Iraq Moves Forward to Freedom

Rich Trzupek is a veteran environmental consultant and senior advisor to the Heartland Institute. He is the author of the new book Regulators Gone Wild: How the EPA is Ruining American Industry (Encounter Books).


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The final piece of the puzzle, declaring the official end of the oil-for-food program, does much more to put an episode that was awfully embarrassing to the UN in the international body’s rear view mirror than accomplishing anything meaningful for Iraq. The oil-for-food cesspool festered from 1996 to 2003. The idea was certainly noble: to allow Saddam Hussein’s Iraq to sell oil on the world market, but to limit the use of the profits to buying food and medicine for the people in Iraq who were suffering under sanctions imposed after the First Gulf War. The problem was that the UN ran the program and the UN could give the Chicago Machine lessons in corruption. UN inspectors grew rich, Saddam was able to rearm and his sons were able to maintain their lavish lifestyles. The 2003 invasion of Iraq effectively put an end to the corruption, but the program remained nominally in place until the UN drew the final curtain this week.

We can debate, and we certainly will continue to do so, whether our motivations for invading Iraq were justified, whether the expense was worth it and whether the price our men and women in uniform ultimately paid justified the ends. But, no one should dispute the fact that the United States and our allies have won an incredible victory that – in the darkest days of the war – few thought was possible. Thanks to the dedication and professionalism of our armed forces and the gutty tenacity of a few brave leaders, modern-day Iraq now stands as a bulwark of liberty and self-determination, lying squarely in the middle of the troubled Muslim world. Might the situation in Iraq still unravel? It could, but each passing day makes that prospect less likely. Many skeptics believed that regime-change could never be effective in a distant land dominated by an alien religion and unfamiliar cultural values. Our Iraq experience suggests something else. Perhaps the virtues of liberty and democratic institutions are obvious to all, regardless of race, culture and creed. Perhaps, given the time and security necessary to do so, people of any tradition would appreciate the innate worth of having a voice in deciding their own futures. Maybe – just maybe – Iraq’s new dawn also represents a new dawn for the rest of the civilized world. This week’s actions by the UN seem to suggest that is indeed the case. Iraq’s challenge, and our challenge, and the challenge faced by the rest of the free world is simple: to ensure that Iraq continues to shine the light of liberty and freedom in the Mideast.

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  • flaedo

    Oh did they get rid of lslam? l guess a country doesnt have to be civilised in order to qualify for membership.

    • ObamaYoMoma

      Hell, the useless UN has been hijacked and co-opted by the 57 countries strong OIC block of Muhammadan countries for decades.

  • Chezwick_Mac

    America deserves great credit for liberating Iraq from the clutches of a megalomaniacal despot like Saddam, but this notion that Iraq is a beacon of liberty is divorced from reality. Is Mr Trzupec aware of what is occurring there at this very moment?…how fundamentalists are eroding the space for any real societal secularism?…how musicians and artists, even beauticians, are being harassed and sometimes killed?…how Christians are being persecuted daily?

    Makes one want to cry to think that more than 4000 brave Americans gave their lives in the service of their country so that Sharia could reign supreme in Iraq.

    • guest

      iraq is a frikkin mess now. the christians are being genocided and forced to leave, the moderate moslems who actually won the elections have been politically castrated and the country is now more islamic than ever and in the total clutches of the islamaniacal iran !! women lost all their freedoms and the population is now mainly ignorant and backwards as all those with a talent or education have been liquidated by death squads or have fled the country.
      my god how foolish and ignorant this article is. is it ignorance or just trying to justify the american sacrifices which actually only succeeded in handing the fantastically rich and secular iraq to the islamullahs more paranoid and psychopathic than saddam by far perhaps. and while saddam and family were unbelievably brutal and evil, now the whole bloody country with its clowns at the top is ruthlessly corrupt and bloodthirsty, they kill willy nilly and rob the iraqis of all possible riches from oil revenues to minerals to agri products etc. so while iraq is probably potentially the second or third oil rich country in the world, the population is penniless devastated and decimated and worst of all backwards and illiterate more than EVER before.
      our boys died for literally less than nothing. empowered iran and diminished the educated and cut the moderate and educated christians there by more than 50 percent sending them off on an un needed refugee spiral of fear pain and loss.
      my god is this article misguiding and the smell of some intoxicant wafts between the lines. well good luck ye all with the new islamic republic of iraq. really good luck!!!

    • Jim C.

      I am essentially in agreement with you: getting rid of Saddam was justified but I think it will be a long while before we make a full reckoning of just how catastrophically misguided our actions have been over there–specifically: WHY.

