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Tuesday, Nov 30, 2021
Outlook.com
opinion

The Famished Roadmap

Becoming party to Iraq's occupation means sending our troops into a mess

The Famished Roadmap
illustration by Sandeep Adhwaryu
The Famished Roadmap
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Given this bias, it is not surprising that only serious incidents involving 'coalition' casualties get reported by the major international media, and these too are reported with a heavy 'spin'. For instance, when on June 24 at a town close to Basra a mob of angry Iraqi Shias killed six British military policemen, the bbc reported that the British government had called it an "act of murder". In what may have been a related incident, the mob fired upon a helicopter gunship and wounded seven more soldiers, three of them seriously. bbc live footage of the town taken hours afterwards showed people beside themselves with rage asking the British and Americans to leave Iraq. What the bbc did not tell us was that the military policemen had fired into a mob of demonstrating Iraqis demanding an end to the occupation, and only then had the mob stormed the police station. Americans admit to having lost 18 soldiers in guerrilla attacks since May 1, when the war was officially declared ended. But a detailed examination of a US defence department website which lists all US armed forces' casualties shows that the real number is 23. In addition, there are about nine persons killed in what are described as explosions in 'non-combat' situations, a suspicious classification at the best of times. Nor is much being said about the scores of soldiers who have been wounded in some of these attacks.

One has to read news reports from Iraq very, very closely to get an idea of what's happening, attacks being one of the increasingly organised resistance tools against the occupation. Those which are reported are only a fraction of the true number taking place. Minor attacks, in which there are no casualties, are not being reported at all. One of the major news agencies reported at the beginning of June that there were up to 25 attacks a day. Iraqis have not turned over their weapons to the Americans as they were required to do. By the deadline of June 15, less than a thousand pistols, revolvers, Kalashnikovs and machine guns had been handed over in a country where there are an estimated half a million weapons still in private hands.

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