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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

democracy in Iraq « Previous | |Next »
May 2, 2005

A very interesting post on democracy in Iraq by Faiza of "A family in Baghdad". The post is about her experience at some kind of "democracy in Iraq" conference in Amman that was hosted by some unnamed US organizations. An excerpt.

'On the next morning…the lecture was about democracy and the free economy....The man spoke about the necessity of adopting the Free Economy in Iraq for the coming phase, not giving the unbounded control of the country's wealth to the state, because then it will be rich and strong, and become a dictatorship. He said that oil is a wealth, but would be like a curse on people, if governments took hold of its investment. He said that we are supposed to forget the government in our future life, we shouldn't need it, nor expect it to clean our houses or do our laundry, for we shall be doing this ourselves.'

Then the questions came. A third woman said:

"where would the income of the Iraqis come from, if the wealth was to be in the hands of private companies, and free economy? Aren't we supposed to write a new constitution, containing good laws to protect the people, elect a good government, and divide the wealth justly among citizens?"

When the questions became difficult the organizers said that the discussion time was over. Those in the audience shouted back, in protest.

Faiz says that the woman beside her said:

we want to finish the discussion; we want to understand why would they want the oil for their private companies? Huh… so, they are telling us; from now on, wash your hands, the oil isn't yours, so, manage your affairs without it. How shall we live?

More attempts were made to close down the discussion. Then Faiza stood up, looked at the lecturer, and spoke directly to him: is not correct that the time would be limited for us only to listen, this isn't acceptable. You should listen to us. We listened to you, and know your viewpoint, but you too should listen to us, because we, the Iraqi women, shall go back to Iraq, and not you. We shall build Iraq, not you. The future of Iraq belongs to us, not you … we didn't come here only to listen to you, we came to learn, and debate, but you won't allow us to talk… the rules and laws of the conference should be re-arranged as we want…

More shouting and more attempts to stop the discussion.

Do have a read. It's about the formation of nationalists then their confrontation with the power plays of empire.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 3:31 PM | | Comments (0)