Sunday, March 23, 2003

How naíve can people get? Horrible images of people maimed by the American military in the last few days really do not seem to have stirred Americans much. At the same time, the media has been raving over a recording of an American soldier tearing down a poster of Saddam Hussein, somewhere on the way to Baghdad. And why has this received so much press? Because of a group of Iraqis cheering in the background.

Now it might well be that these people were genuinely relieved to be free of that disgusting dictator, per se. I would. Let's for the moment assume that they aren't petrified over the likelyhood of an impending civil war, and an extended occupation by a foreign military. I would. I find it unnerving that the police wears guns in their belts, walking next to me. Let alone having my country besieged by nervous teenagers. In full battle-gear. Armed to the teeth. Acting on their 'rules of engagement'. No, what is almost laughable is the naíve notion that there can't be another explanation for the cheering of these people. Let me take a stab at that:

Picture a group of people. In Iraq. Their spirit broken from years of oppression by a ruthless regime. They dance in the streets in a 'demonstration' organized by the same regime. They're waving a picture of the country's dictator. Now, picture that same group of ordinary people today. A foreign military has just invaded their country. With overwhelming force. Dropped thousands of bombs on them. Then, a squadron from that army invades their village. A heavily armed marine makes it his first item of business to tear down the picture of the dictator. What do you expect that group of people, who you saw yesterday dancing around with that same picture, will do? Boo the marine? Kick him? Disagree with him at all?

I don't think so.