Iraq) - When one travels outside Iraq after having been
there for a long while one is struck by the dramatically
different perception of the situation on the ground.
It is this mistaken view which seems to be behind the dramatic
change in policy regarding the United Nations.
First, the situation on the ground in Iraq has dramatically
improved from what it was like before the war. I was there.
I know. I saw and lived through the terror the everyday
Iraqi felt. They were terrorized. A ringing telephone, a
knock at the door, an unexpected visitor provoked sheer
terror. Many were threatening to commit suicide if they
were not liberated this time from Sadaam.
Yes, there are regular attacks against Coalition forces,
yes there are bomb attacks, but the life for the average
Iraq has improved dramatically. They are finally free.
The stores are full, the streets are bustling, people can
watch Satellite TV, surf the Internet, talk freely on the
telephone and in public for the first time inn 35 years!.
A typical evening is full of people, men, women, children,
families walking the streets and most of all `hope`. I for
one am tired of the constant stream of negative news from
Iraq! It is not true!.
Second, Be Strong! The real enemy is radical islam. In clear
contradiction to both the historic teachings of Islam and
the Koran a wave of radical islam is sweeping across Iraq,
killing, maiming and intimidating the public.
The UN never cared enough for Iraq! They made millions of
dollars through the Oil for Food program and never even
bothered to send the Secretary General before the war. They
are much reviled in Iraq.
Fearful of appearing to be anti-muslim the appropriate tough
stance is not being taken. Letters left on doors say `cover
yourself like a good muslim or we will rape, kill, kidnap
or bomb your house` not very `religious`.
The Coalition Provisional Authority needs to take a firm
stand so that the Iraqi people will know that they will
not be let down, that the radical slick philosophy that
denies in most middle eastern countries the most basic freedom
- freedom of thought will not take over their country.
Intimidation in the form of the constant blaring of loudspeakers
from the Mosques and the forcible wearing of the head covering
for women must s in many Arab countries be immediately banned
to send a message to the people that their future is in
a free, democratic and prosperous Iraq not a theological
nightmare like neighboring Iran which has sent their agents
throughout the country fomenting trouble.
Third, take care of the `normal` people. I am an Assyrian.
The Assyrian are the indigenous or `native` people of Iraq.
The Assyrians are the people to whom Jonah of `Jonah and
the whale` fame came to. Nineveh in the Bible is Mosul where
Sadaams sons were recently captured.
The Assyrians are Christians, according to a pre-war Iraqi
Government figures 2.5 million in Iraq with a worldwide
total of 6 million. These are the people that will provide
the engine of growth for Iraq but they will all leave the
country and those overseas will not return if a firm constitution
and basic rights are not enshrined.
As the original people of Iraq they need a guarantee that
they will not suffer the fate of every Christian minority
in every muslim country - discrimination, intimidation and
more. How they are treated is the barometer of freedom and
a future for Iraq.
Fourth, follow the example of Japan - Impose a constitution!
I was born and raised in Japan where my parents came immediately
following the war in response to General Douglas Macarthur's
call for 10,000 young people to help rebuild post-war Japan.
This is not the time for weak minded `dialogue` - it is
the time for strong, clear leadership - the only kind respected
in this part of the world.
The key to the success of Japan was a Constitution imposed
on Japan against the wishes of the ruling elite but with
complete support of the people, a forced elimination of
all vestiges of the military/industrial/religions triangle
that had ruined Japan and a seven year occupation free of
any other distractions with a strong leader General Douglas
McArthur loved and revered in Japan nearly 60 years later
as the man who freed them!
This is something the United Nations cannot and will not
do! We must not let them snatch the victory that has been
won by the blood of our young and dash the hopes of the
average people who hate all the extremists on both sides
and just want to be a `normal` country, once more a part
of the world - something they finally have hope for!
Fifth, Permanent basing. The key to the success of Japan
was and is the permanent stationing of Troops in the country.
Many Iraqis have specifically panted this out. They need
protection from what they all term the `crazy` people -
the radical islamists who are the biggest threat to their
Permanent American bases, paid for as in the case of Japan
by the host country in the North, Baghdad and south to permanently
stabilize Iraq. Dont listen to the constant naysayers -
they are usually part of the nearly 20% of the country that
was part of Sadaams gravy train.
Iraq is beginning to work! Prices are going up, people are
beginning slowly but surely to think for themselves. It
is as if they have been woken up from a long 35 year sleep.
It will take time for them to get their `land legs` and
to be confident, overcome intimidation and free in their
The average people welcome the Americans. It is the time
to be strong, to not listen to the naysayers, to not - I
repeat - not give authority to the UN but as in the case
of Japan maintain a clear, concrete and reality based vision
for a country that is free of intimidation, religious interference
in government and a place that will welcome investment,
ideas and the free exchange of peoples.
It can be done! It will take time, sacrifice, investment
but like Japan we can watch as a former enemy, a former
terror to its neighbors is transformed to become a leader
for economic strength, peace and freedom.
It worked for Japan it will work for Iraq! This is not the
time for compromise but a time for sticking the examples
of the past and to what made America great in the first
place - freedom, democracy, the rule of law, separation
of religion and the state and the greatest give America
has given to the world - Hope!
In the words of two young Iraqis who are the future of Iraq
when asked what they think of the Americans `
the simple question to a couple of young people -19 and
26 respectively Remon says `We love them! We are so happy
they have come! Now for the first time we have a future!
We have hope! At the same time we are tired. It is now five
months with no electricity and other services. But we are
patient. We can wait because now we finally have hope!`
26 year old Ben chimes in `Now we can finally travel overseas!
We can watch Satellite TV! We are finally connected with
Let us not let tem down! After suffering for 35 years they
deserve it! They deserve the best - not to be handed over
to the uncertain fate of the United Nations.
Ken Joseph Jr., an Assyrian, was born and raised
in Japan. His grandparents escaped the country in the Assyrian
Holocaust of 1919 and he directs Assyrianchristians.com
and is currently writing a book about his experience in
Iraq before and after to war.