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March 25, 2003

BBC on Why the Lack of Cheers

Unless Wolfowitz is right that the cheers of the Iraqi people are being restrained by still-present fear of Saddam, the US has lost the war no matter how the coming battle go. If this war is treated as an invasion and occupation, rather than liberation, by broad sectors of the Iraqi population, Bush will have delivered a victory to Bin Laden and his murderous followers beyond their imagination. (See UK's Richard Dawkins on this point).

BBC has this to say about why the lack of cheers and the miscalculations of the Bush-Blair strategists:

Consider what happened in Basra last Saturday when there were air raids. The Qatari television channel al-Jazeera had a team in the city and it sent back graphic pictures of dead and wounded civilians which were widely shown in the Arab world. But these images have been all but ignored in the West, which seems more interested in pictures of the American prisoners of war. People do not take kindly to being bombed, even by "friendly forces"...

There are two other points: the effect of years of sanctions and the effect of nationalism. Although the sanctions regime allows for the provision of food and medicine, this is not always delivered to the poor. Saddam Hussein is not blamed but the United Nations and the United States are. The sufferers from sanctions may take time to be convinced that the invaders are bringing them relief.

But by that point the images of Iraqi casualties and resistance will have spread throughout the world, inflaming a whole new generation of terror directed at America. Bush is fighting a criminal war based on catastrophic misjudgements that will lead directly to deaths of countless Americans.

Posted by Nathan at March 25, 2003 12:03 PM

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