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Posted by Sadie from ? ( on Thursday, April 10, 2003 at 2:50PM :

In Reply to: & the stupidity continues - Kanan posted by Sadie from ? ( on Thursday, April 10, 2003 at 2:49PM :

Iraqi dissident: Americans must regain trust for post-Saddam Iraq to succeed

by Jessica Howard
Vanderbilt Register
Posted 4/03/03 at 10 a.m.

Kanan Makiya, professor of near eastern studies at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, said that efforts in rebuilding Iraq after the war should center upon regaining the trust of Iraqis and demilitarizing the country.

Makiya, who was born in Baghdad and is author of several books exploring Saddam’s reign of tyranny, spoke on “The United States and Post-Saddam Iraq” in Furman Hall April 2. His speech was part of the series “Understanding the Middle East” sponsored by the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities and the undergraduate humanities course “Understanding the New Global Crisis,” which came about after Sept. 11.

Makiya serves as an adviser for the Iraqi National Congress and director of the Iraq Research and Documentation Project at Harvard University, which is attempting to make available for scholarly research three million pages of official Iraqi government documents captured by the Kurds following the Gulf War in 1991.

He told a capacity crowd that when President George W. Bush asked him in January how American troops would be received by Iraqi citizens, he said “as liberators” who would present the troops with “sweets and flowers.”

To break what Makiya described as a “legacy of mistrust,” the United States must ensure that the failed uprising by Iraqis who believed Saddam Hussein had been neutralized at the end of the Gulf War in 1991 is not repeated. Coalition forces must this time remove Hussein and his regime so that the Iraqis are no longer subject to his rule, he said.

Iraqis also live under the fear of Hussein loyalists described by Mikaya as “murderous thugs” responsible for rogue attacks against coalition forces.

"It is important to remember they are a force created after 1991,” said Makiya. He said the troops, led by Saddam Fedayeen, were recruited as young teens and trained in total isolation in “brutal and savage ways.”

In convincing Iraqis that the end of the regime is coming, the Iraqi state-run television must be permanently put out of commission, Makiya said.

"It’s important to understand that Saddam rules through his face, through ubiquitous day-to-day image,” said Makiya. “It reinforces an aura of invincibility.”

He said the coalition should work with Iraqi opposition to communicate with their friends and family that “Saddam is finished.”

"One cannot liberate a people without empowering the people being liberated,” he said. “Iraq today is no different that the Europe of yesterday [after World War II].

"The removal of Saddam Hussein presents the United States and the Middle East a historic opportunity,” he said. “Iraq is not Afghanistan. It’s rich and diverse enough to become as great of a force of democracy as it now is a great force of atrocity.”

Makiya said the new Iraq should be federal in structure, serving as a form of devolution of power to Baghdad. He stressed that the opinions of the different cultures of the region should not be sacrificed.

"Iraq’s future state cannot be a democracy if it is not at some time federal in structure,” he said. “Federalism is about the rights of the collective parties that is collective in society.”

Makiya is the founder of a Washington-based nonprofit organization that promotes public activities concerning democracy in Iraq.

He said the last important step in a post-Saddam Iraq is to demilitarize the country by abolishing and reorganizing the army as a purely defensive force that will not turn on its people.

"Strength is always internal,” he said. “It is found in civil society.”

-- Sadie
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