Friends and fans of president Bush have frequently complained about media coverage of His Holy War Against Al Qaeda and For Democracy And Many Other Good Things, also known as the war in Iraq. Why, so goes the complaint, always focus on the bad news? Why doesn’t the press cover all the Many Good Things happening in Iraq?
Well, I know my civic duty as a world citizen, and I will not disappoint the president of the world (for that is what he appears to be, judging from his behaviour and his speeches). Here, then, some good news from Iraq.
Saturday, January 20, a high number of U.S. soldiers were killed in Iraq. Four died in the rebellious province of Anbar; one got killed in Bagdad; 12 died when a helicopter crashed (or was shot down, as seems more likely, judging from an eyewitness accopunt in the LA Times on Januari 21, found via Today in Iraq) ; five in a confrontation in Kerbala; two in roadside bomb attacks elsewhere.
Why do I call that “good news” ? Not because I like killing as such. Thes 25 dead soldiers are victims – but the ones who shot or bombed them are not the guilty ones. The dead soldiers and the families are the victims of the ones who sent them there for no good reason – unless one things that invading and occupying a country to rob its oil counts as a good reason.
The death of 25 soldiers from the main occupying force is good news because it brings defeat ot the US plans in Iraq another step closer. The people fighting the occupation, the poeple attacking, wounding and killing American (and British) soldiers have justice on their side. Their successes weaken the will of the occupyer, they make it harder for the US government to continue their war and occupation, and they may discourage them to do such hings anywhere else. They may be taken up as another argument for antiwar people to raise the pressure to end the occupation. That is why the killing of 25 US soldiers by resistance forces is, indeed, good news. The same stand applies, as far as I’m concerned, to the wounding of 5 Dutch soldiers, Friday, Januari 19, , part of the NATO force in Afghanistan, another unjust occupation whose weakening through resistance is to be welcomed.
What also is encouraging is the geographical spread of resistance. Most attacks on the occupation forces occur in the cenlral and Western regions – in and around Bagdad, and in the province of Anbar wher the resistance has deed roots among the, mainly Sunni, population. But now, “Southern Iraqi Tribes Joining Armed Resistance” , wrote Dahr Jamail (I found this piece of information on Lenin’ s Tomb). He specifies: “Resistance in the southern parts of Iraq has been escalating over the last three months, leading to increased casualties among British and other occupying forces. In the last seven months, at least 24 British soldiers have been killed in Southern Iraq, with at least as many wounded, according to the independent website Iraqi Coalition Casualties.”
Not only do these casualties help to do the same kind of damage to the occupation as the 25 dead among the US military. Not only do they help to put the same kind of pressure on the occupation. The spread of resistance to the mainly Shiite south brings the coming together of nationwide rebellion against the occupation closer. The deadly fighting in Kerbala points in the same direction. This widening of the anti-occupation revolt will make the occupation even hmore unsustainible than it already is. And because the occupation is unjust, I can only welcome and applaud ist further weakening.
There is more. “Kurdissh troops from north deserting” , I read in the Boston Globe, January 21 (found on Today in Iraq). The story: the government wanted to use a Kurdish militia force to subdue Shia resistance in Bagdad. This was only oen more example where a policy of divide and rule set different groups against each other. The relations between Kurdihs people(who have suffered terrible oppression from the Iraqi state under Saddam Hussein) and the Sia and Sunni Iraqis have not exactly been harmonious.. Sending Kurds to suppress Iraqi resistance would only add to the tensions and hostility. The fact that Kurdish soldiers don’t want to go to Bagdad is understandable and encouraging as well. Ameen KareeM, one of the Kurdish soldiers who evade their repressive “duty” explains: “I joined the army to be a soldier in my homeland, among my people. Not to fight for others who I have nothing to do with. I used to fight in the mountains and valleys, not in the streets.”
Resistance becoming more deadly en more widespread, Kurdisch collaboration with the suppression of resistance collapsing… things are not getting any easier for the White House and its criminal Iraqi operation. And that, indeed, is no bad news at all.