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    Hullaballistic potboilers..., 2003-03-26 04:23:51 | Main | Wither Afghanistan..., 2003-03-27 10:58:53

    The First Aid Shipment of the War:

    was greeted by "with our tears, with our blood, we are ready to die for Saddam Hussein" before people swarmed the trucks and started hoarding supplies.

    I saw this unfold on the news last night, and along with everything else we're hearing it calls into serious question the idea that the war "will go relatively quickly...Weeks rather than months".

    The standard commissar response to such news is that these folks are harping the Saddam line in fear of retribution from a minority loyalist population and the army. On the other hand if nationalism are really part of this kind of reaction it's probably because Iraqi's are skeptical of US claims about humanitarian efforts, and not without good reason (estimated immediate cost, $1,000,00,000, I haven't been able to find figures for what the US is pledging but the ticker on CNN quoted something to the effect of $20 million earlier this week, if I remember right, and the large amounts of promised reconstruction aid is earmarked for US firms - winning "hearts and minds" means "coughing up the cash", that doesn't look like much to me). I don't think I need to add mention of the 1991 rebellions, but they're an obvious source of widespread skepticism and resentment, and if that's possible to overcome it will take some time, if it doesn't just turn into rank and file opposition to US forces.

    If this is instead indicative of resentment against the US that few if any pundits suggested might exist among the civillian population previous to the war we're really up a creek without a paddle, let alone an exit plan. Misjudging, if not outright ignoring, local conditions like this is the sort of thing that, to contradict my previous post briefly, leads to "mistakes" like Vietnam.

    (but maybe I'm just becoming too skeptical, but others have been too optimistic)


:: posted by buermann @ 2003-03-27 08:09:08 CST | link





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