On the Brink
Why did the cheering Iraqis who initially welcomed the Americans turn against them?
One year on from 'liberation', Iraq has descended into chaos. Many people still lack electricity, the death toll is rising and vast swathes of the country have become 'no go' areas for the Americans. The country teeters on the brink of civil war. But how did the situation deteriorate so quickly? Why did the cheering Iraqis who initially welcomed the Americans turn against them? This week's high quality documentary gets to the heart of these issues. Filmed over the course of the past year, it charts the growing anger and resentment in Iraq.
It's aggressive night raids like this that fuel resentment against coalition forces. And as they encounter growing hostility from residents, they're more likely to respond aggressively. There's a growing danger that, in the face of increasingly bold attacks, a twitchy US army could unleash a bloodbath. It's a fear that's being voiced by America's most loyal supporters, including the Dr Ahmed Chalabi of the INC. "My biggest fear is of some serious acrimony developing between the Iraqi people and the US military." There's also a growing suspicion that the Americans aren't being entirely honest about their long term strategy. There's talk of permanent military bases and a suspicion that America will use Iraq as it's foothole into the Middle East. And many Iraqis fear that their country was invaded solely for it's oil reserves, to enable America to set new oil prices and break OPEC. People are angry that valuable oil contracts have already gone to US firms like Haliburton. "The speed of granting this contract immediately after liberation questions the Americans' real motivations," comments Hoashiar Zebari from the Kurdish Democratic Party. But despite the growing tension, there is one group of Iraqis who feel that whatever happens to Iraq is worth it - INC supporters. In their eyes: "Anything is better than Saddam ... Anarchy is better!" A powerful profile of a war slowly going very wrong.