Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Restless Natives pt1

Over the weekend a British helicopter was downed in Iraq. Several people died, British and Iraqi, and riots broke out on the streets of Basra.

Now call me old-fashioned but after three years of supposedly benevolent occupation; with cheery, helmet-less British soldiers handing out Mars bars and Manchester United T Shirts, the sight of hundreds of people holding an impromptu street party celebrating one of your helicopters getting shot down does not look like a good sign.

Foolishly maybe, I don’t believe for a minute that our ordinary soldiers are making a balls-up of their responsibilities. If there’s one thing our army is practised at, it’s strolling around foreign countries, outnumbered a thousand to one, and keeping the peace. With the exception one or two unfortunate hiccups the British managed to keep a billion Indians under their thumb for a couple of centuries with something like fifty thousand troops. It’s all about exuding the confidence of someone with cojones the size of watermelons and not pissing the locals off so much that they realise they could totally obliterate you over the course of one not particularly busy morning.

Like I said, the British are traditionally good at that sort of thing.

So what’s going wrong for our Army in Southern Iraq?

Well, our news organisations certainly aren’t explaining to us.

At this point I’d normally launch into a rant about how controlled our media is, how it is owned by a handful of people, how it has got lazy and simply repeats PR bulletins yah di yah di yah dah.

However, I was fortunate to catch a painfully honest account of the impossibility of covering the situation in Iraq, presented by Channel 4’s Jon Snow, a couple of nights ago. Jon Snow seems like a decent, honest man who believes in what he does. To cut a long story short he basically admitted that no news worthy of the name is getting out of Iraq because the environment is physically lethal for journalists.

Which, in itself, says something about what’s going on there.

So, I’ll modify my standard rant about all journalists being whores to ‘all journalists are whores except for John Snow and a couple of his mates’.

Anyway, why are the Iraqis so pissed off with us?

Well, if you trawl around the alternative media and non-Western news organisations, it seems that at least some Iraqis believe that we are fucking their country up deliberately.

Even on Jon Snow’s program it was significant that the Iraqis interviewed chose to use very loose terms to describe the perpetrators of the atrocities happening in Iraq. Terms that could equally apply to coalition forces as other Iraqis.

Some Iraqis believe that it is the deliberate intention of the US, UK and, yes, Israeli governments to split Iraq into three parts and set those parts against each other for the foreseeable future.

After Hamas' victory in the recent Palestinian election, it is clear that the last thing ‘We’ really want is democracy in the Middle East unless it is the kind of democracy that delivers the kind of results ‘We’d’ like to see. A united, democratic Iraq is not on the table. It is not worth the risk to ‘Our’ interests.

We, in the West, are the terrorists

Actually, it doesn’t matter if any of this is true or not, the point is that significant number of Iraqis believe it to be so

And they’re pissy.


Wolfie said...

Welcome to reality dear boy. This was clearly the plan from the start after all, why destroy a neutered secular Arab state when you are supposedly fighting a protracted war against an extremist Islamic terrorist organisation? Foolish is too simplistic an explanation. The clue is the support to the Iraq invasion given by the Israeli government who against all reason [should they actually give a damn about their own people] cheered on this enterprise at the risk of accelerating the rise of radical Islam which in a shattered Iraq was bound to appear. As is the renewed confidence of Iran as it courts the hearts and minds of Shiite rebels in the south. The Great Game is afoot once more.

As for Hamas, they have been groomed by Mossad for years as a deliberate measure to prevent any peace process and crystallise Israeli [Likud biased] coalition governments with an external threat. Expect full-out war within the next years against the Palestinians

Anonymous said...

Some Iraqis believe that it is the deliberate intention of the US, UK and, yes, Israeli governments to split Iraq into three parts and set those parts against each other for the foreseeable future.

Just like the former Yugoslavia.

Daniel Lobo said...

First visit, from flickr to the Da V**I Code to here. Will be back...

Postman said...

Tourist Terrists, 2 centre tours, Afghanistan this week, Iraq next who knows where next week.