I have been thinking about the whole looting, kidnapping, lawlessness, and general anarchy witnessed at the beginning of the Iraq war again. Hypothetically let’s say they were invading Holland, and the plan was to take out all the hash bars, and pot heads of the Netherlands. Let’s pretend the US and British forces have stormed into Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The crowds are cheering, and smashing up hash bars, destroying every last special cake, burning every stash of weed. Would you expect this to happen in Holland? Would you expect the people of Holland to become lawless and loot and pillage, kidnap women and children off the streets and hold them to ransom before killing? Raping and killing anyone, because they have not been allowed to think for themselves for twenty years, and this lack of use has turned them back to barbaric beasts. Somehow I doubt any of this would happen and that civilised society would continue unchanged. There would be intelligent communication between occupiers and the general population. I doubt suicide bombers would want to blow up buildings or murder innocent victims. I doubt the fans of Ajax would start a bloody war with the fans of Feyenoord, just because they are rival football fans.
Why would you think that is?
Two main reasons spring to mind.
1. Holland lives in a free democracy, it is one of the most advanced societies on the planet, who are not told what to do every day, they are allowed to think for themselves, come to their own conclusions. They are not forced to fear everything. They are allowed to go about their business in peace and privacy. There is no dictator or secret police, no republican guard, there is not much of an army all together.
2. Holland is not caught up in a religious hotbed; it does not have extreme factions of religion wanting to take control of the country. It is probably one of the most atheist countries in the world, as well as being one of the highest standards of living. Holland is ranked in the top 10.
Maybe this is why the US government screwed up their initial occupation; they just did not expect people to act in that way. Well we should learn a great deal from this, if you subjugate, and control societies with a iron rod of intimidation and fear, they may come back and bite you badly.