Patrick Cockburn is the Iraq correspondent for the UK Independent, also home to Robert Fisk. In an exclusive interview with Arab Media Watch, Cockburn discusses the realities of reporting from the “liberated” country. “I don’t go out of Baghdad”, he says.
Furthermore, the role of the insurgency is murkier than many in the anti-war left would like to acknowledge and with the Americans, “…you have some frightened American GI from Ohio, aged 20, who probably doesn’t want to be in Iraq. He believes that in any car there might be a suicide bomber and nothing happens to him if he gets it wrong. If he guns down a family of five, nothing happens to him. So there is no downside, from his point of view, in pulling the trigger. This happens, as I have said, all the time. Even if there’s a single shot in the distance, the Americans often open up in all directions. It seems to be part of their military training.”
Cockburn’s comments confirm that, despite the propaganda in the West proclaiming flowering democracy in Iraq, the security situation remains so treacherous that any kind of even barely functioning freedoms are undermined by the incompetence of the Americans. The great unspoken truth about Iraq is the desire of many in the country to be rid of the US occupation and embrace democracy.