Interactive Editorials, January 2004,




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What went wrong in Iraq?

By Hassan El-Najjar and Jim Kronbert

Al-Jazeerah, Jan 5, 2004


Jim Kronberg:

In your mission for Al Jazeerah, you mention the U.S.-Iraqi conflict. In your opinion sir, do Iraqis have the chance of a better future since the disposal of Saddam or are they forever trapped in the nets of capitalist America????

I am a very loyal American and think my country is good and I think our intensions In Iraq and Afghanistan are honorable.... and those fighting their killer style warfare want us to fail... where am I going wrong here???

Hassan El-Najjar:

I want to make sure first of what you are asking me about. Are you basically asking about why are Iraqis fighting the US forces, after freeing them of Saddam? If this was your question, here is my brief answer. My book about the Gulf War is the detailed answer.

The US war on Iraq led to the invasion and the occupation of that country. During the war and following it, the Iraqi state was destroyed. Estimates of deaths and injuries are in tens of thousands. The Iraqis are not unique in resisting a foreign invader. The Palestinian people have been doing it for the last 36 years against the Israeli occupation, with their meager resources. The Vietnamese also resisted the US invasion and occupation of their country, so did the Koreans. The Chinese resisted the Japanese invasion and occupation of China. The Soviets, the French, and most Europeans resisted the German invasion and occupation of their countries during WWII. It happened in all centuries as far as you can go in history. No nation likes to be controlled by another. People like to live freely in their own country. Just think about what you would do if a foreign power invades the US, particularly as a loyal American. The Iraqi resistance are loyal to their country, too, not necessarily to Saddam.

Because of this, Al-Jazeerah promotes peaceful solutions to international conflicts. Wars lead to more wars and blood triggers blood. War is the failure of reason and lust for the other person's resources, whether they are human resources or raw materials.

The 2003 war on Iraq was the US counter bunch in reaction to the September 11, 2001 Al-Qaeda (not Iraqi) attacks, which were by turn in response to the US occupation of the oil-rich Arabian Peninsula. But why did the US go there. It did in response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990. But why did Iraq invade Kuwait? It was, among other factors, because of its bad economic conditions after its 1980-1988 war with Iraq. What caused that war? The violation of the 1975 treaty, which gave Iran the right to sail in Shatt Al-Arab in return for stopping its support for the Kurdish rebellion. Why did the Kurds revolt and who helped them? They revolted to have their own independent state, including the oil-rich Kirkuk area. Britain, the US, and Israel helped them in order to weaken Iraq. Why do they want to weaken Iraq? First, oil companies in the three countries want to control oil production and marketing in the second oil-richest country in the world. Second, by weakening Iraq, Israel would have no strong Arab state that would check its ambitions to control the Middle East, from the Nile to the Euphrates. (More information about the last paragraph can be found in my book, mentioned below).

In interactive editorials, the editor of Al-Jazeerah answers questions and or responds to comments of readers, which are more general than readers' responses to specific articles or issues. It is an effective method of interaction in electronic journalism, particularly because it addresses readers' concerns.

Dr. Hassan A. El-Najjar is a sociologist and cultural anthropologist. He is the editor of Al-Jazeerah. He has written  The Gulf War: Overreaction and Excessiveness 2001. Amazone Press.




Earth, a planet hungry for peace


The Israeli apartheid (security) wall around Palestinian population centers (Ran Cohen, pmc, 5/24/03).


The Israeli apartheid (security) wall around Palestinian population centers in the West Bank, like a Python. (Alquds,10/25/03).

Opinions expressed in various sections are the sole responsibility of their authors and they may not represent Al-Jazeerah's.