The Uprising; Strategic Issues: v.2, issue 9 (September 2003)
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Military planners and defense officials in Washington and Baghdad are widely reported to have believed that the recent war between the United States and Iraq would end in a general uprising by the Iraqi people. This surprising convergence of views between otherwise dissimilar adversaries has not attracted much comment, presumably because no uprising occurred. The Iraqi people did not swarm upon the invaders, drowning them in a river of blood, as Iraq's celebrated information minister, Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf, insisted they would. Nor did they rise up in a final act of fury against the regime that had tortured and imprisoned them, as promised by the Pentagon-sponsored Iraqi opposition leader Ahmed Chalabi. Instead, Iraqi civilians seem to have done their best to stay out of the way of their own armed forces, whose disintegrating formations were magnets of destruction, as anyone could see. Conversely, most Iraqis greeted Coalition forces warily, perhaps from fear that any public sign of relief at Saddam's demise would put them at risk from remnant elements of the Old Regime, perhaps from natural apprehensions about what occupation and foreign rule would mean. All of which amounts to a generalized display of common sense, for which no explanation is required. This document discusses the consequences of an Iraqi uprising that would have been wholly negative.
This article appeared in Strategic Insights (September 2003), v.2 no.9
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