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Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

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Sunday, December 14, 2003

Looking into the Iraqi crystal ball.

Since the announcement of the capture of former Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein, the government of the US and UK (and their sycophants in the press) have been tripping all over themselves in their anxiousness to put the most positive spin possible on the event. Not every observer is so optimistic, however, including some of those who are much closer to Iraq than London or Washington.

One of those observers is correspondent Zvi Bar'el of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. During the runup to the Iraq war and during the war itself, his reports contained some of the most incisive analyis available. After the early days of the occupation of Iraq, however, Bar'el was noticably absent from Haaretz. Until today, that is. Now Bar'el has returned with his own guesses as to what may happen in Iraq over the next few months.

Iraq's future in days ahead will play out according to one of three possible scenarios. The first scenario is the extension of what has happened in recent weeks: that is, daily attacks on foreign targets, Americans and otherwise, could continue. The second possible scenario would be escalated attacks on coalition targets, with the intention of hastening the American pull-out from Iraq. Third, political opposition groups could mobilize peacefully and unite around the demand that coalition troops pull out immediately, so that Iraq is left to Iraqis.

These three scenarios have come to the fore because the American occupation has, up to now, derived its legitimacy from the military need to remove the "remains" of Saddam Hussein's regime. Iraqi movements which opposed the American occupation in principle feared that a premature U.S. military pull-out might have allowed troops loyal to Saddam to re-gain power. Now, such movements are likely to take political and military steps to resist the continued presence of coalition forces in Iraq.

In these respects, Hussein's capture is liable to intensify local opposition to the continued U.S. occupation of the country.


Make sure to check out the whole article. It's a good tonic for the overly optimistic spin that the US and UK governments are given to the importance of Saddam's capture.

| | Posted by Magpie at 2:25 PM | Get permalink




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