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From Guernica to Fallujah
December 2, 2004 7:24 AM   Subscribe

From Guernica to Fallujah It's difficult to believe that in this day and age, when people are blogging, emailing and communicating at the speed of light, a whole city is being destroyed and genocide is being committed - and the whole world is aware and silent. Darfur, Americans? Take a look at what you've done in Fallujah." - Female Iraqi blogger Riverbend
posted by Postroad (51 comments total)

 
Fallujah is the new Guernica. The residents of the Basque capital in 1937 were resisting the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. Fallujah in 2004 was resisting the dictator Iyad Allawi, the US-installed interim premier. Franco asked Nazi Germany - which supported him - to bomb Guernica, just as Allawi "asked" the Pentagon to bomb Fallujah. Guernica had no air force and no anti-aircraft guns to defend itself - just like Fallujah. In Guernica - as in Fallujah - there was no distinction between civilians and guerrillas: the order was to "kill them all". The Nazis shouted "Viva la muerte!" ("Long live death") along with their fascist Spanish counterparts before bombing Guernica.

Allawi as Franco? The U.S. as Nazis? Godwin in the second paragraph? Wha? Huh? This is a lame polemic. Not your best FPP Postroad.
posted by gwint at 7:39 AM on December 2, 2004


We must destroy Iraq in order to save it.

What the hell is our oil doing under their sand?
Damn thieves!

Democracy requires we kill them.
posted by nofundy at 7:47 AM on December 2, 2004


Gwint is right. The important message of
Fallujah has been reduced to rubble, and thousands of civilians have died
is obscured by analogies ridiculous ("Fallujah in 2004 was resisting the dictator Iyad Allawi,") and offensive (US are the equivalent to Nazis) or both:
Assuming Saddam did it[used chemical weapons in Halabja], and did it deliberately, the US may have done the same thing in Fallujah
Very sloppy. That said, what the @$&! are we doing there?
posted by allan at 7:48 AM on December 2, 2004



posted by three blind mice at 7:54 AM on December 2, 2004


Regarding the lack of coverage on the news- is this no longer newsworthy? Or has it gotten to the point where all information regarding these events is so terrible that no one can put a positive spin on them?

The former would indicate that the American people are truly beyond hope, leaving us nothing but jaded cynicism and mushy post-rage. The latter either concocts conspiracy theories or indicates a terrible need to "serve our interests". Or the article is lying- but of course, I can't tell because we don't get information over here. At least the angry tone is understandable as an attempt to get people to listen (not a good idea after all).

Either way, arguing against war boredom is not a "for the war" or "against the war" question- how can anyone reasonably claim to be either without the facts?
posted by Maxson at 7:57 AM on December 2, 2004


What the author seems to forget is that we are there to help the Iraqis, because inside every insurgent there is an American trying to get out.
posted by baphomet at 8:00 AM on December 2, 2004


Not your best FPP Postroad.

ah the irony
posted by matteo at 8:01 AM on December 2, 2004


The article cites a source near the end -
The iron-clad, not-so-hidden neo-conservative agenda for the Middle East is balkanization of the Arab world - serving the interests of their allies, the Likud Party in Israel. The neo-cons want the Middle East to fracture along ethnic and tribal lines. They want Sunni against Shi'ite. They want civil war in Iraq. They want chaos, as in "the empire of chaos" as formulated by stellar French scholar Alain Joxe. Israel Shahak's The Zionist Plan for the Middle East details that to survive, Israel must become an imperial regional power by balkanizing all existing Arab states. In this scenario, a major counterinsurgency operation like Fallujah, the new Guernica, may have been the first. It certainly won't be the last.

