Continued attacks on US forces and audio recordings supposedly from Saddam Hussein have ordinary Iraqis once again fearing that Saddam will return.
In conversations with a score of merchants, students, former government workers and other ordinary Iraqis over the past two days, almost all said they were pleased that Hussein was toppled. But most refused to allow their full names to be associated with any comments critical of the former president.
"You can't speak now, just like you couldn't speak during Saddam's time," said a math teacher who would identify himself by only his first name, Rami, which "would not be enough for them to catch me."
The ideal solution to this problem would be for Saddam to be found and to die in a shoot-out. A dead body with some bullet holes in the chest but a visible recognizeable face would be ideal. Then he could be paraded thru Baghdad. It would help if his sons were killed in a similar manner with their bodies also intact and recognizeable.
In contrast to the head-on charges that some Iraqi fighters launched against U.S. tanks in the war, the attacks now tend to focus on more vulnerable parts of the military, such as isolated checkpoints and slow-moving convoys, and not against strengths, such as armored units.
In another worrisome development, Iraqis who are working with the U.S. occupation force are being targeted. Most recently, on Saturday, seven new police officers who were graduating from a training academy were killed by a bomb.
One question I have is just how extensive are US intelligence efforts to try to penetrate Baathist circles to identify the people who are organizing these attacks.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2003 July 07 01:51 AM Mideast Iraq Decay|