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  • Rising violence in Iraq


    by Sunny
    5th January, 2006 at 10:47 pm    

    Today was the deadliest day of attacks by terrorists in Iraq, with about 120 people killed by two bombs - one near a Shia shrine in Karbala and the other at a police recruitment centre. Clearly, the last thing these people want is for Iraq to get back on its feet and take control of its own destiny.


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    1. Opinionated Voice

      [...] I’d say thats a bit premature as yesterdays suffering and death is hardly evidence of a victory! «« Previous: The Cannabis Debate Comments » [...]




    1. jamal — on 5th January, 2006 at 11:52 pm  

      This was disgusting. A terrible day for Iraq and humanity. Added to any deaths caused by the military, im sure the number further increases.

    2. leon — on 6th January, 2006 at 10:12 am  

      “Clearly, the last thing these people want is for Iraq to get back on its feet and take control of its own destiny.”

      It’s the last thing the US wants either…

    3. El Cid — on 6th January, 2006 at 12:12 pm  

      I hear what you’re saying Leon but the tactics of some of these “insurgents” are beyond contempt.
      Such atrocities aren’t the will of the Iraqi people.
      So surely, having already failed to halt the U.S. from pursuing an extremist Republican agenda, there comes a time when we should give the democratically elected Iraq government our moral support, rather than write it off as a U.S. puppet.
      What’s more important — holding the U.S. government to account or promoting the interests of the Iraqi

    4. El Cid — on 6th January, 2006 at 12:12 pm  

      …people?

    5. PapaHomer — on 6th January, 2006 at 1:21 pm  

      “Added to any deaths caused by the military, im sure the number further increases.”

      Could you explain why you felt the need to add that Jamal you sad, sad person?

    6. leon — on 6th January, 2006 at 1:56 pm  

      “I hear what you’re saying Leon but the tactics of some of these “insurgents” are beyond contempt.”

      I hear what you’re saying El Cid but the tactics of some of the US/US military are beyond contempt.

      I don’t think one excuses the other btw. I think the actions of both are disgusting and inhuman but the fact of the matter is one is a superpower and another a rag tag group of terrorists. Power deserves more harshness in terms of critisism.

    7. Siddharth — on 6th January, 2006 at 2:08 pm  

      Its called a power vacuum or alternatively, utter mayhem and chaos.

      But hey, at least those Iraqis have “Freedom” to enjoy it. Say “Thank You” to Pro-war Johnny.

    8. El Cid — on 7th January, 2006 at 1:55 pm  

      It’s called a power vacuum or alternatively, utter mayhem and chaos.

      Is it? I mean, is it really? How do we know?
      Or are we believing what we want to believe?
      Are we also believing what these “spectaculars” — to coin an IRA term — are designed to make us believe?

      I’m just being devil’s advocate here.

    9. Siddhartha — on 7th January, 2006 at 2:00 pm  

      Whats your point?

    10. El Cid — on 7th January, 2006 at 2:29 pm  

      My point is that millions of Iraqis participated in an election and that the situation is not irretrievable. One can think (hope) this and still think Bush is a cunt.

    11. Siddhartha — on 7th January, 2006 at 2:41 pm  

      Thats your point?

      At the very least I you would address the role of the biggest deployment of US military outside of the USA (and thats a multi-billion operation in its own right) in stemming these acts of terrorism.

      Instead you want us all to heap hope on hope that this situation is “irretriveable” without losing the right to be anti-Bush?

      Pass the barf bag.

    12. Siddhartha — on 7th January, 2006 at 2:49 pm  

      oops-ah!

      that should read:
      Instead you want us all to heap hope on hope that this situation is not “irretriveable” without losing the right to be anti-Bush?

    13. Siddhartha — on 7th January, 2006 at 3:08 pm  

      My point is that the the biggest deployment of US military outside of the USA are not in charge of the situation. And they never have been. There was no victory in this war because, if anything, the war is still in full swing. With or without the gesture of a democratically-held election.

