Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Don't Be Fooled

My vote for the "headline of the week" award goes to this story from the [U.K.] Guardian: Don't be fooled by the spin on Iraq

After the subtitle, "The US is failing - and hatred of the occupation greater than ever", author Jonathan Steele goes straight to the heart of the matter:
Saddam Hussein's effigy was pulled down again in Baghdad's Firdos Square at the weekend. But unlike the made-for-TV event when US troops first entered the Iraqi capital, the toppling of Saddam on the occupation's second anniversary was different.

Instead of being done by US marines with a few dozen Iraqi bystanders, 300,000 Iraqis were on hand. They threw down effigies of Bush and Blair as well as the old dictator, at a rally that did not celebrate liberation but called for the immediate departure of foreign troops.
It is said that this was the largest demonstration in Iraq since 1958. Where was the American media coverage, folks? There was none? Well imagine that!

But apparently it doesn't matter, since Iraqis are not watching CNN. Maybe they don't know that what actually happens in their country is considered "irrelevant" here. But that doesn't matter either, since the reality is theirs.
The weekend's vast protest shows that opposition is still growing, in spite of US and British government claims to have Iraqis' best interests at heart. It was the biggest demonstration since foreign troops invaded.

Equally significantly, the marchers were mainly Shias, who poured in from the impoverished eastern suburb known as Sadr City. The Bush-Blair spin likes to suggest that protest is confined to Sunnis, with the nod and wink that these people are disgruntled former Saddam supporters or fundamentalists linked to al-Qaida, who therefore need not be treated as legitimate. The fact that the march was largely Shia and against Saddam as much as Bush and Blair gives the lie to that.
Is national unity on the rise in Iraq? Everyone seems to agree at least on this much: it is time for the USA to get out!

Everyone but the USA [and the Kurds], of course!
The key issue, now as it has been since 2003, is for the occupation to end quickly. Only this will reduce the resistance and give Iraqis a chance to live normally. In a new line of spin - which some commentators have taken to mean that the US is preparing for a pullout - US commanders claim the rate of insurgent attacks is down.

The figures are not independently monitored. Even if true, they may be temporary. Thirdly, they fly in the face of evidence that suggests the US is failing. Most of western Iraq is out of US control. The city of Mosul could explode at any moment. Ramadi is practically a no-go area.
Just for the record, it says here that the American troops are not leaving anytime soon, no matter what happens in Iraq. It also says here that the people of Iraq will never have another chance to live normally. By the time Bush and his friends get all the oil they want out of Iraq, the landscape will be so contaminated by depleted uranium that the people of Iraq will never live normally again.

There are at least two possible scenarios in which the American occupation of Iraq could end before all the oil is gone and every last grain of sand is radioactive. One such scenario involves the breakdown of the American economy as we used to know it. If the dollar collapses, American troops might be forced home, even if they have to hitch-hike back.

The second such scenario involves a change in the American government. If we could somehow replace the current regime with an administration that wants what's best for America, the war in Iraq would certainly come to an abrupt halt.

But in the meantime, please don't be fooled by claims of success. Everything is falling apart in Iraq, and our so-called leaders are lying to us again. What else is new?