It was one day in late March 1991, in the City of Erbil in Kurdistan-Iraq, when I learned how easily leaders can betray people. Prior to that day I thought the uprising against former Iraqi Dictator Saddam Husain would succeed and our freedom would last. “Indeed, this regime is over.” Or so I thought.
However, the 1991 March uprising only lasted about 30 days.
At that time, I had a Marxism mindset and so I viewed all social and economic relationships through that lens. I believed that socialism fixes all the imperfections in society, and hence, then leads to communism which supposedly has a perfect economic and political system.
Unfortunately, there are times in our lives when we are less able to distinguish between theory and reality.
Marxism has blinded many people – especially the young generation. Obviously, as we get more and more life experience socialism becomes quite a bit harder to digest.
We were unable to see the disorganized and self-serving leadership at that time. In the case of Iraq, thousands of people were convinced, including the socialists, that the uprising was both a revolution and the end of Saddam’s regime. But the reality is that socialism was only a delusion. The leftist groups were in denial that this ideology had already failed in both South America and Eastern Europe with the pinnacle of Marxism being the Soviet Union.
Obviously, on that day of March, as the Iraqi tanks were approaching the city, the socialist preachers and leaders had completely faded out and disappeared. People had realized it was impossible to keep the revolt alive.
It was an unanticipated day for many naive and politically immature people, including those of us who were leftists and socialists. However, the fear forced the majority of people to flee the city, but as a rebellious, leftist, middle class young man I was ready to fight the entire Iraqi army by myself.
But as soon as I realized our leaders had exited the city and left everything behind, I had to run for my life just like everyone else,. This was a nightmare that sometimes still haunts me.
It is not coincidental to see similarities between leaders and politicians in the U.S. and Iraq. It usually begins with bright rhetoric until power and wealth are obtained. Then they will sell out and betray their followers.
It happens every time and in every place.
Socialism is an effective tool to manipulate people. Generally, the young middle and upper-middle class embrace such an ideology and hover by clinging on to the left wing. ANTIFA, BLM, and progressive groups in America are examples. The majority of the participants in the riots and protests led by those groups are young guys and girls without much life experience or having known true hardship.
For example, Nicole Armbruster is one of the ANTIFA’s active members. She was born to a “well-off family in suburban New York.” (REUTERS). Also, BLM leaders Patrisse Cullors and Alicia Garza were accused of buying a $6 million mansion from donation money ( New York Magazine).
However, it takes life experience to understand most of the politicians’ mentalities and see the intentions that are hidden behind their rhetoric. Each incident occurring in the nation will become a case to be exploited by some politicians to deceive people.
Who does not remember Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign slogan “Change We Can Believe In”? His daily rhetoric claimed how the wealthy should give to the poor. Today, Obama’s net worth is $70 million (GOBankingRates).
Moreover, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has been the symbol of the left- wing which inspired the leftist members of Congress, Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley. Despite being a self-proclaimed “Democrat Socialist” and constant attacker on Capitalism, based on (Finty) his net worth is $3 million while (Forbes) estimates it at $2.5 million. Is he not a Capitalist?
It is ironic how they preach about equality and fair distribution of wealth and criticize Capitalism, but they are either millionaires or billionaires. Sadly, people can easily be misled, and regardless of being Americans, Iraqis, or any other nationalities, they are easy targets of their leaders and politicians.
The left-wing, socialists, and also liberal groups in America have caused and are causing permanent damage to society and lowering the living standard of Americans. It is worrisome to see the Democrat Party which is composed of the groups named above using the young generations as a ladder to ascend to the peak of power through the elections.
Are they going to destroy our “American Dream” and choke democracy to death? This is what will happen if our democracy succumbs to their ideology.
I hope John Adams was wrong when he said, “Remember, democracy never lasts long, it soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”
After all, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6)
- – Serwan Zangana supported Operation Iraqi Freedom as a U.S Army translator before coming to the U.S from Kurdistan, Iraq in 1997 to seek political asylum. He was granted asylum status and years later proudly became a U.S citizen. He currently serves as a correction officer in Roanoke.