Opinion in Iraq: Master and Apprentice

The intensity and extent of Iraqi opposition to the invasion and occupation has been a surprise. Sami Ramadani, who was able to return after more than thirty years in exile, says that the United States is too closely associated with the painful past to be welcomed as a liberator, let alone the agent of democracy.

The World Today Published 1 December 2003 Updated 21 October 2020 3 minute READ

Sami Ramadani

was a political refugee from Saddam Hussein’s regime and is a senior lecturer in sociology at London Metropolitan University

Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, there is now a myth, repeated by distinguished writers and commentators, that most Iraqis initially welcomed the US-led invasion. No matter that the widely-broadcast pulling down of Saddam Hussein’s statue in Baghdad by US forces and the ‘Pentagon Iraqis’ involved about two hundred people in a city of six million. There was no uprising in Basra after all.

And there was no reported mass meeting or demonstration, except in Iraqi Kurdistan, which attracted more than a few hundred in support of the invasion. All the large gatherings since have been in opposition.

The opposition is now turning into large scale, popularly backed resistance inexorably leading to a war of attrition with echoes of Vietnam unless the US withdraws.

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