Tuesday, March 07, 2006
The Future of Iraq
After spending a deployment and a half in Iraq I have come to a conclusion about the future of Iraq. Many people speculate whether or not Iraq even has a chance to survive the current turmoil and become a full-fledged democracy. People often say that a democracy will not work in a predominately Muslim nation. People say that civil war in Iraq is inevitable. Well people say a lot of things, and just because they do so doesn’t mean that what they say is going to come to pass.
When considering who to believe on a certain topic you must first establish whom you can trust. All people are to be trusted at first unless there is some known reason not to trust them. If we all went around doubting everything we heard then we wouldn’t be able to function as a society. If you constantly called the weatherman into question then you wouldn’t have a clue what to wear each day or wouldn’t know when to evacuate your city when a hurricane was predicted. If you doubted your math teachers in school then you would never learn math. Until someone has proven that they are not to be trusted then some type of trust must be given to them.
In the case of the news media I believe they have given viewers enough cause to distrust them. Dan Rather comes to mind for many of his stories i.e. Abu Gharib, Bush’s National Guard documents. Chris Matthews, Geraldo Rivera, Lou Dobbs, and the whole lot of them that report from the hotel with the blue mosque behind it in Baghdad come to mind also. Not that they have out right lied but rather, real news (from soldiers) from Iraq contradicts what they say on air.
My point in saying all of this is to build up credibility for what I am about to say. I do not believe that I have given anyone cause to distrust me as of yet (if you disagree let me know). I used to write a weekly column for a college paper at Ohio University and my initial intent with my column was to present indisputable facts that everyone could agree on. The conclusions that I drew from the facts was where people could disagree with me but no one every called me out for lying about the facts of each column. I have the same intent with this blog. If you ever catch me lying or misrepresenting the truth then please call me out on it, I would be grateful for your doing so.
Ok so back to my conclusion about Iraq. My conclusion is this—the future of Iraq lies with the children of Iraq. The children of Iraq are the hope of all the countries that want to see freedom and democracy in the Middle East. It is up to the younger generation to learn how to protect their own country, to fight for freedom in the face of democracy, to remember the sacrifice of so many foreign soldiers that earned them their freedom, and to yearn for freedom and liberty above all else.
I place my hope in the younger generation of Iraqis for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that they most likely do not remember the hard times under Saddam. Of course they will hear the stories and feel some of the after effects of his evil regime but more likely then not they were too young to know why life under his rule was rough. Thus said I believe that since they are growing up in a “free” country they will become accustomed to freedom and resist any type of dictatorship or religious Taliban-like type rule. Unlike their parents who grew up under Saddam’s rule, or at least were alive for all of it, the younger generation will not be as likely to put up with not being a completely free people.
Secondly I believe that the kids in Iraq have been the recipients of the greatest kindness shown by soldiers. I don’t know a soldier here who doesn’t have a heart for suffering children. The amount of work that has gone into helping the children here has been amazing. Schools have been rebuilt and stocked full of supplies by soldiers and their families back home, toys have been sent by the tons for soldiers to hand out to the kids, soldiers give kids food and water everyday, and soldiers just generally show kindness and gentleness towards children. All of these things help Iraqi children see the softer side of the soldiers whereas some of the older generation deems the soldiers to be a necessary nuisance for the time being. I could go on and on about the good deeds of soldiers towards children but you guys get the point, right?
In the children I place my hope. Not that I do not see hope for the near future of Iraq. I believe the older generation will set the stage for a true democratic society, but I believe as the children grow up in that society they will yearn for more. More to come on this topic later.
The picture is of me on my first deployment with a couple of Iraqi children that lived right next to my tent. They spent a lot of time with us and came to love American soldiers for the same reasons that I mention above. I guarantee that they grow up to remember the sacrifices that we made for them.