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Registered: 02/25/01
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The Iraqis do not want us
    #2546417 - 04/10/04 10:54 AM (20 years, 1 month ago)

The one simple truth about this war: Iraqis do not want us

by Robert Fisk
UK Independent
April 10, 2004

A WAR founded on illusions, lies and right-wing ideology was bound to founder in blood and fire. Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. He was in contact with al-Qa'ida, he was involved with the crimes against humanity of 11 September. The people of Iraq would greet us with flowers and music. There would be a democracy.

Even the pulling-down of Saddam's statue was a fraud. An American military vehicle tugged the wretched thing down while a crowd of only a few hundred Iraqis watched. Where were the tens of thousands who should have pulled it down themselves, who should have been celebrating their "liberation"?

On the night of 9 April last year, the BBC even managed to find a "commentator" to heap abuse on me and The Independent for using quotation marks around the word "liberation".

In fact, freedom from Saddam's dictatorship in those early days and weeks meant freedom to loot, freedom to burn, freedom to kidnap, freedom to murder. The initial American and British blunder - to allow the mobs to take over Baghdad and other cities - was followed by the arrival of the far more sinister squads of arsonists who systematically destroyed every archive, every government ministry (save for Oil and Interior which were, of course, secured by US troops), Islamic manuscripts, national archives and irreplaceable antiquities. The very cultural identity of Iraq was being annihilated.

Yet still the Iraqis were supposed to rejoice in their "liberation". The occupying power sneered at reports that women were being kidnapped and violated - in fact, the abductions of men as well as women were at the rate of 20 a day and may now be as high as 100 a day - and steadfastly refused to calculate the numbers of Iraqi civilians killed each day by gunmen, thieves and American troops.

Even this week, as the promises and lies and obfuscations fell apart, the American military spokesman was still only able to give military casualties - this when more than 200 Iraqis are reported to have been killed in the US attack on Fallujah.

Over the months, the isolation of the occupation authorities from the Iraqi people they were supposed to care so much about was only paralleled by the vast distance in false hope and self-deceit between the occupying powers in Baghdad and their masters back in Washington.

Paul Bremer, America's proconsul in Iraq, started off by calling the resistance "party remnants", which is exactly what the Russians used to call their Afghan opponents after they invaded Afghanistan in 1979. Then Mr Bremer called them "diehards". Then he called them "dead-enders". And, as the attacks against US forces increased around Fallujah and other Sunni Muslim cities, we were told this area was the "Sunni triangle", even though it is much larger than that implies and has no triangular shape.

So when President Bush made his notorious trip to the Abraham Lincoln to announce the end of all "major military operations" - beneath a banner claiming "Mission Accomplished" - and when attacks against US troops continued to rise, it was time to rewrite the chapter on post-war Iraq. "Foreign fighters" were now in the battle, according to US Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld. The US media went along with this nonsense, even though not a single al-Qa'ida operative has been arrested in Iraq and of the 8,500 "security detainees" in American hands, only 150 appear to be from outside Iraq. Just 2 per cent.

Then as winter approached and Saddam was caught and the anti- American resistance continued, the occupying powers and their favourite journalists began to warn of civil war, something no Iraqi has ever indulged in and which no Iraqi has ever been heard discussing. Iraq was now to be frightened into submission. What would happen if the Americans and British left? Civil war, of course. And we don't want civil war, do we?

The Shia remained quiescent, their leadership divided between the scholarly and pro-Western Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani and the impetuous but intelligent Muqtada Sadr. They opened their mass graves and mourned those thousands who were tortured and executed by Saddam's butchery and then asked why we used to support Saddam, why it took us 20 years to discover the need to stage our humanitarian invasion.

If the occupation authorities had bothered to study the results of a conference on Iraq held by the Centre for Arab Unity Studies in Beirut recently, they might be forced to acknowledge what they cannot admit: that their opponents are Iraqis and that this is an Iraqi insurgency.

An Iraqi academic, Sulieman Jumeili who lives in the city of Fallujah told how he discovered that 80 per cent of all rebels killed were Iraqi Islamist activists. Only 13 per cent of the dead men were primarily nationalists and only 2 per cent had been Baathists.

But we cannot accept these statistics. Because if this is an Iraqi revolt against us, how come they aren't grateful for their liberation? So, after the atrocities in Fallujah just over a week ago when four US mercenaries were killed, mutilated and dragged through the streets, General Ricardo Sanchez, the US commander in Iraq sanctioned what is preposterously called "Operation Vigilant Resolve." And now that Sadr's thousands of Shia militiamen had joined in the battle against the Americans, Sanchez had to change the narrative yet again.

No longer were his enemies Saddam "remnants" or even al-Qa'ida; they were now "a small (sic) group of criminals and thugs". The Iraqi people would not be allowed to fall under their sway, Sanchez said. There was "no place for a renegade militia".

