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It's only a clash of perceptions, not of cultures

Reader comment on item: The Roots of Iraq's Rebellion

Submitted by Michael Elvin (United States), Apr 15, 2004 at 12:18

I don't see the need to go back to the seventh century to figure out why the Iraqis are uniting against American rule. They don't like our appointed stooges, for one thing. And for another, many of them don't like our hiring ex-Baath to take over on the security front. True they were certainly predisposed to look upon us kindly after we removed a government many if not most of them considered odious. But they've been judging us harshly on the debacle we've produced since then. And we have fallen greatly in the polls there.

It is apparent our interests in their welfare are venal and self-centered, and that our handling of the rebuilding process has been slipshod and disinterested. Most would consider themselves worse off now that they were before the invasion, and that is never a good sign for the incumbents (us). We have failed to improve anything, and jobs are notably in much shorter supply now than they were before.

Add to that mix a nation of hotheads owning guns, and you have a brew that doesn't bode well for the good guys. If we'd had their best interests at heart we would have started placing things back under local civilian control right away. Then all the blame would have gone to their own administrators, not to us and our friends.

It's not too late to back out now. Just tell them we are leaving at some early date, and that they need to get their act together. If they need us for security reasons, they can always ask us to stay over. Then we will indeed be seen as liberators, not occupiers.
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