Monday, March 24, 2003

A foretaste of the occupation

According to this story on ABC News, the Iraqis aren't quite as happy to be "liberated" as the Americans thought they would be:

Traveling unescorted into Safwan today, I got a far different picture. Rather than affection and appreciation, I saw a lot of hostility toward the coalition forces, the United States and President Bush.

Some were even directed towards the media. (It was the first time I heard somebody refer to me as a "Satan.")


Why are you here in this country? Are you trying to take over? Are you going to take our country forever? Are the Israelis coming next? Are you here to steal our oil? When are you going to get out?

They're annoyed because the American invasion has naturally resulted in some "collatoral damage" (otherwise known as "dead innocent bystanders"). They're annoyed because American promises of aid haven't been met. But most of all, they're annoyed because (as DailyKos says) "We are the invaders. Rarely do people welcome invaders with open arms."

Already there are reports of guerilla activity: roads mined twenty minutes after they're cleared, journalists being shot at, groups of irregulars cruising the desert in pickups shooting RPGs at American supply lines. And as people find out that America just doesn't have the attention span to rebuild Iraq and that it cares more about bases and oil than democracy, they're going to get angrier, and its going to get worse. Just like Afghanistan.

But I guess the US can just install some brutal dictator and go home. Plus ca change...