Once American Troops Leave Iraq, There's No Reason to Continue the Bloodshed
Yanar Mohammed, co-founder of the Organization for Women's Freedom in Iraq, says the Americans should leave Iraq now. She knows a bit more than American politicians who've never been to Iraq and love saying, "They've been killing each other for thousands of years:
Well, I’m not saying it’s going to be paradise right away, but the idea is that we are having all these Jihadis coming to Iraq, because there is this magnet, which is the US troops in there. For them, that is the biggest evil that they are coming to fight. And if these troops leave the country and all of them leave the country, there isn't much reason to come to Iraq anymore. If you tell me there are already Islamists in power and in the government and in the resistance and there will be fights among them, I tell you, yes, there will be fights among them.
But then again, those who are in power are not really. They don't have the popular base that they used to have in the first two years. You go to their own areas like Sadr City and the other Shiite parts of Baghdad, you find out that the young people are looking for the seculars, for the progressive groups to join. And then again, you look at the so-called resistance. The Islamic party of Iraq, they do not have very strong -- now they have strong grounds, because they are fighting against the Americans. But if the US troops leave -- and we all know that the resistance is a sum-up of the old Baaths and some Arab nationalists and al-Qaeda -- so if the US troops leave, even that part of the -- I mean, the resistance will lose its popular base, and there will be all sorts of multiplications in there.
And you know what, Amy, the difference, the only difference between Iraq and Afghanistan, although we spoke much of the similarities, is that in Iraq you had a society, you had all the infrastructure working, you had -- it was all functioning. And the people had not lived decades in a war-torn situation. So there is a bit number of democrats, of progressives, a civil society that could be put together, and it could be mended.
But we really need to push on the issue of the US troops leaving right away. There will be some chaos for some time, but because the extremists do not have the strong support from the people that they should have -- most of the support came from either surrounding countries or the big powers in the world. The US administration prefers to see moderate, so-called moderate, Islamists in power, and what’s moderate about somebody who looks at women as less than men, about somebody who thinks that people belonging to other sects of Islam are less of human beings, and about somebody who has no accountability? I think it’s not news today when we speak that all the kidnappings in Iraq, most of them at least, are happening by police cars. Many of the public executions against women are happening by -- are being administered by the militias who are affiliates of power. So there is no accountability. There is no respect for human rights. And yet, they are governing us.
The US troops should leave, and they should not impose any political agenda on Iraq, and the support should not be given to the extremists. The people of Iraq are still an integrated society. The youth do not want to see the extremists in power. We will have the dynamics that will make it work, be it by election, be it by the grassroots, who will be bring about the democratic sense into the country.