Monday, January 28, 2008

A bitter taste to Iraqi reality

By Dahr Jamail
Asia Times

"This March 19 will be the fifth anniversary of the shock-and-awe air assault on Baghdad that signaled the opening of the invasion of Iraq, and when it comes to the American occupation of that country, no end is yet in sight. If Republican presidential candidate John McCain has anything to say about it, the occupation may never end. On January 7, he assured reporters he was more than fine with the idea of the US military remaining in Iraq for 100 years. "We've been in Japan for 60 years. We've been in South Korea 50 years or so ... As long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed. That's fine with me."
He said nothing, of course, about Iraqis "injured or harmed or wounded or killed". In fact, amid the flurries of words, accusations and "debates" which have filled the airways and add up to the primary-season presidential campaign, there has been a near thunderous silence on Iraq lately - and especially on Iraqis......

Early on in my time in Iraq, during the first year of the occupation, the Iraqis I met were generally quick to differentiate between the policies of the US government and the desires of the American people.

Over time, after brutal US military operations against cities like Najaf, Fallujah, al-Qa'im, Samarra and Ramadi, after the Abu Ghraib prison abuses, after Haditha, after the near-total collapse of their country's infrastructure and the shredding of its social fabric, I began to witness occupation-weary Iraqis ceasing to draw that same critical line....."

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