Monday, December 15, 2008


I live in this universe, and I come to expect bizarre, unthinking behaviors by others. I am still, however, confused by the outpouring of animosity towards Pres. Bush in the wake of the footwear flinging yesterday. Eight years ago the Iraqis were under the rule of a brutal dictator. Then the US went in and removed said evil dictator causing wide-spread elation. Then the Iraqis tried to kill each other, keeping US forces in Iraq. Why are they angry at us exactly?

Here is just one quote:
Abu Ali, a 55-year-old laborer, said: “It is a wedding of all Iraqis. Muntader’s action is less than Bush deserves for killing, displacing and bloodletting Iraqis. I will blame the Iraqi government and American forces if anything wrong happens to Muntader.”
We haven't been wantonly killing Iraqis. This is not a war against Arabs, but against people that want to kill Arabs* (many of whom, happen to be arab themselves, this is true). Now the academic is me wants to analyze this and ask why there exists this deep misperception about the role of the US forces in Iraq. But my other part is utterly confused.

There has been abuse, and it is not a trivial matter, but our troops are drawing down and it will not be a open ended occupation. I can imagine that Iraqis are frustrated by the constraints on their daily lives and blame the US for their woes (though I expect better from academics), but that still does not make it reasonable (not that political science cares all that much whether people are reasonable or not). If the Iraqis feel they are better for not having Saddam around they ought to thank Bush. I can imagine Iraqis saying their lives are worse now than under Saddam, but I cannot believe that the majority want him back.

It is we in the US that would seem to have cause to throw shoes (wiretapping, tourture, misleading the public about a war) not the Iraqis.

*Fine, not initially, but that is what it has turned into.

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