Is the worst over? Is Iraq a stable country today ? It may appear a rather sick joke to the families and friends of the 61 young army recruits killed in Tuesday’s bomb blast in Baghdad ? the deadliest this year.
HISTORY WAS in the making in Iraq. Heavy armoured military vehicles, with their headlights on, in the predawn freshness were crossing, hopefully forever, the barbed wires and the metal gates that make the border between Iraq and Kuwait.
It was an early Thursday and the last day for many US troops, who were desperate to go back home to their families. For them one chapter of life was closing forever. They were part of a brutal history few would prefer to call the war of liberation.
History was made but it wasn’t what the protagonists would have loved to make. It was a retreat that left behind more problems than solutions. After seven years and five months of the US-led invasion, the last American combat brigade was leaving Iraq, well ahead of President Barack Obama’s Aug. 31 deadline for ending US combat operations there. Was there any thing to celebrate ?
The cruel, barbaric and unjust dictatorship of Saddam was brought to an end by this war. Today, Iraqis are free who can vote no matter their vote has not materialized in making a new government for months. Can they celebrate that liberators or going after doing their job ? Not really!
The US presence is far from over. Scatterings of troops still await departure, and some 50,000 will stay another year in what is designated as a non-combat role. They will carry weapons to defend themselves and accompany Iraqi troops on missions (but only if asked). Special forces will continue to help Iraqis hunt for terrorists.
America sacrificed at least 4,415 men going by Pentagon’s count as of Wednesday in this war which was fought thousands of miles away from their shores. It took months of preparation to move out the troops and armour across more than 500 km of desert highway through potentially hostile territory at night.
Is the worst over? Is Iraq a stable country today ? It may appear a rather sick joke to the families and friends of the 61 young army recruits killed in Tuesday’s bomb blast in Baghdad — the deadliest this year. Every day scores of people continue to get killed in the lawlessness after the US-led invasion.
Still this is a complacency that suggests a degree of confidence in both Baghdad and Washington, a belief that that the things are brightening up.
There is still no elected government and the political greed of the main parties that refuse to put national interests above their own is destroying the semblance of illusive stability. Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, refuses to talk with leader of the second largest party Nuri Al-Maliki, unless the latter apologize for a TV taunt that Allawi’s Iraqiya group was a minority bloc.
Children of Iraq could teach these politicians what maturity means. Iraq is still burning and its political leaders acting like spoilt brats. One hopes that better senses would prevail and Iraq would come back to normalcy. I hope it won’t be another mirage!