the Disillusioned kid
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Wednesday, April 21, 2004

The suicide bombings which have struck British controlled Basra today seem to merit some comment. It is of course too early to tell anything for sure, but my first impressions are that these attacks are qualitatively different from the broadly popular uprisings which rage across much of the country. Those who carried out the attacks seemed to have little concern for the wellbeing of the Iraqi civilians who overwhelmingly became their victims and suggestions that they were Islamic extremists, possibly linked to Al Qaeda, hoping to stir up conflict between Sunni and Shia in order to make the country ungovernable do not seem unrealistic.

That said, claims as to the popularity of the British forces in the city should be taken with a pinch of salt. Times columnist and former Tory MP, Matthew Parris who recently visited Basra pointed out on Channel 5 News that despite the fact that the area had seen considerably less violence than other parts of Iraq, resentment of the occupation was nonetheless widespread. Indeed, he went so far as to suggest that it was universal. Vacuous platitudes about how great British forces are will not stop such incidences of 'individual terrorism', let alone the growing resistance to occupation.

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