So the Marines smashed their way into Fallujah, killing more than 200 Iraqis, including women and children while using tanks fire and helicopter gunships against gunmen in the Baghdad slums of Sadr city. It took a day or two to understand what new self-delusion had taken over the US military command. They were not facing a country-wide insurgency. They were liberating the Iraqis all over again!

And so the bloodbath spreads ever further across Iraq. Kut and Najaf are now outside the control of the occupying powers. And with each new collapse, we are told of new hope. Yesterday, Sanchez was still talking about his "total confidence" in his troops who were "clear in their purpose", how they were making "progress" in Fallujah and how - these are his actual words "a new dawn is approaching".

Which is exactly what US commanders were saying exactly a year ago today - when US troops drove into the Iraqi capital and when Washington boasted of victory against the Beast of Baghdad.


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Exposer of Truth
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Re: The Iraqis do not want us [Re: Xlea321]
    #2549020 - 04/11/04 05:46 PM (20 years, 1 month ago)

People will give you more credit if you try to get a more subjective report.

Since it mentions in the first sentence " lies and right-wing ideology" makes it seem like the report is objective and subject to political bias.

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blasted chipmunk
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Re: The Iraqis do not want us [Re: The_Red_Crayon]
    #2549437 - 04/11/04 09:45 PM (20 years, 1 month ago)

maybe we should just set sadam free in iraq again.... see what the people think about us then....

No, no, you're not thinking, you're just being logical. ~ Niels Bohr

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Registered: 02/25/01
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Re: The Iraqis do not want us [Re: The_Red_Crayon]
    #2550000 - 04/12/04 01:39 AM (20 years, 1 month ago)

People will give you more credit if you try to get a more subjective report.

Which facts quoted in the peice do you think are wrong?

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Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/18/00
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Re: The Iraqis do not want us [Re: Xlea321]
    #2553010 - 04/13/04 12:08 AM (20 years, 1 month ago)

Would you like a large McFalafel with your order, sir?


The proof is in the pudding.

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unintended sideeffect

Registered: 05/28/03
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Re: The Iraqis do not want us [Re: The_Red_Crayon]
    #2555695 - 04/13/04 04:44 PM (20 years, 1 month ago)


The_Red_Crayon said:
People will give you more credit if you try to get a more subjective report.

Ok - how's Naomi Klein for objective:



Do you have any rooms?" we ask the hotelier.

She looks us over, dwelling on my travel partner's bald, white head.

"No," she replies.

We try not to notice that there are sixty room keys in pigeonholes behind her desk--the place is empty.

"Will you have a room soon? Maybe next week?"

She hesitates. "Ahh... No."

We return to our current hotel--the one we want to leave because there are bets on when it is going to get hit--and flick on the TV: The BBC is showing footage of Richard Clarke's testimony before the September 11 Commission, and a couple of pundits are arguing about whether invading Iraq has made America safer.

There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.
  --  Howard Zinn

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Re: The Iraqis do not want us [Re: GernBlanston]
    #2556830 - 04/13/04 08:26 PM (20 years, 1 month ago)


Ok - how's Naomi Klein for objective: 


Oh, I'm sorry.  Were you serious?


Naomi Klein
Born in Montreal in 1970, Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist and author of the international best-seller No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies. Translated into twenty-five languages, No Logo was called by the New York Times "a movement bible." In 2000, the Guardian newspaper short-listed it for their First Book Award, and in 2001 No Logo won the Canadian National Business Book Award and the French Prix M?diations. Naomi Klein's articles have appeared in numerous publications, including The Nation, The New Statesman, Newsweek International, the New York Times, the Village Voice and Ms. magazine. She writes an internationally syndicated column for The Globe and Mail in Canada and The Guardian in Britain. A collection of her work, titled Fences and Windows: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate, was published in October 2002. For the past six years, Klein has traveled throughout North America, Asia, Latin America and Europe, tracking the rise of anticorporate activism. She is a frequent media commentator and university guest lecturer. In the fall of 2002, Klein was a Miliband Fellow at the London School of Economics. 

From another of her articles "Hold Bush to His Lie"

the only excuse left is Bush's deep desire to bring democracy to the Iraqi people. Of course, this is as much a lie as the rest--but it's a lie we can use. 

I would argue The Nation to be far more blatantly biased than the Independent.

Uh, yeah.  Real subjective find there.  :wink:

I keep it real because I think it is important that a highly esteemed individual such as myself keep it real lest they experience the dreaded spontaneous non-existance of no longer keeping it real. - Hagbard Celine

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Re: The Iraqis do not want us [Re: HagbardCeline]
    #2557416 - 04/13/04 11:30 PM (20 years, 1 month ago)

I know you're not too keen on who wrote the article Hagbard, but can you point out a fact in the original article that isn't correct?

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