So You Think We Are Bringing Freedom To Iraq Do You?
by James Glaser
May 12, 2008

How many times have you heard President Bush talk about how we are bringing freedom to Iraq? Usually along with that statement we hear again about the purple thumbs and Iraq's elections. We did get rid of Saddam Hussein, but in many ways Saddam Hussein allowed more freedom for the Iraqi people than they have today.

Back when Saddam was in charge, Iraqi women had way more freedom to control their own lives, and the arts flourished, along with universities and learning. Today, if you want to find out what is really going on in Iraq, you must look to the foreign press. American media is controlled by large corporations, and for many reasons, the American media has decided that we should be kept in the dark about what is really happening in Iraq.

Here is a headline from an article in "The Observer" of London, written by Afif Sarhan in Baghdad and Caroline Davies on Sunday, May 11, 2008:

Iraqi artists and singers flee amid crackdown on forbidden culture

It seems that since America has attacked Iraq, artists of any form have become open season for Islamic radicals who want fundamental Islamic Religion to rule everyone in Iraq.

According to the Iraqi Artists' Association, at least 115 singers and 65 actors have been killed since the US-led invasion, as well as 60 painters. But the terror campaign has escalated in recent months as both Shia and Sunni extremists grow ever bolder in enforcing religious restrictions on the citizens of Iraq

It seems that Shia and Sunni groups now head the Iraqi government, and they want their religious beliefs to be the law of the land, For some reason these two groups find all the arts sinful, and will do what ever it takes to get rid of them.

Cinemas, art galleries, theatres, and concert halls are being destroyed in grenade and mortar attacks in Basra and Baghdad.

George Bush's original idea may have been to bring freedom to the Iraqi people, but like so many things about this war, things have not worked out the way George envisioned. Iraq is becoming a country more akin to Afghanistan when it was ruled by the Taliban, than the American type of democracy we were hoping for. We may have wanted Iraq and the Iraqis to have our form of freedom, but the Iraqi people never asked for that. It seems that the majority are looking for an Islamic Fundamentalist run government. If memeory serves me correctly, isn't that the form of government we were trying to erradicate from the Middle East?

Sometimes when you give people the right to decide for themselves what form of government they want, you don't get what you want. Iraq and Palestine have both installed radical religious governments after Washington pushed them into free elections.

We have spent hundreds of billions of dollars, lost over 4,000 young men and women, and have had tens of thousands wounded, in Iraq, and we have to ask ourselves what for? More than that, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed and millions displaced, and again, for what?

We can't spread American freedon at the end of a rifle, people have to want the freedoms we espouse. In the Middle East we are dealing with people who think differently than we do and have religious beliefs different than ours.

We have plenty of work to do right here at home. We should continue to provide a form of freedom for our people that the rest of the world will want to emulate. We can give the world an example they can follow if they want to, but we can never force freedom on a group of people who neither understand nor desire what we have.

Free JavaScripts provided
by The JavaScript Source

BACK to the 2008 Politics Columns.