Iraq is a Middle East country bordered by Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria that was the home of many ancient civilisations including the Sumerians, who invented writing. It achieved its modern independence in 1930, having been a British colony since 1920, before which it was ruled by the Ottoman Turks.
This text represents my personal opinion on Iraq, 2 months ago, on December the 14th 2004, and as such my current opinion might differ on certain points.
The news that 380 tons of conventional explosives are missing, because the military base where they were previously stored had been looted, even while the International Atomic Energy Agency had warned for that possibility, poses some serious questions about the current situation in Iraq. It’s not the first time that something has been looted while this could have been prevented. Other examples are musea, certain factories, military bases etc.
Because these bases, factories and other places were not secure or secure enough, the future of Iraq as a result has become less secure. With 380 ton of explosives lots of bombs can be build, as it was dual purpose explosive it could also be used for other purposes.
The fact that this was a invasion that was lead by a coalition of countries, which did not have approval of the UN, has damaged the image of several of those countries. For me it makes that an illegal war.
As far as I know the UN resolution mentionned that if what was asked was not done, there would then be certain consequences. But it never has been said openly or in advance what those consequences would be. That is, as far as I know. I do have to admit that I have not studied the resolution in detail, but I certainly want to do that in the future.
To prevent this kind of situations in the future, it would best to write down and record beforehand what the punishment is for non compliance, and its consequences. In this case that would mean:
- a plan on how to force Iraq, possibly military, to conform to the resolution.
- which places do have to be secured e.g. musea, energy stations, military bases, e.g. if not all bases can be secured, then perhaps it would be best to consider the option of centralised storeage places
- medical care, schools, education and work as well as keeping order
- water and electricity supplies, preventive dealing with possible sabotages and its consequences
- to look how much people would be needed for that, best would be to look at the maximum rahter than the minimum.
- to look at possible counteractions of guerilla, terorists
- public relations towards the inhabitants of Iraq
- prison practices, prison interior design, what to do with old and new political prisoners
This may look easy to say, when looking back to what happened, but this kind of stuff is a important part of a good preparation. The remark of Kerry that the issue of the disappearance of the explosives (location, quantity) was a mistake, and that it requires an explanation, is completely correct.
The problem with piramidal power structures is that the person who is at the top can easily be blamed for things that are not in his or her control, or where he/she can do nothing about. This problem can be prevented, by using a preventive planning, taking into acount all the options, all the possibilities that may be. That makes the preperation a lot longer, but it is often said that a good preperation is half the work.
Iraq is a case study that could have been prevented and from which we are obliged to learn. But in stead, of always coming back on what has happened and only on that, we should now look forward, to the future of Iraq. We have to learn all the lesson that can be learned from the recent past of Iraq.
We can not keep talking only about what went wrong, we are obliged to find out everything there is to find out about this, to go rock bottom, and to learn from that, but now the future of Iraq is more important. Does this mean that what has happened in Iraq in the recent past (the not UN endorsed invasion), and what is still happening, the terrorist attacks and the disruptions, that I approve them ? Absolutly NOT . I do not think to be the only one to consider this, that the way Iraq was forced to confirm to the UN resolution witouth the UN beeing activly involved, sent out the completly wrong signal, and that it will take several years before that damage has been undone and/or rectified.
Wath could have been an example of how to do it right, has become a example, partually, on how not to do things. Does this mean that everything was done badly ? No. There is always room for improvement.
Personally I find that it the US should set a step back and place Iraq under UN supervision. On the short term this will be a loss of face for the US, it can look like that, but on long term it will be better for them. But in order to be so, the terrorist activities will need to be stopped, and there will need to be a coherent strategy, plan of action.
To rebuild Iraq and bring stability, a international coalition, a truly international coalition led by the UN and not the US should deal with the rebuilding of Iraq. The UN will have to look at the qualities and the knowledge countries have, and will have to decide who has to do what. Not every one has as much experience in everything. The British might have more recent useful expierence.
Then theare are still the terrorist’s, lead by Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi’s. I do wonder if they have nostalgia to the Sadam era ? Because they are not any better. There actions strongly suggest that they do have nostalgia.
Have they ever wonderd that there actions, those murderous killings of last weekend, are not helping Iraq and the Iraqi people at all ? Rather the opposite. Do they not have right on more security, after the Sadam era, where there was lots of insecurity.
If the only thing you mr Abu Musab Al- Zarqawi are intrested in, is to blow things up, then why don’t you be a nice boy, and get yourself a piece of unhabitted desert where no body lives to do just that and leave all the other people alone.
If the Iraqi people are angry towards the Americans because of the feeling of insecurity they created, then that is only correct for 1/3. Because the other 1/3 belongs to the international community for not describing the sactions for non compliance to the resolution. And the other hand remains the question if this could not have been solved in the previous gulf war ? Using a good strategy. And then there is another 1/3 left.
This 1/3 belongs to the terorists and armed guerillia, as one can not blame only the Americans, because the blame also resides with those that plan and commit the attacks. They are the one who make Iraq insecure, and make the rebuilding of Iraq even harder than it already is.
It is difficult to fight people of your own country, but if they endanger your country and its future, and kill your country men without having any problems with that, than one can pose him or her self several questions.
Dates from 14/12/2004 so it might no longer be completly correct. A new text about Iraq is in the making, and should have larger look at the situation in Iraq.