What is the situation in Iraq now? And what does it call for? Listen to Iraq’s Ambassador to Canada, Howar Ziad. In a speech just last month at Carleton University in Ottawa, he said this:
“The contrast between democracy and dictatorship explains much of what is happening in Iraq. Diehard fascists, the remnants of Saddam Hussein's regime and al-Qaeda fanatics, have waged a relentless campaign against the Iraqi people. They have allowed Iraqi citizens almost no rest, no opportunity to heal the wounds of 35 years of Baathist totalitarianism. This faction, which subscribes to the dark days of state brutality in Iraqi history, has viciously attacked schoolchildren, mosques, churches, funerals and hospitals. They provoke murderous sectarianism in attempt to undo every weave of the country's social fabric. Outrageously, foreign apologists dress up their ruthless acts of murder as a so-called "national resistance."
Despite the violent challenges that we face from fanatics in our attempt to establish a secure and stable democratic state, our aim is to go further than mere democracy and to build an Iraqi national consensus. The majority of Iraqis has insisted on a principle of inclusiveness over one of narrow majoritarianism. We have already built a government that represents over 80 per cent of Iraqis, and now we are trying to accommodate the remainder. Most members of the Sunni Arab community of Iraq reject terrorism; it is only a violent minority that wishes to wreck a peaceful and democratic future.”
I invite anyone to quarrel with this prognosis and anyone with any credibility on the left to say that the ambassador’s description of Iraq’s enemies is inaccurate. Or do we support those dishonest foreign apologists who dress up the Ba’athist and jihadi ruthless acts of murder as a so-called "national resistance” or acquiesce in their continues campaign by shamefully ignoring its consequences just as Saddam’s crimes were ignored. Where is the “resistance” to foreign “occupation” in the blowing up of Iraqi mosques, hospitals and funerals?
That is the nightmare to which Iraq will return if the West decides to ‘cut and run’. Faced with a determined and ruthless insurgency combining fanatical jihadis and Ba’athist fascists – none of whom appear to lack significant international support - what should the response be? As with the Saddam denial syndrome, the ‘cut and run’ strategy steadfastly refuses to face up to its consequences.
Friday, May 19, 2006
Cut and run
Jim Nolan's speech to Syndey's Fabian Society via Labour Friends of Iraq,