Comparing Iraq to Germany is Inaccurate

American president says that the post WWII Germany is a good example

The American administration announced its plans to transform the political system of Iraq at the end of February. According to those plans, a multi-party democracy is supposed to develop and grow in Iraq instead of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship. In addition to that, the USA hoped that the Arab world will change too, after they see the prosperity of the new Iraq.

Is it possible after all? The American administration is 100% sure that it is possible. US officials give an example of Germany, and how it was organized after WWII was over. George Bush reminded that there were a lot of sceptic opinions back in those years as well. A lot of people did not believe that the German culture would manage to back up democratic values. They were wrong.

It is hard to doubt about that. The trouble is that there were actually two post-war transformations of Germany: after WWI and after WWII. As experience showed, the first attempt was over with Hitler’s coming to power, which eventually led to the most horrid disaster in the history of the mankind. Winners of the war attempted to create the most progressive and democratic political system in Germany. Winston Churchill used to say that the winners of the war imposed every liberal ideal to Germans. However, the new republic did not manage to win German people’s hearts: it was perceived as something that was imposed by the enemy. Adolf Hitler filled the gap soon after that.

Huge investments to retrieve the German economy did not help to set up a democratic system in Germany either. Churchill called them an idiotic mess that took so much efforts and energy. On the one hand, the German history proves that it is possible to turn a totalitarian state into a democratic one. On the other hand, it also shows that this process is extremely dangerous.

Of course, Iraq can not be compared to Germany, so changing the Iraqi political regime is not likely to become a detonator of another world war. However, one should keep the Arab and the Islamic worlds in mind. It would very careless to think that those words do not care about Iraq. To crown it all, American politicians keep making official statements about the need to change political systems of a lot of Mideast countries. President George W. Bush once said that the new Iraqi regime would be a bright and inspiring example of freedom for other nations of the terrain.

The Islamic world is a force of the global scale. It is not very well organized at present moment, although Germany was not perfect in the beginning of the 1920s either. There are no guarantees that the forced “democratization” of Iraq will not aggravate the situation in the region. Furthermore, taking Germany as an example for the future of Iraq (as George W. Bush does) implies that the success can be evaluated as 50x50. This is not very optimistic indeed.

Winston Churchill wrote that the winners of the war were not sure of their future, until the horrible WWII announcement 20 years later. One is left to hope that the leaders of the anti-Iraqi coalition will be wiser than their predecessors, who made a horrible mistake 80 years ago.

Igor Igoshin State Duma deputy


Translated by Dmitry Sudakov