Saturday, March 22, 2008

In a nutshell

In the context of another report (this one in the Kuwaiti paper Awaan), to the effect Basra police and military authorities are planning "a broad cleansing operation", the head of the Security Committee of the Basra provincial council, Hakim al-Miyahi, made an interesting point when a reporter asked him why the security situation in Basra is so bad. He said, look: for all the time that the British were in charge of security in Basra, before their withdrawal from the center of town last September:
They were busy providing protection for their own troops, and for their outposts in the province, from armed attacks, and they arrested a lot of citizens on charges of attacking the British troops, without paying any attention at all to the strategic security of the city itself.
In other words, crime and chaos flourished while the British looked after the security of their troops. If you think about it, you will see that this is also the story of the American occupation of the rest of Iraq, culminating in the Awakenings strategy: Pay off anyone who promises not to attack your troops and your allies, leaving the society as a whole to fester in the absence of the governing structure that you have toppled.


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