Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Iraq’s Prime Minister, writes to Europe today in the Times of London calling for them to step up and help:
LAST WEEK I was at Blair House in the centre of Washington DC. In this house is the table on which George Marshall in June 1947 signed the plan to pump today?s equivalent of $500 billion into the impoverished economies of Europe as an investment against future conflict. The plan was controversial but nobody would now deny its far-sightedness. Nazism gave way to a lasting democracy, economic devastation was replaced by slow but sure progress towards economic regeneration. Consider Germany of 1945 and Germany of today: which would you rather have as your neighbour?
The Middle East, including Iraq, is as much of a neighbour to Europe as Germany is to Britain. The Middle East has as much strategic significance as Europe in 1945, and has potential both for exporting violence and terror to the West or, alternatively, developing its human and natural resources to the point where it can imitate Europe?s economic success.
Last week I went to Brussels with an Iraqi delegation for a conference with foreign ministers of more than 80 countries. All have agreed to help Iraq towards a better future. On Friday I met President Bush; today I will meet Tony Blair. Both have decisively chosen to back freedom and democracy in Iraq. They are right to have done so. It is not just a matter of principle, but of the security of their own countries. Terrorism knows no boundaries; it strikes all over the world. Democracy, transparency and justice in the Middle East will dry up the wellsprings of hatred and terrorism and bring security to Europe and America.
Marshall said: ?Our policy is not directed against any country or doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation and chaos.? Today is the time for a new international Marshall plan towards Iraq and the broader Middle East ? directed not for or against any policy but against ignorance, tyranny, hatred and anarchy.
Marshall repaired the decaying infrastructure of Germany after six years of war and 12 years of Nazi rule. In Iraq we have had nearly 40 years of fascist rule and have been in practice at war for half that time. I have seen throughout Iraq the marks of economic collapse and depredation this has left. Iraq today has few English speakers, it has hundreds of thousands of ex-soldiers trained for nothing but war, and its universities ? which once enjoyed a worldwide reputation ? now lag behind those in the rest of the region. It has debts totalling hundreds of billions of dollars and there has been no investment in its infrastructure for more than 20 years.
Three generations of Iraqis have grown up under a dictatorship, learning to take orders but not take initiatives or responsibility, and educated in religious and political hatred and isolationism. My people are a strong people: their will survived. The marks of Saddam?s brutal and divisive rule, however, will take time to heal. Many of my people, as well as soldiers from the multinational force, are still being killed by terrorism.
The way will not always be easy. I am confident, though, that the prosperous democracies of the world will be as far-sighted
today as Marshall was in 1947. Much blood had to be shed, and money spent, before peace was achieved in Europe. In Iraq the fight for democracy has cost hundreds of thousands of lives. In the long run, however, it can secure centuries of peace and prosperity. Iraq?s fight against terrorist networks and training camps, and the poverty and ignorance that supply them, has become the world?s fight for the security of humanity.
This was a well written and powerful piece but I doubt that it will have much effect on Europe since all they can see is George Bush. The fate of Iraqi’s matter little to them as long as they can defeat Bush. In the end it show’s the true character of those in Europe.
Imagine if we had never got involved in WWII Europe….if we had gone along with the left and their isolationist policies. Or if we never helped rebuild Germany and western Europe. Would we have been able to prevent Communism from spreading past the Eastern Bloc?
The short-sightedness of Europe and those of the left in this country is mind boggling.
Will Europe and the US left step up and help now that the people of Iraq have started to participate in a fledgling Democracy? I doubt it.
(h/t Captain’s Quarters)