"Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons." Bertrand Russell

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

'bad news' from Iraq

Dear (Irish Times Editor),

The backlash against 'bad news' from Iraq in Mondays Irish Times was not without reason but it did conveniently miss out a few key details.

The Sunday Telegraph reported on Sunday the results of a poll undertaken by the British MoD, the results were a damning indication of the lack of support for coalition occupation. The poll found that "up to 65 per cent of Iraqi citizens support attacks [on British troops] and fewer than one per cent think Allied military involvement is helping to improve security in their country."
Which supports a report conducted by The Center for Strategic and International Studies at the end of 2004. It concluded that the Iraqi insurgency was "largely domestic in character, and had significant popular support," while the number of attacks on Coalition Forces accounted for approximately 75% of all attacks. Given that the insurgency is not a single entity it is fair to say that there are varied goals among these groups, with only one single goal common to all, the expulsion of foreign troops.
Attempts to derail the nannied political process by insurgent groups, coupled with the attempts by higher powers to draft a constitution favourable to outside interests is escalating the violence and confusion. The UN is certainly confused, having condemned late changes to the rules governing the referendum days before the vote, its amendment is now commended.
It is fair to say Iraqis have risked life and limb again to further their democratic agenda, however their prerogative was made clear in the January elections where a majority chose to elect a government whose stated goal was to call for the end of occupation. While the argument that because Iraqis voted for an interim government that made a U-turn on occupation, its continuation is somehow justified is in direct conflict with Iraqi public opinion. This argument is epitomised by Kevin Myers, who always manages to conflate support for Iraqis with support for terrorists. The ratification of the draft constitution does not herald an end to occupation, while it does open up Iraq's oil market to foreign companies.
With the continued occupation escalating violence it is quite clear the price Iraqis will be made pay for the imposition of democracy is in the hands of the liberators. 100,000 and counting.

Yours etc...