Saturday, July 26, 2003

CNN.com - U.S.: Three killed in grenade attack - Jul. 26, 2003

So despite President showboat's elimination of Saddam's sons the resistance continues. This should not be a surprise to anyone who understands that there can be more than two sides in the real world.

Showboat apparently invaded Iraq in the belief that if Al Qaeda was a US enemy and Saddam was a US enemy then Al Qaeda and Saddam had to be in an alliance. This was the 'axis of evil' theory. Like the domino theory before it, the axis of evil theory can only be believed if you are prepared to ignore some pretty basic facts. For example you have to ignore the fact that Bin Laden is a religious nut who hates any government that does not impose his crackpot theology, in particular Iraq which is the least theocratic country in the region. Believing that Iran and Iraq are allied in an axis of evil means you have to ignore the Iran/Iraq war.

In the real world the enemy of my enemy can also be my enemy. Bin Laden is a sunni, Iran is shite and Saddam an appostate and they all hate each other. Most people understand this fact.

The problem with President Showboat is that because he thinks that way he believes that everyone does the same. There are two sides, the US and Saddam, you can only be on one or the other. The idea does not appear to occur to him that a large number of Iraqis might hate both. Quite a few people inside the US believe that the invasion of Iraq was motivated by oil and rich contracts for companies like Halliburton. I doubt that the Iraqi locals are any less cynical.

If you are an up and comming would be Iraqi dictator the smart thing to do is to allow the US to take out Saddam and then try to take over yourself.

Taking out Saddam is not going to end attacks against US troops, it is going to increase them. There is no point in trying to force a US withdrawal if Saddam is going to return.

Rightwingers can bluster about how the US is the font of all purity and light. It is unlikely that those opinions are widely held in Iraq. The people there have no experience of democracy or a free press. They have spent their lives reading and watching Saddam's propaganda. They may hate Saddam, but that does not mean they will love his enemies. After all they know that the US kept Saddam in power for many years when it suited their interests. It is unlikely that that support is forgotten.

According to the showboat playbook the Iraqi people at this point accept whatever the US dictates, cowed by the 'shock and awe' of US military might. Perhaps they should read some history books. Iraq has seen several empires come and go, first the Ottomans, then the British. The British occupiers only just managed to hang on and killed between 30,000 and 50,000 locals doing so. Exactly how does the right wing think they are going to sell that to the US public?

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