IRAQ: Benefits by the reduction in terrorist activities(4-5 para main)Â
It was clear that the United States did not have a plan in place for handling the situation in Iraq after the main military operations were finished. This was a strategic mistake, accompanied later by numerous tactical mistakes. These arose from a misunderstanding of the situation in Iraq and of the principles governing Islamic society. As the result of these mistakes, Iraqis feel beset by numerous daily problems: shortages of energy supplies, water, and oil; high unemployment; and a lack of security.
These problems arose from a) the negligence and dearth of investment capital under Saddam Husseinâ€™s rule, and b) ...view middle of the document...
Besides ethnically diverse Baghdad, with its population of 4.5 million people, the rest are mostly cities in the so-called Sunni Triangle. The rest of the territory of this extensive country (435, 000 square kilometers) is calm, and its people are safe. It does not mean that terrorist attacks in these 8-10 cities do not destabilize Iraq, or that people living in these cities are safe. But the exaggerated media reports coming out of Iraq lead to the spread of untruths.
For a year and a half after September 11th, al-Qaeda was unable to strike the Americans again. The United States was too well guarded. When American troops went out to fight abroad obviously the terrorists will try to attack them again. The so called post-Saddam insurgents have contributed to the situation in Iraq, but the main terrorist forces were sent by fanatic Muslim Islamists. The mountainous border with Iran and the desert-like border with Syria will never be impermeable, but the Americans can be criticized for not conducting short military strikes into these two countries on a regular basis. Such raids would considerably discourage Tehran and Damascus from sending their agents into Iraq, or helping Al-Qaedaâ€™s members to infiltrate Iraq. These tactics would be effective and ought to be utilized.
Since the parliamentary elections, more and more terrorist attacks have been directed against the victorious Shiites. Some experts predict that civil war will take place between the Shiites and the outnumbered Sunnis. They praised the apparent calm that prevailed under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. In response to these analyses we can say that Iraq, and the Middle East in general, is comparable to the situation in Eastern Europe during the Cold War period, both in its domestic and political relationships, and its strategic and geopolitical situation. Unlike Eastern Europe, the Middle East has remained locked in these patterns for a long time. Given the nature of Muslim societies, and the sheer range and depth of needed reforms, it would be an illusion to expect that any changes will occur in the region without sacrifices. The Middle East has seen nothing comparable to the successful economic and political reforms in the Czech Republic, Slovakia or Slovenia. The longer this situation continues the greater the sacrifice which will be required to transform the situation. This does not change the fact that these sacrifices will be tragic. The process of â€œdefrostingâ€ the institutions of Iraq should continue. It should be started as soon as possible in other countries of the region as well. Can we have a Springtime of Nations in the Middle East?
The situation in the Middle East has been widely commented on, and opinions vary. Some commentators believe that the â€œrevolution of freedomâ€ is already beginning in the region. They can point to such successes as:
' The victory of the moderate Mahmud Abbas in the presidential elections in Palestine.
' The high voter...