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The logic and balance of the Iraq war
Latest Updated by 2006-09-07 11:21:49
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The logic and balance of the Iraq war

Browsing articles and reports published on the English website of the Iraqi newspaper 'Time' in August, it's easy to find examples of desperation in the miserable and painful lives of Iraqi people. The Iraqis have never been so close to death. Even walking and breathing are no longer pleasant and safe. When walking, they run the risk of being killed by a car bomb or by bullets, or of being kidnapped by criminals. They have no fresh air to breathe; all of Baghdad is full of death and gunpowder.

Many strange and depressing phenomena may be observed in Iraq today; in Baghdad, Mosul and other cities, violent attacks and firefights occur frequently. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been displaced from their homes by violence and ethnic strife. Since the eruption of war in Iraq, more than 300 university professors and over 700 medical personnel have been killed; more than 4,000 professors and 1,000 doctors have had to flee their country. Iraq, a country with large oil reserves, has had to import large quantities of oil from neighboring countries because the oil fields are under attack and corruption prevails. Half the country is unemployed and some Iraqi officials are beginning to transfer their assets abroad. In Baghdad, electricity is only available for four hours every day, but in the American Green Zone, the streets are as brightly lit as a Christmas tree every night.

Iraq is suffocating and groaning in pain. However in the speeches of President Bush, it's impossible to find a trace of such an Iraq. To the United States, Iraq is merely "a focal point for the war on terror." In his speech to the veterans at the American Legion National Convention on August 31, President Bush declared that the ongoing "war on terror" is "more than a military conflict; it is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century". The terrorists are "successors to Fascists and to Nazis...victory in Iraq would be a powerful triumph in the ideological struggle of the 21st century."

What a magnificent undertaking! What perfect logic! To avoid danger, the United States must assure victory a thousand miles away on foreign territory; to avoid the sacrifice of American lives, it must sacrifice other people's lives. However, in the current situation, Iraqis have their own logic, too: Iraq had nothing to do with the "terrorists". It is the United States that has turned Iraq into a place of "terror"; Iraq was not originally so disordered. It is the United States that turned Iraq into a "failure"; the reason Americans came to Iraq was not to build the country, but to destroy it.

Now, even the US Department of Defense has admitted that Iraq is on the brink of a civil war with sectarian conflict becoming more and more drastic. The editorial of 'Time' pointed out that in fact, there are "a number of countries" co-existing in Iraq as almost all the major cities are under the control of different armed groups and political factions. The capital city of Baghdad is in fact split into areas dominated by different forces. Facing domestic anti-war pressure, the US military pledged to withdraw its troops from Iraq, but now they are to send an additional 140,000 soldiers to the country. This is definitely a bad omen.

It would be naive to expect the United States to withdraw from the country so easily. From the beginning, the US military made a commitment to be in Iraq for the long term. Looking at the US Embassy under construction in Baghdad, it's easy to understand the logic. The construction area of the embassy is even bigger than the one in the Vatican. The difference between the wars in Iraq and Vietnam is that although both wars ultimately became a quagmire for the Americans, the Vietnam War was not planned. In the case of Iraq, the United States attacked the country, targeting oil resources in the area. President Bush claims that the Iraq war is a "decisive ideological struggle", but compared to Vietnam, the struggle in Iraq means much more to the United States considering the outstanding benefits control of that country would entail. On the issue of withdrawal, the Bush Administration has repeatedly stressed that the biggest lesson learned in the Vietnam War was that "the United States did not stick to the end". The war in Iraq must not fall short of success for lack of final strikes.

The reason the Americans have been supporting anti-war policies is that they are afraid of losing their lives and money in the war, not that they are concerned for the lives and property of the Iraqi people. Whether or not the United States will withdraw from Iraq depends on their psychological endurance of death and casualties.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: People's Daily website
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