by: Ahmed Brisam
The last visit for Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki to Washington on Sunday, Dec. 11 was said by American president Barack Obama that it will begin a new situation of relations between two sovereign states. This visit came on the occasion near the end of the implementation of the security agreement signed between Iraq and the United States in 2008, in the era of former U.S. president George W. Bush, which ordered the complete withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Iraq. America kept their promise and clung to the terms of convention and respected the national sovereignty of Iraq.
The purpose of the visit of the Iraqi prime minister was to start a new phase of strategic relationship between two countries, based on the foundation of friendship and cooperation in various fields: economic, cultural, industrial and educational. The Iraqi media explained how the visit was a success as was the welcome the Iraqis received by the U.S. administration, but it was noticeable that the Arab media, especially Saudi Arabia and Qatar, ignored this visit. For example, the newspaper Middle East Saudi Arabia London would not allow any reference to a press conference held by the Iraqi and American presidents in the White House, even one word, of facts or evidence of how the visit was successful. If this relationship had failed, the newspaper would inflate the failure and the story would have been allocated several pages.
As in the case of the previous agreement, the “New Iraq’s” enemies were brainwashing Iraqis against the West and tried to use the relationship between Iraq and America against the people and convince them it was a treaty America had devised so as to plunder the riches of Iraq and enslave its people. These people were not afraid of Iraq nor respected the integrity or sovereignty they claimed, but the opposite. They want evil in Iraq and to isolate and keep it weak and without its strongest ally, and to be an easy target for the ambitions of neighboring countries that interfere in its affairs insolently and openly. At the same time, the Arabic countries raced to build their own relationships with America, including alliances and the building of military bases on their territories, and tried to tell Iraqis the relationship between Iraq and America would be bad for Iraq’s own people.
Luckily, the majority of the Iraqi political leaders realized that America did a great thing for them in liberating Iraq from the worst and most unjust fascist regime in history, and freeing them from about 90% of the debt that he had inherited from the system failing, amounting to more than $120 billion, and the debt accumulated from Saddam’s wars, amounting to about $400 billion, and helped in the reconstruction and the rebuilding of Iraq’s security and military forces, arming them with the latest weapons and modern technology.
The other devastating legacy that the people inherited from the past, is the culture of hostility to the West, particularly America, to the degree that a person’s level of hate for the West has become a measure of that person’s love for Iraq. This is a result of the impact of totalitarian ideologies on the Iraqi public and the Arab world in general during the Cold War, which greatly disrupted Iraqi’s society and national unity.
That led the people to appear hostile to the emergence of hardened tyrants and executioners in the Arab world, like Saddam, Gaddafi and Al-Assad and felt there would be no salvation for them without help from Western countries, especially the United States. These leaders did not want relationships with America and the West, because they knew if they existed, their regimes would fall. But now, the time has come to get rid of these anti-Western cultures and establish better relations with them.
The Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari committed the country to a lasting partnership with the United States in all areas and pledged to the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to remain strong partners and work with America to rebuild itself as a democracy.
Iraq needs this good strategic relationship with the superpower countries and all the Iraqi people hope they will stay loyal and keen on Iraq’s security, safety and prosperity. The policy of isolation, and anti-Western hostility adopted by tyrants like Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi and Assad and others like them, has proved to be a failure and the devastating consequences have led their peoples to disaster.
The time has come for anyone who wants the best for Iraq and is still measures his hostility to the West and America as love for Iraq to reconsider his calculations and abandon the wrong ideas that brought destruction to Iraq and the region.