20 January, 2021

The Famished Roadmap

Becoming party to Iraq's occupation means sending our troops into a mess

illustration by Sandeep Adhwaryu
The Famished Roadmap
I would like to begin by apologising to readers for returning yet again to the question of whether India should send its troops to Iraq or not. But the situation in that country is changing rapidly, and for the worse. To send Indian troops now—without knowing what they will be called on to do, how long they will have to stay, and when and how their task will be completed—would be to push many of them to a pointless death. The Bush administration has been at pains to assure India that its troops are needed to "stabilise" Iraq. It has not spelt out what 'stabilisation' involves, but it is one of a family of terms, like that much overused 'equilibrium', that give the impression that there has been a 'disturbance' which is in any case subsiding but which can be made to subside more quickly with a little judicious assistance.

Given this bias, it is not surprising that only serious incidents involving 'coalition' casualties get reported by the major international media, and these too are reported with a heavy 'spin'. For instance, when on June 24 at a town close to Basra a mob...


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