Reading the WSJ at lunch today, and come across this letter to the editor from a Robert J. Sutter from Atlanta. It is in regards to an opinion piece from last week written by Mr. Ramos-Horta, the Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1996, East Timor's senior minister for foreign affairs and cooperation. His piece basically argues that sometimes force is the only thing capable of defeating evil, and all of the nonviolent protests in the world wouldn't have stopped the genocide in Rwanda, nor the removal of Saddam.
In Mr. Ramos-Horta's words-
" In almost 30 years of political life, I have supported the use of force on several occasions and sometimes wonder whether I am a worthy recipient of the Nobel Peace prize. Certainly I am not in the same category as Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu or Nelson Mandela. But Mr. Mandela, too, recognized the need to resort to violence in the struggle against white oppression. The consequences of doing nothing in the face of evil were demonstrated when the world did not stop the Rwandan genocide that killed almost a million people in 1994. Where were the peace protesters then? They were just as silent as they are today in the face of the barbaric behavior of religious fanatics.
Some may accuse me of being more of a warmonger than a Nobel laureate, but I stand ready to face my critics. It is always easier to say no to war, even at the price of appeasement. But being politically correct means leaving the innocent to suffer the world over, from Phnom Penh to Baghdad. And that is what those who would cut and run from Iraq risk doing."
Mr Sutter responds with this in todays paper-
"Mr. Ramos-Horta speaks to the need for coalition countries to stay the course in Iraq. I couldn't agree more, but I'm puzzled as to why this plea is heard frequently from politicians in all parts of the world, yet nothing is ever heard from the leaders of the newly formed government of Iraq.............
..........By the end of June the U.S. is supposed to turn over the reins of governing to this body. I would expect the world press to ask government officials of Iraq their views regarding the progress being made, and their position on the activities of terrorists who would prevent them from establishing a free Iraq.
I know what the terrorists in the Middle East believe, and I know what folks who hate America, both inside and outside our country, believe. What I don't understand is why no one dares to ask what the Iraqis want?
Why has the press of the free world ignored this group of people?"
A good question Mr Sutter. One might say that it is the AGENDA of the majority of the newsmedia to defeat George Bush at every oppurtunity due to their liberal bias. If this means actively ignoring positive stories about our military during a time of war, well, so be it. It fits the agenda, end of story.
What's REALLY sad is that the media has the blogworld to access just like everyone else, and they continually get scooped by Iraqi bloggers on a daily basis. Here's one of the latest from Ali at Iraq the Model
"If one is to believe the media and the Arab leaders and Muslim clerics, the only conclusions that can be drawn from such a situation, is that there are no Iraqis in Iraq. The only Iraqis who seem to exist and “care about the Iraqi people” live outside Iraq! I can name in this respect, in addition to the above; the western media, the French, German and Russian governments and the “pacifists”. Otherwise why aren’t the Iraqis going out to the streets in hundreds of thousands to protest against their "oppressors"!?
I guess there are only few answers to this question. It’s either that the majority of Iraqis don’t feel there’s such huge violation that needs to be protested against, or that they are more interested in their daily lives; their jobs and the future of their children than whining about buildings that as holy as they are to them, can not match their care about their jobs and children’s future.
This may give the impression that Iraqis are apathetic to what’s happening in their country, which could be true for some of them as a result of decades of oppression and hopelessness, but when one remembers that Iraqis did demonstrate a lot in the last year, such presumptions indeed seems to fit only a minority.
The only difference here is that most of the demonstrations the Iraqis made were not demanding ending the occupations. They were about improving life conditions and security; in other words things that really matter to them. Still there were political demonstrations, but the largest of these were, one demanding immediate elections and one condemning terrorism!!
There still one possibility that might explain why the rest of the world “care” more about Iraqis than the Iraqis themselves. It’s that we are all traitors who accepted to deal, and sometimes cooperate fully with the occupiers. This was what I heard from most Arabs describing the IP, the new Iraqi army, the GC, the ministers and most of the government employees. It seems that we have a new breed of traitors multiplying in Iraq and these seem to have forgot according to the rest of the world that they are Iraqis (Hey, I don’t belong into this category. I’m a CIA agent, please remember that!). Iraqis indeed need lessons from Hassan Nasr Allah and Al-Jazeerah of how to be…Iraqis. I'm not claiming that most Iraqis love America, although a good percentage certainly do. I'm only suggesting that more Iraqis are becoming day by day, at least, less anti-American and more realistic.
We all know that the goal of the American army in this operation is to arrest Sadr and there’s no need or cause to harm the holy shrines and I’m sure that the highly trained soldiers and bright leaders in the US army will manage to do that with the minimal damage if ever.
Some people might fear the undesirable reactions of the She’at Muslims outside Iraq in response to any attempt to arrest Sadr at this period. Let me say that there are no easy options here, but if we believe in that theme and surrender to our fears, we’ll be falling to the same trap that many European governments fell in. we’ll be appeasing the extremists instead of facing them. Besides what could Hizbullah or the Iranian clerics do?! Send more fighters?? They are already doing this and they need no excuse for that!
The only way we can stop that is by continuing the building of democracy in Iraq. Once those outsiders lose any sympathy inside Iraq, and once the neighboring countries feel that it’s impossible to stop the process, they’ll give up and try to find other alternatives that might help them keep their decayed regimes alive, at least for few more years. It’s not that easy, but it’s that simple. This is a battle of wills above all."
Mr Sutter, you may have to turn off CNN and fire up the WWW, but the voices from Iraq are out there. I wish that our media would pick up more from these sources, but you can't say the Iraqi's aren't trying.
You can say that the major US newsources certainly aren't......