Is there trouble ahead for the US? [Archives:2003/662/Viewpoint]

August 25 2003

A legitimate question, asked by many: Is the USA in a crisis? Perhaps the only ones who can indeed answer this question accurately is the US administration, which received information from the battleground in Iraq.
But based on mere statistics and information obtained from American sources in Iraq, one can easily see that casualties are on the rise, so is the number of attacks and the feeling of insecurity among Iraqis. This is in total contrast to what Iraqis and other peace loving nations wanted. We thought Iraq would be a place where stability and security will prevail, and Iraq would be a modern state to consider as an example in terms of democracy and civilization.
But this is not happening!
Where did the coalition forces go wrong?
Numbers are suggesting that there were some serious miscalculations by the USA and its allies when planning for the war and its aftermath. There seems to have been lack of vision to the different possibilities including the emergence of a long-term guerrilla war.
Discussions that I personally had with a number of Iraqis here in Yemen reveal that there is anger and hatred against the American forces in Iraq. This is despite the fact that most American citizens are amazed and shocked for not being appreciated enough for overthrowing the tyranny that devastated them for so long.
On the other hand, there are now some signs of possible divisions among Iraqis themselves not only in Iraq, but even here in Yemen. Some say that the coalition forces have done well in defeating Saddam and liberating Iraq, and say that the current ruling council in Iraq should be given greater authorities. On the other hand, the majority of Iraqis we talked to reject this council and call it a 'puppet' to serve American and UK interests in Iraq.
Regardless of who is right and who is wrong, the facts on the ground clearly indicate signs of a crisis. Coalition forces seem to have gained little from the assassination of Saddam's sons, and they also benefited so little from the temporary ruling council.
Furthermore, the popularity of George W Bush seems to be on the decline as more US soldiers are injured and killed.
'What to do now?' could be a question asked right now at the White House. A quick and urgent solution needs to be found to prevent further loss and avoid total failure in the upcoming Presidential elections. “Multinational forces in Iraq” could be one alternative. This would bring great relief to US forces because it would save more US lives from death and injury.
Even though it is obvious that the whole world including Arab countries want a stable Iraq, yet which country is willing to sacrifice its sons and pay for the war that other countries have started, especially as day after day, the eminent threat of Saddam is slowly turning to become an illusion?
The USA is trying hard to involve the other UN members in securing Iraq, and the Security Council has started discussions in this regards. It is quite difficult to predict the outcome of such discussions, but if the Security Council decides not to send UN troops, then the USA is not only in a crisis, it would be in deep trouble as well.