In a span of 15 years, a child develops and grows up, goes to primary school then secondary school attends university to become an engineer constructing tens of roads and buildings or a doctor treating thousands of patients and saving their lives or a director managing companies and institutions. One can also pursue advanced degrees, such as a Master’s degree or a PhD, and become an expert in a certain field and part of society’s prestigious elite.
In 15 years, the United Arab Emirates developed from fragmented tribal entities that belong to the pre-state phase into a strong state whose economy is ranked as one of the fastest growing economies. The same applies to the “Asian Tigers” like Singapore and South Korea and the “Tiger Cub Economies” like Malaysia which in 15 years managed in transforming from semi-forgotten states into successful leaders in the fields of economy, technology and science.
Irrationality and lack of wisdom are what made Saddam Hussein and his successors, who have been ruling for 15 years now since his ouster, take Iraq back to the era before the modern Iraqi state was establishedAdnan Hussein
What Iraq needs
The secret behind the UAE, Singapore, South Korea and Malaysia’s models that achieved security, peace and welfare for their people is the wise and reasonable leadership who realized the challenges of the 20th century and were determined to confront them with a strong will and a high national spirit.
This is what we need in Iraq which, in the past 15 years, had what it takes to be stronger, richer and more developed than all these countries. Irrationality and lack of wisdom are what made Saddam Hussein and his successors, who have been ruling for 15 years now since his ouster, take Iraq back to the era before the modern Iraqi state was established – back to cultural backwardness and deteriorating livelihood conditions where poverty and unemployment have greatly increased as their rates have passed 25%.
In the past 15 years, we’ve also witnessed another horrible failure by political Islam groups that governed the country as they sank deep in the mud of administrative and financial corruption instead of working to build a strong state that improves its citizens’ well-being.
Now that we are ahead of parliamentary elections, reasonable men must realize that those who caused all this damage to the country and its people cannot be counted on and granted confidence again.
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These representatives have had their chance and much more, and they do not even feel guilty for not improving the situation and they have not admitted to their mistakes. This signifies stubbornness and arrogance. Saddam Hussein himself was stubborn and arrogant thus leading to Iraq’s destruction. The damage of the past 15 years due to political Islam groups is a result of Saddam’s destruction and it further completes it.
In brief, political Islam has in the past 15 years completed the unfinished business from Saddam’s era.
This article is also available in Arabic.
Adnan Hussein is the executive editor-in-chief of Al-Mada newspaper and head of the National Union of Iraqi journalists. Previously, he has held the position of Managing Editor in Asharq al-Awsat newspaper. He tweets under the handle @adnanhussein