Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Friday | April 11, 2003

But...but we won...didn't we?

So they burnt the Iraqi embassy screaming "Death to America" In Tehran. Then the police came to arrest people.


The fact that armed mobs are running around with guns is, of course, hardly surprising. There are no police. They're now burning down the government buildings? Five are glowing like torches in the Iraqi night.


So in less than a month, we turned Baghdad from the home of one of the most repressive regimes on the planet, to a land closer to Mad Max. Considering that Marines and soldiers are killing anyone who doesn't stop when they ask them to, regardless of their bad or non-existent Arabic. Several cars, packed with small children, have been riddled with gunfire, killing many of them.

This could be a problem.

Then the mobs are looting the hospitals. Taking the incubators. Now, call me confused, but what the hell value does an incubator have, except in saving the lives of premature children? Why would you steal it? What would possess you to wheel it out and steal it from a hospital filled to the brim with wounded and dying people?

And of course, a mob beat to death a kid looting something and one neighborhood has instituted roving patrols with AK's and RPG's to stop the looters.

But we're close to victory.

What amazes me is the patronizing way that commentators have watched the total collapse of law and order in Iraq so sanguinely. As if they're waiting for us to get set up. Oh, things will calm down once we get the exiles and the occupation government in place, seems to be the theme.

According to the BBC, Rummy was peeved when he was asked about the collapse of civil order in Iraq's main cities. He said the media was exaggerating. They were 100 percent accurate when showing US Marines pulling down yet another statue from Saddam, even though a wide shot shows a much smaller crowd than one you see on TV, yet when they show five major buildings burning like a bonfire, they're exaggerating. The doctors and the photographers are using Photoshop to create those images. It's like that old Richard Pryor joke: believe me, not your lying eyes.

And of course, the Kurds are not moving away from Kirkuk, their spiritual homeland, with anything like speed. I don't think they're going anywhere fast. or at all. Which will drive Ankara to arms.

What we're beginning to see is the situation slipping away from the Bush Administration. They clearly expected to have an army and police force to rely upon. The army and police have their own plans, which doesn't seem to rely upon cooperating with the US. The disorder is growing and starting to have a nationalist tinge. There is no evidence that Garner has the force to impose his rule or the exiles can help him do so. With so many Baath loyalists and other actors around, the situation will remain dangerous for a while to come.

The situations in the hospitals are so bad that the nurses are carrying guns. That is inexcusable. So while people are cheering victories over statutes, hospitals are protecting their patients with AK's. So exactly what role did hospitals play in the rule of Saddam and why would they be targeted for revenge

Steve Gilliard

Posted April 11, 2003 01:36 PM | Comments (163)


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