A lot has been said and written in the past few months regarding the fate of the Iraqi civilian population in the event of a U.S.-led attack on Saddam Hussein. Many charges have been laid at the foot of the Bush administration that the White House doesn’t care about the Iraqi people, or what they think. Many of these “journalists” have argued that the Iraqi people are fine with the current regime, and are utterly opposed to a U.S.-led invasion. Oh, really?
The Brussels-based International Crisis Group has released a white paper on the results of anonymous, on-the-street interviews conducted with Iraqi citizens in Baghdad, Mosul and Najaf. And I, quite happily, quote:
“A significant number of those Iraqis interviewed, with surprising candour, expressed their view that, if such a change required an American-led attack, they would support it.”
“Few Iraqis opposed an invasion for patriotic reasons or fear that an attack would lead to heavy civilian casualties.”
Granted, and understandably so:
“It should not be assumed from this that such support as might exist for a U.S. operation is unconditional. It appears to be premised on the belief both that any such military action would be quick and clean and that it would be followed by a robust international reconstruction effort. Should either of these prove untrue–if the war proved to be bloody and protracted or if Iraq lacked sufficient assistance afterwards–the support in question may well not be very long sustained.”
Now, everybody sing! “All the world over, so easy to see; people everywhere, just want to be free. . .”