Sunday, April 18, 2004

The effect of Sharon's assassinations on Iraq

Americans have a remarkable moral obtuseness when it comes to the sins committed in their name. The current debate over whether Iraq is Vietnam centers on American casualty rates, with the millions of people who were killed or whose lives were ruined in Vietnam and Cambodia and the hundreds of thousands of people who where killed or whose lives were ruined in Iraq completely irrelevant to most Americans. Americans are concerned about four guns-for-hire killed in a war zone in Iraq - a war zone because the Americans were in the middle of an attack against the city of Falluja - and could care less that they are morally responsible for a massacre of massive proportions which is still going on in that same city. Sharon can continue to get away with his targeted assassinations because the general American racist assumption is that the lives of brown-skinned people are irrelevant to American interests. Here is where it gets interesting. Those four guns-for-hire may very well have been killed and mutilated as a result of Iraqi fury over perceived American involvement in the targeted assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Ismail Yassin. The latest assassination, that of Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi, will cause at least equal outrage in Iraq. Americans are probably going to attack the holy city of Najaf, a move which will cause even greater fury, and will lead to a major battle. Sharon's assassinations are blamed on the Americans, and will directly increase the strength and ferocity of the resistance. Americans couldn't care less about the Palestinians, but will they care that there will certainly be more dead American soldiers in Iraq as a direct consequence of Sharon's actions?

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