(Copyright 2004 Asia Times Online Ltd. All rights reserved.)
That comes from the Association of Arab-American University Graduates, Inc. Now whether or not that is independent - I don't know. But it may be relevant, considering the calumnies which emenate from similar sources about Israeli/jewish practices. It may not exactly be an independent source, y'all.
posted by dash_slot- at 8:27 AM on December 2, 2004


Yeah, that "Zionist Plan for the Middle East" doesn't sound like such a cool source. On the other hand, it is pretty mind-boggling that the Fallujah massacre isn't getting more TV coverage. Or is it? CNN.com is calling it "a horror" but I haven't seen the cable counterpart.
posted by inksyndicate at 8:38 AM on December 2, 2004


What the author seems to forget is that we are there to help the Iraqis, because inside every insurgent there is an American trying to get out.

posted by baphomet at 10:00 AM CST on December 2


Is this sarcastic, or offensively obtuse?
posted by goethean at 8:44 AM on December 2, 2004


three blind mice: You wanna quit it with the image links?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:53 AM on December 2, 2004


There is a deluge of information out there on the web. The problem that people have, and also news organizations, it seems, is whom to believe? There was a certain trust when a trained eyewitness (journalist) was sent into the field and filed a report. His training told him things like there are two sides to every story and to keep in mind objectivity. But the web and talk radio have made everyone into "reporters" without that training. As a result, much of the information we see is biased, unverifiable and anecdotal. We see reports of atrocities and call them isolated incidents, we hear eyewitnesses and call them biased. Everything we see in the media is suspect. Trust in the news media has vanished.

Walter Cronkite, where are you?!?!!
posted by Doohickie at 9:00 AM on December 2, 2004


The earliest controversies surrounding Iraq first arrived in February of 2003 when Colin Powell decidedly removed Picasso's Guernica from the United Nations Security Council meeting room before his televised proposal of invasion. Powell's spokesman simply deemed it inappropriate to request a coalition against the backdrop of the horribly disfigured civilians depicted in the mural, the less-pleasant consequences of war.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:00 AM on December 2, 2004


three blind mice: You wanna quit it with the image links?

out of decaf, civil_disobedient?

it's 60+ years since guernica and because of a famous painting, we're still talking about it.

fallujah is already forgotten; if it was ever noticed.

talk is cheap. images endure.
posted by three blind mice at 9:20 AM on December 2, 2004


Civil_Disobedient:
Seeing as the main post is about that famous image, and others are referring toit, and it isn't the hosting you object to, what exactly are you bothered by? All images? Just those by 3BM? War images? Picasso? Help us out here.

I have almost finished reading this piece, and it is better written than my first skim led me to think. It's insights are reasonable: HUMINT, human intelligence, was the first casualty in Fallujah. When you have marine commanders justifying an attack on a whole city because it is the house of Satan, any "detailed understanding of the cultural environment" had already been buried in the desert sands.
It is clearly written from an anti Occupation standpoint, and contains original reporting (whether from the by-lined reporter or no, it's hard to tell).

And yet...why the author leaps from his clear analytical war reporting into a kind of neo-con wankery at the final paragraph - totally unsupported by what he wrote before then - I cannot fathom.
posted by dash_slot- at 9:27 AM on December 2, 2004


That's three images today (at least), three blind mice. This isn't a photoblog.

civil_disobedient merely wrote what I was (and I presume many of us were) thinking, which is "quit it with the images, fuckwit." c_d was slightly more polite.
posted by trharlan at 9:30 AM on December 2, 2004


http://tinyurl.com/3wxh2
posted by Postroad at 9:39 AM on December 2, 2004


http://tinyurl.com/6b9j9
posted by gwint at 9:44 AM on December 2, 2004


So make some fucking art, 3bm. Guernica being a great painting doesn't mean you added a god damn thing to the discussion by posting a part of it. The arrogance and self-importance are very charming, though. Lordy. "talk is cheap. images endure." Please. Have you ever listened to yourself? Most people shooting for that level of overweening pomposity at least capitalize properly.

That said, yeah, the AMERICANS = NAZIS, or even the BUSH = HITLER thing is getting old. Tell me when we start passing laws requiring Muslims to wear a crescent and star patch, carrying around papers, enforce Muslim-only curfews, and so on. When we do, I'll leave university and take to the streets. When we start literally executing Iraqis, let me know. In the meantime, I'd rather talk about the real world.

