Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Last night's Channel 4 documentary on how the occupation of Iraq has affected women was sobering and harrowing. Doctors stood on the rubble of maternity wards bombed by the Americans, but filming cut short in order not to draw American gunfire.

One thing struck me in particular. Since the invasion violent fundamentalist Islam is seriously on the rise, and more women are being forced to wear headscarves and far less girls are going to school. The American - sorry, Allied - forces tell us this is all part of giving Iraqis self-determination.

In Afghanistan, we are told that we can measure the success of the occupation by the decline of Taliban power, the decrease in burka-wearing and the increase in girls attending school.

Two contradictory justifications for adjacent simulataneous wars waged by the same people. So there can be no doubt that we are being lied to about the reasons for occupation. There must unquestionably be some other reason.

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