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April 9, 2003

I've read several articles like this one on how the Iraqi citizens in Baghdad are celebrating and graciously thanking the coalition troops. Granted, this is precisely what the Bush administration wants us to see, but nevertheless, I think it's pretty cool. They showed pictures of Saddam statues being toppled and insulted. There was also widespread looting, which kinda stinks for store owners. But overall, it looks like these people are pretty happy the Americans and Britain came to fight. They did quote one man who wasn't as happy:

"This is the destruction of Islam...After all, Iraq is our country. And what about all the women and children who died in the bombing?"
In my opinion, this isn't much of an argument, seeing as the war has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam (in fact Iraq is the most secular of Arab countries), and the innocents whose lives were lost contribute to a much greater cause, possibly saving the lives of thousands more. Plus, there were many who felt the opposite, such as the man who gave this quote:
"I'm 49, but I never lived a single day... Only now will I start living. That Saddam Hussein is a murderer and a criminal."

Posted by charr at 4:37 PM
Reader Comments

Although there seem to be a lot of Iraqis who are very grateful for the invasion, I'm sure there are also a lot who resent it. Not only was there a horrible cost in terms of civilian and military casualties (those thousands of slain soldiers were fathers and sons of families, after all), but the infrastructure of their society has been badly damaged. There is rampant crime, malnourishment, and lack of sanitation. The suffering from this is just beginning, and the Iraqis will continue to pay dearly for our actions. Hopefully they will remain grateful to us for deposing their hated dictator, but it's impossible to say now if they will. If they choose to hate us again once the elation is over, I can hardly blame them for it. They didn't exactly invite us over to blow up their cities, after all. We did this for our own reasons--whether or not they're justifiable--not theirs.There's still a lot of work ahead in Iraq, and I hope we're able to do as good a job at fixing things as we did destroying them. I hope the Iraqi people will accept this, forgive us, and embrace whatever new government we set up.

Posted by Levi at April 10, 2003 12:05 PM

Yes there were a lot of lost lives, though they are remarkably few compared to other wars. Plus, there is a price to pay for freedom. America paid a heckuva lot more in blood for freedom than the Iraqis have and it's a good thing. Yes, there's a lot of physical damage to the infrastructure too, but that's somewhat inevitable in a war, and restructuring it will bring Iraqi jobs (and don't mention the evil of blowing things up just to create jobs), and belong, in large part, to the Iraqi people, rather than Saddam.

Posted by Cameron at April 10, 2003 1:19 PM

Right, I know it could have been a lot worse. But the primary difference between the American Revolution (during which the French came to our aid!) and this conflict is that we actually started our own revolution and asked for help. We'd signed up for the slaughter, so to speak, because we wanted the result enough to pay for it. We knew we'd have to deal with the consequences, and we accepted it beforehand.The Iraqis made no such deal; we forced it upon them. We also did pretty much all the fighting for them. They didn't make any conscious sacrifice for their freedom. It's like a door-to-door salesman barging in to your home and tearing open your ceilings to clean your ducts. Sure you're free of allergies, but you've got gaping holes in your ceiling and you're stuck with the bill for a service you didn't request in the first place.Not everything breaks down to nice clean, rational economic issues. That's not the real world. Real people are irrational; they have feelings and pride and cherished beliefs. I hope they'll come to see things our way, but we did violate their country and they have every right to be very upset with us about it. I don't know if they will, but I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if they're back to hating us in the weeks and months to come.

Posted by Levi at April 10, 2003 3:46 PM

Your points are valid, but it seems to me you look at the pessimistic sides of things. While it's possible they may hate us (and I'm sure some will), I think the majority of Iraqis will see that a greater good has been done. If your air ducts were raping, torturing, and murdering you, you'd probably be pretty happy that someone barged in your door and cleaned them. I think it comes down to the benefit they see as a result of the damage, and how the U.S. handles itself in the aftermath.

Posted by Cameron at April 10, 2003 4:03 PM

Like I said, I hope they do end up appreciating what we've done, because if they don't Iraq is likely to remain a mess for a while. I only take the pessimistic point of view here because I think it's important to not always take the distant, aloof view of war. When we can calmly calculate the economic benefits of killing thousands of people without taking into account the human costs, then we've lost our own humanity. It's the Iraqis who have paid the human price, and it's up in the air right now whether they, as a whole, were willing to do it or not for the result we gave them. It would have been nice to know that beforehand.

Posted by Levi at April 11, 2003 12:11 AM

In case I sound totally discouraged about it, which it looks like from my comments, I'm really not. The reception that we've received so far has been great, and I'm really glad that the soldiers have been so good at treating the Iraqis well and respecting their religious sites, etc. I do think there's hope of a happy ending, but it will be bittersweet at best for those that must suffer in the meantime.

Posted by Levi at April 11, 2003 12:15 AM

Last Sunday, the quote of the day in my planner was: "None who have always been free can understand the terrible fascinating power of the hope of freedom to those who are not free."
-Pearl S. BuckAll week, I have heard about the dark side from NPR... interviews with the families of the innocent civilians who got caught in crossfire, Muslims upset with Americans being there even though they hated Saddam, etc. I am frustrated with their barrage of negativity but, on the other hand, Fox News which I watch frequently isn't doing any of these type of interviews.I guess that's why it's important to me to find news from a various of sources.I have to believe a more hopeful future awaits the children of Iraq. I hope the citizens of our country open their pocket books as much as they did for the children of Afganistan in setting up libraries, schools, and getting humanitarian aid over there.

Posted by Renee at April 11, 2003 8:01 AM

That's why I listen to Talk Radio :D

Posted by Nephi at April 12, 2003 12:52 PM

Who are we to go into this country and drop bombs on city streets..let alone bombs with depleted uranium to leave radioactive waste throughout there land. Look what this radioactive dust has done to the children in can it at all be justified to tear civilian women and children into shreds with scatterbombs and such. Yes no doubt Saddam was a threat to Isreal..and his own people. But is the violence and death worth lying to attian oil and revenue for corporate america worth it?

Posted by lebnoah at January 25, 2005 9:55 PM

lebnoah, can you back up any of your claims:
radioactive bombs
purpose of attaining oil
revenue for corporate America

Posted by Cameron at January 25, 2005 10:43 PM

If America has gone to war for oil, then we should fire all of our accountants. We're losing billions of dollars on this war. Halliburton alone - whom so many claim dubiously obtained war contracts for a profit - lost $300 billion last year because of Iraq. How can we ever hope to get any of that money back from Iraqi oil? First off, even if we did take control of their oil, we'd never make back even half of what we've sunk into that country. Secondly, it's kind of hard for Americans to make a profit when the Iraqis still own their own oil. I'm so sick of hearing this claim about why the US went to war. If people would just do the math they'd realize how incredibly stupid that buzzword argument is.

Posted by Heather at January 25, 2005 11:33 PM

Heather. Amen. Look at the previous post:

Posted by Cameron at January 26, 2005 12:39 AM

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