The attack in Falluja wasn't justified on the basis that it was the house of Satan, but in fact on the basis that it was an entire huge city entirely outside of coalition control. It s where they were cutting the heads off of people. It is where huge stocks of explosives were stored, quite probably to go into carbombs and bombs in the streets. Why is it so controversial to suppose that Falluja was (re)invaded because having a major urban center in a country you're trying to occupy outside of your control is a bad idea? It seems to me that the military justifications are pretty clear cut.
posted by kavasa at 9:49 AM on December 2, 2004


I was with you on the first one, postie, but that second link made me unhappy.
Back out to the front page of that newspaper and give me a credibility probability.

Anyhow. The story up top had some stuff that alienates right off, and jams a lot of quotes together in the middle, but I did like some of the statistics near the end. Hadn't seen those.
"Leave Iraq after January 30th" indeed! That's when we start building the hotels. Iraq is the new Cancun!
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 9:52 AM on December 2, 2004


While Fallujah's invasion makes military sense, I DID think it was a nice touch to examine the Pentagon's protocol for counter-insurgency, and hold it up to our current policy.
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 9:53 AM on December 2, 2004


What the author seems to forget is that we are there to help the Iraqis, because inside every insurgent there is an American trying to get out.

Is this sarcastic, or offensively obtuse?


It's a quote from the movie Full Metal Jacket, so I assume that it's meant to be sarcastic.
posted by octothorpe at 9:58 AM on December 2, 2004


. . . an article written this week about a new book about the Picasso painting . . .
posted by LeLiLo at 10:03 AM on December 2, 2004


When we start literally executing Iraqis, let me know.

I guess you missed this:



(speaking of enduring images...)
posted by dinsdale at 10:03 AM on December 2, 2004


It seems to me that the military justifications are pretty clear cut.

You might wanna read "Catch-22." Military logic can make sense on a tactical level, while fostering a situation that is deeply absurd in the big picture.

And the worst kind of pomposity is the kind that glosses over people getting turned into hamburger.
posted by inksyndicate at 10:10 AM on December 2, 2004


Seeing as the main post is about that famous image, and others are referring toit, and it isn't the hosting you object to, what exactly are you bothered by? All images? Just those by 3BM? War images? Picasso? Help us out here.

OK, lemme help you out.

Here is a link to a full-size image of Guernica. It took all of 3 seconds to find it. It's big, which means you can appreciate the detail. It's uncropped, which means you can actually SEE the whole damned thing. Far more "enduring" than the inline image, dontchathink?

But more importantly, 3blind has been posting quite a few inline images recently.

There are several reasons why inline images are a bad thing. Let me help you out by making a list.The odd-image here and there is generally accepted because, hell, sometimes they're funny, or timely, or astute, or clever.

Knowing when it's a good time to inline an image is a good exercise in Use Your Fucking Head. It's called etiquitte, you fucking heathen. To quote the All Knowing, All Seeing one:

"I hate to be the angry parent, but seriously, for the benefit of all, if people continue to abuse the privilege of posting inline images, if they keep posting stupid images that aren't funny and take up tons of screenspace and user bandwidth, the image tag is going away completely for everyone."
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:40 AM on December 2, 2004


We must burn Fallujah in order to save it.
posted by NewBornHippy at 11:22 AM on December 2, 2004


Not to butt in here, but I've been following Riverbend for a while. Iraqi Blog Count is a great source I'm sure has been posted here before. I've seen some debate about Riverbend's agenda, if any; she even inspired somebody to start a counter-blog called Cry-me-a-Riverbend for a while.
I think the reaction to her writing comes from shock that someone so articulate and insightful could despise us Americans and what we're doing there.
posted by atchafalaya at 11:43 AM on December 2, 2004


Take your ridiculous little irritation to MetaTalk and pick at it, C_D.
posted by velacroix at 12:03 PM on December 2, 2004


Yes, because one freaked out marine who had been shot in the face a few hours earlier less than a day after a booby-trapped corpse had killed some other marines shooting one guy counts as "executing Iraqis". Or, you know, not. But since we're having some difficulty here, let me help you out. When we line up 1,000, or 500, or 100, or 1 Iraqi, put them in front of a pre-dug grave, and shoot them in the back of the head for the stated reason that they are Iraqis (or Arabs or Muslims or whatever), then I'll agree that we're on the road to genocide.

