Liberating Iraq by Gilad Atzmon

March 2003

Watching an Iraqi mob searching for "coalition" servicemen on Baghdad's riverbank reveals the 'surprising' truth: the Iraqi people don't really like their 'liberators'. This must be shocking for Blair and Bush who present themselves as the saviours of the Iraqi people. If this is not bad enough, the Iraqi army refuses to surrender. How dare they? This is completely against the "coalition" military plans, and Donald Rumsfeld's promises. Somehow, we no longer see the victorious images of American tanks and armoured vehicles racing in the Iraqi wilderness, quite simply because they don't race anymore: they crawl. The "coalition" soldiers are terrified and with good reason. They understand already that each Iraqi they confront might be a ferocious enemy. They understand far too late that they were rushed into a hostile country with an 'unfriendly' population.

Four days into the war and it is already obvious: as always in the past, army Generals were preparing themselves to win the previous war rather than the one to come. Just a few days ago they spoke about the masses of Iraqi soldiers that would surrender themselves to their 'liberators'. The American Generals were sure that the Iraqi army would refuse to fight for their 'tyrant'. Funnily enough it didn't happen, if anything it is quite the reverse. The American led "coalition" is facing some fierce fighting from ordinary Iraqi soldiers and even armed civilians. It is not surprising at all that the American Generals failed to anticipate such an Iraqi resistance. Whilst Generals are very good at 'predicting the past', when it comes to the future they are pretty miserable. Somehow they always fail, just give them battalions and time.

In military organisations ­ very much like in other rigid establishments ­ promotion is entirely dependent on one's successful adaptation of a strict pattern of thought. In other words military promotion is dependent on one's acceptance of a given doctrine while denying any other mode of thinking. Accordingly, the higher you get in the military hierarchy the less open-minded you are. To spare any ambiguity, if we agree that an intelligent mind is distinguished by its capability to process a wide range of
information, it makes sense that in the top of the military pyramid we find the least intelligent people around. To be more explicit: military leaders can be found to be pretty stupid people by any standard. Israel serves as a great example. From its early days, Israeli political life has been governed by its most 'brilliant' ex-servicemen: Dayan, Rabin, Sharon, Barak etc. As we know, none of these military geniuses managed to secure a safe future for Israel nor to lead its society towards peace. Apparently, the Israeli case isn't that special. The immaculate German army failed in Stalingrad, the French failed in Algeria, the Americans in Vietnam etc.

The 'Strike on Iraq' provides us with a unique opportunity to watch Generals failing in real time: Minute by minute we watch the collapse of the doctrine. Streams of live TV images coupled with confused news reports are enough to convince us that something goes terribly wrong out there in the desert. We understand already that the American and British Generals have managed to fail in their prediction of how the war was going to unfold. They failed to assess the reaction of both the Iraqi army and the Iraqi people towards their alleged "liberators".

Was it that complicated to predict the risks involved with this American-lead aggression? I am not so sure. Less than a month ago around two million people marched in the centre of London calling the British government to abandon the military option. Obviously the protestors understood something that the "coalition" Generals failed to realise. How is it that two million civilians manage to realize such an obvious military truth while our military 'experts' remain so blinded? I assume that one of
the explanations is due to the fact that the new American-lead colonial wars fall into the category of a culture clash. When it comes to multiculturalism or a culture clash, even a 'stoned hippy' is far more knowledgeable than a senior military expert. Apparently, in modern colonial wars, the military man has the least chance to predict his opponent's behaviour. It is very easy to explain: if a military leader is defined by his strict acceptance of a given isolated doctrine within a given culture, what are the chances that he will be able to analyse a very remote discourse in a completely different cultural and climate sphere? As we can see, even two million peace
protestors in London proved that they understood better the conflict to come than the "coalition" Generals. Apparently, we find out that military leaders fail even to understand their people at home. For instance, we are entitled to assume that the 'cruise-missile philosophy' was invented by American Generals in order to address the western humanist concerns regarding the safety of innocent civilians. As we can see, in the last few days, even the accuracy of American hits over Baghdad and the relatively low number of civilian casualties didn't stop hundred of thousand of people in both in Britain and in America from protesting against the war. We can conclude
that the Army Generals misunderstood once again, failing even to realise what basic human concern is all about. If they fail so badly at home it shouldn't be too surprising if a British General from Lincolnshire fails to predict the behaviour of an Iraqi corporal in Basra.