    14. El Cid — on 7th January, 2006 at 3:13 pm  

      pass the barf bag
      My post makes you sick? Blimey.
      That’s what happens when you try to be diplomatic.
      I can tell you are angry, young and probably a good drinking buddy Sid, but for what it’s worth — if you can put up with the nausea — I don’t see the point in always qualifying condemnation of indiscriminate bombings of civilians by referring to the ‘other side’. I think it devalues an otherwise credible point of view. There’s a time and a place. But that’s just me.
      As you know I’m not a PapaHomer.
      I usually find that a bit milk of magnesia works.
      (*flinches in anticipation of witty and aggressive riposte*)

    15. El Cid — on 7th January, 2006 at 3:16 pm  

      well, regarding post #14 I agree with you totally, and would add that through sheer stupidity, poor intelligence and crass arrogance the U.S. didn’t give enough attention to the aftermath of the initial war. But that’s obvious to most people.

    16. Ilyas — on 7th January, 2006 at 4:29 pm  

      Argument’s for the Iraq War was wrong.

      You guy’s I been writing this post for awhile, so… I don’t want to get all (big, whatever) about this post but it’s like one of my bigger post’s that conserns me. I hope it contribute’s to the whole push we’re doing to get peace and social justice.

      I don’t know if anyone’s dealt with this before in the blogsphere except me. It’s the reasons for argument the Iraq war was wrong. We GOT to do more about this folk’s to get out reason’s why it’s wrong. How’s anyone going to stop just beleiving the media (patriotic, revenge, the Other, ect)

      We’ve come along way’s up to this point, but poeple need to know how there argument’s for the Iraq being wrong. That’s mabye totaly different to you if you’ve never thought about it before: argument’s why it was wrong when Bush did the Iraq War.

      1. First off, is corporation’s. How there at the wheel, the car is are whole foreign polecy (war’s or not war do peace, how we’re dealing with other country’s, ect.) We did that in poli sci in the unit on there phlosophy’s and that was where it was Marx saying it’s all corporation’s (One this is it doesn’t mean your a communist but just your “nuance” enough to see Marx was spot on in certain area’s like are foreign polecy.

      2. Than there’s war vs. peace. How anyone can just choose war instead of peace. (Exept if your attacked by rell bad guy’s. But basicly not haveing war’s. I don’t recignize my country if we’re just going to have war’s. (Like George Washington, Jefferson, ect., do you relly think they would of been into the Bushies).

      3. Mendacious and ham fisted. Bush and them lied about WMD (mendacious) and just went in (ham fisted). With no concern AT ALL for the Iraq’s poeple. Just kill them all and let god sort them out. Plus running torture camp’s.

      4. It actually went against are effort’s to protect us from Al Queda. Not for. We should of more hung back and worked with are allies “with whom we have long histories”. Instead we’re jsut making them into terrists!! We make them mad, and than they sign up to be terrists more, and that’s leave us behind where we were, not ahead.

      Sometimes I just got to ask what are they diong (Bush and them).

      What. Are. They. Doing.

      These are the four reasons for proveing the Iraq War Was Wrong (there’s more). You can argue it back and , six ways to Sunday, but “the fact of the matter is” it was wrong when Bush did the Iraq War.

      It was wrong. When Bush did the Iraq war.

      Is basicly the bottom line (what your argueing for). Now it’s time to start “making the case”. You can’t just , because than they won’t know. How sould they know if all they have is the bias media just telling them this and this and this, not how all the facts about how it was a wrong war (that’ how they media make’s everyone beleive it and go with the government say’s not thinking on there own. This essay is the root’s (or seeds) to where we can start going there

    17. Siddharth — on 7th January, 2006 at 8:34 pm  

      One witty and aggressive riposte coming up!

      Actually not. I thank you for the compliment El Cid, but I’m thirty something, happily married, with sprog. So not that different from you I’ll bet.

      The only thing that really brings my blood to the boil is this whole war thing. There was the terrorist atrocity in New York in 2001 and there was an Imperial atrocity in Iraq in 2003. They’re not in any way connected, but the large majority of the world’s populace have been led to believe they are and that the cause of the former can be solved by plonking “democracy and freedom” into the latter.