I can't even believe this discussion is happening.

"And the worst kind of pomposity is the kind that glosses over people getting turned into hamburger."

Good thing I don't do that then, huh? Good thing I'm more concerned with the actual situation in Iraq and the actual causes of the violence, rather than wholesale invention of genocide?

atchafalaya - to repeat myself, no, it comes from people comparing an occupation to genocide. "Hey, this person disagrees with this, it must be because they're insulted." Come on. Do you really think that if there were no insurgency, death would be such a constant companion in Iraq? If this were really genocide, if we were really like the Nazis, the presence or absence of the insurgency wouldn't make a difference. If you honestly htink it doesn't, well, whatever, I feel no need to bother talking with you.
posted by kavasa at 12:27 PM on December 2, 2004


Take your ridiculous little irritation to MetaTalk.

No, thank you.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:28 PM on December 2, 2004


kavasa: What will it take for you to accept that in Iraq, America are the "bad guys"? This is one incident that was captured on film by a journalist. Who knows what other atrocities have occurred?
posted by salmacis at 1:17 PM on December 2, 2004


I think the reaction to her writing comes from shock that someone so articulate and insightful could despise us Americans and what we're doing there.

Huh? Why would being articulate negate her right to reporting things as she see's them? I'm American and I am also deeply troubled with what's happening on the ground in Iraq. The fact that our government seems to be in denial that they've created a monster doesn't help. While I realize others (Arab media) are quick to find any excuse to criticize, I think Riverbend's opinions are valid, since she's living in the land the U.S. has "liberated" and it's still like living in hell. I've previously posted this excerpt from her Nov. 16 entry, called American Heroes... on another thread, but I think it bears repeating:

"It's typical American technique- every single atrocity is lost and covered up by blaming a specific person and getting it over with. What people don't understand is that the whole military is infested with these psychopaths. In this last year we've seen murderers, torturers and xenophobes running around in tanks and guns. I don't care what does it: I don't care if it's the tension, the fear, the 'enemy'… it's murder. We are occupied by murderers. We're under the same pressure, as Iraqis, except that we weren't trained for this situation, and yet we're all expected to be benevolent and understanding and, above all, grateful."

I'm guessing that in many, many, Iraqi eyes, the sight of an American soldier conjurs up images of an Imperial stormtrooper from Star Wars. I really think that, whether consciously or not, the training of our soldiers results in projecting this attitude, and it is leading to a mindset that easily justifies atrocities. Someone at the top should be prosecuted for this, or I am afraid the U.S. will become a pariah state.
posted by Doohickie at 1:17 PM on December 2, 2004


I wonder if Riverbend knows she's famous?
posted by Doohickie at 1:19 PM on December 2, 2004


kavasa, assuming your position is anything besides simply avoiding the question, I find it strange that you sincerely believe your demands will ever be met. Only the religiously-dense could not agree that there is at least Something Askew(tm) with this whole Iraq situation. If you even do the slightest bit of reading on smaller situations, for example:

* prison torture
* taking of prisoners not accused of any wrongdoing
* helicopters firing on a crowd of civilians around a burned vehicle
* video of civilians bombed from the air
* video of 30mm bullets (get a ruler out to really understand this) annhililating people, against international law
* "losing" stockpiles of explosives after sweeping through the area, unlocking the doors, and leaving it unguarded
* sending convoys on suicide missions with bad fuel
* rolling over peoples' cars with tanks as punishment for looting
* practically stifling all funding of mosques in the u.s. by freezing funds of suspected "trouble" mosques
* sending 18-year olds off in tanks with orders no more specific than "stop the looting"
* seizing able-bodied men for questioning after asking people to vacate fallujah, then bombing the shit out of the city knowing you scared plenty of people into staying
* cutting off civilian water as a military "tactic"

I could go on. Really. All of these topics are covered in the news, and you can easily find other information. It's much easier if you follow along daily, though.

