A land ruled by chaos.
October 3, 2003 10:04 PM   Subscribe

A land ruled by chaos. Award-winning writer Suzanne Goldenberg returns to Iraq, from where she reported on Saddam's fall. But in place of the promised peace she finds a country where lawlessness, violence and fear have filled the void.
posted by y2karl (16 comments total)

A related (and just as predictable as postwar chaos and beurocratic overspending) story: Metafilter front page poster posts bad news about Iraq war.
posted by swerdloff at 10:22 PM on October 3, 2003

great article, y2karl--it's good to hear from someone who has covered and known Iraq and Iraqis in the past and has something to compare it with. It seems like it's going the way of Afghanistan in a lot of ways.
posted by amberglow at 10:30 PM on October 3, 2003

UN rebuffs US over Iraq plans
posted by homunculus at 10:58 PM on October 3, 2003

I just came back from Bed-Stuy and can concretely report that the US is in a state of criminal chaos.
posted by HTuttle at 11:14 PM on October 3, 2003

No, really. The war is great for the Iraqi people. The people who got us into the war are telling us so.

Why would they lie?

See, those ingrates who may be dying or ailing or unemployed or unvaccinated or malnourished or flat out gunshot... or victimized by crime ala postwar chaos and bureaucratic, rapacious overspending IN THEIR VERY OWN STREETS from a war decision THEY HAD ABSOLUTELY NO VOICE IN resulting from an INVADING, OCCUPYING FOREIGN POWER whose leaders rushed into a war sold by lies and characterized by an inability to plan for that very postwar chaos, but who DID curiously seem to have very carefully laid plans for the rapacious, bureaucratic overspending...yeah...THOSE ingrates really have nothing to complain about, because they've been "liberated" by Our Brave Soldiers and they're now "free" to do as they please (with our approval):

The Progress Of Disaster:
The really pressing issue in Baghdad is escalating chaos. The 6 million people living here want electricity, water, telecommunications and security. As of yet they have none of these in sufficient supply. On the ground it seems that this American adventure is spinning out of control. Most Iraqis want peace, but a terrorist war of resistance requires only a small and determined minority.

Here the criminal is king. Saddam emptied the prisons and the United States disbanded the police, while 60 percent of people are unemployed. As a result, carjacking, robbery, looting, and murder are rife. Marauding men in "misery gangs" kidnap and rape women and girls at will. Some of these victims are dumped back on the streets only to be executed by their "disgraced" male relatives in what are called "honor killings."

Many women and girls stay locked inside their homes for weeks at a time. And increasingly those who do venture out wear veils, as the misogynist threats and ravings of the more fundamentalist Shia and Sunni clerics have warned that women who do not wear the hijab should not be protected.

According to the city morgue, there were 470 fatal shootings in July, up from 10 the year before.

Ingrates. And don't get me started on the Iraqi children who'll be dying of infectious disease this winter. Cry me a river...at least they're "free." Hell, if the children and pregnant women and elderly and sick of Iraq had risen up and thrown off the terrible yoke of Saddam, they wouldn't be in this goddamn mess now, and we wouldn't have been forced to send Our Men from Halliburton in there.


A related (and just as predictable as postwar chaos and beurocratic overspending) story: Metafilter front page poster posts bad news about Iraq war.

Puzzling. For people competent to support their own worldview, you'd think challenges to that worldview wouldn't be so completely fear-inducing that we'd see repeated, predictable tantrums from them about how they can't stand to see challenges to their views....

But perhaps my premise is faulty. In any event, the front page still appears to be accessible to those who want to post "good news" about the war in Iraq...notwithstanding those Mefites who may be ill-equipped for constructing front page posts...or unable to find such "good news".
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 12:37 AM on October 4, 2003

Sami Ramadani was a political refugee from Saddam's regime. He returned to his city after the war and he reports that Iraqi resistance to foreign occupation enjoys great popular support.
posted by talos at 3:48 AM on October 4, 2003

Once again, until either Iraq is just like Canada, or Bush is out of office, Iraq will be in chaos.
posted by kablam at 8:22 AM on October 4, 2003

Kablam, you so right.

Maybe we could get Michael Moore to make a documentary. "Bowling for Baghdad."

Crap's bad all over, kids. If it ain't getting better and you're not doing anything to help it do so, complaining all the while, you're just a whiny pathetic self gratifying Westerner.

posted by swerdloff at 8:29 AM on October 4, 2003

Swerdloff, I already did what I could to help in the last presidential election. I voted for someone other than Bush. Contrary to popular belief, most Americans really are powerless to thwart government stupidity. We're told our vote counts, but so does a grain of sand count as part of the beach, not that anyone would notice. We are whiny pathetic self gratifying Westerners basically to pass the time, as the stars go out. It's more enjoyable being indignant and upset about things than to be resolute and defeatist. But we each choose our own poison, don't we?
posted by ZachsMind at 8:38 AM on October 4, 2003

What would you suggest, swedloff? Perhaps a well-placed Molotov cocktail?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:48 AM on October 4, 2003

The American Saddam

The fatal, irredeemable mistake of proconsul L Paul Bremer and his CPA was to fire hundreds of thousands of possibly innocent public employees. What these residents of Baghdad are saying is that there is simply no Iraqi face to hold and secure the country. It's impossible to rehabilitate Iraq's institutions and restore basic services for the population without the managers and employees of Iraq's public sector. So no wonder the talk in the streets of Baghdad is, "We had an Arabic Saddam. Now we have an American Saddam."

