Pity Bush and Rumsfeld [Archives:2003/682/Viewpoint]

October 30 2003

Pity for U.S. President George Bush and U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is being felt by leaders around the world. They are now living a nightmare in Iraq, as the level of resistance continues to rise.
The number of US soldiers killed after the war now exceeds those killed during the war, making their condition quite embarrassing. Bush denies that he explicitly or implicitly said that the war is over, but the impression that Americans got was quite different. US citizens have loved ones and family members in Iraq fighting against an unknown enemy threatening their lives day after day. The once high spirit among US soldiers, because they are bringing ‘freedom’ to the Iraqi people, is almost gone amid anger of Iraqis for the way those soldiers have treated them.
Recently, I was looking at pictures taken by a wire agency of soldiers laughing and smiling as they were putting a bag on one of the Iraqi prisoners. Another photo shows children being handcuffed by an American soldier. No wonder Iraqis condemn the occupation.
It would be sad for the American people to see more soldiers killed. It would also be outrageous for Arabs to see more of their fellow Iraqi brothers and sisters killed by car bombs or other attacks, especially in the holy month of Ramadan.
On all levels, the future seems dim and uncertain for the once peaceful and wealthy Iraq. Today, some Iraqis feel perhaps Saddam’s regime was better than what they have now. The occupiers have proved inefficient and weak in protecting the country’s people and establishing security. The US administration failed to win Iraqis’ hearts. More Iraqis are expressing anger over how the Americans have managed the country’s economy and civil services.
Nevertheless, no matter how many more casualties the US faces, it cannot and should not pull out because they have put the country in the mess it is in. Now they should fix the problem before leaving. This is also the view of most Iraqis, who do not express this opinion out of love for the USA, contrary to what the US administration wants to convey, but because the country cannot be left without any control for gangsters, thieves, and armed militants.
The US is suffering more casualties every day and little has been achieved in terms of establishing security even for the American soldiers themselves. The longer this condition remains, the more difficult it would be for Washington to keep public opinion in its favor, especially as the presidential campaign has already started.
In summary, I believe that Bush and Rumsfeld are the first to blame for the problems in Iraq, because of their miscalculations and irrational planning. They have caused a lot of damage to Iraqis, to their country’s own economy, and to the international community.
If the day comes when Iraq becomes unlivable, and things go out of control, I wonder how those two men will feel. I feel pity for both of them.