Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Rebuilding Iraqi Scouts

One advantage of my husband working for The Dallas Morning News is getting access to information before it runs in the newspaper. He notified me last month that Erich Schlegel took photos to run with a story about Iraqi Scouts. Since I was a Girl Scout during elementary, intermediate and high-school, I checked the newspaper every day for the story. I didn't want to miss it. It got published on Monday. So far so good.

The report starts by introducing Mike Bradle, a Texas businessman, who is planning to raise $4 million to rebuild the Iraqi Scouts program. I kept reading with excitement until I get to this part of the report:
"American servicemen and Scout leaders in Baghdad jump-started an Iraqi Scouting council. The U.S. government and American donors are paying for it, and a former CIA operative, William "Chip" Beck, is promoting the program in Iraq."

A former CIA operative is promoting the program in Iraq ? OH NO. Houston, we have a problem. America is sending the wrong message to the Iraqi people.

Don't start throwing stones at me. This would have been your reaction if a former KGB or Mukhabarat operative came to America to start a similar scouting program. No matter how decent the person was, you would have many suspicions. Right?

Additionally, I think he's the wrong leader after he asked The Dallas Morning News to exclude his CIA background from the article. Also, Malek Gabr, deputy secretary general of World Scouting in Geneva, said Beck didn't tell him he was a former CIA agent when they discussed the idea of Iraq's Scouting rebirth in March.

The term "CIA operative" is not favored at all in the Middle East. I'm sure these agents do a great job to protect the security of America and many of them die in the line of duty. But, it's never wise to put oil next to flames.

Now, if this person was a former FBI agent, I would have no problem at all. FBI agents are the good guys in my opinion. I wish I arrived to America while I was young. I would have studied criminal justice. I would've joined the FBI-Special Victims Unit. Could you tell I watch Law and Order? I LOVE this show.

Anyway, let's not jump to any conclusions. I still wish success for this project, but I think it would be better served by someone with less baggage.

What I wrote doesn't mean I dislike the CIA. It means Middle Easterners don't like spies, which is the case with any other country including America. Right ?

Folks, see the big picture from the eyes of a Middle-Easterner, and I'm sure you'll get my message right. We can't afford to make more mistakes in Iraq. The Iraqi model can become a good or bad example of establishing democracy in the Middle East. It all depends on how careful America is with every step it takes in Iraq. You may not like my opinion, but you need to think about it.

Arabic Word of The Post :

Girl Scout : مرشدة - / mur-sheeda /
Boy Scout : كشاف - /kesh-shaf /

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