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2003-03-25

Will Iraq Become a "Quagmire for the Americans"? Non-Embedded Journalist Robert Fisk Reports From Baghdad

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Veteran war correspondent Robert Fisk wrote an article in yesterday’s London Independent headlined, 'Iraq will become a quagmire for the Americans.'

Well, after several days of attempting to reach Robert Fisk in Baghdad, we finally got through late last night.

He elaborated on the article in the interview. He told us "[the Bush administration] dreams up moral ideas and then believes that they’re all true, and characterizes this policy by assuming that everyone else will then play their roles. In their attempt to dream up an excuse to invade Iraq, they’ve started out, remember, by saying first of all that there are weapons of mass destruction. We were then told that al Qaeda had links to Iraq, which, there certainly isn’t an al Qaeda link. Then we were told that there were links to September 11th, which was rubbish. And in the end, the best the Bush administration could do was to say, 'Well, we're going to liberate the people of Iraq.’"

Fisk went on, "the American administration allowed that little cabal of advisors around Bush-I’m talking about Perle, Wolfowitz, and these other people-people who have never been to war, never served their country, never put on a uniform-nor, indeed, has Mr. Bush ever served his country-they persuaded themselves of this Hollywood scenario of GIs driving through the streets of Iraqi cities being showered with roses by a relieved populace who desperately want this offer of democracy. . . .

"And the truth of the matter is that Iraq has a very, very strong political tradition of strong anti-colonial struggle. It doesn’t matter whether that’s carried out under the guise of kings or under the guise of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath party, or under the guise of a total dictator. There are many people in this country who would love to get rid of Saddam Hussein, I’m sure, but they don’t want to live under American occupation."

  • Robert Fisk, reporter in Baghdad with the London newspaper The Independent.

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