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Heading toward failure
Iraqis prefer mayhem and sectarian killings rather than Americans policing them


November 2, 2006

I was just watching a video on YouTube. The reason I went to see the video was first because I heard about it, and second, because I've so long been thinking about what is going on in Iraq that it was necessary for me to make a better analysis.

It was a video, insurgent video, showing how snipers were shooting down American soldiers in Iraq. The soldiers seemed so unable to do anything, it was so much hunting-style. It was really disturbing. Unfortunately I do not understand Arabic so I did not get the whole point of the propaganda. There is so much video like this out there. More than three years after the invasion of Iraq and the bloodshed is getting worse.

American soldiers, as it seems to me, have already understood that they are not wanted by the Iraqis, so they try to avoid being seen much. And when they are seen they get shot very often. This war will change America, the Middle East, and the whole perception about insurgent warfare forever. And the insurgency will succeed. That's what the situation seems to suggest.

The success of the insurgency may not lead to an Islamist government. The success of the insurgency will mean the departure of the invaders. That may not seem to me, and most of the readers, as a success for Iraq, but as long as that is the aim of the insurgents, then it is indeed what insurgent success would mean. Whether we like it or not, this is heading toward failure.

There are winners and losers out there. The Iranian regime seems to be one of the greatest winners for now. They get more time to develop their own nuclear programme while the American military might is being humiliated and crushed in Iraq, and they also teach both to their own people and to the Americans that democracy isn't so nice after-all.

It is odd for me, and most Iranians in the diaspora, to understand why the Iraqis are doing what they are doing. It is true that this is not about all the Iraqis. But the number of Iraqis so dissatisfied with the American occupation of their homeland (which had the sole purpose of ousting Saddam and putting in place a functional regime) that they are willing to kill and risk getting killed, is so high, that the occupation is obviously unworkable. The number of liberal Iraqis who think positively of the Americans and the effects of not having Saddam anymore and the possibility of prospering is too low. It is a complete quagmire.

Why wouldn't the Iraqis think logically? That's what I asked myself at some point. There are so many countries in the world who are begging for America to deploy its troops their. What is the difference of deploying one's troops somewhere without resistance, or with war and resistance? We can talk about occupation in both cases. One case is welcome occupation, and the other is forced occupation. Some countries welcome American "occupation" of their country because of the security assurances it brings, while others, such as Iraq, prefer mayhem and sectarian killings rather than Americans policing them against threats, which may of course be from the outside forces too, such as Iran or Turkey.

It's just about different logical thinking. I think with my brain, which is trained by some values, while Iraqis think with their own brains, which are mostly trained by other values. Iraqis have, for their recent history as far as they can remember, been subject to conspiracy, murder, mistreatment and torture by any leadership. This is all they know. Their leaderships have always been abusive. Now telling them that Americans actually have no intention but to leave their country without touching the oil or defiling their religion is worse than mockery to their ears. It sounds worse than the stupidest conspiracy theory ever circulated that failed to attract adepts because of its too grandiose pretenses.

The Iraqi failure will likely be remembered as the war in which arrogance and stupidity, as one American official rightly recognised, succeeded to overcome the great imbalance of power between a huge military and economic power and a few thousands of unorganised lunatics willing to die for their cause. And the problem is what will be the result of this failure? A worse-than-Saddam warlord coming out of the ashes who would be realistic enough to understand the language of a not-so-amenable nation, or a more desirable and less aggressive regime, or regimes, for a united, or separated Iraq? Comment


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Ben Madadi



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