Rejecting the occupiers

Local governments in Iraq are taking stands against the coalition: in Basra authorities have refused to work with the British, because of a video which shows Iraqis being beaten up by British troops. Then the governor of Karbala has “suspended all cooperation with US forces because of police dogs being used to search buildings.

What’s interesting is that this doesn’t look like a protest against the idea of the occupation, so much as a reaction to specific – and avoidable – abuses. There continues to be a democratic deficit, in that there is little way for Iraqis to feed their concerns to the US and UK governments and military commands. So you end up with this kind of fairly dramatic approach. It gets the job done, at least; even if they don’t change their behaviour, the coalition can’t claim not to know that certain things are unpopular.

I’ve not been paying much attention to Iraq lately, so perhaps I’ve missed similar cases.

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