A shocking story over at Salem Pax about a recent raid of his house by American troops. It’s not that they did anything brutal or cruel. But it certainly isn’t the way to win friends and influence people. It told me me how much the Iraqis must despise us.
SP is educated, erudite and urbane, probably more so than your average Iraqi. So imagine how they must feel during events like this, which are apparently quite commonplace now. Are we welcomed and beloved by most Iraqis or feared and despised? My common sense tells me it has to be the latter, in which case I wonder, how can we ever succeed there? The whole thing was based on the premise that we’d be greeted with open arms and welcomed as liberators, if not saviors. And to a certain extent, we were. But as so many of the “weasels” and “anti-Americans” feared, there was no realistic plan to deal with the aftermath. We over-reached, the most common blunder of heady conquerors.
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.