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Re: strongman for Iraq

Reader comment on item: Is an Iraqi Strongman Emerging?

Submitted by Ruby Mercer (United States), May 5, 2004 at 17:12

I am intrigued about your statement that Iraq needs a strongman of certain qualifications and it sounds good but.............. There's that tricky old 'but' again. Every such wise, gently and strong leader eventually dies and sometimes earlier than he and/or his followers would choose. It requires time to groom and train a replacement for such a man. It seldom gets done. In a country like Iraq, with a three thousand year history of tribal practices, finding another such a one and insuring his place in Iraqs future would be problematic at best. The resultant confusion and susceptiblity of the Iraqi people to another dictator of Husseins caliber is a forgone conclusion. We'd merely be passing a terrible future on to the next generation, both theirs and ours. When will we make as one of our major goals the teaching of the Iraqis modern ways of thinking, appropriate to modern warfare means? They need true history.

We missed the boat in Japan in not insisting after WWII that future generations of Japanese should learn some of their history from their victims. Will we make the same mistake in Iraq? As a people who have been taught only to hate, we need not to leave that country until we've at least tried to bring them out the seventh century and into a world that can tolerate differing viewpoints from their own. I speak as one who has read the Koran. No one needs to try to convince me that it is a book of peace. The Iraqis need a lot of help. Can one strong man do the job? Perhaps. I'm doubtful.

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