Task of bringing peace, stability to Iraqi people won't be done quickly What others say

Posted: Friday, September 05, 2003

It is difficult for Americans to understand the motivations of the people in Iraq who attacked the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad and killed at least 20 men and women working to help restore the economic and social life of the country.

It is beyond the grasp of reasonable people to understand the apparent hatred that Iraqi followers of Saddam Hussein have for American forces that liberated the country from a cruel despot, and as a result keep up deadly attacks on U.S. troops still in Iraq.

A suicide bomber drove an explosive-laden cement truck into the U.N. building on Tuesday, but the assault clearly was not a one-man show. The driver who killed himself in the horrific blast carried out the evil work of others lurking in the night.

Surely these committed followers of Saddam represent a minor fraction of the Iraqi population. Yet their murderous actions delay the efforts of the U.S. and the U.N. to bring stability, peace and a measure of prosperity to a society that had been devastated and enslaved by the evil reign of Saddam.

Clearly there are deep cultural differences that divide Western thinking from that of those whose heritage is rooted in the ancient sands of Iraq.

But the rage to kill that is embedded in the hearts of some of these Iraqi guerrilla killers is as sad as it is deadly.

If these killers would put half as much effort into actually trying to rebuild their country and to provide their own people with a decent life, the situation in Iraq would be vastly different than it is.

They are empowered, instead, by what apparently is a vast array of arms and ammunition and a terrible lack of a civilized maturity. They have lived in poverty, they have grown into manhood without an education beyond a few years of elementary schooling, and they know no life but one of struggle amid dirt and dust and hopelessness.

And they evidently cannot comprehend that foreigners among them are there to offer a helping hand.

Their resentment of this reflects a jealousy that threatens the future of their country.

And they make it plain that the task of bringing Iraq out from the dark age of Saddam will not be one quickly accomplished.

Sadly, many innocent people will die in the process.

This is one of the legacies of Saddam.

The Voice of the (Anchorage) Times

Aug. 25

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