Excerpts from the 3 Independent (March 4 2004 ) letters copied belowYou can build a throne of bayonets, but you can't sit on it.That the leader of one of the most powerful nations on earth should view the world in such simplistic, comic book and, dare I say it, biblical terms, is staggering...na´ve and arrogant neo-conservative blockheads.
LETTERS INDEPENDENT 4 MARCH
We are Iraq's problem, not the solution
Sir: It is ironic that The Independent's principled stance against the illegal invasion of Iraq does not extend to the illegitimate occupation it brought about. The bloodbath in Iraq on Tuesday was a monstrous act, but it is nonsense to imply as your leading article (3 March) did, that the attack was aimed at forestalling a democratic future for Iraqis, the rosy outcome, we are invited to believe, their occupiers are benevolently crafting for them.
How do you forge democracy for a people most of whom bitterly resent your presence in the first place? In the immediate aftermath of all the attacks against the Shia, the gathering crowds don't chant their resentment of Sunni extremists, the most likely culprits, they reserve their ire for Bush and the United states, their self-appointed protectors.
The Shia and Sunni have been living peaceably together in Iraq for decades. Historically, foreign rule invariably accentuates and emphasises subterranean sectarian and ethnic tensions. Playing one section of society against the other and then falsely presenting its occupation as the balm to heal the resultant wounds has always been the hallmark of imperial politics.
The much-vaunted 30 June date for the handover of sovereignty, parroted by the media as a milestone in Iraq's march to democracy, is in reality a farcical footnote to what is becoming an open-ended tragedy. Power is to be transferred to coalition-appointed puppets, no doubt in a blaze of hype. Real authority will of course reside in the new US "embassy"
As long as foreign fighters, and I mean the visible ones of fact, who speak English, Polish, Spanish, Japanese etc, not the invisible ones of myth, who speak Arabic, remain in an Iraq they have starved, bombed and violated over the last 14 years, there will be no peace in that land.
You can build a throne of bayonets, but you can't sit on it. The French learnt this in Algeria and remembered. The Americans learnt it in Vietnam and forgot.
Sir: I found the "good and evil" comments of Mr Blair in response to the bombs in Iraq on Tuesday quite unnerving. That the leader of one of the most powerful nations on earth should view the world in such simplistic, comic book and, dare I say it, biblical terms, is staggering. Perhaps he and George Bush just spend too much time together.
The logic of his statement is as follows. The "good" are those who kill civilians by dropping cluster bombs on them from several thousand feet and then return to their aircraft carrier for a good dinner and a video. On the ground the foot-soldiers clean up the mess, hose down the streets and sanitise the area before the media is allowed in. The "bad" are those who die with their innocent victims, their shattered limbs strewn around the battlefield with no sanitising possible, the rivers of blood in the full view of the media.
"Good" and "bad" Mr Blair? More like two sides of the same evil coin.
Sir: Never before in the history of humankind have so few na´ve and arrogant neo-conservative blockheads made life even more intolerable for the 25 million poor souls who seriously imagined they could never live more intolerably than they did under Saddam Hussein.
St Peter, Barbados, West Indies