Thursday, May 10, 2007

Former 'LA Times' Baghdad Chief Says Iraqis Are 'Humiliated'

"NEW YORK Former Los Angeles Times Baghdad Bureau Chief Borzou Daragahi says he doubts the "surge" in Iraq will work, and describes Iraq citizens as "hostile" and "humiliated" after four years of war.

Asked by Brian Lamb, in a forthcoming C-SPAN interview, about his personal views on the war, he replied: "I think at this point, it just – it seems like it’s become a disaster. I mean, I don’t think anyone could dispute that. It’s just going very, very, very, very badly." He said he had mixed feelings about the invasion but "As time wore on, though, as the bodies mounted, it just seems more and more like a really bad mistake."

The interview will be broadcast Sunday night.

Daragahi, a Pulitzer finalist in 2005, admits to deceiving his family, and editors, on some occasions about life in the war zone.....

--On why he believes the military surge won't work:

"Because there is not - even according to General Petraeus' own guidebook for fighting counterinsurgencies, they're not using soldiers, they're not using enough troops to accomplish their goals...But also, more fundamentally, I don't think that they can do this militarily. I don't think the fundamental problems in Iraq right now are military problems."

-- On why Iraqis feel humiliated:

"Iraqis are rather hostile and feel humiliated. And that's the key thing that maybe some of our policymakers don't understand. The presence of the U.S. soldiers is very humiliating to the Iraqis. Even those who, in their minds know that it's necessary to have the soldiers there, at least some kind of force there preventing an all-out civil war from getting even worse...I don't think they appreciate American culture."....."

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