      Our men and women who serve are the glory of this country; so, like you, I find it extremely difficult to measure their incredible and noble sacrifices against what we are supposed to have achieved. It is simply NOT WORTH THE PRICE. And we will always be diminished as a nation if we don't account for it.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    It’s another symbolic moment, a milestone that confirms the fact that – whether one believes the price paid was worth it or not – America and our allies have achieved something remarkable in this far-off land.

    If anyone believes that Iraq, which is a Sharia state thanks to Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, a Muhammadan who managed to penetrate the Bush State Department, will not rejoin the Global Jihad just as soon as we finally leave, then I have a bridge for sale I need to sell them. Meanwhile, can anyone please explain how the two fantasy based occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq will make the West safer from the Global Jihad, especially when the two Sharia states we created with the help of Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad will rejoin the Global Jihad as soon as we leave? Not only that, but thanks to America, they will both be stronger than they were before.

    Indeed, delusional peace activists from around the world are condemning America today because of documents released by Julian Assange that indicate the insurgents, i.e., the terrorists, we captured and turned over to Iraqi authorities were routinely tortured. In other words, they are claiming that America is complicit in torture. However, torture is allowed under Sharia, and so are a lot of other inhumane draconian punishments. This is the kind of foolishness we become involved in when we pursue fantasy based nation-building missions based on false premises and political correct myths.

    We can debate, and we certainly will continue to do so, whether our motivations for invading Iraq were justified, whether the expense was worth it and whether the price our men and women in uniform ultimately paid justified the ends.

    As for as I am concerned, invading Iraq was perfectly justified, as Saddam’s intransigence was destroying American prestige, but then subsequently occupying Iraq afterwards to pursue an exceedingly fantasy based nation-building mission to win the hearts and minds of Muhammadans was about as misguided as it gets. This is not a victory; it’s a strategic blunder of monumental proportions, as Iraq, a Sharia state that we created, will now rejoin the Global Jihad as soon as we exit. Indeed, for all intents and purposes they already have, as Iraq votes in complete lockstep with the 57 Islamic countries strong OIC against America, Israel, and the West at every opportunity.

    But, no one should dispute the fact that the United States and our allies have won an incredible victory that – in the darkest days of the war – few thought was possible.

    Dream on Richard. In the darkest days of the war, Iraq was already lost but the Bush administration was too blinded by political correct multiculturalism to know it. Nevertheless, someone please explain how a Sharia state, which is what Iraq is, will not be America, Israel, and the West’s eternal enemy? If anyone believes otherwise, then I suggest that they study Sharia and the jihad ideology that it mandates. Thus Richard, please forgive me for recognizing our accomplishments in Iraq for what they really are instead of the way you are trying to portray them. While Bush may have deceived plenty of so-called conservatives that he was a conservative like apparently you, I wasn’t one of them.

    Thanks to the dedication and professionalism of our armed forces and the gutty tenacity of a few brave leaders, modern-day Iraq now stands as a bulwark of liberty and self-determination, lying squarely in the middle of the troubled Muslim world.

    Come on now, this is getting surreal. Iraq is a Sharia state and Sharia systematically persecutes and often violently oppresses females and unbelievers. It also incorporates draconian punishments such as floggings, stonings, amputations, torture, and beheadings, while severely restricting the freedom of religion, the freedom of speech, and the freedom of conscience. Sharia also obligates Muhammadans to wage jihad against unbelievers for the spread of Islam. Thus, if you believe that Iraq is a bulwark for liberty and self-determination, lying squarely in the middle of the troubled Muslim world, then I think that you must have been smoking crack when you were composing this article.

    Now a lot of Bush supporting liberal RINOs blinded by political correct multiculturalism and that don’t have the first clue about Islam may be gullible and naïve enough to agree with you, but you are insulting the intelligence of true conservatives like me that know better.

    Might the situation in Iraq still unravel? It could, but each passing day makes that prospect less likely.

    It’s already long unraveled, only you apparently don’t know it. Either that or you are engaging in wishful thinking, either way it is still delusional.

    Maybe – just maybe – Iraq’s new dawn also represents a new dawn for the rest of the civilized world

    You are really laying it on thick here dude.

    to ensure that Iraq continues to shine the light of liberty and freedom in the Mideast.

    Yeah right, Iraq, a Sharia state, is shining the light of liberty and freedom in the Middle East. Give me a break!

    • guest

      agree with you word for word in fragmenting this silly articles optimism and blatant hot air. we took a country that was extremely bad and turned it into extremely and irreversibly worse. irreversibly worse gentlemen. while you try to whitewash the historic failure of epic dimensions, the decent iraqis die daily or flee the country while the thugs rule and conquer and transform this fantastically rich and amazing piece of geography and ancient history into the wild wild east of current day decay and extremism.
      yes it is highly likely that the new iraq will fall completely in the total clutches of iran. or will drift back into an internal strife like no other once the US army departs.

