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Friday, January 13, 2006

Inspiring an insurgency

While the "Coalition" still talks about bringing "democracy" to Iraq and winning hearts and minds, the battle is lost (this fascinating New York Times report on the competing battles within the insurgency is essential reading.)

So how do average US troops relate to Iraqis? This UK Times article proves the contempt shown by any number of "liberators":

"'Why can’t we live together in peace?', read the graffiti written on a wall in Fallujah by a weary American soldier. Next to it a colleague had scrawled: 'Die ragheads die!'"

"The US military has struggled to improve the cultural sensitivity of its troops — often raw youths on their first trip abroad — since the start of the occupation when the first soldiers to hit Baghdad slipped a Stars and Stripes over the head of Saddam Hussein’s statue. Jittery superiors swiftly ordered them to replace it with an Iraqi flag."

4 Comments:

Blogger Ian Westmore said...

"The US military has struggled to improve the cultural sensitivity of its troops

Of course. They are bought up on an almost exclusive "diet" of USA, USA. They get almost no knowledge of the outside world, either in school or the media.

IME, even some of their senior military have little understanding of how the rest of the world functions.

Friday, January 13, 2006 2:32:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

In spite of it's superiority in so many fields, Amefica has created what has to be the most ignoratn group of people anywhere. When you have a leader who himself, never travelled overseas under his own passport, before becomming president, is it any wonder you have such brazenignorance in an insesitivity engendered in that country?

The military itself is hardly populated by the people of privelage either , so the problem only compounds.

Friday, January 13, 2006 2:38:00 pm  
Blogger Ian Westmore said...

The NYT articles is, IMO, the best evidence yet that if the CoW folded their tents and slinked off overnight Iraq would not descend into chaos.

It makes clear Al Queda is grudgingly tolerated as long as the occupation continues, but that the tribes could and would neutralise them when their usefulness ends.

It also makes clear the local resistance have pretty much staked out and control their turf. It also seems sectarianism may not be as great a divide as we're told.

Sure, there'll be jockeying for political/sectarian position when the CoW leaves, but that is already going on. There have been political/sectarian assassinations and lesser paybacks on a daily basis since day one. Given that the CoW seem not be interfering its possible that these wouldn't increase much if they left.

Friday, January 13, 2006 6:16:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

I completely agree Ian.

While he Imam's in Iraq may nto mind havign the mujahadeen there for the time being, they won't toleratte them if the US ever leave. And with their access to the Badr and Wofl brigades, they wont have much trouble dealing with them.

Saturday, January 14, 2006 6:41:00 am  

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