Roger L. Simon points to a very important piece by Mohammed of Iraq the Model. He writes of a trip to the southern Iraqi village of Samawa and events there that the mainstream media will never report.
My arrival day was the day when a rally of support and gratitude to the coalition passed the streets of Samawa. The scene was very delightful for me, I, who believe in the necessity of establishing a strategic partnership with the free world represented by the coalition, because this the only way for Iraq to rise again, prosper and join the modern, free world. Such partnership, the way I see it, is vital for the free world in its war with terrorism, the corner stone of which is to establish peace and stability in the ME. Yes, we should put our hands in each other’s because we have a common destiny. It was a very encouraging thing to see that the simple people there understood the case and this is probably the first time where people go out to the streets to thank and support our allies in the coalition, but strangely it came from ordinary, simple people not from those who claim to be civilized intellectuals.
On the road to the residents’ house we passed near the coalition base in Samawa; the striking and ugly feature of this base, like any other one is, the concrete wall that surrounds it. These walls initiate a sensation of fear in the hearts and a feeling that there’s a huge block between the people and the coalition. I understand the security necessity of these walls but they still form an unpleasant sight for everyone, except this particular one. The coalition forces here invited all the kids-and their parents-in the neighborhood for a special festival, the kids were given paints and brushes and a definite area of the wall was assigned for each kid to paint on whatever he likes and to sign his painting with his/her name. I leave it for you to imagine how this hateful wall looked like after this festival. It became a fascinating huge painting that gives a feeling of brotherhood and friendship. These paintings eliminated all the psychological walls between the folks and the coalition here.
At the end of the festival, gifts were given to each kid; toys, clothes, candies…
You can’t imagine how happy the kids were when they stood proudly pointing at their paintings; flowers, birds, hands shaking and the flags of Iraq and the coalition countries, and then pointing to their names; Zahra, Mohammed, Sajjad, Fatima… together with phrases like; yes for peace, Saddam has fallen and many others. No one can watch this without having tears filling his eyes and I feel sorry that I couldn’t take pictures for this carnival, as I wasn’t there when it happened, but the people there told me the whole story.
This is as much the story of this war as the events in Najaf or Fallujah. This is as much the story of this war as Abu Ghraib – yet we never hear of these events despite the fact they’re happening all across Iraq. Iraq is a country of 25 million. 25 million people who aren’t that much different from us. They speak another language, and they’ve lived through a horror we can hardly imagine, but they still are as human as we are.
This is why I am disgusted and repulsed by the arguments that the insurgency in Iraq is some kind of popular movement. It isn’t, and those who believe otherwise are spreading a lie. We all know what would happen if Iraq was abandoned now. The best we could hope for would be a civil war in which pro-democracy forces won and established a democratic civil order. More realistically, millions of Iraqis would die in a civil war that would tear the country apart and spread violence and refugees throughout the Middle East. The results of such a move would be horrendous.
The Iraqi people know this as well. They don’t like being occupied by a foreign power, which is understandable. At the same time, they also know that the US and coalition forces are there to protect them. The Iraqi people are often the first to die when terrorists strike in Iraq, and they know that the terrorists are Ba’athists and foreign jihadis who don’t care about them. They want democracy, and they know that the only way to break the cycle of violence in Iraq is through a through the path of democracy.
The Iraqi people want their children to grow up in a new Iraq, in which the torture chambers of Saddam Hussein are a part of the past, in which the theocrats and the terrorists are gone, and in which Iraq can once again be the center of a new Islamic civilization, one that preserves the scientific and cultural excellence of the Baghdad that existed centuries ago. An Iraq free of terror, torture, and tyranny.
Insh’Allah they will.