Priorities, priorities

Submitted by Anon on 22 April, 2003 - 6:16

The US troops in Baghdad could not protect many places threatened with looting. The hospitals? No. Thirty-three out of Baghdad's 35 hospitals were put out of action by looters, with the US troops doing nothing about it. The museums? No. The ministries of education, industry, trade? No.
They kept just two ministries intact. The Ministry of the Interior. And, of course, the Ministry of Oil.

Yet, by all accounts, the US high command was prepared for longer resistance and far bigger US casualties than it actually faced. It was prepared for Saddam Hussein to use the still-unrevealed "weapons of mass destruction". It must have been prepared to look after hundreds of US wounded, gassed, felled by heat-stroke - ready to keep water and food coming to hundreds of thousands of US troops tied down in battle, without airport access, for a long time.

It must have medical facilities and supplies to hand far in excess of what it actually used. Why aren't they used to replenish Iraq's hospitals and help its people?

The Americans had enough military force to fire on a political rally in the Kurdish-Arab city of Mosul on 15 April, killing at least ten people and wounding maybe hundreds. How come they didn't have the military force to protect the hospitals?
It is a matter of priorities - and of the mentality of conquerors.

As Patrick Cockburn puts it in the Independent, "the American forces... appear to have believed that hostility to President Saddam by Iraqis automatically implied that they were pro-American".

Not so. Not so at all. Already the "no to Saddam, no to Bush" demonstrations have started.

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