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Worse and Worse

You probably don't need me to point out that the tsunami death toll has risen considerably over the past twenty four hours. I can only assume that it will rise further as more information becomes known and secondary deaths from dislocation, disease, etc. start mounting up. Meanwhile, in Iraq, all sorts of people are getting killed and it seems that the insurgency can hit "soft" targets with ease. The hope here sort of has to be that this sort of large-scale killing of Iraqis will alienate the vast majority of Iraqis and spur different elements in the populations (and different elite segments) to work together. My big fear of the moment continues to be that the elections will cause various "inside the process" elements to start fighting with one another.

December 28, 2004 | Permalink

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Posted by: BoshTang | Dec 28, 2004 2:05:20 PM

Matt:

Typical hatin' liberal. Can't you see all the good things the happening in Iraq and around the Indian Ocean? I suggest your readers look past the "filter" of the mainstream media and liberal bloggers to see all the good things going on: the outpouring of Christian charity due to the earthquake, the elections coming soon to Iraq, 4 more years of our brave war president.

Can we declare war on an earthquake. Or can Doug Feith at least find the link between al Qaeda and the Quake?

Posted by: epistemology | Dec 28, 2004 2:06:50 PM

Chaos reigns supreme in Iraq. This is hardly news anymore. Just hoping some dynamic will surface that will reduce the level of violence is a fool's bet. It is becoming increasingly clear the US will have to eventually leave without achieving its dream of creating a peaceful idyllic democracy in the heart of the Middle East.

Posted by: Paul | Dec 28, 2004 2:11:20 PM

When Shia start killing Shia, or Kurds killing Kurds, or Shia and Kurds start fighting, I will get seriously worried. But the Iraqi Sunni killing and dying should surprise no one, is certain to continue though we hope it doesn't accelerate, and should'nt keep structures and institutions from being developed.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Dec 28, 2004 2:16:51 PM

I've gotten the impression that the Iraqis are blaming us for the violence, not the insurgents.

In much the same way people in -- say -- crime ridden areas blame the local government or the police for failure to address crime.

It's a nasty cycle, innit? The more violent Iraq becomes, the more we're blamed. The more violent our response is -- the more we're blamed. What's really amusing is how obvious this was before we went into Iraq....

Posted by: Morat | Dec 28, 2004 2:17:34 PM

Interesting that MY would refer--not inaccurately--to Iraqi security officers as a soft target.

Posted by: Worried | Dec 28, 2004 4:48:55 PM

That "inside the process" thing is just that, a "shake down cruise" for the Iraqis. After all this election is to pick those who will decide what form of government that the people want and with a little luck it might all work out (I'm crossing my fingers) as it has so far in Afghanistan, not great but better than before.

Regardless of which side of the aisle one stands, anything that gets the Iraqis to democratically work towards freedom means we can leave the sooner.

And that is a good thing.

Posted by: jimcee | Dec 28, 2004 9:08:13 PM

"The hope here sort of has to be that this sort of large-scale killing of Iraqis will alienate the vast majority of Iraqis"

Well, the large-scale killing of Iraqis HAS alienated the vast majority of Iraqis. That's why the so-called "insurgency" (sic) has gotten larger and stronger by the day. It is also why the majority of Iraqis support the resistance, at least tacitly. And it is why the vast majority want the Americans to get out ASAP lock, stock, barrel, helicopter, tank and bomb.

Oh wait - maybe you were referring to the killing of hundreds of Iraqis by the so-called "insurgents" (sic), and not the killing of tens of thousands by the "liberators" (sick).

Posted by: Shirin | Dec 28, 2004 11:39:01 PM

"When Shia start killing Shia, or Kurds killing Kurds, or Shia and Kurds start fighting, I will get seriously worried."

Americans need to get their information about Iraqi history, Iraqi society, and Iraqi politics somewhere different from where the Bush administration and American media "experts" get theirs.

Kurds killing Kurds and Shi`is killing Shi`is is not unheard of. And just what it is about Iraqi Sunnis that makes it so unsurprising (if not perfectly okay) that they are killing and dying I have no idea.

But what will probably really surprise you is to learn that Iraqis of all kinds - Shi`is, Sunnis, Kurds, Arabs, Christians, Turkmen, Yezidis, and yes, even Jews, have historically mostly just lived together in the same country, grown up together, gone to school together, worked together, done business together, belonged to the same tribes, and even gotten married to each other and raised families together without killing each other at all.

Iraq has never had a sectarian or ethnic civil war, or even significant sectarian or ethnic violence. Shocking, I know, but it's true.

Don't believe everything you read or hear from the CNN "experts".

Posted by: Shirin | Dec 28, 2004 11:53:14 PM

"I've gotten the impression that the Iraqis are blaming us for the violence, not the insurgents."

That is probably for the following reasons:

1. The violence, lawlessness, and chaos was initiated by the American forces dropping tens of thousands of bombs on Iraqi cities starting on March 19, 2003.

2. The overwhelming majority of the violence is committed by the American forces.

3. By far the most devastating and deadly violence is committed by the American forces.

4. Before the American forces made their incredibly violent entry into Iraq (aka shock and awe) such things as suicide bombers were unheard of, and car bombingss, truck bombings and bombings by IED's were extremely rare occurances.

"In much the same way people in -- say -- crime ridden areas blame the local government or the police for failure to address crime."

No, this is entirely different. In this case the American forces initiated the violence, created the conditions under which the criminal elements could thrive, and have done a great deal, if not everything imaginable, to ensure that both deadly and destructive violence and crime escalate steadily. Why is it necessary to constantly remind Americans that there would be no one attacking you in Iraq if you had not taken it upon yourselves to violently invade the country?

"It's a nasty cycle, innit? The more violent Iraq becomes, the more we're blamed. The more violent our response is..."

Wait just a minute! Can we have a reality check here? Who started this "nasty cycle" of violence with your bombs and tanks and missiles, and your soldiers breaking down the doors of people's homes, and shooting everything that moves? Who has invaded whose homeland with incredible violence and has insisted upon imposing its will there (the exact words of Paul Bremer - "we will continue to impose our will on this country" quoted in the Washington Post Summer, 2003)?

It's one thing to believe that the world revolves around the U.S. (we all feel to some degree that the world revolves around us), but just how exactly do you get that "you" are the one responding when "you" are so clearly the one who started this mess?

Posted by: Shirin | Dec 29, 2004 12:12:55 AM

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