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May 7, 2006

Iraq

-- by Dave Johnson

Caution, do not read this if you are the least bit squeamish. It is truly horrible. Part of me died when I saw this cruel killing.

Lots of right-wing blogs (more here and here) and others are using this to show how horrible our "enemies" and "terrorists" are and how terrible the "liberals" are for supporting them, etc. (Be sure to read the comments, too.)

But read it again - this is apparently an article about the people WE invaded to put in charge there. This particular act was apparently by the Iran-allied Shiite majority that we put in charge. The Sunni minority insurgency is doing the same things. The al Queda are also. But THIS article is about something the ones WE put in charge did.

We are supposed to have invaded in order to bring democracy to Iraq - the "Nation building" that conservatives once scorned. At least, bringing democracy to Iraq is ONE of the various reasons given for the invasion - there were plenty of others. Iraq was responsible for 9/11, they were allied with al Queda, they were going to nuke us, whatever -- we all heard all of the reasons. But "bringing democracy to Iraq" is the one most frequently cited now. And here we are. And here they are. Great. This is what war is. There is nothing worse than war. If you don't like it you sould have thought about that before you started a war, huh?

The right-wing blogs and the commenters seem to be getting around the problem that this was done by the people we invaded to put in charge by saying that it is Muslims in general who are our "enemy" and are "terrorists." And you certainly don't hear that message condemned by our country's leadership, do you? So is that the "war" we are in? A forever war against anyone we decide we're against that day, which gives the leaders absolute power to do anything they want? We invade a country, put one side in charge, and then call them terrorists?

Posted by Dave Johnson at May 7, 2006 9:08 PM

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Comments

Dave, the answer to your question is YES. That's who we call terrorists. Since there are plenty of Muslims, and Muslims aren't exactly pleased by what we're doing, including labeling them terrorists whether they are or not, and Bush feels that terrorists are coming out of the walls at him, we're gonna be stuck in this kind of thing for the foreseeable future.

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 8, 2006 4:59 AM

'This is what war is. There is NOTHING worse than war.'
Too right you are, Dave!

Posted by: belga [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 8, 2006 3:07 PM

A copy of this article just came through my email inbox... I was going to post about it, because I was so moved and disturbed and saddened by what it described.

My take on this is slightly different from Dave's... I don't see this as the result of us putting the Shia in power... if the article makes anything clear, it is the utter ambiguity of the entire situation.

What is also clear, is our nation's responsibility for this woman's brutal death: not because we put the Shia in power, per se, but because we invaded Iraq in the first place... our actions created the conditions under which these atrocities are possible.

This isn't "war", this is chaos. Iraq is a failed state where law and order have largely collapsed, and the social contract is on the verge of failing completely.

... and, now that I think about it, Dave, it is a major mistake to label this is an act of the "Shia". I'm sure 99.9% of the Iraqi Shia would condemn this act without the slightest hesitation, for any number of reason. The sight of a man shouting "God is Great!" as a woman's head is hacked off is undoubtedly repellent to Muslims worldwide.

What this is, is the act of a fanatic and bitter minority, who, under normal circumstances, would never be able to act out in such a fashion.

Posted by: Thomas Leavitt [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 8, 2006 10:47 PM

Negroponte.

Posted by: s9 [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 9, 2006 12:44 AM

I wasn't trying to say this is the result of putting the Shia in charge. I was trying to say that we unleashed this.

This was apparently done by a Shia death squad. My point was that the right blames "terrorists" for this, but the people running these particular death squads (as contrasted with Sunni or al Queda death squads) are Shia, the ones who WE brought to power.

And now the Right says Muslims in general are the enemy. But Iraq was a SECULAR state, and WE turned it into an Islamic state that will increasingly take away the rights of women.

So what I was trying to say agrees with you.

Posted by: Dave Johnson [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 9, 2006 7:11 AM

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