Home > How the Iraqis See It
by Sam Hamod
I think it’s about time that someone told the American people how the Iraqis see it. I am not talking about the puppet regime installed by Bush, that was opposed, and is still opposed by the Iraqi people, Brahimi and the experts at the UN and in the US State Department, but about the vast majority of non-Kurd Iraqis (over 90% of the country).
The American troops are colonial occupiers, similar to the old British colonialists who tried to run Iraq in the past. They feel our troops are not their for democracy or freedom, but to take over their oil wealth, to dominate the people, to break into their homes to beat, torture and rob them, and that they are there to build bases for a long term stay.
The "new government" is made up of puppets and exiles who the Americans have installed in a sham "sovereignty." This group of exiles has come back to Iraq to help the American occupation and to make money off the common people of Iraq .
There will be no real cooperation with this new group of puppets. The Iraqis who know history know that this group is only in power because it is supported by the American troops, 140,000 strong, with mercenaries, mistakenly called "contractors." The Iraqis know that this is like the Vichy French government the Nazis installed and supported in France and North Africa ; it has nothing to do with freedom or democracy, but with domination and power through military means.
There is no future for America in Iraq because the Iraqis have beaten the Byzantines, the Greeks, the Romans, the Mongols, the Turks and the British and they feel they can continue fighting back until the Americans lose enough troops they will have to leave. Leading Iraqi economists say the Americans cannot sustain occupation because of the cost in men and money without breaking the American economy because Iraqi resistance fighters will continue blowing up the oil pipelines that cross the country and cannot be totally guarded from sabotage.
More Iraqis will join the resistance because of the punishment American soldiers have meted out to Iraqis in their homes. The American generals first said 5000 "insurgents" were fighting our troops. As of today, the number has been changed to over 20,000; I think there are hundreds of thousands who would oppose our troops if push came to shove. Though Islam says no to "an eye-for-an-eye, revenge", Middle Eastern culture allows and promotes this "honor killing" or "honor revenge." This is creating more anti-American warriors among the Iraqis. The thought that many outsiders were involved has now been dismissed by recent intelligence reports. Though they are Muslims and welcomed the Americans into Iraq when they entered Iraq, the people soon realized that the troops had come not to free them but to take over their country and to run it through Garner, Bremer and now the puppets headed by Allawi and his gang of exiles. As I said, resistance will grow, not diminish in the days and months ahead. Allawi and his council, like Bremer before him, will be restricted to staying in the "Green Zone" for their safety, which means they will be even more isolated and dependent on American troops. Unfortunately, for the American troops, more will be killed and maimed for this wrongful war.
It is time for the Americans to leave and to allow Arab and Muslims countries to send in troops to settle things down so that the UN can set up elections and a proper democratic procedure can be used to elect a truly democratic government. If this is not done, then there will be no peace in Iraq for now or for as long as American troops remain in Iraq . There is no other group that the Iraqis will trust.
Prof. Sam Hamod is an expert on the Middle East ; he is the former Director of The Islamic Center in Washington , DC and a former advisor to the US State Department; he may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org