Guest Blog- "IRAQ - an exit strategy"
Dr. Ada M. Fisher
No matter the politics, the USA can’t turn coat and run from Iraq. To leave before that nation is able to defend itself is to set up another rogue nation for terrorist. The USA must stay the course with a different mind-set, which respects Islamic principles and virtues and focuses on rapid deployment of change agents, which will bring about the economic relief necessary to add stability to that nation.
First, though the President states no weapons of mass destruction were found, we must talk about the fact that we did find and remove a major weapon of mass destruction—Sadam Hussein who inflicted genocide on hundreds of thousands of his own people. It is this action of genocide, which is probably one of two internationally acceptable indications for a preemptive strike or unilateral involvement in the affairs of a sovereign nation. The other being the proven potential to annihilate a substantial portion of the world.
Second, we must acknowledge and accept that not everyone is Christian in his or her orientation nor do we have a right to make it so. In all the praying and fretting over the founding of this nation, forgotten is the fact that it was the concept of religious freedom (First Amendment), the need for individual rights and the concept of property rights which are the strong reasons for this country’s defection from Europe. As President Bush acknowledged, no one enjoys being occupied and neither do men and women of faith appreciate being told who is their God and how that God is to be worshipped.
Thirdly, prisoner abuse must be exorcized. Islam to be understood must first be respected for it surpasses Christianity in its members and converts. Islam is a patrilineal religion with much authority placed in the hands of men who exercise authoritarian control over women in the eyes of some. The humiliation of Iraqi prisoners by showing men naked, reportedly attacked by dogs, posed in sexually degrading postures, is bad enough but to have them splayed before an American woman in their minds is the insult of insults. If civilian Iraqi women have been raped and children molested by those acting on this nation’s behalf, under no conditions will this be tolerated or forgiven by many in the Middle East, nor should it be tolerated by this nation.
Heads will and must roll for our national security is being further threatened. To not understand this means looking over your shoulder constantly for we can never be secure against people who are known to carry on wars for ages. We must support our troops but be mindful that privates, corporals and the like who are underlings are responsible through a chain of command which must be cleansed of this foolishness as well.
Fourth, this nation must understand what the VFW notes, the price of freedom is not free.
Fifth, the use of private contractors not accountable to the US government and US Congress for its actions is something that must be seriously examined. We need a military where all citizens share in the responsibility for the protection and security of the nation against enemies domestic and foreign. We may be at that juncture where volunteers alone may not be sufficient to meet our nation’s needs and commitments. If we required national service of our citizens, we would have more accountability for our involvements and our foreign policies.
Had Oakwood International from Richland, NC been given the housing contract instead of non-competitive bids by Halliburton or political cronies, we could have had substantial concrete housing up in 16 days, which can be adapted by the cultures involved as well as finished with the labor and contributory products from citizens of that country. This housing would have employed and still can employ hundreds in Iraq as well as NC where so many of our jobs have been removed. This housing would give Iraq the economic development needed to quiet the disaffected.
Six, Iraq’s oil isn’t the spoil of the victors nor will it be sufficient to pay debts. It’s past time that this nation had a reasonable energy policy, which looks at new sources of fuel and energy as well as conservation of resources. If 10-15 mile per gallon cars is to be continually used, oil wars will be in the foreseeable future.
Ex-Secretary of State Colin Powell’s public voice has never wavered in his support of the President, nor has his compassion for the people and estimate of the nature of the problems of the troubled Middle East been more on target. Maybe it’s time to let Secretary Powell do what he has done well, be a. top military man for this nation or a United Nation’s envoy to the Middle East.
Dr. Ada M. Fisher is a licensed teacher for secondary education in mathematics and science, previous elected school board member, physician and was a Republican candidate for the 2002 NC US Senate and 2004 NC US Congress 12th District seat.