The unknown war

We are already in the third month since the fall of Saddam Hussein, but the mysteries remain. First, the Iraqi dictator has yet to be found, despite efforts by the world’s largest and best-equipped spying mechanism and despite the fact that Saddam is the second most-wanted man on the face of the earth next to Osama bin Laden, also an elusive figure. Second, there is still no sign of any chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, although the invasion was justified on the grounds that this arsenal posed a threat to human existence. Third, not a single day passes without at least one attack against the American and British troops, although the country’s population was expected to greet these self-styled liberators with an outpouring of gratitude, despite the fact that the country has come under the full authority of its occupants. This war, which started right after the official one ended, is a virtually unknown war. The hundreds of journalists and the cameras of the news agencies and television networks withdrew after Saddam’s statues were pulled down and the well-staged spectacle was over. What we read these days is reported in terms of a crimes bulletin and not as political and military report, as if these episodes are minor infringements of the law rather than acts of resistance. This attitude is not free of political expediency. US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld made it clear that the resistance American forces meet in Iraq comes mainly from terrorists and criminals. This should come as no surprise. Since the Iraqi soldiers who did not surrender with the first bombings were characterized as terrorists, the same insidious label must be applied to those who have every reason not to identify occupation as freedom and colonialism as democracy.

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