Thursday, June 16, 2005


Another inspiring story about winning Iraqi hearts & minds, courtesy of the Chicago Tribune.

What's made clear by this and other reports is that the Iraqi insurgency has significant popular support. Guerrillas move more or less freely, strike, and if not killed, blend back into the populace. This is nothing new in human history, and it's become a deadly daily reality in Iraq. Little wonder that American troops are treating Iraqi citizens like shit. When not angry about their buddies getting killed, they're frightened for themselves, and so respecting the cultural sensibilities and personal liberties of Iraqis are not high on their to-do list.

It's what some call "liberation."

Naturally, such bullying helps to strengthen support for the insurgency, which means more attacks on American and Iraqi troops, which then leads to more house invasions, more throwing civilians against walls at gunpoint or dragging them off to prison, which then helps to further strengthen support for the insurgency, which means . . .

I'd like to ask those who support this ongoing occupation "for the good of the Iraqis," where is the tunnel's light here? The longer we occupy, the worse it gets. Are you hoping that the insurgents will finally throw up their hands and say, "Oh mighty Americans! We are no match for you! We surrender! Please don't torture us too hard! And not in the face if you can help it!"

Of course, they'd be saying this in Arabic, which most American troops don't understand, and which is another gallon of fuel for the insurgency.

As Joy Division's Ian Curtis once put it, where will it end?

It's not easy for many Americans to be so hated. A good number of us simply cannot understand or accept that in Iraq, this is the reality. Even though the majority of Iraqis want us gone, including those who seek a secular route, like the trade union movement (I exclude the Kurds in the north, who obviously feel differently, though trouble in paradise brews), many stateside commentators insist that US troops should remain in Iraq until . . . well, they never really say, at least not in realistic terms.

No matter. We're Americans. We know what's best for Iraqis. Why they're not kissing our asses in gratitude is, frankly, the rankest of insults, but perhaps in time they'll see that our occupation is a benevolent one. And there'll be plenty of time for them to see that, assuming they survive it.

READ: My pal Jon Schwarz's takes and links regarding the Downing Street memo, which I believe has something to do with what I ranted about above.