[Mb-civic] If America were Iraq, What would it be Like?

ean at sbcglobal.net ean at sbcglobal.net
Wed Sep 22 20:41:08 PDT 2004

If America were Iraq, What would it be Like?
Juan Cole

President Bush said Tuesday that the Iraqis are refuting the pessimists and 
implied that things are improving in that country.

What would America look like if it were in Iraq's current situation? The 
population of the US is over 11 times that of Iraq, so a lot of statistics would 
have to be multiplied by that number.

Thus, violence killed 300 Iraqis last week, the equivalent proportionately of 
3,300 Americans. What if 3,300 Americans had died in car bombings, 
grenade and rocket attacks, machine gun spray, and aerial bombardment in 
the last week? That is a number greater than the deaths on September 11, 
and if America were Iraq, it would be an ongoing, weekly or monthly toll.

And what if those deaths occurred all over the country, including in the capital 
of Washington, DC, but mainly above the Mason Dixon line, in Boston, 
Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco?

What if the grounds of the White House and the government buildings near 
the Mall were constantly taking mortar fire? What if almost nobody in the 
State Department at Foggy Bottom, the White House, or the Pentagon dared 
venture out of their buildings, and considered it dangerous to go over to 
Crystal City or Alexandria?

What if all the reporters for all the major television and print media were 
trapped in five-star hotels in Washington, DC and New York, unable to move 
more than a few blocks safely, and dependent on stringers to know what was 
happening in Oklahoma City and St. Louis? What if the only time they 
ventured into the Midwest was if they could be embedded in Army or National 
Guard units?

There are estimated to be some 25,000 guerrillas in Iraq engaged in 
concerted acts of violence. What if there were private armies totalling 
275,000 men, armed with machine guns, assault rifles (legal again!), rocket-
propelled grenades, and mortar launchers, hiding out in dangerous urban 
areas of cities all over the country? What if they completely controlled 
Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Denver and 
Omaha, such that local police and Federal troops could not go into those 

What if, during the past year, the Secretary of State (Aqilah Hashemi), the 
President (Izzedine Salim), and the Attorney General (Muhammad Baqir al-
Hakim) had all been assassinated?

What if all the cities in the US were wracked by a crime wave, with thousands 
of murders, kidnappings, burglaries, and carjackings in every major city every 

What if the Air Force routinely (I mean daily or weekly) bombed Billings, 
Montana, Flint, Michigan, Watts in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Anacostia in 
Washington, DC, and other urban areas, attempting to target "safe houses" 
of "criminal gangs", but inevitably killing a lot of children and little old ladies?

What if, from time to time, the US Army besieged Virginia Beach, killing 
hundreds of armed members of the Christian Soldiers? What if entire 
platoons of the Christian Soldiers militia holed up in Arlington National 
Cemetery, and were bombarded by US Air Force warplanes daily, destroying 
thousands of graves and pulverizing the Vietnam Memorial? What if the 
National Council of Churches had to call for a popular march of thousands of 
believers to converge on the National Cathedral to stop the US Army from 
demolishing it to get at a rogue band of the Timothy McVeigh Memorial 

What if there were virtually no commercial air traffic in the country? What if 
many roads were highly dangerous, especially Interstate 95 from Richmond 
to Washington, DC, and I-95 and I-91 up to Boston? If you got on I-95 
anywhere along that over 500-mile stretch, you would risk being carjacked, 
kidnapped, or having your car sprayed with machine gun fire.

What if no one had electricity for much more than 10 hours a day, and often 
less? What if it went off at unpredictable times, causing factories to grind to 
a halt and air conditioning to fail in the middle of the summer in Houston and 
Miami? What if the Alaska pipeline were bombed and disabled at least 
monthly? What if unemployment hovered around 40%?

What if veterans of militia actions at Ruby Ridge and the Oklahoma City 
bombing were brought in to run the government on the theory that you need 
a tough guy in these times of crisis?

What if municipal elections were cancelled and cliques close to the new 
"president" quietly installed in the statehouses as "governors?" What if 
several of these governors (especially of Montana and Wyoming) were 
assassinated soon after taking office or resigned when their children were 
taken hostage by guerrillas?

What if the leader of the European Union maintained that the citizens of the 
United States are, under these conditions, refuting pessimism and that 
freedom and democracy are just around the corner?

posted by Juan @ 9/22/2004 06:53:11 AM 

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