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Give democracy a chance

Reader comment on item: After Saddam? Remaking the Mideast

Submitted by Amir Zadeh (Canada), Feb 11, 2003 at 12:33

As a muslim, I wholeheartedly support and appreciate Daniel Pipes' opinion in regard to formation of democracy in Iraq.

In addition to his example of Japan, I want to add that Iraq itself had a relatively democratic constitutional monarchy until mid-50s, and its people's culture, level of education and infrastructure was far ahead of any other Middle eastern country in mid 70s, with the exception of Israel and Iran. The ground for liberal democracy in Iraq and many other arab countries, with noted exception of Palestine and Saudi Arabia, is far stronger than, say, South American countries who have all embraced democracy. It is important to understand that the Ottoman empire, in spite of its shortcomings and problems, did lay the foundation for modernization, secularism and progress in the 19th century middle east.

Generally speaking, the muslim world is much LESS opposed to overthrowing Saddam than leftists in Europe and North America. For middle easterners, the main concern is what the west will do after removing Saddam. Some comments in western press is worrisome, such as Mark Steyn's column in National Post: "We don't care whose nails the future dictator in Iraq will pull out in his prisons, as long as it is confined to his country". If the west changes its traditional policy, follows Daniel Pipes advice and helps the reformation and modernization of the arab world, peace and prosperity for everyone will follow.

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