Resentful Iraqis Find U.S. Optimism Hard to Share

Months after Saddam Hussein's fall, frequent power cuts and water shortages disrupt the city's rhythms, unemployment and crime loom large, and anger is rising against a U.S.-led occupation that shows few signs of ending soon. Makeshift checkpoints are becoming permanent, webs of razor wire and concrete slabs divert traffic, frisking and demands for identity cards humiliate a nation renowned for its pride. Iraqis feel their destiny has been taken out of their hands. The Governing Council was handpicked by Washington, the police force trained by foreigners. Iraqis are impatient to take back the reins. "When they first came, people were more or less happy because they were fed up of dictators," Abdallah Suhail, an engineer now working as a security guard, said. "Then we started to feel occupied. The word occupation is a strong word. And often their behavior is aggressive and people are starting to hate them. We feel like hostages." Iraq's U.S. administrator, Paul Bremer, acknowledged the shifting mood in a speech to the Senate last week. "Most Iraqis welcomed us as liberators and we glowed with the pleasure of that welcome," he said. "Now the reality of foreign troops on the street is starting to chafe. Some Iraqis are beginning to regard us as occupiers and not as liberators."

In Baghdad, hospital feels growing crisis

Iraq: A hospital ward reflects the life-and-death struggle, the violence and intense emotions that have focused on American occupiers - who are blamed for everything.

truth, war and consequences

FRONTLINE traces the roots of the Iraqi war back to the days immediately following September 11, when Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ordered the creation of a special intelligence operation to quietly begin looking for evidence that would justify the war. The intelligence reports soon became a part of a continuing struggle between civilians in the Pentagon on one side and the CIA, State Department, and uniformed military on the other-a struggle that would lead to inadequate planning for the aftermath of the war, continuing violence, and mounting political problems for the president.

Rebuilding Iraq 'will cost $55bn'

Electricity system: $12bn
Water and sanitation: $6bn
Education: $4.8bn
Telecoms and transport: $3.4bn
Agriculture: $3bn
Housing and urban development: $1.8bn
Health: $1.6bn
Police: $5bn
Environment: $3.5bn
Oil industry: $8bn
source: World Bank, CPA

In addition, $8bn is needed to modernise the oil industry, and $5bn to rebuild the police and judicial system, according to the CPA.

Fencing in looters and saboteurs in Iraq

Attacks on Iraqi pipelines:

1. June 12 — attack along the 600-mile pipeline that carries crude oil from Iraq's northern fields near Kirkuk to Turkey's port of Ceyhan on the Mediterranean Sea
2. June 19 — explosion in Bayji refinery complex about 200km north of Baghdad
3. June 22 — explosion in natural gas line near Hit, a city about 95 miles northwest of Baghdad
4. June 23 - gas pipeline explosion outside the town of Abidiyah Gaarbiga, near the Syrian border in western Iraq
5. June 24 — explosion near Barwanah pipeline carries crude to al-Dawrah refinery in Baghdad
6. June 26 — explosion near Al-Fatha near the River Tigris
7. July 29 — attack on pipeline near Basra
8. July 31 - saboteurs blew up part of a pipeline near Bayji
9. August 12 — attack near al-Taji near Baghdad
10. August 15 - explosion near Bayji
11. August 16 - explosion near Bayji
12. September 8 — attack on pipeline from the Jabour oil field 20 miles southeast of Kirkuk to the main pipeline that originates there
13. September 18 - attack on pipeline from Kirkuk to Ceyhan

posted by y2karl at 11:46 AM on October 4, 2003

Report Offered Bleak Outlook About Iraq Oil

The Bush administration's optimistic statements earlier this year that Iraq's oil wealth, not American taxpayers, would cover most of the cost of rebuilding Iraq were at odds with a bleaker assessment of a government task force secretly established last fall to study Iraq's oil industry, according to public records and government officials.

The task force, which was based at the Pentagon as part of the planning for the war, produced a book-length report that described the Iraqi oil industry as so badly damaged by a decade of trade embargoes that its production capacity had fallen by more than 25 percent, panel members have said.

Despite those findings, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz told Congress during the war that "we are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon."

posted by y2karl at 2:05 PM on October 4, 2003

swerdloff writes:

Maybe we could get Michael Moore to make a documentary. "Bowling for Baghdad."

Crap's bad all over, kids. If it ain't getting better and you're not doing anything to help it do so, complaining all the while, you're just a whiny pathetic self gratifying Westerner.

but my brain sees:

I got nothin'.
posted by mcsweetie at 9:08 PM on October 4, 2003

Thanks for that link y2karl. Sounds like hell on earth.

"Maybe we could get Michael Moore to make a documentary. "Bowling for Baghdad.""-swerdloff

It's worse than that swerdloff, Michael Moore just published "Dude, Where's My Country?". [courtesy of easybakecoven.net]

What do you think this is about? You will read it won't you, so you can critique it properly, of course, like you've done with this post. *snort*
posted by alicesshoe at 12:04 AM on October 5, 2003

« Older Photographs Of Marine (And Other Forms Of) Life   |   DVD Easter Eggs Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments