This is just the sort of thing that the typical radical muslim hates to see – one of “their own” saying nice things about, and thanking Americans for their efforts in deposing an evil dictator. This is the sort of thing we should see plastered over the front page of every major US newspaper. Sadly, it’s the sort of thing we are destined to only come across on blogs and in brief blurbs on the non-primetime news.
The first thing I would like to convey is the gratitude of all Iraqis, who are fighting for a democratic government and a civil society, to the Americans. Without your commitment, our struggle against despotism could not have made the progress that we have achieved. No expression of thanks could be enough for those who lost loved ones in Iraq. We feel your pain, we honor your sacrifice and we will never forget you. To those of you who have family and friends in Iraq today, we say: Your sons and daughters are helping us through a historic transition. We will always remember the enormous sacrifice that America is making for Iraq.
Thanks to the United States, we are transforming Iraq from a country that was ruled by fear, repression and dictatorship into a country that is ruled by democracy and has the values of equality, tolerance, human rights and the rule of law at its heart.
April 9, 2003, the day of liberation, heralded a new era in the history of Iraq and the region. That day triggered a sequence of events that laid the foundation of a modern Iraq that is at peace with itself and the world. All segments of Iraqi society have benefited from liberation.
Under Saddam Hussein, the majority of the Sunni Arabs of Iraq were marginalized; Saddam and his gang were ruling in the name of this community. But in reality, the Sunni Arabs never had the chance to choose their representatives democratically and have a say about their future. Today, they have 58 deputies in Parliament, a vice president, a deputy prime minister and a speaker of Parliament; all were elected by the people of Iraq.
The Shia majority of Iraq was for decades oppressed and discriminated against. They did not even have the right to practice their religious ceremonies. Now, they are equal citizens and hold key posts in government and parliament through their democratically elected representatives.
Kurds were second-class citizens. They suffered from genocide and chemical bombardment; now they are equal members of Iraqi society and active participants in the running of their country, Iraq. The same applies to the Turkomens, Assyrians and other groups of Iraqi society.
Iraq finally has an elected and representative government, a huge contrast to the authority of a vicious tyrant. In other words, Iraq is no longer the property of a gang that ruled by fear and repression. Every Iraqi today feels they have a stake in the new Iraq.