Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, June 15, 2007

Iraqi ambassador addresses ‘what Americans needs to know about Iraq’

“We’ve got to win, and we’ve got to win together,” were the closing words that Samir Shakir Mahmood Sumaida’ie, Iraq’s Ambassador to the U.S., left with the audience at today’s lecture, “What America Needs to Know: The Truth about the Struggle in Iraq.” The lecture was hosted by the Defense Forum Foundation with the purpose of informing the public about the situation in Iraq from the view point of the Iraqi citizens.

During the lecture, Sumaida’ie emphasized the importance of the outcome in Iraq in a global context. He referred to Iraq as the “epicenter” of the conflict, and elaborated on many of the issues at stake. Primarily, he noted that there are no easy solutions in Iraq and that this complex problem would require an equally complex solution. Simple answers, such as dividing Iraq into three regions in order to create separate Kurdish, Sunni and Shia regions, would not suffice and would ultimately be detrimental to regional stability, he said. Lastly, the Ambassador stressed the importance of focusing on the correct enemies and not placing blaming on other parties for the problems at hand. The Ambassador then said that Islamic extremists, supporters of the regime of Saddam Hussein, and al-Qaeda were the real enemies, not the U.S. and its allies.

In the Ambassador’s summation remarks, he outlined the keys for success in Iraq. Above all else, he explained that the U.S. and Iraq must stand firm. He said that they should not be half-hearted in their efforts and must remain strong. Next, the Ambassador said that the troops must fight smart, stressing that proper training to produce more reliable forces is more important than the actual number of troops present. He also said that the multinational forces must adapt their strategies in order to adequately fight the ever-changing enemy. Finally, the Ambassador argued that the conflict will not be resolved without regional support. He said that diplomatic relations and support from other nations in the region are vital if the effects of a victory in Iraq are to spread beyond the borders of the country.

As a follow-up question, one attendee asked what exactly the Ambassador meant when he referred to a “win” in Iraq. After some careful thought, he responded that in order to win, the terrorists must be denied their own state, and a new democratic state must be secured. If this is not achieved, and the terrorists succeed, the whole world and the freedoms that many enjoy will be in jeopardy, he said.



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