      El Sid

    18. Ilyas — on 7th January, 2006 at 10:03 pm  

      Totally argee Sidharth 100%

      Starting a war aginst Saddam was a big waste of time and money. Does anyone really believe they will have a democracy in 20 years. Wishful thinking. George (“I know that”) Bush’s presidency was a failure because Osama Bin Laden is still a free man. Simple as that. The real terrorist is alive and well while we bomb the fuck out of Iraq.

      At least you don’t have to worry about getting blown up on your way to Starbucks or your favorite local burger joint. Oh yeah, that’s the terrorist fault too. Right, we’re the “good guys” and they are the “bad guys”. If only it was so simple

    19. El Cid — on 8th January, 2006 at 1:32 pm  

      One question, just so we all know where people are coming from:
      What are people’s positions on the war in Afghanistan, bombing of Serbia re Kosovo, war in Bosnia, Rwanda, and Gulf War I — pro intervention, against, ambivalent?

    20. Arif — on 8th January, 2006 at 1:46 pm  

      Afghanistan - Against, non-violent options for extradition were not tried, violence should not be a first resort.
      Kosova - Against, at the time it was done for the reason of “maintaining Nato’s credibility” and precipitated ethnic cleansing. Ibrahim Rugova had been frozen out of the negotiations, and his party’s opinions shoud have had far more weight in determining the terms of any intervention.
      Bosnia - I don’t know how you would categorise my opinion, I think that the UN troops there should have been far better prepared to protect people in the “safe areas”.
      Rwanda - In favour, genocide was underway. Intervention to stop genocide rather than regime change or control of resources would be a humanitarian precedent.
      Gulf War I - against, there were a number of peace agreements made which included withdrawal in return for a peace conference. I did support the UN resolutions and the threat of intervention, but in the end the intervention was unnecessary in the sense that there were peaceful solutions available.

      What are your positions, El Cid?

    21. El Cid — on 8th January, 2006 at 1:59 pm  

      Pro Afghanistan — overriding self-interest argument.
      Pro-Kosovo, because we were too slow in Bosnia
      Obviously pro Rwanda, but hindsight is a wonderful thing and I suspect you would have been against at the time if we had intervened. In any case, the French and Belgians should have led the way.
      Gulf War I — pro. International law clearly violated.

      I’ll resist the temptation to criticise your views.

    22. Percy — on 8th January, 2006 at 2:18 pm  

      Arif, you are a man after my heart. Moreover, I think because there were no WMD’s? its Time to Free Saddam!

      So many reports have been released concluding that Saddam Hussein never had any Weapons of Mass Destruction, and that Bush made the whole thing up just to steal Iraq’s oil.

      So let’s recap: There are no WMD’s in Iraq. There are no terrorists in Iraq. Even the bogus charge that Saddam gassed the Kurds won’t stick, since everyone knows that Donald Rumsfeld actually gave him the chemicals and the orders to carry it out.

      So if Saddam is innocent of all charges against him, why is Bush still holding him prisoner? Don’t get me wrong - Saddam is a bad guy and all, but the last time I checked there was no law against being a jerk. Since he has committed no crime, the rules of fair play require that Saddam be freed and restored to power immediately.

      Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. The seeds of democracy have already poisoned Iraq and much of the Middle East beyond repair. Saddam’s statues and portraits have all been torn down and defaced by his own people. They’d never take him back now, no matter how happy and secure they were under their beloved Papa.

      So how do we make amends for all the grave injustices we have inflicted upon Saddam Hussein? How do we repay him for the theft of his kingdom and the brutal murder of his two gentle sons?

      I’ll tell you how: We give him Texas.

