Thursday, December 15, 2011

Praise Tunisia, not the Iraqi nightmare


December 14, 2011 01:25 AM
By Rami G. Khouri
The Daily Star

"The United States under President George W. Bush drew on a deep well of nonsense, lies and fantasy when it entered Iraq in 2003. President Barack Obama continued this bipartisan American tradition when he said Monday that the departure of American forces from Iraq left behind a country that can be a model for other aspiring democracies. On the other side of the Arab world on the same day, the Tunisian people elected a new president, providing a more credible example of how Arabs can aspire to become democratic without foreign armies destroying their national fabric.

Rarely have we had such a sharp contrast between the destructive legacy of militarized American foreign policy in the Arab world and the more constructive behavior of ordinary Arab citizens who are reshaping their own societies in a more legitimate manner. After human rights activist and former opposition leader Moncef Marzouki became Tunisia’s first elected president since the January revolution, he noted simply, “I have the great honor of becoming the first president of the first free republic of the Arab world.”.....

The Iraqi people will overcome their ordeals in due course, if they are left alone to sort out their domestic issues without excessive foreign interference. This may be asking for too much, as foreign meddling in Iraq is one of the lasting negative consequences of the Anglo-American invasion. In the years ahead when we assess indigenous democratic transitions across the Arab world, one of the important aspects of restoring sovereignty and dignity to Arab societies is for them to be sure to maintain a minimum level of intellectual honesty and accuracy in their historical narratives.

The idea that Anglo-American-ravaged Iraq is a model for Arab democratization is both a cruel lie and a deep insult, made more profound because of the alternatives that Arabs initiated on their own in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Bahrain and Yemen, with others to follow soon. This week, we are best advised to ignore Obama’s illusions and insults, and instead note the continuing transition from Mohammad Bouazizi to President Moncef Marzouki in Tunisia."

No comments: