War is for liberating Iraqis! [Archives:2003/629/Letters to the Editor]

March 31 2003

James Dower
[email protected]

I am a U.S. citizen and am of the opinion that liberating the repressive Iraqi government would ensure a brighter future for the people of Iraq. I am an Engineering student at WPI and there are a large number of Middle Eastern students, whom I am quite fond of, attending my school. As a matter of fact just fewer than 75% of the MBA graduate students at my school are from the Middle East. I must add that it is very difficult for me, even though my native language is English, to compete with these highly motivated people. Remember, mathematics is the universal language of the world.
Economically, it is obvious to me that the great majority of people in Iraq is and has been repressed even before the war in 1991. These people are highly educated and motivated and quite able to compete in the world market providing useful products, even more so than the people in Southeast Asia. Yet, this has not occurred. Iraq on the most part is dependant on the export of oil and Southeast Asian countries don't have this luxury, yet the standard of living in Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam are much higher than Iraq (George Soros. “George Soros on Globalization” Public Affairs and Pursues Books Group, 2002.) Why then can such an overwhelming majority of Middle Eastern countries support such a repressive government? I have heard on CNN that a monthly salary of $2.00 is considered quite good in Basra city.
I have been lead to believe that this must be because the news agencies in the Middle East are forced to spread propaganda that supports the relatively few rich people in the area. I am not familiar with economic data on other Middle Eastern countries but it seems to me that the higher the standard of living in a Middle Eastern country the more likely they are to support U.S. policy. I understand and accept that there is propaganda on both sides but I try to filter it out the best I can. It is my belief that one thing that can't be twisted is economic data. That is why I use this data to support my argument.
We the people on the U.S. do not wish to be an empire; in fact if you look at the history of the world (although I am limited to what is taught and written about in the U.S.) we do not hold any colonies. The closest thing we have to colonies are the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico but these have freely elected governments and wish to become states of the U.S. although we have not accepted them into the union. Is it the opinion of the Middle East that we are colonizing the world through capitalism? If that were the case why wouldn't you want to join in the prosperity?
My only conclusion is that there are a relatively few rich people whom oppose such an association because it won't benefit them. I know that this is a strong statement but I only wish to better understand circumstances of which I am blind to and hope that you can help enlighten me.