Monday, March 19, 2007

Opinion (H.D.S. Greenway): 'Surge' doomed to final failure

WHAT THE president and proponents of the "surge" in Iraq have underestimated is the loathing Iraqis have of foreign troops bursting into their houses, shoot-to-kill checkpoints, and the humiliation occupation brings. Foreign troops legitimize insurgency.

A photograph by Agence France-Presse reminded me why the surge is unlikely to achieve anything more than temporary success, and is doomed to ultimate failure.

The photograph shows four American soldiers, dressed in full, intimidating battle gear, around the periphery of a Baghdad living room. In the center, on the carpeted floor, lies a collapsed woman in a traditional black dress.

A man, identified as her son, is holding her in his arms. His feet are bare, as if he were caught by surprise. But what arrests the eye is the look of horror and terror on his face as he looks up at an armed, gesticulating soldier. Another soldier has taken the liberty of making himself at home on the sofa. The caption tells us only that the mother has fainted when her son was "questioned."

Read the rest at the Boston Globe