December 16, 2002

HOW DARE WE IMPOSE FREEDOM ON THE IRAQIS WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT! I saw something along these lines on some antiwar blog earlier, but I forget where it was. However, even that rather dubious line of argument just got weaker as there's some evidence that it wouldn't be without their consent:

IN A REPORT released early this month, International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think tank, found that most Iraqis interviewed support the idea of an invasion, as well as U.S. occupation during the transition to a post-Saddam government. Iraqis have had it with more than a decade of impoverishment, isolation and fear, says the study’s researcher who asked not to be named. “I found very few people who were against American intervention,” the researcher says. “People are depressed, exhausted. They can’t take it anymore.” Those against intervention, she says, enjoyed privileges under the regime, or they feared Americans would call for a rising against Saddam, then abandon it (as in the aftermath of the Kuwait war in 1991). But a young Baghdad architect summarizes the majority opinion: “We do not particularly want a U.S. military strike, but we do want a political change. We have nothing to lose, and it cannot be any worse than our current condition.”

Well, I don't know that it's possible to do any kind of scientific polling in a police state, but this is certainly at least as valuable as the usual stuff reported from Saddam's mouthpieces.

UPDATE: Reader Richard Wolf emails:

Do you think Sean Penn is bothering to speak to any of these people, or is he simply getting the Tour For The Useful Idiots?

In the words of a famous psychiatrist, what do you think?