no-fly zones were put on to hurt Saddam. You know what, it didn't, Saddam still lived like a king, had palaces all over, had good food and wine, Saddam was not hurt a bit and these people know that. The Iraqi people are the ones that suffered under American sanctions and in a little while they are going to remember that.
How do you think the parents of dead children are going to feel about the United States, when they find out this was a War of Choice? What do you think they will say after they realize that America was not provoked by Saddam and that America had other choices, but couldn't wait any longer because it was getting hot out and we didn't want our troops fighting in that heat? You know that they are going to read the reports that George Bush started this war because he didn't know what to do about the American economy.
It will take a long time, but the Iraqi people will be studying history now and deciding how they feel about their "liberators." These people will be learning that it was the United States that sent them down the road to weapons of mass destruction. They will learn that it was the United States and the CIA that brought Saddam back from Egypt to help over throw the government of Iraq and that American help gave Saddam the start he needed to gain power.
The Iraqi people are going to learn that it was American companies that sold Iraq all the materials and technology to make chemical weapons. They will also find out that when Saddam used them on his own people, America said not a word.
Saddam, evil and sick as he was had help in staying in power and much of that help came from the United States of America. America gave Saddam all the money, weapons, and technology he needed to be the despot he was and the Iraqi people are going to learn that this is true.
For years America knew what Saddam was doing to the citizens of Iraq, but we said not a word, because Saddam was doing what we wanted. Those people in Iraq are about to learn of this for the first time. Iraq's liberators have been Iraq's oppressors for decades and those people are going to figure that out.
Just how do you think these people will feel about the United States foisting a new brand of government on them after they find out our history with their country? What happens when these people discover that it was the United States that helped Saddam get to power in the first place. Think they will trust the next guy we try to sell them on?
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