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October 14, 2006

Only So Many Ways To Persuade Yourself It's Okay To Kill Others

From a flier warning Shiite families to leave the Ghazaliya district of Baghdad:

In the name of Allah, the most merciful

Subject: Deportation

As a result of the criminal and sectarian behaviour of what is called (the disgraceful) Jaish Al-Mahdi and (the treacherous) Badr forces by killing, kidnapping and deporting the Sunni community (at Mahmoudiya, Rashidiya, Sha’ab, Shu’la and Hurriya), as well as violating the honour of Sunnis and plundering their possessions, the organisation has decided, Inshallah, to return the strike twofold and treat them the same (an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth). It has been decided to deport you from Sunni areas, including Ghazaliya, within 24 hours, or otherwise your heads will be cut off, the same as your militias act with members of the Sunni community. He who has warned is henceforth excused.

From a flier warning Shiite families to leave Southern Lebanon:

To the people of Lebanon

Pay attention to these instructions!!

The IDF will intensify its activities and will heavily bomb the entire area from which rockets are being launched against the State of Israel.

Anyone present in these areas is endangering his life!

The State of Israel

From the same Israeli government webpage where the flier appears:

Concern for the lives of civilians is an integral part of the IDF operational procedure, which requires extreme care to be taken to minimize harm to the civilian population -- often at the cost of operational advantages.

Which is which?

Posted at October 14, 2006 01:36 PM | TrackBack

Just focusing on the situation in Iraq for a moment, I'm struck by how the mainstream US press never discusses how the US imposed post-Saddam Iraqi constitution helped create present circumstances. Iraq now has a congress without single-member districts, just at-large representatives(like Israel, come to think of it).

The architects of the present system argued it would ensure that minorities would be more likely to be represented(i.e. Kurds and Sunnis), when in fact the effect has tended to be the opposite.

If there were single-member districts in Iraq(like here in the US), presumably the minorities in central Iraq would be dispersed into majority Sunni districts and this would result in a sort of civil-war equilibrium once the Shi'a had a lock on the parliament, then the impetus to displace and kill people would be substantially diminished. But the present sytem offers no such respite.

Of course,

1. I shouldn't really be surprised that the teevee journalists don't discuss this, after all, 2003 is ancient history,

2. If they did discuss the flawed Iraqi constitution, they wouldn't blame the neocons for leaning on the Iraqis, but blame them for not leaning on them enough.

Posted by: Jonathan Versen at October 14, 2006 06:59 PM

You are so good at comparisons.

Posted by: Ben at October 14, 2006 10:10 PM

Yes indeed, he who has warned is henceforth excused and it is all justified because of their impinged honor and past transgressions. And the overwhelming concern and love bestowed by the IDF is truly heart wrenching.

We like to imagine humans are unpredictable yet the truth is we are drearily and tediously completely predictable -- so much so that you wonder why we keep making the. Same. Mistakes. Over. Over and over again.

I am still completely amazed why anyone would have or could have thought that invading another country would have endeared us to the victims. How hard is it to understand that if you hit someone they will want to hit you back? One does not need to be a trained psychiatrist to understand this basic fact of the human animal.

I hate to bring up the topic of experts again but even if you are so completely dense, arrogant and out of touch with reality as the present administration there were people that warned them about the history of Iraq and what would happen if you destroyed the government. I believe they call this anarchy.

Are you libertarians paying attention?

Posted by: rob payne at October 14, 2006 10:23 PM

See, that's why I read this blog. Otherwise, there are days I'd be in danger of getting through without coming across something completely heartbreaking.

Posted by: Maud at October 15, 2006 02:32 AM

The US military dropped similar leaflets on Najaf, Kut, Fallujah, Ramadi, etc. before going berserk in those places. Our press was generally approving of these warnings, and the bloodlettings that followed.

Posted by: Lloyd at October 15, 2006 09:54 AM

Bonus material:

"Operation Iraqi Trashcan: American Propaganda Leaflets in Iraq"

Posted by: Lloyd at October 15, 2006 10:00 AM

It's joke time!

Katie Couric walks into a bar and sees George Bush, Dick Cheney, John McCain, Joe Lieberman, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Henry Kissinger, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Satan sitting together at a table.

Katie Couric says, "Well, this is an impressive gathering! What are you folks doing together?"

Dick Cheney responds: "We are planning World War III."

Katie: "What's that going to be like?"

George Bush: "I'm going to nuke Iran. Then I'm going to pardon Mark Foley."

Katie: "Why are you going to pardon Mark Foley?'

Dr. Kissinger: "To give you reporters something to talk about."

Posted by: Lloyd at October 15, 2006 12:37 PM

Does anyone want Hillary as our nominee in 2008? No one I know does. TR, can you be any better?

Posted by: jill at October 15, 2006 06:37 PM

How is it an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth to kill twice as many of them as they have killed of you? That first flier says they'll repay the kindness of their enemies twofold.

I'd like to say I was amazed at the stupidity of my fellow man in this case, but I burnt out on that years ago. Now it's just, meh.

Posted by: at October 16, 2006 08:39 AM

paraphrasing from an old "Simpsons" episode:

Bart, to Lisa: "I'm going to walk out of the room now swinging my arms, and if anyone happens to be in my way and gets hit, it's not my fault."

It's even funnier in Arabic, I understand.

Posted by: Whistler Blue at October 16, 2006 06:09 PM