Dohiyi Mir
    In Which NTodd Says His Peace

Sunday, September 07, 2003
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Winning Hearts And Minds Redux

Abd Al Rahman Al Juburi, a major in the former Iraqi army says this in Iraq Today:

[T]he Coalition had announced that it had dissolved "Saddam Hussein's army."
In doing this, I cannot help but think, the United States has created a conflict that it did not need. There's no question in my mind that many former officers have joined the resistance. When you push 90,000 officers - with military backgrounds and training - into a corner, of course some of them will take up arms. In dropping these people on the street, the Coalition took an asset they could have used to keep control of the borders, and gave it as a gift Saddam Hussein.
The dissolution of the army is yet another example of how Iraqis found out that rhetoric about freedom, civilization, democracy, liberation, economic prosperity, peace, honor and human rights were hollow. We saw it first when US troops stood by as the country was looted, we see it when innocent Iraqi civilians are treated badly by US troops, or sometimes killed. We heard that the United States was coming to Iraq as liberators, but now they declared via the United Nations that they are legal occupiers. We have tanks inside universities-a point that might seem trivial to some, but which is unacceptable to Iraqis who are used to thinking of campuses as a place of refuge from soldiers and weapons. We have parties in power that have no trust from the Iraq people, and important factions who are ignored. Meanwhile, the Americans hunt Saddam Hussein by detaining, arresting, and killing people who were vicitimzed by his regime. I have an uncle who was killed inside his house by a blow from a rifle butt to his head because troops thought that Ali Hassan al-Majid might be in his house. This was a man who lost his job as a headmaster because he refused to join the Baath.

Peoples are led by persuasion, not by their noses.

Thus far we haven't been all that persuasive.


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