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Jason Holliston
 
Wednesday, March 26, 2003  
Dread

I'm starting to consider the possibility of a huge miscalculation by all the people that have been pushing for this war for a long time, including our government. I still believe that the war -- the military engagements and taking down of the regime -- will be over soon. I think it might be a couple more weeks than I thought originally, but smashing the Republican Guard is something we are very good at. We've proved it before. I'm not overly concerned with chemical weapons, the thugs harassing our troops, or sandstorms. I am beginning to really worry about one thing, though -- the civilians of Iraq.

I think the big question is, do they hate us more than they hate Saddam? This is really what the whole liberation of Iraq depends on, and it's something that the war boosters have brushed aside ever since real talk about this war had begun. Quotes from American-based ex-patriates and some accounts from people coming out or Iraq have been published showing that people in Iraq will accept the war to get rid of their oppressive leader. The government has given a sense of obviousness about this, as well. You listen to the speeches by President Bush and the press conferences by people in his administration, and the question, if it is even brought up, is treated with contempt.

I hope they're right. Perhaps I'm watching too much TV, but I've been seeing reports of Iraqis living in Jordan that left their country a long time ago to escape Saddam's tyranny going back home to fight the "American invaders". I see interviews with people at Umm Qasr saying "Down with Bush, up with Saddam!" I'd like to believe that these incidents are just the small, small minority, or that they're driven by fear, and as soon as Saddam's dead, the people will cheer us on, their liberators. I'm just not so sure, now. I'm still remembering those reports from before the war, and still keeping hope, but I'll admit it, I need some proof here, and not 3 months from now.

In a detached way, I guess I can understand where they're coming from, but I have to stretch my mind and what I know pretty hard to get there. Put yourself in the position of some of these people, put aside everything you've heard, and instead believe what they say in the Arabic news. The Americans aren't there as liberators. They are there to occupy Iraq and make it a client state, answering only to them. They will take their oil. They have no regard for the people of Iraq, and in fact, target civilians and blame it on Saddam's regime. In fact, they might even use chemical or nuclear weapons and blame it on the Great Saddam. Sounds like crazy talk, does it? Well, it feeds in to my last politically relevant post, "Lies Damned Lies". If Americans believe this rubbish, then it's not too much of a leap to believe that the people of Iraq could believe it as well, especially if supposedly non-partial entities like Al-Jazeera and other Arabic news agencies are implying the same thing.

Everything rides on how the Iraqi people welcome us after Saddam is gone. It could go the way of Afghanistan or Vietnam (no, not perfect analogies, but close enough). I do believe that if it's apparent that a large percentage of the Iraqis turn out to hate us and want us gone, we should rethink our entire "active" war on terror, and our foreign policy. It would be an event of the same magnitude as 9/11.

I was talking with a friend yesterday, and wondered out loud what Stan Lee, the creator of Spider-Man would say about this war. He coined, "With great power comes great responsibility", and I believe that this war, and in a larger sense, the plans of the neo-conservatives, rides on this feeling of responsibility. It's also necessary that the people you're saying want to be saved. If they don't, then just stay at home.


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