by Robert Fisk
It's going wrong, faster than anyone could have imagined. The army
of "liberation" has already turned into the army of occupation. The
Shias are threatening to fight the Americans, to create their own
war of "liberation". . . .
And all across Baghdad you hear the same thing, from Shia Muslim
clerics to Sunni businessmen, that the Americans have come only for
oil, and that soon -- very soon -- a guerrilla resistance must
start. . . .
Everywhere are the signs of collapse. And everywhere the signs that
America's promises of "freedom" and "democracy" are not to be
honoured. . . .
Were they monsters, these men? Yes. Are they sought by the
Americans? No. Are they now working for the Americans? Yes, quite
possibly -- indeed some of them may well be in the long line of
ex-security thugs who queue every morning outside the Palestine
Hotel in the hope of being re-hired by the US Marines' Civil Affairs
Unit. . . .
The Americans said they couldn't be sure they had killed Saddam
until they could carry out forensic tests at the site. But this
turns out to have been a lie. . . .
As I said, something is going terribly wrong in Baghdad and
something is going on which demands that serious questions be asked
of the United States government. Why, for example, did Donald
Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defence, claim last week that there was no
widespread looting or destruction in Baghdad? His statement was a
lie. But why did he make it?
The Americans say they don't have enough troops to control the
fires. This is also untrue. . . .
So the people of Baghdad are asking who is behind the destruction of
their cultural heritage: the looting of the archaeological treasures
from the national museum; the burning of the entire Ottoman, Royal
and State archives; the Koranic library; and the vast infrastructure
of the nation we claim we are going to create for them. . . .
Eszter Szamado, "'Free Iraq Force': Iraqi Exiles Trained by U.S.
Army," Agence France-Presse, February 28, 2003
Ole Rothenborg, "U.S. Troops Encouraged
Ransacking," Dagens Nyheter (Sweden), April 11, 2003
Robert Fisk, "A Civilisation Torn to
Pieces," The Independent (UK), April 13, 2003
"Anti-American Protests Intensify in
Iraq," The China Post (Taiwan), April 16, 2003
Thom Shanker and Eric Schmitt, "Pentagon
Expects Long-Term Access to Four Key Bases in Iraq," New York
Times, April 19, 2003
Patrick J. Buchanan, "Crown jewel of
American empire," WorldNetDaily.com, April 23, 2003
Jonathon Fowler, "U.S. bridles as Annan calls it
'occupying power'," Toronto Star, April 24, 2003
David Kelly, "Ahmad
Chalabi's critics recall the financial ruin he caused and his flight
from their kingdom," Los Angeles Times, May 11, 2003