Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Next time someone tells you... 
...that Cheney lied when he said "we'd be greeted as liberators," tell them to read the April 10th 2003 New York Times.

Here's what John Burns wrote from Baghdad:

Saddam Hussein's rule collapsed in a matter of hours today across much of this capital city as ordinary Iraqis took to the streets in their thousands to topple Mr. Hussein's statues, loot government ministries and interrogation centers and to give a cheering, often tearful welcome to advancing American troops.

After three weeks battling their way north from Kuwait against Mr. Hussein's hard-core loyalists, Army and Marine Corps units moving into the districts of eastern Baghdad where many of the city's five million people live finally met the kind of adulation from ordinary Iraqis that American advocates of a war to topple Mr. Hussein had predicted.

Amid the celebration, many of Mr. Hussein's troops and officials simply abandoned their posts and ran away.

Much of Baghdad became, in a moment, a showcase of unbridled enthusiasm for America, as much as it metamorphosed into a crucible of unbridled hatred for Mr. Hussein and his 24-year rule.

American troops, but almost as much any Westerner caught up in the tide of people rushing into the streets, were met with scenes that summoned comparisons to the freeing of Eastern Europe 14 years ago.

There was no word on the fate of Mr. Hussein or his sons, Uday and Qusay, targeted by American bombs in a western residential area on Monday. But his whereabouts -- even his very existence -- seemed irrelevant as American Marines used an M88 tank recovery vehicle to topple a large statue of Mr. Hussein in the central Firdos Square.

Crowds surged forward to stomp on the downed statue, whose head had briefly been covered in an American flag, and several men dragged its severed head through the streets.

A burly 39-year-old man named Qifa, assigned by Mr. Hussein's Information Ministry to keep watch on an American reporter, paused at midmorning, outside the inferno that had been the headquarters of Iraq's National Olympic Committee, to ask the reporter to grip his hand. The building, used to torture and kill opponents of Mr. Hussein, had been one of the most widely feared places in Iraq.

"Touch me, touch me, tell me that this is real, tell me that the nightmare is really over," the man said, tears running down his face.

It was real, at last. When the city awoke to find that the American capture on Monday of the government quarter in west Baghdad had been followed overnight by a deep American thrust into the city's eastern half, the fear ingrained in most Iraqis evaporated.

Iraqis on foot, on motor scooters, in cars and minivans and trucks, alone and in groups, children and adults and elderly, headed for any point on the map where American troops had taken up positions — at expressway junctions, outside the United Nations headquarters, at two hotels on the Tigris River where Western journalists had been sequestered by Mr. Hussein's government -- and erupted with enthusiasm.

Shouts to the American soldiers of "Thank you, mister, thank you," in English, of "Welcome, my friend, welcome," of "Good, good, good," and "Yes, yes, mister," mingled with cries of "Good, George Bush!" and "Down Saddam!"

But reporters who crossed one of the deserted midtown bridges across the Tigris into the western area of the city discovered quickly that Mr. Hussein's hold has not been wholly broken....

American commanders in the city barely paused to soak up the celebrations before warning tonight that much hard work remained to be done in extending the pockets of American control in east and west Baghdad into areas that remained no-man's lands, or worse, pockets of active resistance.

Those pockets were clearly still dangerous today, but they were also isolated. Many people seemed joyous. A middle-aged man pushed through a crowd attempting to topple a statue of Mr. Hussein outside the oil ministry with a bouquet of paper flowers, and passed among American troops distributing them one at a time, each with a kiss on the cheek.

A woman with two small children perched in the open roof of a car maneuvering to get close to a Marine Corps unit assisting in toppling a Hussein statue outside the Palestine and Sheraton hotels, the quarters for foreign journalists, wept as she shouted, "Thank you, mister, thank you very much."


Splash, out


(Via Newsbusters)


I will give you that. But I think the point is that it is a temporary euphoric response. It's like any emotional high. It is not enough of an indication to set a national or theatre strategy on.

I sometimes feel that our Us vs. Them two-party system tries to break everything down into 1's and 0's. Black and White. And while I will always say that somethings are black and white...most issues are far more complex than 1's and 0's...that is why in computing we have to create intricate If-Then-Else scenarios to get to a simple 1 or 0 response.

In this case...yes...the brief euphoric high that the down-trodden and persecuted citizens in Iraq was real. It was a hero's welcome. But in the complex environment...that didn't last. And I think (granted...pure unadulterated opinion)...I think that the high faded but the strategy for the next year or so stuck to the "we liberated the Iraqi people and we can do no wrong".

Like I said...you are right...it happened...I will grant you that. But it was a temporary thing. Just like with any relationship...the initial high will fade...and then the real work begins.

Yes, they were happy for a few days. Unfortunately after that you did not stop looting, disbanded the army, ransacked their houses, shot them at checkpoints, tortured them in Abu Ghraib, got 100.000 killed, worsened the electricity, healthcare,oil revenues, sewage and drinking water. Further you did not finish rebuilding, kept the armoured humvees for your self, did not finish rebuildding and treat them like subhumans.And now they hate your guts. How on earth did you do it.?
A lot of Iraqis believe that, but most of them have a sixth grade education. About the same as what you display here, judging from your poor grasp of the facts and your inability to assess the reliability of your sources.

For instance, the 100,000 figure is the result of an outlying Lancet study - long since debunked - and is more than 3 times the consensus figure - even among antiwar sites such as iraqbodycount.net.

Iraq is also generating more kilowatt hours of electricity now than they did before the war. Here's what happened: Saddam routed power to loyal neighborhoods, and hoarded it in Baghdad. Baghdad experienced rolling blackouts - power was more evenly and equitably distributed.

Of course, if the best you can do is harp on the Lancet study, then you obviously don't have sufficient grasp on the facts to comprehend that the power situation is much more complicated than the latest news report that the lights are off in Baghdad again.

I'm sure the terrorists are grateful that you're so easily manipulated by their media strategy.

The US worsened the healthcare situation? Dude. The UN found that prior to the invasion, some 5000 children were dying every MONTH over and above the generally expected mortality rates.

And the US worsened that?

I suppose you could have done better than we did, of course, because you know everything.

Anonymous people tend to be like that.
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