I genuinely don't understand your position. I can't imagine saying to myself "well, as long as nobody rapes my whole family, I'm not going to complain about the "little stuff", you know?"

It just, doesn't make sense. I suppose since it's such a foreign place, it's much easier to justify, but, ... come on. You have to be joking. He's joking, right? Right everybody? I'm new here, tell me he's joking.
posted by odinsdream at 1:30 PM on December 2, 2004


Knowing when it's a good time to inline an image is a good exercise in Use Your Fucking Head. It's called etiquitte, you fucking heathen.

civil_disobedient, why don't you save us the bandwidth of downloading your profanity, or at least place those adjectives next to something clever.

metafiler is supposed to be "the best of the web." it seems to me that linking to images on the web is more in line with that spirit than banal personal opinions about another's manner of expression.

oh, and kavasa, what civil_disobedient said - minus the nouns, verbs, and prepositions.
posted by three blind mice at 2:15 PM on December 2, 2004


you fucking heathen

Is that aimed at me?

Yeah, we're done. What a berk.
posted by dash_slot- at 2:42 PM on December 2, 2004


I can't even believe this discussion is happening.

Welcome to MetaFilter.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 2:49 PM on December 2, 2004


"kavasa: What will it take for you to accept that in Iraq, America are the "bad guys"? This is one incident that was captured on film by a journalist. Who knows what other atrocities have occurred?"

Ok so allow me to make another distinction for you, keeping in mind that I don't necessarily accept your statement:
There is a gigantically huge difference between "being the bad guys" and "committing genocide". Let me quote the OP here:

"Darfur, Americans? Take a look at what you've done in Fallujah."

See, this fails to make the crucial distinction between "executing people because of who they are" and "lots of people dying because the destabilization of a government has resulted in an incredibly violent situation all over the country." I still don't get why that's a controversial distinction. Every other thread someone rags on the Administration for over-simplifying the situation, but when someone suggests that the situation in Iraq is analogous to the situation in Darfur or even Nazi-occupied Germany, everyone goes "hey, totally."

Ok, now, are we the bad guys?

Well, that depends on where you want to stop the causal buck. Again, it is clear to me that if there was no insurgency, Iraq would be a substantially better and safer place to live today than it was in 2002. The reason the Lancet found that huge increase in probability of death was because there are bombs and gunbattles all over the country on a daily basis. I have no idea what the split in civillian casualties is, it seems plausible to me that the insurgents have been directly responsible for a greater number of civillian deaths than the coalition forces. It also seems plausible to me that the opposite is true. So it's a non-point, the only thing we can say for sure is that the fighting between coalition forces and insurgent forces has resulted in a lot of people dying.

If you just stop there, then ok, I would submit that the insurgents are the bad guys.

Of course, the States didn't have to invade. So if you want to, you can put most of the responsibility on our shoulders, and alright, I can see that. I'm not willing to make a definitive judgement about it for another, oh, five to ten years. Trying to imagine what the world would have been with a sanctions-free Saddam vs. blind speculation over what it will be after that five to ten years doesn't strike me as productive.

Basically, I'm pragmatic. Regardless of how it all shakes out, well, we're there now. I think handing over Iraq to a hardline Islamic ecclesiocracy would be bad in all kinds of ways, for Iraq, for the ME, and for the West. We had to take Falluja back, sooner rather than later. This puts me in the apparently curious position of not especially having a Bad Guy, although I'm more inclined to side with the people that don't kidnap civillians and behead them. Please resist the urge to go BUT BUT WE'VE KILLED CIVILLIANS TOO. Yes, I know. Both sides have a long list of civillians they have killed. I am merely saying that I am more likely to side with the people that don't cut heads off with knives. If this makes me a monster, well, so be it.

