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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Cartoon « Previous | |Next »
August 23, 2003

Cartoon1.jpg
The Iraqi people at the table (Jalal Al-Rifa'i, Ad Dustour, 8/19/03).

This highlights that America has an image problem in Iraq. Might does not make right.

The cartoon highlights the flaws in this article, which views the Iraq situation solely in military terms. If we stay within these terms then, Peter Bergen says, al Qaeda is "fighting a war of attrition against US soldiers that will eventually lead to a humiliating withdrawal of American forces. It is only a matter of time before al Qaeda is able to pull off a significant terrorist operation that kills a large number of American soldiers." The lessons from Vietnam do matter. What Vietnam highlights is that the guerilla aim is to demoralize American soldiers and at the same time increase the already unbearable distress suffered by the population, thus nourishing resentment against the occupying power.

Yet the Americans cannot simply cannot leave Iraq. As soon as the US leaves, a democratically elected, Shi'ite-dominated, anti-American Iraqi government would come into power. And the Pentagon and Department of Defence are not interested in democracy because they know that in any free and fair democratic elections the Iraq people would switch towards a Shi'ite-dominated, probably Sharia-ruled, and certainly anti-American government.

So the US has a de facto installed military system in Iraq. This military system is controlling the political structure and the new US-subsidized economic order. Iraq in takign the path to become a US colony. The guerrillas appear to be winning the public relations war. Without the UN the US looks like another neo-imperialist power. This has an interesting perspective. And Josh Marshall has a good interview with Peter Bergen.

As Juan Cole points out it is about rebuilding Iraq not just gunning down "terrorists" and deploying it s awesome military power. Yet the US simply cannot afford to undertake reconstruction on its own. It needs the UN and the world community to help.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:13 PM | | Comments (0)
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