What is going to happen in Iraq will be the turning page of history for what is going to happen with a very large chunk of the Muslim world, especially Iran, and Iranians, inside or outside of the homeland. Whoever becomes the next president of the US will take decisions regarding Iraq that will be crucial for the future of the security of the Middle East and the wider world. America witnessed one of the results of the radicalisation of Islam on 11th of September 2001 and that radicalisation is still there waiting to harm freedom and democracy, not so much potently in the West, but more believably and practically in the Muslim world.
Extremism, radical Islam, is not exactly a significant challenge to the West, but it is what Muslims themselves need to deal with in order to be able to move toward freedom and democracy. Moderate Islam will help the cause of freedom in the Muslim world and in order to further the cause of freedom the Muslim world needs to further the cause of moderate Islam and fight extremism. And this is where America, as the leading democratic power in the world, can play a crucial role.
Although the Bush administration made huge mistakes in Iraq, tens of thousands of Iraqi innocent people perished and millions were terribly affected, some of whom could have been much better off if things were handled more carefully, it is now irrelevant to discuss about an on-going war; whether it was the right or the wrong war. I supported the war, but being an Iranian, I also accepted that I was subjective about the whole issue, especially about Saddam’s role and effect in the region.
I found the American actions in Iraq often arrogant, or simply outrageous. Wars are not perfect and many of our own Iranians who fought the war with Iraq know very well that Iranians mistreated Iraqis (and more often vice-versa) far worse than Americans mistreat them now and no Iranian got punished for it (while some American soldiers have been punished for having mistreated Iraqis). We cannot expect human rights from most of the regimes in the Middle East, whether toward their own citizens, or the citizens of their enemies. We expected far better human rights from the US and we were disappointed.
The Iranian regime is one of the greatest threats the free world has ever faced. Although I do not believe that we can compare it to Nazism or Communism, we shall not under-estimate the threat the Iranian regime poses to freedom and democracy, not that much to the Western world but much more significantly to the Muslim world, especially in the Middle East. What happens in Iraq is going to affect the future of Iran and the Iranian regime fundamentally and they know it, the ruling clique of Iran knows it and any smart American politician ought to know it.
Iraq is in an extremely fragile situation now and it is going to stay so for a very long time to come. It is not just the moral duty of America to take care of this fragile nation for the sake of the Iraqis, but it is also the moral duty of America to take care of this fragile nation for the sake of moderation, freedom, and the future of democracy in the Middle East. Let’s make something good out of the great casualties of both Iraqi and American men and women and have the courage to stand by the value of human rights and democracy for the years to come!
Most European countries, not just because of their own cowardice, populism and political weaknesses, but also because of the arrogance and indifference the Bush administration has consistently showed, have failed to show enough courage to stand by their own values. It is extremely important for the next US president to strengthen the ties between democratic countries and by much greater force stand by freedom and democracy and smartly confront and weaken the forces of tyranny and extremism, no matter where they come from.
The Iranian regime relies on selling crude oil to the West in order to survive and strengthen its own position, not only in the region, but also inside the country by creating social divisions. Any future success in Iraq will only be possible if the American forces were close and active enough so that no bully would be able to rise in Iraq to suppress the forces of democracy.
And non-democratic neighbouring countries such as Iran, Syria, or even Saudi Arabia, have no interest in a democratic Iraq, so in the absence of the American military prowess they will be more than happy to create chaos and division in Iraq and keep it as an example (failure of democracy) for their own peoples who have their own silenced democratic aspirations, just as they have successfully been doing with Palestine for decades.
It is America’s duty to push for the cause of freedom in the Middle East and not retreat in the face of intimidation or possible further losses, human and material. Otherwise we will have a much more powerful extremism in Iran, and the Iranian people will truly believe that no other than the extremist and twisted version of Islam their regime has been providing for decades, is what their society is going to be ruled upon for generations to come, or at least until they run out of oil. And they are already busy preparing for a nuclear machine of intimidation to replace the oil-run one!
America’s total failure in Iraq can be a true catastrophe not just for Iraq, but for Iran and the wider region. And I think it is also our duty to raise awareness about this issue especially that there will be changes in the White House and the changes can affect the future of Iran more than they can affect the future of the United States. A future US administration that may leave Iraq hastily, or one that may be soft on extremism and terrorism can be worse than the current Bush administration that has proved itself to be incompetent in so many of the endeavours it has taken.
I know that my probably sometimes seemingly naive, defence of America may seem strange, but so long as one can be paid (or accused of being paid) by the IRI and the Zionists at the same time, or even some pan-Turkist entity out there, one can much more easily be paid by some US organisation or fund too. Or maybe it is just a personal belief or conviction!
I truly believe that although America is not perfect it is indeed the only true protector of democratic values in the world today, and it has been so for the past decades, having successfully confronted Nazism and Communism. America is not perfect, and no democracy is perfect, but that is the best we have got for now. It would be better to have the EU as another powerful democratic block, protecting democratic values in the world, but that is not the case for now.