We have superior weapons, personnel and intelligence. Our economy dictates that of the world. We are also fortunate enough to have the greatest form of government the world has ever seen.
We put all of these powers to work in ousting Saddam Hussein, the man we were certain posed the greatest threat to world stability since Adolf Hitler.
Much blood has been shed since we grabbed the banner of righteousness and stormed into Iraq. We have shed the light of freedom upon a suppressed people, and we arrived in armored vehicles with food and supplies to hand them American Democracy Version 9.0 free of charge.
It is a template we have been using all over the world for over half a century. South Vietnam, several small African countries and most recently Haiti are evidence of our handiwork.
We impose American democracy the way successful coaches and CEO’s put their plans into place to revive struggling franchises. We believe in our plan because it has produced the greatest country in the world.
Our country may be fine, but the plan is flawed because it lacks several key components in order to work, most notably the will of the oppressed to be free.
Iraq had that will once, but it is buried in mass and individual graves all over Iraq. George Bush Sr. made sure of that when we left the freedom fighters to their own course.
We forget of our own struggles to create our way of life. The countless millions who we suppressed, tortured, sold, brought, bullied and burned. Our past is littered with growing pains and we are all the wiser and stronger for it.
Understanding and awareness for all members of a democracy cannot be shoved down people’s throats. All people are created equal, but people being treated equally requires open minds, tolerance, and time to develop the two. Iraq’s factions will never willingly allow another faction to determine their fate. Their opposition to each other runs deeper than we could ever comprehend.
No matter how flawed the reasons for being in Iraq are or the struggles Version 9.0 will incur, we cannot leave Iraq without our assistance. There will be civil strife for many years as they struggle to trust each other and the leaders they elect.
However, they must first trust our intentions for their country to be pure and unwavering. Even decades from now, when countless presidents have passed hands, we need to support the people of Iraq if their democracy is to flourish.
If we do not see this through, Iraq will be no better than it was under Saddam Hussein. There might no longer be an Iraq without our support. It could very well split into three countries hell bent on destroying the other, if Iran doesn’t destroy all of them first.
It has been one year now since the invasion of Iraq captured world headlines. Looking toward the future, it is clear that the Americans whose blood has been spilt, and the families who yearn for nothing more than the opportunity to see loved ones just once more, would have sacrificed for naught if we do not see our commitment to Iraq through.
Carlos Alvarado is a senior education major from Weslaco.