Something Askew? Sure, christ, yes, obviously, thanks. Genocide? No. Obviously not. That is all I'm saying here. The occupation of Iraq isnot genocide. That's it. The sum and total of my position in this thread.

S@L: yeah, well. You've taken up your share ofviews I would consider pretty silly too, so don't cheer too hard for me. ;)
posted by kavasa at 3:16 PM on December 2, 2004


three blind mice, if even 10% of the posters used inline images as frequently as you have, this site would become unusable. It would begin to resemble the multitude of craptacular forums with animated gifs for signatures and little smiley/frowny faces that display your mood at this very moment. In short, MeFi would no longer have any hope of reaching that "best of the web" goal that you claim to hold dear.

So yeah, knock that shit off. Or mathowie will take away inline images and none of us will ever be able to use them again. And then we'll all have to kick your ass, because we'll never again bear witness to moments of genius like this.

Oh, and, uh, war sucks and stuff.
posted by Galvatron at 3:17 PM on December 2, 2004


One does not need to equate Bush with Hitler to see the parallels with Nazi (and I'd venture to say standard colonial) occupation methods, especially concerning reprisals, and making and example of those who resist (which is what Fallujah was about after a certain point). Note that it doesn't matter if some of the insurgents in Fallujah are the worse lunatics in the universe (and some certainly came close to the description), being willing to kill anyone that stands in your way to get them is Nazi-like tactics. I admit to have made the comparison elsewhere, adding about the extent of American war crimes in the city the following points which I believe are rather accurate:
Around the world, a war crime, is seen as a war crime. Letting people die of thirst [pdf file], is considered a war crime, executing families fleeing from the city, is a war crime. Blocking access to Red Crescent aid is, again, a war crime.
However I have since found a better analogy for what happenned in Fallujah: the destruction of Grozny.

As for the Napalm: why the skepticism? it's not as if the US army hasn't admitted to using it in Iraq previously...
posted by talos at 3:18 PM on December 2, 2004


The attempt to draw Nazi analogies isn't helpful. Falluja is not Lidice.
posted by me & my monkey at 3:57 PM on December 2, 2004


Gee, guys, I didn't really mean to stir the pot. Just what I thought was an innocent observation.
posted by atchafalaya at 3:59 PM on December 2, 2004


it seems to me that linking to images on the web is more in line with that spirit than banal personal opinions about another's manner of expression.

A baby fetus foot, a picture of a baseball player, and a crop of a readily Google-able image is not what inline images are for. If you are having trouble understanding this, perhaps you should take a little time out of your life to click on the link that both I and Galvatron have linked to.

In case you're just too damned lazy to click it, just GAZE YOUR EYES DOWNWARD...

"Now, in the past there have been one or two posts a week with images in them, and recently it's approached a sort of critical mass, and I'm seeing them several times a week. Someone just asked me how to code an image tag. If things continue, six months from now there will be no image posting allowed, simply due to the people "not doing it correctly" or doing it too often or not showing restraint (I've maybe posted 2-3 ever). It's hard to convey what expected behavior new users should follow, without some hard and fast rules."

Get it through that calcified barnacle on top of your shoulders, these aren't just my "banal personal opinions", they are the banal personal opinions of the person who is letting you use this site.

Is that aimed at me?

No, the venom was directed at the n00b. You stepped into the crossfire.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:15 PM on December 2, 2004


Now: [might need registration] Already, U.S. civil affairs teams have begun making condolence payments to residents who were wounded or whose houses were destroyed in the attack, up to a maximum of $2,500 a person. The interim Iraqi government has also promised $100 to each returning family

To prevent looting, the head of every household will be asked to wear an identification badge.

It truly boggles the mind that the US will purchase compliance and probably get its way, rewriting history to show how our unimaginable fixation on money can distort and corrupt pretty much anything and everything on this planet Earth. God, i.d badges? To prevent property theft -- they just blew up the entire city.

