Archived 4-05-04

“If the shoe were on the other foot”

By Larry John

Imagine if you can, instead of the United States being in Iraq to rescue them from a terrible, murderous, barbaric dictator and to free them from the controls of a horrendous dictatorship, Iraq were here in the United States to free us from a terrible, horrendous, and controlling leader and government. If the shoe were on the other foot, how would you react?

What I am trying to say is that in order to understand why they are not welcoming the United States with open arms is really hard for many U.S. citizens to understand. Now I hear on the news that our U.S. leaders and military Generals are getting so mad that they want to kill everyone who doesn’t welcome us. And why not? We went there and freed them from the controls of a dictator who was killing all the people who disagreed with him and now if they don’t agree with us we want to do exactly what Saddam Hussein was doing; Kill all those who disagree with us. “Hey, lay down your arms, embrace capitalism and democracy, and give up your tribal warring traditions, or we will have to kill you just like the Saddam did. Surely you understand that.”

“President Saddam Hussein defended his autocratic style of leadership by arguing that nothing else could have kept such a vast and diverse nation united.” With the Kurds in the north, Sunni Muslims in the centre and Shi'ia in the south we have yet to see any one person step up and say they can keep Iraq together. Even with our 100,000 plus troops, the U.S. can’t keep these factions under control. That’s why what the outside world called terror, Saddam calls expediency (humane or not).  He had to do what he did in order to have order. So, like Saddam, our military Generals have told us that in order to gain control of this country, they are going to have to go in there and kill all those that oppose us. Has anything really changed? If you look at it another way, with “Saddam the Iraqi's didn’t pay any direct taxes, had minimum restrictions on starting businesses, free medical care from cradle to grave, no property taxes, no sales taxes, minimal zoning and planning laws, free college education with daily meals provided in the campus cafeteria. Iraqi's were encouraged to own guns, have virtually no crime, no homeless, Iraqi's were free to travel, write, create, make art and worship their God. The state funded it all with natural resource development. I could go on, but I think the picture is clear. Certainly we agree that Saddam was a murderer, tyrant and a sociopath. But I am not talking about Saddam right now. I am talking about changing minds. If only the people of Iraq could see it OUR WAY. They would see that fighting us is like biting the hand that feeds you. We are there in their country to free them from a psychotic mad man who really needs to be ousted. Capitalism and Democracy have so much more to offer them if they would only give them a chance. At least that’s how our country looks at it. So, back to my original question, what if the shoe were on the other foot? What if the United States were the little guy and Iraq were the one and only world power and they came to our shores and cities and told us that our form of government was wrong and they were here to free us from our stupid traditions and the barbaric control of capitalism and democracy? And if we didn’t allow them to take control and put in place a government of a benevolent dictator, they would have to bomb us, kill thousands of our civilians, destroy our towns, and change our way of tribal life. What would you do?

I don’t know about you, but I would fight. I would fight for my way of life. After all, it is the only way of life I know. Even if the “big dog” Iraq couldn’t understand my thinking and thought their way was obviously the best government on earth, I would do everything within my power to resist and to make it difficult, if not impossible, for them to take over my country and my way of life. So why are we so surprised that many of the people in Iraq continue to fight for their way of life? Obviously, if the shoe were on the other foot, we would be fighting for our way of thinking just as vigorously as many of the Iraqis are. After all, for more than 75% of the people of Iraq, it is the only life they have ever known.

But we will continue to say, “But we are RIGHT! God is on our side. Why can’t we see that?” And the war goes on. We need to kill them so they will see that we are right and be happy like us. The more they don’t want to be more like us, the more of them we will have to kill so they will see that they MUST be like us in order to be truly happy. We are right. They are wrong. And if they don’t agree…we must kill them until they see that we are happy and they are not. Walk this way…. talk this way…believe this way…act this way…dress this way…worship this way…govern this way…. Just do it… MY WAY! Think about it.