The BBC’s Reporters’ Log, a kind of centralised, official Beeb warblog, which was very useful as a resource and an interesting sign of the relevance of a blog-style approach, has now been closed. The reporters give their last reflections and the final contribution comes from their most senior war correspondent John Simpson:
The assumption was that people genuinely wanted to see an end to the nastiest dictatorship on earth and would welcome the coalition forces as liberators. So many of them – perhaps a majority – did, but the extent of religious and nationalist hostility took Washington and London by surprise. Opposition to the occupying forces seems to be growing stronger by the day.
Everywhere you go in Iraq, people are increasingly saying the same thing: they are happy that Saddam is gone but they do not want American or British soldiers in their country. This was not something that Washington had been expecting.