Monday, April 07, 2003

Who do we want to win?

According to Upton On-line this morning, the French are very ambivalent (to say the least) about who they want to win, with only a bare majority backing America, and a stunning 33% backing the Iraqis.

Naturally, this has made me think about whose side I'm on.

My sympathies are very much with the Iraqis - I simply don't want George W. Bush to win. But I don't want Saddam to win either - he's a monster who deserves to be overthrown. So I guess I'm cheering for the Iraqi people.

Realistically though, the US is going to win this war, even if they have to turn Baghdad into Grozny in the process. So I guess what I'm hoping for is a quick turnover to an elected Iraqi administration. But that isn't going to happen either; the US has been fairly explicit about wanting political control of postwar Iraq (or, as Condoleezza Rice put it, "after giving life and blood for liberating Iraq, the coalition expects to have the leading role"). Since they're not just going to topple Saddam and get out, I'm reduced to hoping for a messy postwar situation that forces the Americans to eventually pack up and go home.

No, I don't feel particularly good about that, either. It means more death and more destruction, which are not things that I generally approve of. It means more dead American soldiers - and enough of them to change American public opinion and convince them that this colonial dream of Rumsfeld and Co isn't worth it. And, if the West Bank is anything to go by, it means thousands of Iraqi civillians killed for opposing US rule. But damn it, I don't want to see the Iraqis delivered from Saddam simply to have a colonial regime (or worse, another tyrant) imposed on them. They deserve the chance to rule themselves. If the Americans are going to deny them that chance, then they've adopted the mantle of Saddam and deserve everything they get.