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Irak: Ockupationen nu

En balanserad beskrivning av läget i Irak är The Occupation av Max Rodenbeck i New York Review of Books - en artikel som jag starkt uppmanar er att läsa.

Max Rodenbeck är korrespondent i Kairo för The Economist, som faktiskt stödde kriget. Till skillnad från så gott som alla andra amerikanska reportrar (och de flesta svenska) talar han arabiska, bor i Mellöstern och är bekant med historien och politiken.

Artikeln tar upp bristen på planering för Irak efter kriget, varför många irakier ännu tvivlar på USAs avsikter och flera andra frågor - många som jag berört tidigare här på Blind Höna. Några utdrag:
"America's first one hundred days have been far from glorious. The path so far has been marked by multiple failures, many of them avoidable. Failure to articulate coherent goals, both before and after the war, for example. Failure to invest in and build on initial Iraqi goodwill. Failure to understand the nature of Iraqi suffering, or to recognize the part America itself has played in it. Failure to apply appropriate instruments and adequate resources to the problems at hand. Failure to appreciate the gravity of needs for things like justice, self-respect, and compassion. Failure to encourage and embrace outside help."

"Immediately after the war, Iraqis frequently expressed wonder at their occupiers' counterintuitive behavior. 'Its like they don't know how to take over a country,' said a bemused lawyer, sitting on the sidelines of one of the sweaty, chaotic early gatherings at Baghdad's Palestine Hotel, where exhilarated Iraqis struggled, unsuccessfully, to make sense of the new order. 'What you do is impose an immediate curfew. You protect all public buildings. You shoot looters on sight. You issue edicts to reassure people. You set up credible tribunals to air grievances and punish Saddam's thugs.' Following the initial, catastrophic period of looting, the perplexity deepened."

"In Baghdad, American civilian administrators were nowhere to be seen. The few who had arrived were closeted inside the vast Republican Palace compound (where the choice of personnel, many of whom appeared to have been selected for ideological reasons, gave the name new meaning)."

"In Iraq today there are plenty of scenes to warm American hearts: Marines graciously losing soccer games or performing magic tricks for delighted street kids; civilians being treated with skill and kindness in American field hospitals. For most Iraqis, however, the experience of contact with the occupiers is one of small humiliations. (---)

Sadly, many Iraqis have by now concluded that the reason for their postwar misadventures is American ill will. (---) Obviously, the impression is wrong. There is little American ill will toward Iraq, except perhaps the grudge felt by increasingly bored and frightened soldiers. The messiness is more a result of prewar misconceptions, wartime miscalculations, and postwar misrule."

"More pertinent, perhaps, is the question of appropriate equipment and training. In numerous situations, Iraqi civilians have been killed either because American soldiers were unable to communicate such simple instructions as Stop..."

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07 aug 2003


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