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

Iraq: brief update « Previous | |Next »
September 5, 2003

The Hutton Inquiry keeps on highlighting the way that advisors and bureaucrats----the Blair Spin Machine---- worked hard to distort the terms of the debate about the Iraqi war by putting their own highly political spin on intelligence, suppressing the voices of doubters, and mocking the protests as "marching for Saddam."

Interesting editorial from the Middle East Report. Link courtesy of Abu Ardvaark. Despite the US turn to the UN little progress is being made on Iraqi's running Iraq for Iraqi's.The involvement of the UN will help give the enterprise of nation building much more political legitimacy. That has generally meant a UN resolution authorizing an international force and the different nation states such as India putting their troops under a UN command rather than a US one. The Indians are going further. They are saying that India would only send troops to Iraq if a transfer of political authority took place and Paul Bremer relinquished control of the Iraqi political decision-making to the new Cabinet in Iraq.

Link courtesy of Juan Cole. Juan Cole's insightful comments on recent events in Iraq can be found here .

This article on the unsurgency in Iraq says that the political aim of the resistance is to maintain a guerrilla resistance to the United States until public opinion in the US demands a withdrawal from Iraq. That strategy means that the US maintains its occupation role and that the US efforts to hand over administration, policing, and other duties to indigenous Iraqis would be frustrated. The insurgents political campaign is for the US to be seen as an occupying rather than a liberating power. The Report says:

"The insurgents cannot, and presumably do not particularly want to, defeat US forces force-to-force. They can, however, paint the US into a sort of garrison position, in which armed convoys must move between fortified positions, a stance which has the appearance of isolating the occupier from the local population and also may lead to overreactions on the part of troops on the defensive. In environments in which the insurgents can force the defending troops to overreact such overreactions, especially if genuinely innocent blood is shed, can win new support for the insurgents among the population. That is, of course, a classic goal of any guerrilla."

From the other side one goal of the US is to prevent various elements opposed to the US from coming together against the US as the common enemy. The Report says:

"...that doubtless means that the US must once again win the battle of perceptions. If it is perceived as an occupying power rather than a temporary administrator in a transitional period, then Iraqi nationalists of many different stripes might find common cause."

So the US needs to persuade the Iraqi people that it is indeed a temporary visitor and not an imperial power. Judging by River's reactions it is the essential things in daily life such as water and electricity that are the key.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:20 AM | | Comments (0)