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Iraqi Expat

Friday, April 15, 2005

The Future is in Our Hands

It is easy for someone to criticize and blame others, it feels as if one has the right to do so; but it takes a lot of courage and intelligence to analyse a situation, find a solution, act upon it and accept the risk involved. One must take other’s criticism into consideration and take his/her fair share of the blame, before start pointing fingers on others.

Personally, I have no objection on people criticizing me or others as long as that criticism is first constructive and second objective or at least subjective.

Many Iraqis and non-Iraqis have blamed and criticized the Americans for problems in Iraq, but I wonder how many of those have blamed themselves for anything or accepted criticism. In fact, I believe they didn’t even analyse the situation thoroughly and, most importantly, fairly, they are just too eager to point their fingers whenever there is a problem.

Pretending that there was no problem to start with, is NOT the solution!

Americans are doing their best, yet so many people are doing nothing other than moaning, blaming and criticizing.

After the Americans came to Iraq they didn’t just apply their own policy, and if you think that they did then you are mistaken. They asked for advice from prominent Iraqi oppositions and prominent Iraqi intellectuals. They asked for advice from those who were available to offer advice and who were known not to be associated with the previous regime.

Therefore, before blaming the Americans for problems, e.g. disbanding the army, questions must be asked: “Was there a better realistic way to deal with that situation?”, “Is it fair to blame the Americans or should we blame ourselves or one of our people?”, “Did the Americans seek advice from Iraqis before they have decided on the issue?” And the answer to the last question is almost always YES; therefore, one can’t blame the Americans for acting upon the advice of Iraqis, whether those Iraqis were the right people to seek advice from or not.

The notion that Americans brought these Iraqis and should be blamed for their choices makes no sense to me, since they are Iraqis, they were born Iraqis and they were the only obvious people who were not associated with the previous regime and offered help and advice. One shouldn’t expect the Americans to come to Iraq and then start asking people for help and advice, not knowing who to ask.

I must admit that not all the Iraqis that stood by the Americans and gave their advice were the best people to offer advice, and the Americans learned this too, the hard way, but those were Iraqis who were ready to help and offer advice, and for that I give them credit.

I have to say that I strongly believe that the future of Iraq now depends more on the Iraqis than on the Americans. The Americans can only do so much, and they have already done a lot to help Iraqis stand on their feet. Without the Iraqis, without their help, advice and support, the Americans will not be able to finish the job at hand successfully.

So, if you think that you have the right to ask the Americans to do everything and then blame them when problems occur, think again. No one has such a right.

It’s up to the Iraqis now to make this work, without them (the Iraqis) it will not work.


Blogger Brian H said...

More than advice; the goal is to get sane and stable democratic structures in place at all levels, local to national. Here's an early first-hand Inside View posted by a senior non-government worker after returning to the US.

Ruling another country by force is way more trouble than it's worth these days. Much better to share enlightened self-interest with it.

April 15, 2005 8:13 pm  
Anonymous SLC said...

I couldn't agree more.
The first two paragraphs are generic and I felt like printing them for people at work. As a manager, I'm expected to have an answer for everyone at any time on any subject. I ask for input, get none (or not thought out input), and get critisized because it's not how somebody else would have done it. When I hear complaints about Iraq, I think about how hard it is to manage a simple business with 100 employees.
For all the people who complain, I would ask them how well they manage their own household. (Especially if they have teenagers.) Yet, the Americans were suppose to take a broken down system and make it better than new two years ago. One week Saddam falls, the next week, all is paradise.

April 15, 2005 8:15 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I often wonder if it was a mistake to disband the Iraqi Army. To build a new army which is loyal to Iraq, not politicians, is a difficult task. However, a competent army that is loyal to Iraq will defend the country, instead of the usual take over. For now members of the coalition and Iraqis will be walking down the same tough path. Personally, after the 30 of January, I am extremly proud that my homeland is walking next to the people of Iraq.

-Mike in the US

April 16, 2005 5:20 am  
Blogger Ahmad said...

Brian, I am sure it is more than advice. I heard about the town hall meetings and how the Americans are helping and educating locals. What they are doing is extremely important and very much appreciated, they are building a new democratic system. And the media is not interested to show this positive view and the appreciation of Iraqis! Basically, I think their rule is that good news is not news!!!

But through all this, from day one, Iraqis are working with Americans in high decision making level as well as low level.

Therefore, if something is wrong, people shouldn't rush to blame the Americans.

For example, I don't blame Saddam alone for what happened in Iraq. I also blame the Iraqis who helped him, supported him and were glad to become monsters to get Saddam's blessings. He was a monster, but those around him were even worse and without them, he wouldn't have been able to do all the things he had done.

April 16, 2005 4:24 pm  
Blogger Ahmad said...


There were two thoughts on the Army issue. Ahmed Chalabi wanted to disband the whole Army and build a new one from scratch.

Iyad Allawi, on the other hand, wanted get rid of high ranking officials and clean and re-educate the Army.

I believe Iyad was right, simply because why create an enemy from an Army that didn't fight you in the first place? Why make 1/2 million person jobless?

April 16, 2005 4:28 pm  
Blogger strykeraunt said...

Ahmad, this is a great post...something that I have always believed but don't see too much discussion about.

April 16, 2005 5:04 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I was very nervous about Allawi. He seemed to be playing his game not Iraq's. Chalabi does not seem like a stand up guy either.

I am not qualified to assert this, but an army cannot be re-educated. If it was corrupt and disfunctional before an event it will be disfunctional after an event. If the army functions only to defend the peoples will, the country will not suffer long term damage caused by the army.

500,000 people without a job makes quite an enemy. I think you are right about not dis-banding the army. I am just a bit nervous because it feels like we only have one chance to get this right.

-Mike (anon)

April 21, 2005 5:29 am  

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