Skip to main content

From Saddam to a "thug in a suit"

Journalist (and author) Paul McGeough is the Chief Foreign Correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald - and one of only a handful who stayed the course in Baghdad when the allies unleashed the war  - remember "Shock and Awe" - against Iraq and was "out in the field" reporting unlike most journalists who remained holed up in a hotel in Baghdad reporting from there.

McGeough analyses, today, on what is happening in Iraq and Obama's candid acknowledgement of the situation.

"Barack Obama’s oblique acknowledgement on Thursday that the US had left the people of Iraq at the mercy of a thug in a suit was the reality check that Americans had to have.

In casting this week’s dramatic march by Islamist militias  into Iraq’s north-west as a wake-up call for the dictator-like Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Mr Obama was being more truthful about the aftermath of the 2003 invasion of Iraq than is usually allowed.

For months we’ve been hearing that rising violence in Iraq is spillover from the conflict in neighbouring Syria – and it is, but only in terms of the timing. The truth of Iraq is that the country was always likely to implode after US forces left; and almost certainly so because of the sectarian stubbornness of Mr Maliki, the man the Americans drafted as prime minister.

After the collapse of the regime of Saddam Hussein, the unspoken pact among the Iraqi factions was that they would milk the US-led coalition for whatever they could – and when the last of the foreigners had departed, they would sort out each other.

It’s happening now."


Popular posts from this blog

Whatever democracy the Palestinians had is dying

Almost a desperate cry from a well-known, respected and sober moderate Palestinian.

Mustafa Barghouthi is secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. He was a candidate for the Palestinian presidency in 2005.

He writes in a piece "The Slow Death of Palestinian Democracy" on FP:

"Palestinian municipal elections were supposed to be held last week. Instead, they were canceled. A statement released by the Palestinian Authority claimed the cancellation was "in order to pave the way for a successful end to the siege on Gaza and for continued efforts at unity" between Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, and the government in the West Bank.

The cancellation of this election was an unjustified, unlawful, and unacceptable act. It damages democratic rights and makes a mockery of the interests of the Palestinian people.

But this is far more than an internal Palestinian issue. The only lasting peace between Isr…

Big Brother alive and well in the USA in 2007

The so-called "war on terror" has shown itself up in a multitude of manifestations. The most dangerous thing has been governments using the "excuse" of the war to restrict certain civil liberties, allowing government agencies to pursue a variety of things that they would otherwise would not - and should not - be allowed to do and gathering, and retaining, a variety of information on its citizens.

The Washington Post reports on the latest incursions into civil liberties of all Americans:

"The U.S. government is collecting electronic records on the travel habits of millions of Americans who fly, drive or take cruises abroad, retaining data on the persons with whom they travel or plan to stay, the personal items they carry during their journeys, and even the books that travelers have carried, according to documents obtained by a group of civil liberties advocates and statements by government officials.

The personal travel records are meant to be stored for as lo…