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Letter to the Editor

From missfairchild:
Iraqis Should Stop “Whining”

I was very disappointed that nowhere in [your] article does [the Iraqi author] thank American troops for putting their lives on the line to win the Iraqi people their freedom.

Instead, I read that the money given to the people of Fallujah is not enough and that restoration is slow. When will the Iraqi people mention that they will be responsible for themselves? We have won you freedom! When will you use it to help yourselves?

If you do not have jobs right now due to the situation, then volunteer to dig the water and sewerage ditches that are needed. If you do not have a classroom, then go outside. Since when was a chair or roof needed to learn?

I cannot believe the whining I heard in that article, and no thanks. I would encourage all Iraqis to concentrate on the positives they have in their lives now.

Debora Klug
Wyoming, USA
Whenever I’m arguing with someone about whether Americans are stupid, I always fervently maintain that they’re not; it's just that no-one ever tells them anything.

I’d almost like to be as ignorant as Debora Klug, Wyoming. Life would be a damn sight simpler.

Just to scratch the surface: Iraq’s infrastructure remains comprehensively fucked. (And who fucked it? Yes they did, Debora, yes they did.)

Part of the reason reconstruction has been so slow is that there is little to no security for contractors. (Where are most of these contractors from? No, Debora, not Iraq. They’re American! And you’re drooling a little, there.)

So several billion dollars earmarked for reconstruction had to be diverted to training Iraqi security forces—meaning the reconstruction will take even longer. That’s intermittent electricity, untrustworthy water—eyes front, Debora. You're not going to learn anything staring out the window.

What's more, although the contracts go to American firms (do you remember from earlier, Debora? No?) they don’t trust Iraqis not to sabotage them, so instead they import cheap labour from anywhere else that they can. Local factories and institutions aren’t functioning and there are no jobs to be had in reconstruction, so at the moment there’s little for any Iraqis to do—except maybe, as Debora suggested, learn outside. Thanks, Debora!

Let’s pause for a moment and imagine that Debora’s home town had been wiped out by American ground forces. Apart from the warm feeling of satisfaction that gives us, exactly how ready would she then be to buck up, concentrate on the positives and “when life gives you lemons”?

And that’s before we start looking at the other parts of the bureaucratic infrastructure that were apparently allowed to be destroyed for the sheer hell of it, reducing a functioning country to about the same level of sophistication as Afghanistan. How, and yet again we’re back to this, would any Americans react if someone did all this to them—in the name of their freedom, yet?

It would be tempting to imagine that Debora was a vicious parody, but she really, really isn't.
Disclaimer: None of the above should be taken to suggest that the author thinks Saddam Hussein should have remained in power, or that he loves him, or that he “salutes his courage and his indefatigability”—only that it would have been nice if any of the Americans had shown the slightest sign of KNOWING WHAT THE FUCK THEY WERE ABOUT.

EDIT: I notice that, despite what I say at the beginning of this post, I clearly spend the rest of it implying that Debora Klug, Wyoming, is not so much ignorant as stupid. There isn’t really much I can do about that, I’m afraid. Her letter doesn’t give me much room for manoeuvre. I can only stress that I’m not claiming that she is representative of the entire US population. (I mean, maybe she’s a philosophy major or something, but your money’s safer on “not”.)


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 12th, 2005 05:02 pm (UTC)
Oh, why don't you just move to Russia?
May. 12th, 2005 09:32 pm (UTC)
A couple of weeks ago a socialist demonstration passed by my flat. There were only about 50 of them, waving huge banners saying "SAVE OUR HOSPITALS", "NO TO THE ANTI-TERRORISM ACT" and "NO ASBOs". (Incidentally, what's the socialist objection to ASBOs? Anyone?) A bit later they came wandering back. One bearded bloke in his 50s saw me sitting outside and came over.

"Were you on the demonstration, comrade?" he asked. I had to tell him I hadn't. He took it well.

"Some cunt over there shouted, 'Go back to Moscow!"", he said. I thought of you, </a></b></a>.
May. 12th, 2005 06:12 pm (UTC)
This sort of thing is pretty much mainstream thinking on the American right - they genuinely do think that all the groundwork is being done by the Yanks, while the Iraqi people sit around munching on their Mecca Cornflakes and complaining they don't get 26 hours of electricity a day. Such is the price of Empire.
May. 12th, 2005 06:14 pm (UTC)
May. 12th, 2005 10:55 pm (UTC)
Not at all in defence of Debora, but in slight defence of the poor buggers like alsharih who are "on the ground" "over there" (where else would they be? "in the sea"?) - it would help if the "freedom fighters" so beloved of the SWP, Galloway, Pilger, Terry Jones etc. didn't keep blowing up any part of the infrastructure that the Iraqis had managed to get up and running for themselves.
May. 12th, 2005 11:27 pm (UTC)
That is, indeed, strictly true. But the very fact that the American administration didn't foresee any of this - despite the mountain of evidence at the time that they, and anyone who co-operated with them, would face fervent opposition - is yet another damning indictment of the wilful ignorance they displayed when planning the whole Iraq adventure. The average Iraqi citizen had seen what happened the last time America promised to topple Saddam, and would take some convincing that this time it was serious. (In the event, having huge amounts of ordnance rain down on civilian areas seemed to exacerbate their fears, for some reason.) And the jihadi nutters were positively rubbing their hands at the prospect of taking on the Great Satan. Not a scrap of this impinged on Cheney and Rumsfeld, busy sculpting their own myths in their dark little bunkers.
May. 13th, 2005 12:53 am (UTC)
Well, I think you know what I think of Cheney and Rumsfeld, and their total disregard for what would certainly happen after the war was "won".
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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