Think about the article in terms of Iraq today, where there is a strong undercurrent of humiliation (especially amongst the males) for allowing invaders to conquer their country. The US went out of its way to demoralize and humiliate the Iraqis, both in terms of the media coverage the Iraqis were exposed to, and by naming a female (since replaced) to oversee the country's reconstruction. Such humiliations might backfire, however, and galvanize opposition to the US... especially when non-violent means of opposition can make you a target.
"She was brave and she will be our hero. We wanted to demonstrate. But we were afraid the Americans would kill us."