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IRAQ and the US Continued Saga

By David N. Rahni, New York (September 2010)

Saddam Hossein was indeed tyrannical for his systematic and repressive mistreatment of his own nationals especially the Kurds and the Shiites whom cumulatively comprise 80% of the Iraq population.  His unilateral aggression against Iraq's  neighbors, namely Iran and Kuwait, is still painfully felt; he inflicted on humanity well over a million killed and nearly a trillion dollars of economic and environmental loss during his reign.  As a former CIA per diem agent, he was, nonetheless, able to impose and sustain a non-sectarian government, and a securely sovereign Iraq that extended certain equal civil rights to women, and brought about a myriad of modernization schemes. That said, However, thanks [but no thanks] to the U.S.  intervention on a trumped up  pretext of weapons of mass destructions, we have now destabilized Iraq and the region in ruins,  with a giant  step  backwards  to a quagmire where the old tribal and religious conflicts have reverberated. The country's infrastructure is in a shamble as it has witnessed mass exodus of its elites, intellectuals, capitals and national treasure troves, while the ordinary Iraqis neither believe in themselves nor in the government we have fostered there any longer.

In retrospect, one can only surmise as to whether or not it was in the best interest of the American people to wage this endless war against Iraq.  Was the one and only aim to remove Hossein or there were some ulterior motives having to do with the multinational conglomerates' and/or some third country's agenda? I reckon history could only tell. What benefit if any we or the people of Iraq have gained thus far from this war that is declared "over," and yet it continues at many fronts. It has led to the loss of the lives of thousands of honorable American soldiers, the loss of trillions of US tax payers' money, and the tarnishing of American credibility and leadership worldwide. The American foreign policy, under President Bush presumably  influenced by his biblical prophetic psyche, was to alienate most Muslims, empower totalitarian regimes in the Near Eastern region, which in effect increased the number and intensity of terrorists and terrorism. This foreign policy curtailed Islamic reformation and indigenous social and political reform, a struggle that in places like Iran has commenced with their 1906 Constitutional movement, and still continues to-date.   

However, if for the first time since World War II, we are genuinely  interested in fostering  democracy, reformation and modernization,  the essential pillars of a mutually beneficial sustainable development in the region, we need a different fundamental strategy and a tactical shift of paramount ramification in terms of our long-term foreign policy. To start with,  an immediate, unconditional withdrawal of our forces in their entirety, and an acknowledgment of our grave mistakes, would undoubtedly usher in a new era of reconciliation, first on the domestic and then on the international front. It is past time for the reinvigoration of our " government of the people, by the people and for the people", and to reaffirm to the international community that what we  preach is what we truly practice ourselves. 

About the author: The author, an American patriot of proud Iranian heritage, is a professor of chemistry (, and president of Chemical Detective, LLC (

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