Thursday, June 10, 2010

President Obama, Iraqi Freedom is in your hands

By Ali Alyami

As a native of Saudi Arabia, democracy promoter and father of an Iraq War Veteran Army Officer, I call on you, Sir, to heed Dr. Allawi’s plea and make it unequivocally clear to Iraq’s neighboring regimes, enemies of democratic reforms, that America will not “cut and run.” Sir, the success of Dr. Allawi’s secular movement is the answer to Arab and Muslim sectarian bloodshed, instability in the Middle East and spread of the “Wahhabi Deadly Ideology”, as affirmed by a constellation of prominent Al-Azhar University Muslim scholars in Cairo, Egypt, on April 25, 2010.

Mr. President, thousands of American service men and women answered their democratically elected president and their country’s call to travel thousands of miles and rid the Iraqi people of one of history’s most draconian butchers, Saddam Hussien, as Dr. Allawi fittingly stated. Mr. President, regardless of personalities, motives and policies, thousands of American soldiers and their families paid the ultimate price and will continue to pay physically, financially, emotionally and psychologically for the rest of their lives.

Mr. President, it is not a secret that the autocratic and theocratic regimes in Iran and Saudi Arabia are determined to defeat America and its efforts to promote and strengthen democratic reforms in the Middle East. They want to ensure continuation of religious and cultural totalitarianism, oppression of women and religious minorities, as well as obliterate democratic institutions everywhere. The United States ought not let down the millions of Iraqis who risked their lives to vote and determine their destiny.

Mr. President, it is not accidental that Arab societies are among the most oppressed and backward on this planet according to the UN Arab Human Development Reports, especially the 2003 edition.

Mr. President, our Army Officer son returned home safely but with memories of what he saw and experienced. Sir, we are among the very lucky American families, but as you and First Lady Michelle Obama know, thousands of American children were orphaned; parents and spouses will never see their loved ones again and will have to live with excruciating visible and invisible scars only they can feel and live with.

Mr. President, these painful facts should never be allowed to go in vain. Supporting democracy in Iraq is not only the right thing for America to do, but is in the best interest of the U.S., the disenfranchised Arab people and all democratic societies.

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