I can’t look at anything about Iraq without finding it depressing. Three years later we’ve 2500+ US soldiers, a few hundred other coalition troops, thousands of Iraq police and army and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians killed.
The power supply is bumping along at near pre-war levels (its better outside Baghdad and much worse in Baghdad). Few other indicators are better than pre-war. – for these stats check the Brookings institute Iraq Index.
I’ve never believed that the external imposition of “freedom” was likely to succeed. While I believe that Iraq should be democratic, I think the Iraqis have to come at it on their own, and I question the real value of democracy if it is simple majoritarianism, rather than liberal democracy with basis rights of individuals respected. Better than dictatorship, but a long way from we in the West think of as a democratic state.
Then we read this leaked memo from the US Embassy in Iraq to the White House, and I begin to question whether the continued occupation has past the point where it is more hindrance than help to establishing a viable state for Iraq.
Another, a Sunni, said people in her neighbourhood are harassing women and telling them to cover up and stop using cell phones. She said the taxi driver who brings her every day to the green zone has told her he cannot let her ride unless she wears a headcover. A female in the PAS cultural section is now wearing a full abaya after receiving direct threats.
Staff members have reported it is now dangerous for men to wear shorts in public; they no longer allow their children to play outside in shorts. People who wear jeans in public have come under attack.
In April, employees began reporting a change in demeanor of guards at the green zone checkpoints. They seemed to be militia-like in some cases seemingly taunting. One employee asked us to get her some press credentials because the guards held her embassy badge up and proclaimed loudly to passers-by “Embassy” as she entered. Such information is a death sentence if heard by the wrong people.
Link to the memo via tigtog at LP.