The Iraqi people may be delighted to see Saddam Hussein gone, but that doesnt mean they are happy with their foreign occupier, says an expert on U.S foreign policy and national security. In fact, the capture of Hussein will fuel the Iraqi insurgency in several ways, says Ivan Eland, senior fellow and director of the Center on Peace and Liberty at the Independent Institute in Oakland, California.
With Saddam now out of the way, more Iraqis who oppose the U.S. occupation will join the resistance, without fear of being labeled a supporter of a despot, says Dr. Eland. At the same time, he points out, the guerilla cause may ultimately be strengthened by the U.S. release of humiliating footage of Saddam undergoing a medical exam to Iraqis who have already lost face and honor at the hands of the United States.
While U.S. officials, who initially blamed the insurgency on Hussein loyalists, still contend that opposition will shrink in the coming weeks now that Hussein is in custody, Dr. Eland argues there are many groups fighting the U.S. in Iraq, none of them with ties to Hussein. They are nationalists who oppose foreign occupation of their country, minority Sunnis who fear domination by majority Shiites and a loss of their privileged status in Iraqi society, and foreign Islamic fighters with a hatred of U.S. policy in the Middle East.
Dr. Eland, a former defense analyst who has testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee on such issues as NATO expansion, CIA oversight and Homeland Security, is available for interviews to discuss ongoing developments in the war in Iraq and the search for Bin Laden.
Dr. Eland is a seasoned media guest whose expert commentaries and analysis have appeared in national print, radio, and television. Dr. Eland is the author of several books including, Putting Defense Back into U.S. Defense Policy: Rethinking U.S. Security in the Post-Cold War World.