How did Baghdad fall so quickly? Pepe Escobar of the Asian Times offers up stories he heard in his own investigation.
So the story goes that a reward package for the "peaceful" handover of Baghdad was offered to Republican Guard commanders and, later on, the Fedayeen of Saddam. Republican Guard commanders received a lot of cash, a "secure" relocation outside of Iraq, and crucially for those not considered war criminals, the promise of a new job in post-Saddam Iraq. After all, the new American government will need cadres to run the remains of the devastated state apparatus. Top commanders were offered the option of residency in the US, for themselves and their families, and most of all the chance to play a relatively prominent role linked to some factions of the Iraqi opposition - basically the Iraqi National Congress (INC) led by the Pentagon's pet Iraqi, Ahmad Chalabi.
Why did Baghdad fall more quickly than Basra? Escobar offers a story of deals and intrigue to explain it.
The disturbing part of the story is that the US is not going to try to hunt down and discover any of the lower level members of the regime who did horrible things to the Iraqi people. Though this does hold with past patterns in dealing with fallen regimes. Few East Germans were imprisoned for what they did during the Soviet era and other similar examples can be cited.
Moral considerations of justice aside, the elements of the old regime who survive with their freedom and wealth pose a threat to the development of democracy in Iraq. Many of these people are totalitarian in mindset and they can reconstitute and organize against more liberal elements of Iraqi society. Such more liberal members of Iraqi society are already few in number in the first place and in the coming months and years they may be facing assassinations, violence, and intimidation from elements of the old regime.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2003 April 25 02:44 PM Reconstruction and Reformation|