Just Above Sunset
April 11, 2004 - Things looking bad in Iraq over the last week? Oh heck, it'll only get worse.

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British Pessimism Here!



Robert Fisk writing in The Independent (UK), Tuesday, April 06, 2004
Reaping the Whirlwind
Iraq on the Brink of Anarchy

Reprinted in Counterpunch (US)

Well, this fellow is a Brit so he thinks back many years to how this all went way back when the Brits faced similar problems in the same place.  After reporting on our siege of Fallujah he adds this:


The British took three years to turn both the Sunnis and the Shias into their enemies in 1920.  The Americans are achieving it in just under a year. 

Anarchy has been a condition of our occupation from the very first days when we let the looters and arsonists destroy Iraq's infrastructure and history.  But that lawlessness is now coming back to haunt us.  Anarchy is what we are now being plunged into in Iraq, among a people with whom we share no common language, no common religion and no common culture. 

Officially, Mr Bremer and his president are standing tall, claiming they will not "tolerate" violence and those who oppose democracy, but occupation officials--in anticipation of a far more violent insurrection--have been privately discussing the legalities of martial law.  And although Mr Bremer and President George Bush are publicly insisting that the notional "handover" of Iraq's "sovereignty" will still take place on 30 June, legal experts attached to the American-appointed Iraqi Governing Council have also been considering a delay of further months.  Many Iraqis are now asking if the Americans want disaster in Iraq. 


No, we certainly don’t.  We seem to be getting it anyway. 

We’re just hoping for the best and doing what we do – when attacked, counter that attack.  Try to restore order, or establish order.  Knock some sense into these people. 

And all over the press this week Bush’s team is spreading the word – this is temporary and localized (sort of) and the result of the efforts of one bad man, this Sadr fellow, who we want to arrest for murder anyway.  Get him behind bars, or even better, get him quite dead and show his body to the world press for everyone to photograph, and things will settle down.  Remember Saddam’s two sons?  Remember Saddam himself all scruffy being checked for lice?  Yeah, that worked.

So it’s simply a matter of removing the one bad guy?  We’re told that’s the truth of what’s happening.  Bush said so in his weekly radio address.

Fisk doesn’t agree with Bush and Bremer - and adds this detail -


… Yet they are still not confronting that truth.  For the past nine nights, for example, the main US base close to Baghdad airport--and the area around the terminals--has come under mortar fire. 

But the occupying powers have kept this secret.  "Things are getting very bad and they're going to get worse," a special forces officer said close to the airport yesterday.  "But no one is saying that--either because they don't know or because they don't want you to know."


Our government not understanding the situation?  Many don’t want to believe that.


Our government not wanting us to know the situation?  Many don’t want to believe that either. 

Time to chant… It’s only one bad guy.  It’s only one bad guy.  It’s only one bad guy.  There’s no place like home.  There’s no place like home.  There’s no place like home.  (Now click your heels to return to Kansas.)

So what about this one bad guy? 


As for Sadr, he will, no doubt, try to surround himself with squads of gunmen and supporters in the hope that the Americans will not dare to shoot their way in to him. 
Or he will go underground and we'll have another "enemy of democracy" to bestialise in the approach to the American elections.  Or--much more serious perhaps--his capture may unleash far more violence from his supporters. 

And all this because Mr Bremer decided to ban Sadr's trashy 10,000-circulation weekly newspaper for "inciting violence."


Well, that’s not ALL, surely?  A trigger perhaps…. 

And sometimes you have to shut down newspapers – to allow democracy to work.  No, that can’t be right, can it? 

This is beyond the reach of irony. 


Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
The inclusion of any text from others is quotation
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