Political Comment: Our Man in Vigo
on the post-war situation
Perhaps. Ever since the coalition forces completed their military
task, (despite blowing up half of Baghdads infrastructure
to accomplish it) much has been taking place, both inside and outside
the country. To start with, and as I go to press Saddam is still
at large. The US intelligence are still licking their wounds, and
the military in general are still perplexed as to his whereabouts.
(827 US Soldiers wounded so far, 112 deaths) (Source Guardian 04.08)
True to Bedouin form, our superhero, as still perceived by many continues
to mastermind the intrigues of the world including the international
press. Even Houdini would be impressed. Whether he is caught or slaughtered
is now probably irrelevant. The death of his two sons has proven that.
So what of the rest of the aftermath which is unfolding before everyones
eyes. Listening in to George ...
Condy, do you think we screwed up? We sent our boys in to turn
the place upside down in order to liberate the Iraqi people and all
we get is shit thrown back at us. George was not looking at his
senior advisor; he was just gazing out of the window of the Oval Office.
He went on, before the war, them damn United Nations wouldnt
budge an inch. Kept on sending fuzzy inspectors to chase lizards. Then
we get hell from the French and the Germans. After we blasted Saddams
army we now find out that the CIA, FBI and all the rest of them idiots
playing spies have fouled up. He turned and faced Condoleeza,
I still think we did good.
Condoleeza, deadpan,faced replied in earnest, the game isnt
over yet, Sir. We still have a long way to go Mr. President. Time is
not on our side but the world will soon open their eyes to the truth.
Well will they?
To start with, the US military is getting more and more anxious at the
turkey shoot going on both in Baghdad and around the country. Georges
boys are paying a heavy toll and folks back home are beginning
to question the whole affair. Even the inner circle of financial gurus,
starting with the New York Stock Exchange that usually have their brains
geared to incomprehensible numbers are worried about the economic effect.
Meanwhile back at Tonys villa in Downing St., his foes and colleagues
are hammering away specially at the intelligence fiasco that caused
the suicide of a prominent scientist. Dr. David Kelly probably had more
idea of Saddams toys than the rest of the world put together.
But what the hell, all this has been mulled over by journalists, politicians
and society in general so why harp on about the subject? Its not
that simple. Like a bad cold, it just wont go away, and the international
community better take a hard look at Iraq because like it or not, the
eventual failure or success of this torn-to-pieces country holds the
future of mankind.
Lets start with the country itself, as it stands today. Im
not going to go into the differences of the ethnic groups, nor the newly
formed round table of Arabian Knights trying to hammer out a democratic
system that is gobbledygook to the average Moslem. The people, the real
Iraqi people have been overwhelmed overnight by the massive change in
their lives the moment Uncle Sam started dropping explosive pebbles.
Despite the terrible repression by Saddams regime and the persecution
of dissidents, the average family went about their business the way
they had done for over 20 years. All that has now changed. Sure,
I dont have to fear Saddams police anymore, but then all
I did was sell tea, and he didnt bother me anyway, said
Abdul who ran a small teashop near the Baghdad bazaar. Now, all
I see is tanks and yanks who walk about pointing their guns at everyone.
They now tell us that we are to vote for our rulers, but what
do I know about that. Nothing, added his wife as she cuddled her
numerous children. Its the transition timeframe between the hell
that is going on at the moment and getting the country back to some
sort of normality as it was before the war that is vital, regardless
of all the utopia babble of freedom and democracy. OK, its also
stating the obvious. Nevertheless, the Iraqis just want to live in peace
and to be left alone. The outside world is holding its breath whilst
George and the Pentagon ponder the next moves!
What about the outside world anyway? Bearing in mind the need for Iraqis
to return to life as usual, one point is becoming increasing
clear. Unless the International powers which include the European Union
and the Arab League of Nations reconcile their differences on Iraq and
persuade the US to place the whole affair back at the heart of the United
Nations and the Security Council, this country and the world is doomed.
The USA has proven that as a supposed do-gooder they made a complete
mess of Iraq. Not that their intention was not correct. One cannot blame
them for pursuing terrorism and that is to be applauded. However, seeking
out the bad guys and at the same time upsetting Abdul and his family
in the aftermath is just not on. France and Germany on the other hand
should stop playing the I told you so game because that
is old hat! When Britain overcomes its internal whodunit
game, will also be a key player at the UN forum.
There are a lot of other areas at stake. North Korea continues its never
ending naughty US chess game taking advantage of the upheaval
in the Middle East. Its about time it grew up. Africa has had
a breather with Bushs visit and his promise to combat Aids. This
is good, but the Liberias of the continent continue to battle
on regardless of Iraq. Pakistan and India have calmed down. Not surprising,
they are not in the limelight. And then we have the internal Jews vs.
Arabs contest in Jerusalem. Why these two factions have not yet come
to some sort of conviviality is beyond me, yet there is a glimmer of
hope and this is precisely the point in question. Has Iraq made the
USA more aware of the real Middle Eastern explosive focal point, which
has always been the Palestinian issue? Is it genuinely trying to put
a stop to it? Well see.
In a nutshell, the USA has learned a hard lesson. It is perfectly correct
in pursuing the likes of al Qaeda and all the other terrorist baddies
still to come. The rest of the world should support them in every sense.
However, their so-called pre-emptive striking to chase these guys is
very dangerous if, as has happened in Iraq they end up with no plan
to help the victims afterwards. On the other hand, the rest of the world
has also learned a similar lesson. The USA means business and they are
not going to stop their campaign against international terrorism. Lets
hope that sooner than later the mass of democratic loving nations will
stop their irrational anti-Americanism and lend a genuine helping hand
to save the world.
© James Skinner, August 4th 2003.
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