Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Time for Iraq to stand up and be counted

Has the time come for the Iraqi people to stand up and be counted? They cannot go on blaming the coalition for the massacre of their own citizens by other Iraqi and Arab groups. The coalition has freed them from the brutal regime of Saddam Hussein. In so doing it has presented the Iraqi people with a once in lifetime opportunity to put their suffering behind them and to have a say in the way their country is governed. They now have a chance to prosper in peace, if they want it and they will never have a better one; thanks to the sacrifice, not of their fellow Arab nations but that of the western coalition.

Iraqis must now ask themselves, why should American, British, Polish, Italian, Japanese and others continue to risk their lives for people who do nothing to help themselves and show nothing but hostility, to those who fight to bring them freedom and democracy? It is time the Iraqis and the Arab nations as a whole, took a hard look at themselves and the responsibility they bear, for having stood aside while Saddam Hussein murdered and tortured his own people. Had their fellow neighbors, shown any sense of duty or care for their Iraqi brothers when Saddam Hussein was in power, the Americans would have had no cause or excuse to launch either Gulf War I or II and they would not now, be in Baghdad or anywhere else in Iraq.

We are where we are because neither the Arab nations nor the West have acted from a foundation based on civilised principle, i.e. doing what is right rather than what is expedient, over the last thirty years. The compromise of good practice and sound principles in international affairs has jeapordised the outcome of events. We must wake up and understand that one can never attain the right solution by applying the wrong equation, to any problem. The right outcome can never nor will ever be achieved by compromising on what we know to be right. Wrong can never be right. This is the lesson the international community must take on board in the execution of national and international politics.

It is time to admit that the United nations can never be an effective arbiter of civilisation or international law whilst it is founded on the ill conceived often corrupted principles that pervade its entire structure. A United Nations that harbours despotic and corrupt member governments within its walls can and never will be anything but partially corrupt. Such a body will never be able to act effectively to protect the innocent from state barbarity. We need not look further than the genocide in Rwanda, the chaos in Zimbabwe, the slaughter in Sudan and the persecution of the Iraqi people by Saddam Hussein for over thirty years, to know this to be true.

In the absence of an effective international body responsible for the application of civilised rules of international behavior, countries will inevitably fall back on unilateral action to resolve problems and the world will continue to flounder from catastrophe to catastrophe. Until we understand that the serving of the common interest is the key to self interest, we will go nowhere worth going to.

Now is the time for the Iraqi people to show the world a better way. Their destiny lies not in the hands of the UN or the USA but in their own hands, if they did but realise it. It is what they now do that will determine what course the UN and USA will follow, not the other way around. Say yes to freedom. Say yes to democracy. Say yes to justice and above all say no to terror and the USA will become their client and not their master, their friend and not their enemy.

Refuse and we must bid them goodbye and leave them to their fate, which may be far worse than the suffering inflicted on them by Saddam Hussein. It is up to the Iraqi people. They must understand that we cannot nor will not go on dying for nothing.

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