Protecting the Americans

Iraq is rarely on the front pages anymore. It should be.

Two recent pieces of writing, from opposite sides of the globe, highlight the profound disconnect between much of the Western media and reality on the ground.

First, an extract from The Guardian’s Jonathan Steele’s new book, Defeat: Why We Lost Iraq:

That phrase – “We had no idea we weren’t wanted” – could be the epitaph for the whole occupation. The Americans and British never took on board how mistrusted and unpopular they were. The Iraqis they met in any context other than one of confrontation were mainly their own employees or other people who stood to benefit financially from the occupation – civil society activists seeking grants for projects, or ministers and officials who wanted funds for public service budgets as well as their own salaries. These were not the sort of Iraqis who would tell the Americans and British to go home.

And a Baghdad blogger, Mohammed, discusses with friends why the violence has recently dropped around the country:

Then I asked them” but don’t you think the awakening is good, at least people are feeling safe, and life is getting back to the neighborhood?” and O answered me” if you think of it like this then sure it’s a good thing, but don’t forget that the awakening ended the true resistance, the awakening is a very smart plan by the Americans, now the Americans are walking in Adhamiya without any fear, now we can’t resist the occupation, it’s a sad thing that some good men in the resistant became dogs for the Americans, if we want to attack the Americans we must attack the awakening members first and that’s something I will not do, I’ll not kill an Iraqi”¦.so you see, awakening is a tool for Americans to keep them safe”¦.look in all Adhamiya do you see any writing that says anything about the occupation? No , it’s all “Die AlQaeda or die Awakening”¦”¦no one mentions the occupation anymore”¦..and that’s what the Americans wants, they want us to fight each other and forget about the true goal which is getting the occupation out of our country”.

Remember this the next time we read yet another pro-war armchair general claiming that the war was worth it, despite the massive loss of life, and shows tyrants that they shouldn’t mess with the West.

It’s a shame that most Iraqis don’t want the Americans to be there. This is something that the supporters of the war simply refuse to accept. How could those poor Arabs not want the soothing help of a raping American soldier?

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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