The thing I'm most reminded of by Fallujah, talos, is the story of the US and Native Americans. Bringing civilization to the malcontents and then belatedly recognizing in them their beautiful culture, after its been wiped out... and I find it distressing and telling that the weapons used to bomb Fallujah are called: Apache, Black Hawk, tomahawk. Someday we can look forward to the Super Sunni cluster munition, no, as we look longingly back at the beautiful tribes, religions, artifacts and way of life we've wiped from the face of the earth?
posted by faux ami at 4:29 PM on December 2, 2004


Metafilter: Use Your Fucking Head

I think the reaction to her writing comes from shock that someone so articulate and insightful could despise us Americans and what we're doing there.

um...maybe, just maybe, this could be because she is experiencing it first-hand and not (only) filtered through political rhetoric or media? who knows? perhaps a majority of Iraqis feel pretty much the same as she does...?
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:29 PM on December 2, 2004


I wonder what kavasa would think if the situation were reversed, had Iraq invaded the US and was perpetrating these war crimes on his/her family and neighbors?

I'm inclined to think kavasa's opinions would much less generous than Riverbend's.
posted by nofundy at 4:46 PM on December 2, 2004


It's difficult to believe that in this day and age, when people are blogging, emailing and communicating at the speed of light, a whole city is being destroyed and genocide is being committed...and somebody is getting uptight about the use of inline images...or was that just some clever guerilla point about how very little some of us really care?
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:55 PM on December 2, 2004


You know m&mm, reprisal actions are reprisal actions and the civilian dead are just as dead. Indeed if I'm not mistaken, the Nazis never attempted to "pacify" any town as large as Fallujah. The truly horrendous massacres were against villages and small towns (tactics might have something to do with it - without air cover any army going into a large town defended by guerillas would likely be slaughtered). I have explicitly drawn a parallel to Lidice (and Distomo) elsewhere, and I think people at the receiving end of imperial force might see the (admittedly imperfect) analogies clearer.

Again - Bush is no Hitler and the Nazis set standards of cruelty that I think the Americans, or anyone else for that matter, cannot surpass (though the Russians seem to be trying very hard in Chechnya - who knows! after a few years things tend to get even more vicious), but occupying forces tend to gravitate to similar patterns of atrocity (due to the nature of their "job").

faux ami: note that native Americans were attacking civilians too - settlers.... which brings up a different analogy which I won't get into.
posted by talos at 5:29 PM on December 2, 2004


Kavasa, Not all facisim looks like nazis... (This post HAS been pre-Godwined.. right?)

As for all the "we have to burn it to save it", there has to be a time when you put down the flame throwers...

Maybe there are exceptional times when you HAVE to burn the township to the ground to "Save It".

But it's hard to build a new house with a flame thrower.
If that's your only tool of choice, all you'll get is scortched earth.

If we really are there to "Help the Iraqi's build a Grand New Democracy (or equivelently sanctioned government style)" then there will have to be a time when the ACTUAL PEOPLE of Iraq are against this "Insurgency"

The sheep herders and rug makers, and bio-tech surgical instrument workers (or are they all in Turkey?), and candlemaker will all "see the light" and fight for the American Cause...

Cause if not, it seems our only goal is having tham all lined up in plastic bags, six feet under the surface. (but not low enough to dilute the O.I.L.)......

By that I mean declare that all of Iraq's oil is hereby valued in U.S. Dollars!! This is both a crutch for the USDollar and a crutch for the US Dollar.

As well as the **Perfect** staging area to do little "shoot off" attacks when necessary to the surrounding region...
Like a "Leapfrog" effect...

Especially if we "conscript" Iraqi's (those converted) into foreign legion status to fight our wars by proxy...

Ahh... Smell the Future! The flying cars are all virtual, but the aroma is AMAZING!!
posted by Balisong at 5:33 PM on December 2, 2004


Well, that depends on where you want to stop the causal buck.

Well, in Truman's day, we knew exactly where the buck stopped.
posted by Doohickie at 6:18 PM on December 2, 2004


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