Monday, May 01, 2006

The Secret Weapon

The advent of the national unity government in Iraq was a major breakthrough, it is ushering in the wind down of the US military presence. While there is terrorism and factionalism, there are also discussions between the various groups. Participation is rewarded and resistance is being punished. The fact that Iraq's leadership announced they have been holding talks at ending the internecine bloodshed is the best sign we have seen since the election.

With a new elected government in Iraq, that new government can begin looking after the Iraqi people, something they will be able to do far better than the US, but they will also begin having an independent foreign policy; it is this possibility, that Iraq will find its voice and become a leader for positive change in the region that can have a major impact that may ultimately validate the Iraqi venture by returning the US investment in Iraqi democracy into the emergence of a 21st century Arab world that seeks to meet the aspirations of their people.

The groundbreaking UN special report on Human development in the region cataloged the massive failings of a region rich with people and resources but poor in education, economics and freedom. The reason millions of people from the Arab world immigrate to other countries is the immigrants see no future for themselves where they are. With dysfuntional societies and tyrannical beauracracies, anyone who can leave, does.

What the Arab world needs is an example that shows them a way forward. The images of Iraqis voting profoundly impressed the people of the Middle East. If Iraqis can vote for their leaders, why can't Saudis, Egyptians, Syrians and Yemenis? No reason. With tyrannies to the east and west and south, Iraq will now look at her neighbors and see her long term security to coincide with democracy taking hold in the neighboring countries.

Iraqis, civilians, soldiers and police are dying every day for their right to be free; a good deal of the resistance that is stirring up much of the trouble is being trained, supported and supplied by Syria and Iran. The easiest way Iraq can make things difficult for these troublesome neighbors and stop them from killing Iraqis, is to take their case to the Iranian and Syrian people. Once Iran and Syria are fighting to survive as dictatorships, Iraq's internal situation will dramatically improve.

Iraq is also a member of two organizations that need significant reform: the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Countries. When Iraq attends these meetings, they will do so as a democracy with a constitution and 30 millions citizens who are showing the entire Islamic world a new and better way to conduct their political affairs. The OIC and Arab League have been abused for decades to excuse the cupidity, stupidity and vapidity of the national governments in the Arab World. Should Iraq choose to decide to make her democracy a clarion call to Arabs and Muslims everywhere, the Middle East might finally see changes that might eventually bring about an Islamic world that no longer completely lags the rest of the world.

The leaders of Syria and Iran, in particular, consider what I have described here as their nightmare scenario, for that reason alone, they are expending tremendousefforts to bring down Iraq and spark an all out civil war. Conversely, all who want Iraq to find stability, peace and progress to lead the people of the Middle East into a much better future should be cheering on the new Iraqi government.

Should Iraq succeed, and I believe that they are on track to do so; we are close to seeing sweeping change that will clean out the accumulated Augean stable of the last ninety years of Middle East history.

It is in this regard that Iraq is a secret weapon, not for US interests but rather for the hopes and aspirations of 300 million people in the Middle East.

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