I'm Glad I Didn't Say That
Last week when I saw those awful pictures of the charred bodies of those four Americans, I became sick, literally. It was so gruesome. You know we Americans are real sensitive to that sort of stuff, especially when it happens to us. By the time the bodies had been reclaimed, I had learned that the men were mercenaries. Over the week-end, the major news organizations showed dozens of clips of these private security guys--hired guns, with their expensive sunglasses, guns on their hips. We learned that these guys have been recruited from the elite corps of all branches of the service. These guys are fierce warriors, and well paid. By Monday, they had names, then faces, then families.
Knowing all of this, it is not likely that these guys were there by accident. They didn't take a wrong turn, they were well armed and en route. They were attacked by rocket propelled grenades and automatic weapons, probably because they were an available target. Death was probably instant. Although we cannot know for sure. We're pretty sure they were already dead when the mob went into action to create their own "Mogadishu" moment. Several reports since then have made much to do of the fact that Iraqis are very cognizant of "Blackhawk Down" and the disturbing images within it.
This ugly sideshow has added much fodder to the campaign of the Wing Nuts on the right who say and do everything in their power to demonize Mulims, Iraqis, and liberals. TV from the beginning kept saying what a "brutal" murder it was. Bloggers on the right and bloggers on the left talked of the "brutal murder." Even Kevin Drum referred to the "brutal murder" of the four Americans. The drum beat on the right had begun, and everyone was using it, even the left. The four Americans were brutally murdered by a mob of subhumans, either Iraqi or muslim or both, for chrissake. We Americans like to whip up a fervor when we go to war. Demonization of the enemy is part of the process of whipping up fervor, and the race card is a strong temptation.
Oh, fucking A, I'm offended and shocked by the gruesome mutilation of bodies. A big difference in my mind though, when it comes to extending sympathy is the fact that the four Americans who suffered such awful indignities to their corpses, chose to be where they were. Our soldiers do not have the luxury of choosing to be there or anywhere else. I am offended when anyone says that the four men were brutally murdered while the five marines were only killed in action. I am offended when anyone says that the four men were brutally murdered and casually dismisses estimates of Iraqi casualties that conservatively are estimated at over 25,000. All death during war is brutal.
When I saw those fools in Falujah celebrating this Pyrrhic victory by descecrating those corpses, I got sick to my stomach. In a moment of prescient vision, I saw them turning on each other with the same viciousness. I saw Sunni against Shiite, Kurd against Turkoman and Sunni. There is a terrible civil war coming to Iraq. Bush and Co. will hang in there until June, regardless of American casualties (none of their kids are there), then declare victory and pull out. