You will Reap Nothing
After looking at the images posted on ATW of systematic kilings i think its only natural to question who on earth we are helping in Iraq.
Prior to the overthrow of Saddam all sorts of hideous barbaric acts were committed and the people who participated in any of these were vile then and are vile now. A country with systematic abuse is bound to have its share of vile specimens. And a good number pouring in from abroad.
What shocks me most is the lack of condemnation. Whilst our lads actions are held to account and highlighted and used to condemn every reason to be there, such disgusting muslim on muslim violence is not met with anything near the outcry from those who claim we are just there 'killing muslims'.
Last weeks Guardian heaped scorn on the PM towards his remarks that we should be 'immensely proud' of our efforts and our troops as they withdraw from southern Iraq. Marina Hynde in The Guardian alluded to and made light of Comical (not Chemical) Ali's remarks to make her jokey point. Asserting that his 'ravings' seemed somehow 'prophetic' - "Dont be so hasty because your disappointment will be great".he said ."You will reap nothing from this aggressive war except for disgarce and defeat" . 'Little did we know it but he was speaking more sense than our Prime Minister' she concludes. Really Marina? Could that be because you've thought so from the start and drumming home your determination has helped it along? It is interesting that Comical Ali and Marina both concentrate on what 'we' would reap as opposed to what local Iraqis want as that is the view they both couldnt care less about.
Who knew for example that, thanks to British troops, Saddams cruel efforts to drain the southern marshes have been reversed and are now back to 40% of their original size? That British aircraft sprayed almost 100,000 trees with insecticide helping their production to double since the days of Hussein's rule, immensely appreciated by the locals. BBB comments in the IHT that one of the locals asked him to visit the old British cemetery in Baghdad.
It was beautiful, he said: a sanctuary, a paradise. "And the gravestones are safe," the local assured him. "I have removed them, so that no one will destroy them." Such is the hatred?
He also points to the turnout in the elections which was strong and better than elsewhere (re Basra), 'where there have been highly successful missions to capture arms caches and terrorists, and grateful Iraqis rush to ask for their help in mediating tribal disputes or providing more protection from the militias'. Importantly 'The American presence also is helping to convince local tribes to turn against the bleak worldview offered by Al Qaeda and they are frequently asked to return to protect neighbourhoods they have cleared and moved on'.
He concludes that the "moral hazard" argument — 'the idea that, the longer coalition troops stay, the longer we simply allow the Iraqis to avoid sorting out their own problems — is perhaps the most powerful claim for coalition troops to leave Iraq altogether. To some extent this is too simplistic - Iraq's historical state has always been one of constant internal violence...The priority now is to give Iraqis the best possible conditions to achieve the best feasible Iraq: one that stays whole, that suffers less internal violence than it has historically, that is not a threat to its neighbours or to the rest of us and that, through a few good internal examples and a modicum of representative government, has hope and mechanisms for improving itself'. Pity the worlds media couldnt get behind that idea at the start.
How often did we hear of the success stories and achievements such as these? How often was this allowed to balance out the negative, damaging and often hysterical propaganda prefered by the likes of Marina, Stoppers and co in her quasi admiration for Comical Ali? Hers was the sort of dispicable criticism most often parroted eg all a BIG joke...like 'Bush No 1 Terrorist' and 'Bliar'. Same tired old joke. It certainly is a case of you reap what you sow from that perspective.