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Controlled democracy

A political analysis of Iraqi freedom

November 11, 2002
The Iranian

Saddam's Baghdad is finally ready to fall. The Kabul-like fall of Baghdad is expected in the not too distant future and the internal revolution by Kurdish and Shi'ite elements will drive the final nail in the coffin of Saddam Hussein. This is Saddam's last sigh and there will be no major war to take him out but rather a coup d'etat will occur. He has lost trust of the praetorian guards who used to protect him!

Iraq has treated its befallen leaders with the greatest of ridicule and insult. The dragging of the bodies of the Iraqi fallen presidents and prime Ministers is in the memory of every student of Middle Eastern history. Saddam and his clan are allegedly slightly cleverer and may not suffer the fate of Ceausescu of Romania. Indeed they may take refuge in a radical Islamic state such as Sudan where they can use their billions to live a discreet life.

However the treat to share the pie has already started. New Iraq will become the centre of a Middle East that may see the final demise of OPEC and the northern, central and southern oil fields of Iraq would serve as the cannon fodder that will spew money to the Kurdish, Sunni and Shi'ite masses who have been denied the basic necessities of life by their despot whose notorious lust for blood and war has destroyed the entire fabric of Middle Eastern culture. It started with Iran and has continued since then.

It would be futile to deny the culpability of present superpowers, who helped Iraq build its huge weapons arsenal as a counterweight to the revolution of Shi'ite Iran. The distant vision of Western strategists to impose half-cooked solutions on the oldest civilisations or rather the regions, which are the cradle of civilisation, is one of the basic causes of totalitarianism in the Middle East.

From the propping of the Shah of Iran against the wish of the masses to supportinng the creation of the mujahideen in Afghanistan to counter the Russian invasion of Afghanistan and to halt the aspirations of the communists down the warm water ports of the Arabian Sea, have proven to be unjustifiable and irresponsible strategies. Hindsight is always an advantage but supporting history always makes sense.

It is not democracy that will help build strong structures in the societies of the Middle East, where centralised authority is ideologically emphasized. It has to be a controlled version of democracy until the populace is culturally literate to differentiate between mass propaganda and realities of life.

Cohabitation and coexistence is not a lesson that Islam, the major force of the region, provides to the people of this region. On the contrary Islam provides consistence struggle for domination of Allah's Kingdom on Earth and as such a soft hand and a benevolent approach to straighten abrasions of ideology are very much required.

At the moment Iraq, Iran and the entire Middle East are at such crossroads. Their journey towards new frontiers of enlightenment has not even started. They are still trapped in the Dark Ages in this age of knowledge. For them removal of Saddam will be the beginning of the fall of despotic idols in the region. It would not bring chaos because these despots they seem to bring chaos to the nation but on the grass root level suffer acutely from the necessities of life as most of the state is used to serve the interest of the totalitarian dictators.

Post-Saddam Hussein Iraq will be a new country and will be a possible confederation between Kurds, Shi'ites and Sunnis. Iraq, with its huge reserves of oil, has the potential and possibility of a potent secular nation proving to a strong counterweight to Saudi Wahabi led government. One after-effect will be definite since once the taps open up there will be a lot of business for countries who will lead the freedom of Iraq although though the entire change of regime is not about oil.

The grip of Middle Eastern oil will loosen up with a "Karzai" type government in Baghdad. A Chelabi, Hakim and Talebani led Iraq may achieve its full potential of churning out 8-9 million barrels of oil in five years time. On one hand in the interim there will be a good boost to all equipment and it will be a bonus to Western economies since oil prices will drop to 15-20 dollars a barrel.

The freedom of the people of Iraq after a long period of enslavement is the biggest dividend of a free Iraq. Although the freedom of Afghanistan, although people still believe the policy to free Afghanistan was not good enough, has ensued in the education of a million women the most prized windfall one could have expected. Free Iraq will help, like a liberated Afghanistan, alleviate tensions at the heart of the Crescent of Islam and that is very important at this day and age.

A free world cannot afford to have totalitarian dictators who may use ideology to create tensions between civilisations. Saddam Hussein is one of those potential who in the 90s and now have tried to create new tensions in the region by expanding the war into territories that may lead to all-out Arab-Israel conflict. His hands are tied now and his generals realise that the noose is being tightened thus tensions won?t last for long and collateral damages in the region will not be high.

The control of Russians, Chinese and French companies over Iraq will wane. LukOil, Total Fin, and others will have to plead for their share of the pie form the pro-Iraqi leadership, which will be pro Anglo-Saxon. Thus there was an economic reasoning for Russians and French to be upset about UN Security Council resolution, that may help eradicate Saddam.

It was not the Americans who were looking for oil benefits from the Middle East since the Security Council resolution was being delayed so that the exact price of corporate interests of French and Russians could be negotiated. The real traders were Franco-Russian governments who wanted their pound of the flesh from Iraq's new government until they were guaranteed access they were not agreeing to the Security Council resolution.

The ideological collateral benefit of an Iraqi wakeup would be that Kurdish in semi-autonomy will curb Turkish Islamism as Turks will realise that Kurds in the region could effectively put a federation together if ideology takes front seat in Turkey. The Turkish army will not be able take on domestic Islamists or Kurds, the Kurdish freedom of Iraq would help induce some moderation within Turkey's right.

The Shi'ites of Iran may owe a gratitude to the Anglo-American alliance for liberating the Shi'ites of the south of Iraq. Hakim is a well respected leader of Shiites of south and has working relationships with the Anglo-Americans. Although these are Akhbari Shi'ites, who have Arab origins, these are the very Shi'ites who have significant sway in southern Iran and eastern Saudi Arabia.

In this state of confusion where there has been a lot of propaganda that change of Saddam is change of the stalwart of Islam it will be a fresh breather for mutilated Shi'ite societies of Iraq to be seen being freedom by an Anglo-American alliance. That will calm down a lot of emotional imbalance due to recent events between Palestinians and Israel as Shi'ites achieve some kind of freedom in South of Iraq.

There is a pressing caveat though since liberating nations is a thankless job. Millions of Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo were freed by American intervention but not many remember however in cut throat politics of the Middle East any calming measure and positive step, albeit small, would be very helpful. The Sunni centre of Iraq under Chelabi and the new army of Iraq may prove to be an island of stability.

It is under Saddam, definitely a very secular country and its army is secular as well whilst being modestly well-trained by Arab standards. This army, shorn of Saddam's cronies and top generals, may have a balancing act and may help to plug the vacuum that may be created in the region. The biggest impact of the change in Iraqi regime would be the notice served on Syrians and other Arab "rejectionist" states who may see the Ceausescu-type elimination of Saddam as an eye-opener to free their societies and let realism rule the Middle East.

It may be helpful in the long term eliminate the self-denial and self-pity of the Moslems of the Middle East and may finally open up their eyes and stand up to the reality. There is no doubt about it that there will be one big loser and potential oil deliveries from Iraq and that would be OPEC. The winners will be the billion who consume the oil and ironically it may be the very Anglo-American alliance to be the biggest winner of them all there can be no denying.

Even a poor country like ours will benefit a lot and who can say shy away from the fact that in the present day and age it is the winner who takes it all.

Comment for The Iranian letters section
Comment for
Iqbal latif

By Iqbal Latif




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