Following are excerpts from a TV debate with Iraqi MP Iyad Jamal Al-Din, which aired on LBC TV on September 10, 2006.
Iyad Jamal Al-Din: Blessed be America for giving Saddam a good kick, sending him straight into the abyss of jail. Blessed be America for giving Mula Omar a good slap, sending him straight into the garbage bin of history and into the dunghills of oblivion. These people were tiny idols, who humiliated their peoples, and turned Allah's property into states and His servants into slaves. It was the moral duty of America, as the greatest and strongest power in this world, to topple these rodents, who treated their people ferociously. We should be happy. Instead of going to Britain for asylum and to beg for food, we should welcome them, so they can rid us of these despicable dictators, who have plundered Iraq's resources and turned the Iraqis into their slaves. Now there is freedom in Iraq, there are elections. People who never even dreamt of being ministers have become ministers through free elections. We did not know what democracy was until America brought it against our will. We did not want democracy or freedom...
Interviewer: At the same time, one can claim that there is much violence in Iraq, and this might even lead to a civil war. Some officials have acknowledged this. Blood is spilled in Iraq every day. Is this the price of democracy and freedom?
Iyad Jamal Al-Din: Yes, because we do not know what freedom is or what to do with it. We are like a tiny bird born in a cage. Its father and mother were born in the same cage, and so were its ancestors - for the past 1,400 years. Along came America and broke the cage open, but the bird does not know how to fly, because it has never used its wings. We do not know what to do with the values of freedom, because we were born slaves, the sons of slaves, the sons of slaves - for the past 1,400 years, with this inferior culture. I am not talking about the beautiful, tolerant, Islamic religion, which respects humanity. But there is an Arab Islamic culture, which, in many of its aspects... I don't mean all its aspects, because there is the Sufi culture, which is wonderful. But the official culture teaches you to become a slave to the ruler and to obsolete values and traditions. This is why we do not know what to do with the modern values of democracy.