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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.