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Iraqi Expat

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Effects of a troubled 45 years

If we look back at Iraq's last 45 years, we would have a much better understanding of current situation and future of Iraq. Iraq's best era is considered by many to be the 70s; however, I believe the monarchy era and specifically the 50s before 1958 were Iraq best years. I will not discuss why I think that, maybe some other time, but I will talk about how Iraq deteriorated since 1958 and how its relevant today!

In 1958 a group of Army Generals and Officers, led by General Abdul Karim Qasim, rightly or wrongly thought that they know what is best for Iraq and therefore had the right to rule it. Though, their intentions might have been honourable and probably were influenced by the coup in Egypt in 1952, the result was a military coup that overthrew the monarchy, killed the royal family and started of a new page in Iraq's modern history filled with back stabbing, political assassinations, conspiracies, coups and an endless number of injustices!

This also created a platform for political parties to fight each other and fight themselves for power. Four presidents in the 60s! Qasim (58-63) executed; A S Arif (63-66) killed in helicopter crash; A R Arif (66-68) forced into exile; and the fourth Al Bakar lasted till 1979 before being forced to resign and put under house arrest. I believe this era set an example of what a people can achieve when they have some support and how they can be hungry for power.

I believe that some of the so called 'Iraqi Insurgents' wishes to achieve similar results; they want the Americans to leave so that they kill all those who stand for freedom and democracy (i.e. stand against them) and then they assume full powers, because they are well aware of the fact that they can't assume these powers in a democracy and they don't want to lose what they once had!

In 1968 when the Baathists came to power they left no room for conspiracies and coups; they were ruthless and they got rid of all their opponents even those within their own party! That's how they managed to stay; torturing, terrorizing and killing! So, the effect of that was the elimination of all the political minds of the country; and therefore, the current political environment is lacking the minds of the younger generations and there are some unsuitable politicians.

You have to remember that Iraq produced very few politicians in the last 30 years; most of the politicians you see today are either the few old ones or those who lately became politicians to rebel. Having said that, there are few outstanding politicians; but until there are more outstanding ones, we will have to be patient with the current ones and help them do a better job.

After the Baathists came to power, well they did so many things a book will not be enough to list all the terrible things they commited. But of things, they changed people moral values, living standards and way of thinking! They messed up the socioeconomic classes, they brought an uneducated low-class and pushed them up and made them superior to the educated class. They basically turned the socioeconomic classes upside down. They encouraged people to become informants and to turn against their own, against their friends and even against their family, for money and or for career opportunities. Here is an example; Saddam once honoured a father for killing a son because he defected from the army; only the son did not defect, but the father had a crush on his daughter-in-law and had a fight with his son and killed him!

The bad examples we see today in Iraq are not examples of the Iraqi people; but are the remnants of the Baath, they are the students of the Baath School that encouraged them to be low-life criminals and taught them to do anything and everything for money.

The effects of those teachings were boosted in the 90s. For example, in the 80s we used to sleep at night without locking the doors, whereas in the 90s we had to install metal sliding doors (like those you see in shops) on all the doors and windows of the house! It was safe to leave the car unlocked in the 80s, whereas in the 90s locking the car only is not safe enough!

You might wonder how the Baath taught people to steal or how it got boosted. Well, in Kuwait, the looting was an order. Of course, Uday and Qusay and all the big shots, had the items they want reserved and nobody can touch them, in fact they had buildings and institutions reserved for them to loot! You might not believe this and think this is outrageous, but I have a personal experience! I had a flat in Al Najaf during the uprising in 1991, were few republican army privates stayed, I was in Baghdad and they broke the door and used the flat. They stole items, broke what was left and tore all the clothes that didn't fit them. However, I found a note in one of my book, apologizing for their actions, saying it was an order and they had to do it.

When you talk to people who lived in Iraq in the 50s, you will know that Iraq was so much more advanced and opened to the world then than any other period after that! Do you know that back then people were capable of ordering the playboy magazine and get it by post? And what did the Baath party do about that, they closed Iraq and imprisoned its people. If you grew up in Iraq in the 80s and 90s, you know very little about the outside world; I left in mid 90s and I realised how little I knew about the outside world.

Now think about all that, the turbulence of 60s, the elimination of the politicians from the 60s onward, the uneducated low-class that became the masters, the low life criminals that became common, the immorality that were taught and the imprisonment that made the people unaware of how people live outside Iraq's borders; all that takes time to repair, it is damaging and it is slowing the realization of freedom and democracy, but it will not stop it.

These are only few of the continuing effects of the Baath rule.

Having said all that, I am very optimistic about the future and to be optimistic is not to close your eyes, but to understand the obstacles and try to remove them. Even though these obstacles exist, most Iraqis are against those obstacles and are for freedom and democracy. And there are so many educated and intellectual Iraqis, and you don't have to go too far to see this, just go to the Iraqi Blogs (ITM, Free Iraqi, Healing Iraq, Democracy in Iraq, etc) you will realise it. So it will happen, in fact it is happening and they wouldn't be able to stop this dream, only it will take time! In my opinion, the key to speed it up and to remove all these obstacles is education, education and more education.


Blogger dcat said...

It is all so sad. But no the realization of freedom and democracy will not stop it will go on because there are more people going on line and sharing what they know. It is making our world smaller.

Oh and maybe it is time for the educated younger people to take charge in shaping Iraq. The old geezers should step down go in to retirement or, a nursing home.

I’m worried about the ransom money. How is this money going to be spent by the low life? Will it bribe others?

March 08, 2005 6:43 pm  
Blogger Ahmad said...

Sadly the ransom money is being used to recruite more low life criminals and support terrorism. It is very sad indeed, but people will pay the ransom to save themselves!

March 08, 2005 7:17 pm  
Blogger Solomon2 said...

...they want the Americans to leave so that they can assume full powers, because they are full aware that they can't assume these powers through elections and they don't want to lose what they once had!Does this accurately reflect how Iraqis think of U.S. activities in their country?

March 08, 2005 8:03 pm  
Blogger Ahmad said...

I have updated that paragraph for clarification, now it reads:

"I believe that some of the so called 'Iraqi Insurgents' wishes to achieve similar results; they want the Americans to leave so that they kill all those that stand for freedom and democracy (i.e. stand against them) and then they assume full powers, because they are well aware of the fact that they can't assume these powers in a democracy and they don't want to lose what they once had!"

March 08, 2005 9:04 pm  
Blogger dcat said...


I was afraid of that!

I hope we stay to make sure that the tyrants don't do anymore harm to the freedom lovers of Iraq!

March 08, 2005 9:09 pm  
Blogger dcat said...

I knew I was right about her!

it figures!

March 09, 2005 1:52 am  
Blogger Brian H said...

What you have is realistic hope combined with determination to make it come true; that's the basis for any major improvements. Human resources are far more important than physical or "natural" ones (like oil, etc.)

March 09, 2005 2:48 am  

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