  • stephencuz

    Mr Trzupek, I expect better from this you and this site. Even just yesterday there was a post concerning a 3 year old boy named Adam that was shouting ‘Enough! Enough!” walking among the dead and dieing, which included his parents, attending Catholic Church Services and getting massacred by Islamists in Bagdad. Witnesses say he kept stepping between the killers and the victims until finally they killed him. There is nothing you can do or say that will negate the barbarity of this and reconcile your desire for a Iraq to represent freedom and the truth which is unless they turn from Sharia they are merely a measurable time span from being as all the other cave dweller societies that surround them that are enemies of freedom at its core.

  • tanstaafl

    The "government" of Iraq may not enact a measure that contradicts the Qur'an. No freedom of speech or religion (the genocide of Christians in Iraq is unnoticed by the world media). Women have only the rights of the Qur'an, that is to say, none. Jews and other infidels (us) have no rights and may be killed without penalty.

  • USMCSniper

    The focus in the Middle East then rapidly shifts from a war against Israel to a civil war and world war that spreads all over the Islamic world. Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia and other Arab sheikdoms war against Iran and other Shiite controlled areas in the world. Think of what almost happened in Iraq happening over one fourth of the earth. The West will obviously side with the Sunni oil rich states and will directly help defeat Shiite and Islamic terrorism in the world. General Tommy Franks, Retired. CIC of our forces in Afghanistan and Iraq says: "The 4th world war will be started in real earnest by a nuclear Iran with Hiroshimas all over the Islamic crescent, as a Shiite-Sunni war, once the Americans leave.

    • Chezwick_Mac

      I'm not sanguine about the prospects for regime-change in Iran, but if the mullah's are ever booted out, the Iranians – because of their Shia confession and other ethnic, linguistic and civilizational differences with the Sunni Arab world – will become natural allies of the West, much the way Persia was during the long centuries of Ottoman hegemony.

      Of course, that's one big "if".

      • guest

        NO moslem will become an ally of the free world in the true sense. it is forbidden as the west and the other belief systems even atheism and communism and all the isms are considered enemies of moslem umma and have to be terminated or defeated and semi enslaved ie dhimmi for christian and jew and fully dead for all others!. go read your basic koran before you utter such dreamy nonsense

        • sam000

          You were 100% right on IRAQ, and you are 100% WRONG on IRAN.

          I'm Iranian, and more than half of my familly were killed by the Mullahs, they were fighting Islamism from the first day, we will die, but we will unroot the Islamism from our country.

          What you see about the Iranian Government, is an occupation, and not IRANIAN.

  • http://www.mysapce.com/freddawes1776/ Fred Dawes

    Guest is right no muslim country can by law become the friend of any non muslim state by muslim laws.

    • Chezwick_Mac

      Muslims have throughout their history allied themselves with infidels whenever their self-interests dictated as much. Persia worked with the West against the Ottomans for centuries, just as the Saudis did during WWI. Kuwait worked with us against Iraq. There are many other examples.

  • Ike

    Any Jews in Iraq?

    • stephencuz

      They're certainly making sure the numbers of non-Muslims continues to diminish. Just like any other Sharia based system. Yes we can align with such countries for a common goal but never are we fooled (or shouldn't be) into thinking they are true allies. Unless and until the balance of the world sees the enemy (socio-political-totalitarian Islam as is crouched in Sharia) as the real focus we will play along the peripheral until either we succumb or wake and defeat them. I say it's time for another Martel "The Hammer."

  • CanadConserv

    Despite all that is still bad in iraq, the bottom line is this: It is functioning as a democracy, and its government is a coaltion of all disparate groups.

    While the prime minister is too friendly with Iran, he is severely constrained by others in the coalition.

    While the constitution indicates Islam to be a source of law, it also allows that be interpreted however. Moreover, the constitution can be amended in future, should the country become more secular.

    Perfect id the enemy of the good. Iraq is mainly a good story, if not perfect.

  • sam000

    Yes, it is working, but, the killing machine of IRAN in IRAQ is working faster.

    The secullar oposition can not stay in IRAQ, they have fled to jordani, saudi, syria, uk, europe, and even to USA.

    the Iraqi ARMY, Police, and Security Forces are around 1,000,000 men, but, Iranian Qods Forces are on key positions inside the Iraqi Forces, MALEKI ( PM) who is under Tehran order is still blocking the formation of the new government which was elected democratically on last March.

    So, they will never be able to have a FREE and DEMOCRATIC IRAQ with the Iran's influnce inside the IRAQI STABLISHEMENT.

    With Iran under the MULLAHS RULE, no muslim country can become democratic.

    The Americans try to resolve the problem of the Midel east one country to another country by the thin reforms, but, with the Powerful political ISLAM (ISLAM who Governs a country) who has the petrol as ressource, they will never succeed.

    SO, having the good laws, with IRAN's Influence can not work.