Monday, May 15, 2006

"Where have all the flowers gone?"

...the flowers that were to be tossed at American liberators by grateful Iraqis. Dr. Stanley Renshaw, at Political Psychology Blog, observes:
The expectation that American soldiers would be greeted as “liberators,” with flowers and sweets was reasonable enough. After all, Iraqis had been savagely brutalized by Saddam’s domestic rein of torture, terror and sadism. Robert Kaplan recently wrote that, “Iraq in the 1980s was so terrifying that going to Damascus from Baghdad was like coming up for liberal humanist air. People talked furtively in Syria; in Iraq, nobody breathed a syllable of opposition. The whole country was like an illuminated prison yard. I was emotionally affected. Recent events make it easy to forget just how bad Iraq was back then. “

Still, the question remains: What happened? If Americans were truly viewed as liberators, why is it now struggling against a ferocious insurgency? Why did the good will that Americans expected seem to turn so suddenly into suspicion and resentment? These are very important questions whose answers go to the heart of American efforts in Iraq and the public’s assessment of them...
Dr. Renshaw is "a professor of political science at the City University of New York, and a practicing psychoanalyst." A thoughtful, fascinating blog!


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