Saturday, December 20, 2003

A positive view of Iraq -- from an independent source

Telegraph | News | It is stupid to say life in Iraq has got worse
In the streets of Baghdad and other cities, plenty of excitable people tell you that life under the Americans is now worse than it was under Saddam, but that is stupidity of a high order.

Last week one of my BBC colleagues interviewed a man who had been dropped into a vat of acid by Saddam's torturers. They then immediately fished him out because they felt his crime had not warranted such a hideous death. When he eventually recovered from his burns he went to thank them for saving his life; only to discover that they had been executed in their turn.

The mile-long, 24-hour queues for petrol, the power blackouts that last for 14 hours a day, the chronic shortages of clean water and medicine, the sudden and frightening rise in crime that has followed the American and British invasion are all very bad but they don't remotely compare with the viciousness of Saddam's regime, and they won't last for ever.

Iraqis are quick-minded and impatient, and many of them resent the behaviour of the American soldiers in their cities. Yet the level of resistance to the Coalition forces seems to be falling, and it is nothing like serious enough to drive the American forces out. While they stay, the country will hold together.

A BBC senior editor is a relatively independent voice; indeed the BBC has often been accused on an anti-American bias. (In my opinion they have a mild disposition to carping when things go better for the Americans, and they occasionally go way off track, but 95% of the time they sound right.) This brief report paints a more positive picture than we usually here, and I trust it more than anything I get from Fox.

No comments: