Tuesday, June 03, 2003

"Liberating" Iraq, part II

The common response to rants like the one below about the appalling way the US is handling post-war Iraq is to claim that "anything is better than Saddam Hussein". The obvious response is to ask "But is it 5000 dead civillians better?"

Bloggers will debate that question from the safety of their computer chairs, trading off unexploded cluster bombs and depleted uranium against secret police and torture. But if we ask the people whose opinion really matters - actual Iraqis - we find that out some of them are already nostalgic for Saddam. And it's not difficult to see why: no power, no water, no law, no security, and a bunch of foreigners and their stooges running the show. It's a long, long way from what they were promised. Sure, the Iraqis now have their "freedom", but they see that the new boss is the same as the old boss, and in the meantime someone has stolen their VCR.

Either the Americans should get serious about building a decent democracy in Iraq - commit the necessary resources for rebuilding; engage in serious consultation to build a truly representative government rather than a bunch of unelected puppets - or they should get out.