Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Have Americans all gone insane?

From Juan Cole's (usually) excellent weblog, on the American assault on Falluja:

"But the basic idea of attacking the guerrillas holding up in that city is not in and of itself criminal or irresponsible. A significant proportion of the absolutely horrible car bombings that have killed hundreds and thousands of innocent Iraqis, especially Shiites, were planned and executed from Fallujah. There were serious and heavily armed forces in Fallujah planning out ways of killing hundreds to prevent elections from being held in January. These are mass murderers, serial murderers. If they were fighting only to defend Fallujah, that would be one thing; even the Marines would respect them for that. They aren't, or at least, a significant proportion of them aren't. They are killing civilians elsewhere in order to throw Iraq into chaos and avoid the enfranchisement of the Kurds and Shiites.

Some of my readers still want good guys and bad guys, white hats and black hats. That's not the way the world is. It is often grey, and very bleak."


Actually, this issue is completely black and white. Falluja is the United States' Warsaw Ghetto, with the exception that the Nazis captured the inhabitants of the Warsaw Ghetto to work them to death, while the Americans, in a different economic situation, simply shoot the inhabitants of Falluja. The hard-core militants who may or may not be involved in the car bombings left Falluja long before the American attack - an attack which was telegraphed for weeks while Bush waited for the election to be over - and all that were left to die were the civilian inhabitants of Falluja defending their families against the new Nazis, and a very tiny group of Islamic fighters hoping to become martyrs. It is surreal that Cole appears to be suggesting that it is acceptable to flatten a city of 300,000 people and kill probably thousands of civilians - we'll never know how many as the Americans have effectively hidden that information - in order to achieve the possible end of removing a few easily replaceable car bombers. What end could possibly justify that means? Any sanction of the United Nations is completely irrelevant, as the United Nations didn't sanction the Americans to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity. You can see the horrible effects of the building of empire when it becomes impossible to distinguish the writing of someone like Cole from the writings of someone like Michael Ledeen or Richard Perle. Have Americans all gone insane?

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