Patricia L Johnson: Survival Of The Fittest
Survival Of The Fittest
By Patricia L Johnson
The date was Thursday, August 28, 2003.
Newsweek’s Middle East regional editor, Christopher Dickey, wrote an article “The Future of Iraq”, which was the feature story for the week, and he was available for a live discussion on the future of Iraq.
Readers from around the world were requested to submit written questions and Dickey would respond during the live discussion. The question I submitted follows:
Lake County, IL: The coalition forces have been in Iraq since March - or a total of five months. During that five month period of time we have taken a country that was fragile [due in part to US initiated sanctions for the past 13 years] and turned it into a country that can only be described as utter chaos.
Citizens are without basic services. No water, no electricity, no gasoline... The electricity went off in our country for less than a 24-hour period of time, and we're already contemplating how we're going to pay for the 100 billion dollars it may cost us to completely update the grid. Where is the outrage that the people of Iraq have been without full time electricity for over five months?
We cannot control 27 million people that do not want us in their country. As time goes by more and more outside fighting forces will enter Iraq with the primary goal of attacking American soldiers. This war is never going to end. It's not going to end because the people didn't want us there to start with, and we have made an absolute disaster out of their country. Every once in a while we will see a group repairing something in Iraq, but it's going to take more than a 1/2 dozen schools to be built to make up for the structural damage caused by our bombs to the country of Iraq.
US forces and anyone assisting US forces will become permanent targets for the various groups that are against the US, and I think it's safe to say that the groups against the US definitely outweigh the groups that are for the US in Iraq.
My question is - when do we admit that we have made a mistake and get out of Iraq?
Christopher Dickey: “The situation is very bad, but not quite as bad as you paint it…”
Christopher Dickey went on to explain why he disagreed with my assessment of the situation and what he thought needed to be done to fix Iraq.
Here it is three years later and the only difference is the situation in Iraq is far worse than it was in August of 2003. There is no instant fix for Iraq.
During the past three years I’ve given a lot of thought to Iraq and wondered why I have been able to see ‘the future of Iraq’ while others, ‘in the know’ could not.
This morning the answer came to me – it is a question of survival. The Iraqi people are simply not going to roll over and allow us to rule their country because they know the meaning of the word survival.
For the 13 years sanctions were imposed against them, they were forced to learn how to survive, and in that 13 year period they saw the suffering their people experienced caused by the sanctions initiated against them, by us.
For 13 years they knew the US wanted what they had, oil, and they had 13 years to learn what they needed to do to safeguard their oil, land, and people.
Most of us know that the majority of members in Bush’s cabinet are millionaires and that may be the problem. Millionaire’s sometimes don’t know what it is like to fight for what they have because in many cases it is given to them on a silver platter at birth.
Is it possible that we are losing a war because our leaders are simply not able to comprehend the desire to stay alive?
Here it is three years later and I will ask my question one more time – when do we admit we have made a mistake and get out of Iraq?