If America leaves Iraq, the place has the potential to become another Afghanistan. Afghanistan was a liberal country before the soviets, but decades of fighting and fundamentalism stripped them of all liberalism and left behind something very frightening. When both the USSR and America left Afghanistan, the warlords must have felt like little kids with so many toys to play with and no one to stop them. The upper-class fled, and the rest -suffered- are suffering.
Iraq is not so bad, yet if America goes before leaving some sort of structure in place, its going to be disaster. Shia’s and Sunni’s are capable of hating each other to an extent where they would rather both suffer than allow the other to get ahead. Since Saddam killed all his capable opposition, there are no institutions left which seem capable of running all of Iraq.
The US has taken on a thankless job. No matter how much they accomplish, there is a sizable percentage that is going to keep complaining. On the other hand, there is a larger group who would be deeply grateful to the US for all they’ve already done, and more so for what can be done. The problem lies with the fact that the US doesn’t seem to be accomplishing anything in Iraq. Sure, they wiped out Saddam real fast, but there is no other notable thing after that which the American?s can point to. The “Iraqi Governing Council”:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A1218-2003Aug15.html is a joke. “Electricity”:http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=03/08/15/1338232, “water”:http://shock-awe.info/archive/000803.php, “patience”:http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1020038,00.html, everything is in short supply except the “heat”:http://msnbc.com/news/952119.asp?0sl=-13.
There seem to be numerous groups already attacking the US. The BBC has tried to figure out “who is behind the violence in Iraq”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3148223.stm, but no one is sure. The Pentagon and the White House have issued so many conflicting statements that nobody knows for sure what exactly they’ve really said. Maybe they’re just planning for the future. The Bush administration is so incompetent that even those firmly on the American side have to pause and think about supporting them. The US went into Iraq without any plans for the occupation. As the troops on the ground learn on the job they are making rudimentary mistakes which could have easily been avoided with a little foresight and planning. It’s not allright to learn on the fly when you’re occupying a country. The Iraqi’s must find the US making themselves out to be some sort of saviour most irritating. Another sign that things aren’t going well: the “Guardian archive of news on Iraq”:http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/0,2759,423009,00.html at a quick glance doesn’t contain a *single* positive article.
The future does not look bright.
*Update*: Seems I “understated”:http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/world/2003_09/the_american_media_gets_off_its_knees.html it above. Things are getting worse. A shining example: US soldiers bulldoze farmers’ crops.
bq. US soldiers driving bulldozers, with jazz blaring from loudspeakers, have uprooted ancient groves of date palms as well as orange and lemon trees in central Iraq as part of a new policy of collective punishment of farmers who do not give information about guerrillas attacking US troops.
>> “Patrick Cockburn in Dhuluaya, The Independent”:http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=452375