      As repayment for all the horrible wrongs Bush has done him, Saddam will get the Shrub’s oil rich home state to rule as he pleases. Since he did such a splendid job running Iraq before the U.S. came along and ruined it, Texas’ 17 million residents could look forward to greatly improved living conditions under Saddam Hussein. Texan women would at last enjoy equal rights, and nice, heated cells to be raped in. Saddam’s progressive health care system would provide free battery acid enemas and appendage reduction surgery for low income families. And once Saddam deals justice to the Enron weasels and implements his own clean and efficient energy policy, not a single testicle would ever go without electricity again.

      Of course, Saddam might not want Texas. He may feel that California or the Seattle area would be more receptive to him politically. However, once he runs any disagreeable cowboys through the plastic shredder, he can resettle Texas with fellow Arabs who appreciate his leadership. When the entire state is finally repopulated with America-hating Islamists, democrats will be guaranteed Texas’ 34 electoral votes for generations to come.

    23. El Cid — on 8th January, 2006 at 2:25 pm  

      Gulf War II on the other hand was a misguided cockup and you know it Percy.

    24. Percy — on 8th January, 2006 at 2:32 pm  

      I agree wholeheartedly. It pisses me off that there’s no limit to the depths of depravity the U.S. military will sink in order to kill the enemy while saving their own skins. Remember a few months ago when sadistic U.S. soldiers were spotted burning the bodies of Taliban freedom fighters in a twisted ploy to lure their comrades out of hiding.

      It’s all one big joke to the right-wing chickenhawks, but to the Muslim people the mutilation of the dead is considered a vile form of desecration fit only for civilian contractors and Jews. In accordance with Islamic law, the deceased must be ritually bathed and buried facing Mecca, or they will be reincarnated as 7-ll clerks with hairy foreheads and bad dispositions.

      After the infamous genital-mocking incidents at Abu Ghraib prison, and the rampant Quran-mishandling atrocities at Gitmo, one would think that the U.S. military would be a little more careful not to offend radical muslim clerics and Democrat senators. While human decency requires that we mock and ridicule barbaric Christian traditions like monogamy and pre-marital abstinence, Islam is a rich tapestry of religious customs that must be respected and preserved. It’s not too much to ask that troops take a little time out from their oh-so-busy schedule to sponge-bathe the bodies of those they’ve viciously slaughtered, bury them facing Mecca, and then dance around the sacred yak while a licensed union imam screeches like a wounded hyena through a ceremonial bullhorn. If soldiers would simply educate themselves about the Religion of Peace, then perhaps they’ll come to respect other Muslim traditions as well - such as flying planes into buildings and sawing the heads off infidels.

      It isn’t rocket science, folks.

    25. El Cid — on 8th January, 2006 at 2:42 pm  

      Is the point of your post to highlight double standards on the part of war critics or to say that all criticism of U.S. foreign policy is unjustified and that the U.S. military is doing a great job in difficult conditions and God Bless America, which cannot do any wrong?

    26. Arif — on 8th January, 2006 at 3:07 pm  

      El Cid, you are right in the sense that I have a strong presumption against war. But the positions I gave are all the precise ones I had at the time.

      But I do think that if the ethical reasons given for intervention proved credible to me (were consistently applied, for example) or if the nonviolent opposition groups in the oppressed countries themselves came to change their support/opposition the interventions strongly (with hindsight), then I would change my opinions with hindsight.

    27. El Cid — on 8th January, 2006 at 3:30 pm  

      Arif: Let me know when you have found the local nonviolent opposition to the interventions in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Bosnia, Kuwait. Ditto native nonviolent support for nonintervention in Rwanda.
      Agree with you on the consistency thing but consistency works both ways. We used to have a very imperfect but nonetheless working practice of international law, that offered faint hope that some form of consistency might be achieved over time. But Gulf War II probably shatterred that.

      Percy: Come out of your satirical shell. You never know what you might find.

    28. Arif — on 8th January, 2006 at 3:42 pm  

      El Cid, I guess we move in very different circles - for Afghanistan, Kosova and Bosnia, there were a variety of vocal peace groups, human rights organisations that made statements and appeals. For Kosova in particular I was involved in campaigning with Albanians, but I also worked at refugee camps for Bosnians after war broke out there. This may have given me a skewed view about people’s appetite for war, but there you go.

