I wrote this article because I wanted people to really know how the Iraqi people felt about the war in Iraq and their liberation from the murderer Saddam...I hope by publishing it here more people across the globe will get to read it rather than being restricted to the Emory University community here in Atlanta, GA...enjoy and I look forward to reading your comments!!!
An Iraqi's perspecctive on the war and its aftermath
March 19, 2004
These days, telling people I am from Iraq is a major thing that is followed by a flood of questions due to what is currently happening in my country — but that does not bother me at all. On the contrary, I usually welcome questions about my country and how I, as well as other Iraqis, feel about what is happening in our land. I welcome these questions because I want people to hear the Iraqi perspective from someone who has lived in Iraq under the former regime, and witnessed its horrific crimes. There are a lot of people who think they know what the Iraqis want, specifically those from the Middle East region. They think they are entitled to speak for the Iraqis because of their “brotherhood” ties with Iraq, so they express their opinions and views as being those of the Iraqi people when in fact they are the complete opposite.
The war declared against the bloody former regime of Saddam Hussein was the only way to end the Iraqi people’s long years of suffering, and the best decision that President Bush made.
War is a horrible event that causes tremendous destruction to our world and should be avoided when unnecessary. However, in very rare cases war must be initiated in order to establish peace and free an oppressed people. This was the case in Iraq.
The Iraqi people have been suffering under the former regime for 30 years. The crimes committed by Saddam and his gang are countless, ranging from kidnapping daughters from their parents and raping them to killing innocent youth in front of their families. And these are the “small” crimes — what about the eight years of war with Iran, where many young men were conscripted into the military and forced to fight? These unfortunate soldiers fought for an unknown cause; in the end, only to have their remains brought back to their families in body bags. What about Gulf War I, when a neighboring country was invaded for a stupid, invalid excuse? Again, this led to the death of many more Iraqis who did not even have the chance to breathe before being thrown into yet another hell.
Furthermore, we should not forget the most challenging years that the Iraqis had to endure: the 13 years under economic sanctions that only made Saddam more powerful and the Iraqis even weaker (which was not the goal that the sanctions were supposed to achieve). Saddam’s crimes continued to reach so far as to use the oil-for-food program to enhance his military and further oppress the people of Iraq.
All of this was going on while the rest of the world was sitting idle and watching. It was about time someone stood up and fought this dictator, and who was better for the job than the most powerful nation in the world, the United States?
Why should the United States fight for the Iraqis, you ask? The answer is simple. The United States was the reason Saddam Hussein became so powerful in the first place. It was the United States that supported him during the Iran-Iraq war, constantly providing him with weapons. Similarly, it was the United States that promised support to the big uprising formed by the Iraqis after Gulf War I, only to abandon them in the end to be crushed into pieces by Saddam’s gang.
The Iraqis waited patiently for a long time for this nightmare to be over, which is why, when the war was on the horizon almost a year ago, the majority of the Iraqi people supported it. Iraqis were awaiting the long-sought dream of when Saddam was caught and Iraq was free. The Iraqis welcomed their American liberators with open arms because they realized it was the only solution to end their suffering.
For the first time in a very long time, the interests of the Iraqi people collided with the interests of the United States. I believe that this can lead to great outcomes on both sides.
In addition, the United States’ presence in Iraq is also welcomed because it will assist in rebuilding Iraq, not only structurally, but in all other aspects of life. The United States will help teach the meaning of democracy to generations of Iraqis that have been brainwashed by the former regime and isolated from the entire world.
However, unlike what many people expect, this will not be an overnight change. It is impossible to turn a country that has been under destruction for 30 years, including three major wars, around in just a few months. People who think this is possible are obviously very naïve or trying to fool themselves. Rebuilding Iraq will be a slow, gradual process that will take years, but it will definitely happen. In fact, small changes in all areas of life can already be seen, and I know this from talking to family members who are still in Iraq.
Iraq will go back to its glory days, and the Iraqi people will again have the opportunity to live peacefully without the destruction of wars. Until then, we Iraqis want and need the United States presence in Iraq — we do not wish to be abandoned again. In short, the majorities of Iraqis supported this war and were ecstatic to see that monster being pulled out of his “rat hole” and humiliated.
I would also like to take this opportunity to say to all those who loved Saddam — specifically our neighboring “brothers” who were getting their pockets filled with the Iraqi people’s resources — thanks for doing nothing. All this time, you were watching the Iraqis getting slaughtered by the thousands while doing nothing. You watched us starve and die due to lack of medication and you did nothing. But when it was time to liberate us, you went out on protests, claimed that you were on our side, and misrepresented our viewpoint to the world. Congratulations! Your “hero” turned out to be a coward who lost the fight without a fight. Saddam Hussein lost and is gone forever. Despite all your efforts to stop us, we will rebuild Iraq, and it will turn into a democracy where peace and justice will fill people’s lives instead of violence and hatred.
—Nancy is a College sophomore from Baghdad.