NEW YORK–Nearly 70 percent of Americans tell Newsweek that “the United States will be bogged down in [Iraq] for years without achieving its goals.” Yet 61 percent tell the same poll that invading Iraq was the right thing to do. The reason for this weird disconnect: people think that we’re in Iraq to spread democracy and rebuild the Middle East. They think we’re The Good Guys.
You mean, we’re the Bad Guys? I thought Saddam Hussein was the bad guy. His complaint department was a machine gun and a tree shredder.
But the longer we keep patting ourselves on the back, the more we tell ourselves that the Iraqi resistance is a bunch of evil freedom-haters, the deeper we’ll sink into this quagmire.
Well, considering that the “Iraqi resistance” is made up of Baath Party remnants and foreign theocratic jihadists, I’d say they are a bunch of evil freedom haters.
It’s time to get real.
How do we get real, Ted? Tell us.
In war, the side that most accurately sizes up the situation ultimately prevails. In this war in Iraq, our leaders thought the fall of Baghdad meant the end of the conflict. “Mission accomplished,” as the banner behind George W. Bush read on the aircraft carrier.
So far, so good.
But Saddam understood the truth: the war began with the occupation.
Let’s just say the war continued with the occupation. Unless you think “Shock and Awe” and a ground invasion was something other than war.
Guerilla warfare offered the only way for Iraq’s tiny, poorly armed military to resist the U.S. The Baath Party planned to provoke U.S. occupation forces into mistreating the population.
Actually, the Baath Party is mistreating the population, just as it has been for decades now. You know, poison gas, mass graves, rape as policy, all that.
Random bombings and sniper hits have made the American occupiers jittery and paranoid. They’ve withdrawn into fortified cantonments where they’ve cut off contact with civilians.
Any evidence for this? No. I didn’t think so. It’s just a baseless assertion.
Their ignorance causes them to offend Iraqi cultural and religious sensibilities.
How can we do that if we have cut off contact with civilians as you claim above?
Even better, from Saddam’s perspective, U.S. troops push people around: shooting unarmed motorists, stealing their money and jewelry at roadblocks, breaking into houses in the middle of the night, manhandling wives and daughters, putting bags over men’s heads and carrying them off to God knows where for who knows how long.
I can’t stick up for manhandling or stealing jewelry. But the shooting of an unarmed motorist is obviously an accident and a mistake, unlike what used to happen in that country six months ago. And carrying off Baath Party suspects in the middle of the night isn’t exactly a good thing “even better, from Saddam’s perspective,” as you claim.
“U.S. troops put their boots on the back of men’s heads as they lay face down, forcing their foreheads to the ground,” the Associated Press’ Scheherezade Faramarzi writes about the procedure used by U.S. troops during sweeps. “There is no greater humiliation…because Islam forbids putting the forehead on the ground except in prayer.” Amnesty International says the U.S. subjects Iraqi prisoners to “cruel, inhuman or degrading” conditions.
In Iraq, we are the bad guys.
Compared to whom? The Baath Party “resistance”? Because they are humiliated when we crack down on them? Seriously, Ted, boo hoo.
What about the “terrorists” who bombed the U.N. headquarters and Jordanian embassy in Baghdad, who sabotage oil and water pipelines, who use rifles and rocket-propelled grenades and remote-controlled mines to kill our soldiers?
So, terrorists who massacre UN humanitarian workers get quote marks. They are “terrorists,” not terrorists, meaning they really aren’t terrorists. They are something else.
Aren’t these “killers” evil, “killing people who just want to help,” as another AP writer puts it?
What, they aren’t even killers now? The people who killed Sérgio Vieira de Mello are merely “killers.”
In short: no.
No! They aren’t killers, they aren’t evil, and Sérgio Vieira de Mello wasn’t really there to help.
The ad hoc Iraqi resistance is comprised of indigenous fighters ranging from secular ex-Republican Guards to radical Islamist Shiites, as well as foreign Arab volunteers waging the same brand of come-one-come-all jihad that the mujahedeen fought against Soviet occupation forces in Afghanistan.
Yes, that’s true. And this acknowledgement of reality makes me pretty concerned about what I know is coming down below…
While one can dismiss foreign jihadis as naïve adventurers, honest Americans should call native Iraqi resistance fighters by a more fitting name: Iraqi patriots.
Jumping Jeebus on a pogo stick. Theocratic fundamentalists and genocidal killers are “patriots.” No wonder Ted Rall despises patriotism here in America. He really believes patriotism is terror.
I collect propaganda posters. One of my favorites, from World War II, depicts a strapping young SS officer holding a smiling local kid in his arms. “Trust the German soldier,” the caption exhorts citizens of occupied France. But when liberation came in 1945, Frenchmen who had obeyed that poster were shot as collaborators.
Yes, Ted. That’s because the Nazis were totalitarian fascists and race murderers, not because they were foreign.
The men and women who resisted–the “terrorists” who shot German soldiers, cut phone lines and bombed trains–received medals and pensions.
That’s because they fought for freedom, Ted, and against fascists.
Invaders always say that they come as liberators, but it’s almost never true.
Every single poll of Iraqis thus far shows that Iraqis think we are liberators. Don’t listen to me, listen to them.
Whether you live in Paris or Baghdad or New York, you’re expected to know that, and to act accordingly. “We want deeds, not words,” says Abu Mohammad, a retired teacher about our inability (unwillingness?) to restore basic services to the city of Baghdad.
We are unable to restore basic services because “Iraqi patriots” keeping sabotaging the infrastructure.
Here are our deeds: Talking about democracy as we cancel elections.
Guarding the oil ministry building while museums are sacked.
The museums weren’t sacked, Ted. That’s a hoax. Come on, man.
Exporting Iraqi oil to Turkey as Iraqis suffer fuel and power shortages.
Iraqis need money. They can get some by selling their oil.
Iraq’s natural resources are being raped.
Its people are being murdered.
Yes, by “Iraqi patriots.”
Yet it’s the patriotic Iraqi resistance, which is trying to stop these outrages by throwing out the perpetrators of an illegal war of aggression, that the Bush Administration dares call “terrorists.”
Should I even dare to continue?
On July 5 a bomb killed seven recruits for a U.S.-trained Iraqi police force in Ramadi. U.S. occupation administrator Paul Bremer deplored the murder of “innocent Iraqis.” Cops who work for a foreign army of occupation are not innocent. They are collaborators. Traitors. They had it coming.
Ted Rall started out as a liberal American. But he ended as a supporter and spokesman for terror.
UPDATE: Court at Miniluv has more on this sort of thing.