      Fo Kuwait and Rwanda, such groups weren’t so obvious and I did not actively seek them. Nonetheless, I formed my opinions mostly from what I got from the mass media.

    29. El Cid — on 8th January, 2006 at 3:48 pm  

      Are you telling me that from your experience that Kosovans and Bosnians did not want military intervention on their behalf? Let’s be clear about this

    30. Siddharth — on 8th January, 2006 at 4:53 pm  

      Percy: Is that Political Correctness or an attempt at satire thats constipating you? Come clean, this is Peekled not Melanie’s Place.

    31. Arif — on 8th January, 2006 at 5:05 pm  

      No, El Cid, I didn’t mean to give you that impression.

      I think human rights and peace activists tend to be a minority in most societies. I think even in oppressed communities where the opposition is led by principled advocates of non-violence, such as Burma or Tibet, the majority of people have more pragmatic opinions about the value of war.

      I don’t base my view on wars purely on the views of local opposition groups. But I think that there is a principle of humanitarian intervention. So when humanitarian organisations within the area are calling for armed intervention, then I am more easily swayed to favour them. I am less swayed by organisations which do not care for human rights.

      Kosova was led by a principled advocate of nonviolence. There were years of hard work trying to interest people in the plight of the Albanians, help build up the parallel non-discriminatory structures there and find peaceful solutions. It was galling for all of it to be swept away by a war which the LDK did not seek and created a humanitarian disaster.

      I see a case for humanitarian intervention in many countries right now - Sudan (Darfur), Zimbabwe, Burma, Russia (Chechnya), and so on. But I would want to listen to the points of view of the human rights organisations there about whether this really is the best way to help from their perspectives.

    32. Percy — on 8th January, 2006 at 5:24 pm  

      Siddharth,

      You can call it political correctness, I call it having a conscience. Seems to me you’re insinuating that the tradition of cleaning the body is stupid. What seems stupid to me is burning the bodies. It smells of hiding evidence. Is this routine military practice? Why didn’t the soldiers just leave the bodies for people more versed in the culture to clean? What would U.S. Americans say if the same groups were doing battle on U.S. soil and the Taliban burned the bodies of the soldiers it killed?

    33. Col. Mustafa — on 8th January, 2006 at 5:28 pm  

      “What would U.S. Americans say if the same groups were doing battle on U.S. soil and the Taliban burned the bodies of the soldiers it killed?”

      hehe, if the situation godforbid was ever reversed then the taliban would be killing everyone.
      Forget just soldiers, it would basically be genocide on a huge scale.

    34. Siddharth — on 8th January, 2006 at 5:33 pm  

      What would U.S. Americans say if the same groups were doing battle on U.S. soil and the Taliban burned the bodies of the soldiers it killed?

      They would call it “uncivilised barbarsim”. Except that they used that one on the Taliban and Iraqi “insurgents” and to use it again and on themselves would be to lose advertising revenue on Fox News and CNN.

    35. El Cid — on 8th January, 2006 at 5:41 pm  

      Arif,
      Politics is the art of the possible though and in a war situation it’s difficult to see what presence HR groups might have on the ground. It is also difficult to see how/whether they would arrive at a decision quickly. Remember, for example, that 800,000 Rwandans were killed in the space of just 100 days (according to the BBC).
      The longer you take to respond to an invading army, the greater the potential abuses and the more they can prepare their defences.
      Also, there doesn’t seem to be much political appetite for intervention and the UN’s military resources are minimal. Europe talks big but does little. China keeps schtum, as does Russia. So we are left with the Americans as the only nation willing to take on the role of global policeman. Love em or hate em or love em and hate em, the Americans tend to get things done — whether its for better or for worse is another matter.
      Some inconsistencies are also unavoidable. Military intervention in Tibet and Chechnya just ain’t gonna happen, for obvious reasons.
      I’m rambling on. It’s a huge subject.
      Still, I commend you for your work and see where you are coming from. I assume Sierra Leone fits the bill?

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