The current "coalition" strategy failure in Iraq should be brought to light and the sooner the better. As we might remember, in the first Gulf war, the Iraqi soldiers didn't show a real tendency to fight over Kuwaiti desert. While this was both self-evident and quite reasonable considering the fact that Kuwait wasn't their homeland, it was enough to convince the "coalition" Generals that the Iraqi army will run away in any given conditions. Obviously they got it wrong! The Iraqi army and the Iraqi people have proved already beyond any doubt that they are willing to fight back. I assume that "coalition" Generals learned about the Iraqi lack of willingness to fight
from intelligence reports issued by Saddam Hussein's political opponents. Whilst any reasonable person who knows something about the conflict would be suspicious of any picture portrayed by these kind of reports, "Coalition" Generals were easily convinced that the Iraqi people would be delighted to be 'liberated'; it simply fitted with their doctrine. "Coalition" Generals were wrongly convinced that a high-tech personal blitz against Saddam would save them from political battle with peace activists at home. They were wrong! Peace campaigners and anti-war coalitions have never been more popular. Again, it is likely that American Generals managed to miss what
humanitarian concern is all about. It is not that surprising considering the form of intellectual isolation particular to the military. American Generals were fully convinced that mass media coverage of their victorious parade towards Baghdad would gain them public and political support. They were wrong! If anything, the media coverage exposed their own incorrect strategic conception before they managed to realise it themselves. Finally, at the moment, the American army leaders are obsessed with technological superiority. The American like their Israeli allies are fully convinced that technological superiority can guarantee victory on the battlefield.
Consequently, American Generals are highly trained in computer-simulated war games. They know exactly how long it will take them to bring logistic support from Basra to Baghdad. They know exactly how to launch 500 missiles simultaneously at, say, the third toilet window in Saddam's secondary palace. But there is one thing that the computer can't tell them, and that is the will of the Iraqi man to resist. Man's will is yet to be formulated in 'machine language'. Why are the American Generals so blind to the will of other people? Why were they lead to such false predictions? The answer is simple: because Generals are military men, and they are thus distinguished by their narrow and limited intellectual capability. They are professional in being stupid.

As we already know Saddam Hussein has yet to be abandoned by his people. Quite the opposite, the Iraqi army is fighting back. Moreover, following the growing number of "coalition" casualties and military failures, Saddam has become even more popular among the Iraqi people, the Arab world, and beyond. Since it is clear that British and American military men failed to realize what Saddam symbolises for his people and the Arab people in general, I will try to summarise the most relevant information regarding Saddam Hussein: who he is and what he stands for.

1. Saddam Hussein is the only state leader to publicly support the Palestinian people. This is enough to make him into an eternal hero in the eyes of the Arab people and everyone who believes in justice.

2. Saddam Hussein is the only state leader to stand up against the mighty American and Zionist colonial hegemony. This is more than enough to make him the ultimate hero for those who believe in the idea of 'free man', 'anti-colonialism' and 'anti-globalisation'.

I am sure that even the most remarkable of the "coalition" Generals is capable of understanding by now that they are fighting a lost battle. The "coalition" is fighting a regional superman. Saddam will win the battle, even if he loses. Saddam is a symbol of national liberation. True, some people might regard Saddam Hussein as a regional danger. It is important to mention, however, that NO real evidence is yet to be produced to support such an accusation. Anyway, it is more important to mention that far more people realize by now that it is the "coalition" that presents a more immediate world threat. Clearly the war against Iraq is enough to support
such an accusation.