December 18, 2003


Give Them a Chance (Dr. Mohammad T. Al-Rasheed, 18, December, 2003, Arab News)

The jubilation in Baghdad put the Arab media to shame. America, for this brief moment at least if not for longer, is a liberator and not an occupier. I can’t help being smug, since what I saw gave me back some confidence in the possibility of justice in this world. I had almost lost hope. It took George Bush to give me that back. I don’t agree with him on many things, and while many Americans share my stand, I’ll give the man his due. He will go down in Arab history as the liberator of Baghdad, even if the whole mission in Iraq comes to nothing more than this.

On a more sober note, the reality we have to face is the fact that it took Americans to relieve Baghdad of its dictator. Arab impotence recorded a new low. I might sound naive but I would like to ask where the “freedom fighters”, “the resistance”, “the strugglers for the freedom of Iraq” were when that man ran amok. Having delivered Saddam, the Americans will have to deliver Iraq. Shouldn’t we now be wise enough to give them at least a chance, if not a real helping hand?

We started this business of post-Sept. 11 by jousting with the American loudly and virulently. We could not believe that any of our sort would behave in such barbaric ways. The truth became clearer with time. Regardless of the reason for the American intervention in Iraq, the end result couldn’t have been happier for the Iraqis or more loaded with hope for other Arabs. Dare we say Carpe Diem and actually seize the day? Do we have the intellectual honesty to sit back, ponder, and then act, or are we going to start spinning more conspiracy theories to explain the obvious?

At some point we have to stop asking where the voices like this are in the Middle East and take note of the fact that they do seem to be multiplying.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 18, 2003 9:53 PM

Yeah, but I've seen awfully few of those voices over here...

Posted by: jsmith at December 18, 2003 10:47 PM

They need to take Joe Hill's advice.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at December 19, 2003 3:42 PM