This week I had the great pleasure of meeting Mr. Abdullatif. Mr. Abdullatif is an Arabic man who was born in Iraq and grew up there. Later, he immigrated to America with his family and settled in Detroit. He still visits Iraq quite frequently and is currently in the process of trying to get his extended family out of Iraq and into America.
He was a delightful man and I enjoyed listening to him talk of his past and how different it is because he grew up in a foreign land. Then we turned the talk to that of the war. He expressed his sadness over lost countrymen and even mentioned that his own brother-in-law was recently killed.
As I heard the grief in his voice, I was nervous to ask, but did so anyway, if he then believed we, as America, should pull our soldiers out of Iraq. He looked up and looked me straight in the eyes as he said, “Why would you want that?” I was a little taken aback and asked him to explain.
He went on to say that in Iraq there are two major groups in power. He said they are sworn enemies and hate each other, but the only thing keeping them from destroying each other are the American forces there. I asked what would happen if we were to pull out. He said, “Complete chaos. It would be a wasteland. Those two groups would fight it out, destroy the nation, and enslave the surviving people. It would be worse than it ever was before.”
As he described this, tears began to well in his eyes. I could sense the passion and love that he had for his countrymen. He then said, “I hear these politicians talk about pulling out and how it would be best for all of us, but they don’t know anything. They haven’t been there and experienced life before America came. They don’t know how blessed we are now that we are free. They talk of how the people in Iraq hate Americans and the American soldiers, but I can tell you that is not true. Most all Iraqis are so thankful to be free from the tyranny. We realize that if the soldiers were not there, our country would be ruined by fighting. We owe a lot to America.”
Talking with Mr. Abdullatif this week has caused me to look at this war in a new light. I believe it is much more serious than we like to believe. Take it from someone who’s been there, pulling out is not the best solution. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of voices like Mr. Abdullatif crying out to us, “Please don’t leave us.”