Thursday | April 03, 2003
As I was reading an article on Umm Qasr linked to in the comments, it reminded me of the completely amateurish way relief is being handled by the Defense Department. Paul Wolfowitz is being allowed to pick his Iraqi exile cronies as the future aides to the occupation government.
One doctor said "I will bring aide for the diabetic in one hand and medicine for blood pressure in the other, and they will accept it." And all I could think of was little Hamid, who's sister got killed by an errant US bomb, sitting in an attic with his trusty Dragunov sniper's rifle wating for the new Minister of Health to pop his head up for an easy shot. He's not going to care about medicine, he's healthy. He's going to want revenge.
The US is thinking of setting up an occupation government in Southern Iraq, I guess in Umm Qasr, which might not be the wisest move. It could backfire, ensuring resistance, not to Saddam, but the new US-backed government, one it's sponsors expect to tilt towards Israel.
The problem with that, besides obvious legitimacy issues, is that it gives the Arab world something to focus on. Which is not a good thing. The sane approach would be to let the UN manage it. The US has not been inclined to do the sane thing as of late.
I think the US needs to seize a city first and run it before it can talk about taking over the government. The BBC piece shows an inept relief effort and the way its being handled in Washington seems to be more motivated by a need to prove themselves better than the established UN than to actually deliver the goods and services needed.
The US could easily win the war and lose the peace. It does no good to beat Saddam only to have to fight Shia guerrillas weeks or months later.
Steve GilliardPosted April 03, 2003 03:17 PM | Comments (24)