Posted Sunday, September 29, 2002

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Resident website Arabist ERIC MUELLER read this ironic editorial in the online edition of the Iraqi daily paper Babil (which is run by Uday Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi President's son) and could not resist translating it from the Arabic for our website readers.


Baghdad, Sunday, September 29, 2002


Disappearing intelligence

GENERAL Condaleezza Rice has done a good job of announcing the United States's new policy principle: inaugurating the mission to impose democracy on the world and on the Islamic world in particular.

They are promoting the American way of life and holding intensive sessions to inculcate the basic democratic "values," by giving lectures whose content many peoples in the world still remember from America's past efforts to ensconce the principles of "extreme" democracy in various regions of the globe. (Whoever doesn't believe that can go to Vietnam or Panama, or today can ask people in Palestine and Iraq.)

All this talk about the promise of democracy reminds one of the film The Search for Paradise Lost, except that the producer this time doesn't refer to Paradise being lost, but rather as something within reach, and in fact something that can be reached without any particular effort -- other than declaring immediate support for aggression against Iraq. On the way to that goal, moreover, other unresolved issues, in the first place the Palestine question, can be eliminated. Here General Rice does not content herself with preaching and cajoling; she refers instead to the use of force to compel those still unconvinced to respond and cooperate unconditionally.

In fact the US is going beyond the level of cooperation to push for wholesale transformations of people's concepts and positions, starting with the effort to bring about the change of imposing (American) censorship upon the intellectual and cultural work of writers and journalists, as called for by the American ambassador in Cairo. This is only the start of a kind of interference that would be repeated in other direct ways, and who knows, might end up with their telling us what time we should eat breakfast in the morning.

This new, yet old, hostile American stance attempts to make Iraq a model for its hatred, using the issue of weapons inspections to terrorize other countries and force them to take public positions that in fact involve compliance with and obedience to -- more than a voluntary desire to participate in -- actual aggression. For that reason we have witnessed a rising wave of American hostility to Iraq and indeed to many countries of the world.

The problem is that the current American Administration is afflicted with the disease of the aged known as Alzheimer's. Its mind is deteriorating, its intelligence and vision are disappearing. We are going to find that America's future problems will be with its own close allies. The independent stance taken by Germany, for one, is a clear example of rejecting the logic of hegemony and the attempts to dominate the world.

This American policy will lead, in the end, to creating two main poles in the world -- with America and a shrinking number of allies like Britain and the Zionist entity on the one hand, and the whole world on the other.

This US Administration is leading things down a path that will accelerate America's isolation until the country returns to the state in which it found itself five centuries ago -- an unknown world, but this time condemned by the ostracism and anger of all the peoples of the world. America by its hostility to the whole world, and in particular because of its unjust campaign against Iraq, is leading itself to the edge of the abyss, and neither the principles of Rice nor of anyone else will be of any help.

Dr. Sabah Yasin

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