Saturday, October 22, 2005

Two days with the same date

The date is 15th October; a three years time is between the two days. The first was in 2002; the second is this year.
On 15th October 2002, there was a faked referendum on Saddam's presidency. At that time, one could hear so many stories about how the government would treat people who wouldn't go to the polling places.

I decided, three years ago, to boycott the referendum. As day was moving toward sunset time, my nervousness increased. I kept on thinking about the kinds of problems would be caused to me & my family by the baathists on boycotting. I recall that I felt uneasy and, frankly speaking, terrified. I was sure, and the whole Iraqis, that the result to be announced was 100%. So, boycotting wouldn't make difference but harming oneself. As we were approaching the referendum deadline, I asked my brother to go to the polling place & vote for the family.

My brother was received by the senior Baathist in our district, who led him to receive the ballots. They gave him the ballots of the whole family; instructed & watched him closely to be sure that he chose (YES). The most important thing for me and the whole Iraqis was to put a sign against their names in the voting lists, to avoid the baathists harassment. Within two hours the result was announced by Saddam's deputy, Izat Al-Do'ri, which was 100% YES to Saddam.

This year, on the same date, a significant public change can be noticed in the political awareness. Two major events took place this year; first the election on 30th January; second the referendum on 15th October; expecting another on 15th December. No one fears the government or thinks about being harassed by officials. But fear comes from the side which claims it represents the Iraqi patriotism (I mean the baathists & the insurgents). For me, looking back at three years ago, my way of thinking, considering and judging public matters has changed amazingly.

I believe that the Iraqis should show gratitude to the coalition, especially the US & GB, for helping them to start a brand new way of political life. Still, lot of work is needed to establish rigid foundation for the new Iraq. Iraqi self protection institutions are very important to secure what achieved till now, and to develop it toward a brighter peaceful future.

In the short term, Iraqi economical sector must be activated to fight unemployment which causes depression, providing a huge pool to recruit insurgents & terrorist. What I'm saying is well known, but the question is what holds up starting the reconstruction process. Secretary Condoleezza Rice said something like that in her
Opening Remarks before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:
"To execute our strategy we will restructure a portion of the U.S. mission in Iraq. Learning from successful precedents used in Afghanistan, we will deploy Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in key parts of the country. These will be civil-military teams, working in concert with each of the major subordinate commands, training police, setting up courts, and helping local governments with essential services like sewage treatment or irrigation. The first of these new PRTs will take the field next month."

Let's hope what she said Will be carried out seriously.

6 Comments:

Blogger Jeffrey said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:39 PM  
Blogger Jeffrey said...

Ibn Alrafidain,

Thanks for the great blog entry. I used a piece of it for a blog essay.

The Truth about Iraq and the Iraqis.

*

8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IA, I think many reconstruction projects are already underway with Iraqi contractors and workers. The problem is that it is mostly in the provincial areas where there is less strife, and probably not noticeable around Baghdad. They are drilling wells for water where none had ever existed before. How to get areas to quiet down long enough to begin work do so the workers will be safe!?

I hope the Iraqi voters demand to know how each candidate will vote on the constitutional questions before they go to the polls in December.

Jan

10:22 PM  
Blogger Barrett said...

I have been reading your blog for about 3-4 months.
I just want to say, as an American, I am glad to hear your opinions and observations from someone who knows what is going on there in Iraq.
I have a close friend who is there with the military, but all he does is transport security. He doesn't hear about the politics very much.

I am very encouraged after I read your blog. I feel that all we have done there, all that the Iraqis are doing, is working. There is still a long way to go, but the strides that have been made to this point are enoumous.

I want you to know that I am praying for you and your countrymen.
May God's peace rest on you and your homeland.

7:41 PM  
Blogger Rosemary said...

I am so happy for your family and you. Actually, I am very happy for your whole country!

It has been very exciting for me to watch the birth of a republic being born. (The difference between a democracy and republic is (d) mob rule v. (r) citizens vote for representatives.)

It took us about 13 years to get our Constitution written and off the ground! You are moving at lightening speed! I pray everything works for the best for all your citizens, except the criminals and those whom want to decide your fate for you. I pray they burn in hell.

I'm sorry, but you have suffered enough. No one should treat another human being the way you have suffered. I am so happy this is over. Now to get rid of the terrorists! Onward march...!

11:06 PM  
Blogger DagneyT said...

The question was asked at ITM, IBN_ALRAFIDAIN, how can we Americans counteract the media's skewed reports on Iraq? A commenter suggested that we could print out, and copy an Iraqi blogger's own words, make a bunch of copies, and put them on windows of cars in a parking lot, under the wiper.

I think your blog would be the best candidate for this strategm.

Thank you for a great blog!

11:21 PM  

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