Tuesday, November 16, 2004

War's hell

Falluja is pacified. It's a line that fails to sum up the true nature of what has gone on in Iraq over the last week. With over 1000 Iraqis dead in Falluja alone and the entire country breaking into violence, serious questions must be asked of the military tactics.

Mosul is set to be the latest city to be 'pacified'. And of course here is were the biggest problem lies. There is an assumption amongst the military planners that these insurgents are purely radical Muslims; members of Islamic Jihad and predominately foreign fighters. However, with over 1000 insurgents captured, it appears that only about 20 are not Iraqi citizens. Public support amongst the Iraqis for the US action has plummeted, and we are now told that elections may have to be put on hold.

Add to this the news that a US Marine is being investigated for executing a wounded Iraqi prisoner and it leaves more than just a bitter taste in the mouth. Let's not forget that only a couple of years ago the US successfully pressured the UN to allow their soldiers to be except from the International Criminal Court. There have now been dozens of breaches of the Geneva convention by the Americans and yet there is no international authority that can bring them to justice. We have to trust in American justice.

Where have all our politicians gone? What we need now are leaders. Leaders who will stand up to superpowers when they do wrong. It is a far braver thing to tell a friend when they are wrong, than to support them blindly.

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