I read this article with no small amount of despair. Aside from the fact that this war should never have been, as we are past that now, is what to do in the present. You cannot enforce democracy; it’s rather like that saying from the sixties, “Bombing for peace is like fucking for virginity.” The article explains the present state of affairs – after the “war for democracy”.
“The girls explained that they were Christians and that their faith did not call for headscarves. “He said: 'Outside this university you are Christian and can do what you want; inside you are not. Next time I want to see you wearing a hijab or I swear to God the three of you will be killed immediately',” Zeena recalled. Terrified, the girls ran home. They now wear the headscarf all the time.
In the past five months more than 40 women have been murdered and their bodies dumped in the street by militiamen, according to the Basra police chief. Major-General Abdul-Jalil Khalaf said that some of them had been killed alone, others gunned down with their children. One unveiled mother was murdered together with her children aged 6 and 11.”
Why is it the women and children that are always suppressed first and longest in a society – the answer is simple, they are the most vulnerable and cowards always attack what they perceive to be weaker than they are. Which leaves the question should Britain and the U.S. leave the country (which won’t happen in the case of the U.S. because of the oil), and let it find its own way? I think a country cannot be brought to democracy and freedom unless the population wants that more than life. It is a sad fact but true that freedom comes with revolution and revolution comes with blood. As much as I abhor the treatment of women and indeed the populace in general, I don’t think sacrificing more British lives will save Basra. The only reason Iraq was a secular society under Hussein was by enforcement. If the population wants freedom, and wants a secular society – or just one that is not ruled by militant Islam, they have to fight for it, they have to instigate it.
I see it here in Morocco every day, the fine line that must be walked. Unlike Tunisia where the wearing of the veil is prohibited by law, here it is a choice. But every day it is a fight against the more fundamentalist element to keep that choice, and it is the people doing that fighting. When the bombers in Casablanca were caught, citizens turned them in. That is how you attain freedom. Now I know that Morocco is a monarchy and yes, it is a suppressive regime in many ways still, but when you look at surrounding countries and the countries of the Middle East – it looks pretty good eh?
I don’t know that we should leave the Middle East to ferment and stew in its own juice if they continue to send out terrorists to the west, but barring that… If you look at Iran, yes there is a madman who is presently holding the office of president, but before him there was a movement toward freedom and a more just society – that movement is not dead. Should we not be helping them by whatever means is available to us?
I think this is a fluid situation, one that calls for reassessment on almost a daily basis. If you look at Afghanistan and the fact that the Taliban now holds as much control as it did before the invasion by the West, you have to wonder what we are doing still there? The political situation in Pakistan is becoming more volatile every day. Has anything the U.S. has done helped to defuse that situation? I don’t think we can simply turn our backs on the Middle East, or any Muslim country that threatens the West, but what we are doing now does not appear to be working. I think we need a different plan.