Editor’s Note: Readers comment on the Iraq War from the view of the Iraqis:
If the United States was invaded by foreigners who bombed, killed and crippled many thousands of civilians in a war based on lies, then occupied with soldiers who break down doors in the night and haul blindfolded people off to unaccountable torture prisons, would you collaborate with the foreigners or join the resistance and fight the occupiers to the death?
After four years of supposedly helping Iraqis why is it when American vehicles and soldiers burn from roadside bombs, crowds of Iraqi people gather around the charred rubble, cheer and call out "Death to America” and "God is Greatest?"
The war was plotted with deception and violates the Nuremberg Principles. Does pursuing “victory” mean working for the triumph of lies, false witness and the evil of Wars of Aggression?
The majority of Americans and Iraqis want the occupation to end. The Pentagon is building permanent military bases and planning to occupy Iraq for decades. What is the use of giving all that money to the military if they use it making enemies for the American people?
A comment on Ivan Eland's article, "Blaming The Iraqis."
Ivan asserts that "The Bush administration and Congress have put too much
faith in governments – the U.S. as well as the Iraqi – to remedy the chaos
First, under the Republicans, Congress has had no mind of its own – it put
its faith in Bush the Almighty not to mess up too much and make the
Republicans unelectable. The Iraqi people were never its concern.
Second, the Bush administration has never believed that an Iraqi
government could play a critical role. Jay Garner, the first administrator
of Iraq, wanted early elections. But Bush disliked such independent
thinking, and replaced Garner with Paul Bremer. After being fired, Garner
said: "My preference was to put the Iraqis in charge as soon as we can,
and do it with some form of elections...I just thought it was necessary to
rapidly get the Iraqis in charge of their destiny."
Only after violence flared following the first assault on Fallujah and the
Abu Ghraib revelations did Bush finally relent.
The 2005 elections - held in the aftermath of mass protests for the ballot
- took place under a military occupation and escalating violence.
Thousands of candidates, fearing attacks, kept their identities secret
until polling day, and it is not possible to know how many Iraqis did not
stand due to the bloodshed and violence; rules for who could and could not
be a candidate were set by Bremer appointees; and Allawi, who represented
America's political aspirations in Iraq, is, according to a New York Times
article, a former exile-cum-terrorist who has worked for the CIA.
addition, Iraqis were given no opportunity to elect their president or
prime minister, restrictions were imposed on the press, and Al Jazeera
banished (Al Jazeera, according to Mark Lynch, an Arab media expert, is -
in its overall effect - a democratizing force in the Middle East). So,
what choice did Iraqis have but to vote along religious and ethnic lines?
Therefore, in no sense of the word were the 2005 elections free, let alone
fair. They were another example of the Bush administration doing its
damnedest to forestall and prevent a functional Iraqi government. Bremer's
100 orders are further evidence of this. Illegally imposed by Paul Bremer
in 2003, these economic commandments have still not been repealed.
do not want their country sold to European and U.S. corporate interests.
On its Web site, an Iraqi resistance group cited this as a principal reason for attacking U.S. troops. Jay Garner was asked about the U.S. imposed mass privatizations and layoffs. He said it would have been better had Iraqis taken the decisions themselves. Unfortunately for the Iraqis, the top echelon of the Iraqi government seems to have been made in the image of U.S. foreign policy.
Ivan says Iraq is in a civil war. If this is true, then what is abundantly
evident is America is one of the warring factions. In a civil war, groups
fight for political control. The U.S. clearly wants political control, and
is using its military to acquire it. America shows a complete lack of
regard for the well-being and dignity of Iraqis. America will kill, or
ill-treat, any Iraqi that gets in the way of the groups it is fighting.
Recall the hundreds of thousands forced to flee Fallujah, the boys and men
aged 15-60 that were told they could not leave, the subsequent bombing and
orders to shoot anything that moved, and, more recently, the deliberate
shelling of an Iraqi primary school, killing six small children and
injuring six others (figures remain unconfirmed). Two incidents, out of
Ivan says, "The alternative is full blown civil war with U.S. forces caught in the crossfire." But what about the Iraqis caught in the "crossfire" of the U.S. military? Or does Ivan think the U.S. military is a gentle giant, tiptoeing around Iraq?
Millions of Iraqis are fleeing Iraq, or moving to safer towns and villages
inside Iraq. It is therefore the height of arrogance to claim Iraqis are
engaged in a "full blown civil war", which most people take to mean the
citizens are at war with each other. First, the majority of Iraqis, it
would seem, don't want violence - they want to live together in peace -
and, second, America, from the beginning, has made no effort to create a
peaceful country for those forced to stay.
If the Bush administration, in 2003, had put its weight behind a secular
Iraqi government - or in an administrator that put the interests of Iraqis
first - things might be different now. But this overlooks the fact that
America is a willful participant in the conflict. The Bush administration
chooses violence, promotes divisions, and goads young Iraqis into become
violent themselves - or leaves them with no choice (being an insurgent can
bring in a living wage). And now America is talking up a civil war, so
that top U.S. officials can say, well, we tried.
Things were not going to be easy in Iraq, but America has ensured the
worst-case scenario is coming true. Blaming the Iraqis, indeed!
Michael (London, England)
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