2003 March 27 Thursday
Why Many Iraqis Show Little Enthusiam Toward Coalition Forces

Steve Sailer lists a number of reasons why the Iraqi response to coalition forces has been more subdued than many have predicted.

-- Many Shiite Muslims in southern Iraq might fear that the United States will abandon them, as it did during their 1991 uprising against Saddam following the end of Operation Desert Storm. The ruler then put down their rebellion savagely.

-- While American planners hoped that Shiites would view the allies as their friends in struggle with Iraq's Sunni rulers, Middle Easterners don't always subscribe to the catch phrase that "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." Sometimes, he's just one more enemy.

Put yourself in the position of an Iraqi in some town that seemingly has been liberated from Saddam's rule. It is possible that Saddam's agents are still lurking and that the identity of some of them are unknown. Why put your life at risk by showing any enthusiasm for the American and British forces? Also, after US forces pulled out in 1991 and left the rebels at the mercy of Saddam (and Saddam has no mercy) how can the Iraqis know for sure that Saddam is really going to go down and not get up this time? Better safe than sorry.

Sky News is reporting on an incident where British forces Scots unit Black Watch entered the southern Iraqi town of Al Zubayr, were about to hand out aid, and Iraqi forces loyal to Saddam Hussein opened fire on the gathering crowd.

he troops were greeted by cheering crowds of several hundred people as they arrived western edge of the town, he said.

But before any food or water could be handed out, snipers opened fire and two mortars shells fell into the crowd.

Update: Iraqis are afraid to speak their minds.

Iraqis tend to whisper when they criticize Saddam. If they sense someone has appeared nearby, they immediately switch to loud talk about American aggression against Iraq.

Many said they were still terrified of Baath party members, even as Saddam's loyalists come under the pressure of U.S. and British bombs that shake the ground near their strongholds.

Coalition forces are putting more effort into attacking the Baath Party in Iraqi cities.

"Our effect on Basra must be to convince the people to have the confidence to rise against the oppressive political control of the Baath Party and the irregulars who do its bidding," said Col. Chris Vernon, a spokesman for the British military, which has encircled Basra.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2003 March 27 01:23 PM  Military War, Rumours Of War


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