Where are the Iraqi Democrats' Voices?

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by Adam's Apple, Nov 29, 2006.

  1. Adam's Apple

    Adam's Apple Senior Member

    Apr 25, 2004
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    "My Country Needs Me"
    By Heather Robinson, Political Mavens
    November 27, 2006

    Iraqi democrats haven’t given up the fight. How can we?

    Mr. al-Alusi is not the only Iraqi political leader to reject ethnic and sectarian separatism. Hajim al-Hasani, a former parliament speaker, testified at a September congressional hearing. When Rep. Christopher Shays referred to him as a Sunni, Mr. al-Hasani politely corrected the congressman: “I am Iraqi.”

    Afterwards, Mr. al-Hasani told me it is a misconception to view the violence in Iraq as the expression of popular will: “The few bad apples can rotten the rest of the apples if nobody stops them.” Many of those “bad apples” aren’t even grown in Iraq. Following Saddam Hussein’s fall, foreign jihadists such as the Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi rushed to join former Baathists in an effort to undermine the fledgling democracy. And Mr. al-Alusi told me that “Iran is fully involved in terrorist activity in Iraq.” He believes Tehran is playing both sides, backing Sunni terrorists as well as Shiite ones.

    Polls suggest a majority of Americans think it was a mistake to enter Iraq. Mr. al-Alusi respectfully disagrees. “We didn’t have any kind of hope, and now, even with all our difficulty, we have hope.” Iraq today is a central front in a war against extremists who view the murder of civilians as political expression. “I will be killed — if not today, tomorrow,” Mr. al-Alusi says. “The point is not me, but children — for a child to be a child, not a killer; for a teenager to be a teenager, not an extremist.”

    Mithal al-Alusi could have left Iraq for a comfortable life in exile; Mr. Shays, a friend, offered to help him relocate to the U.S. But he said no: “My country needs me.”

    He has not given up the fight. How can we?

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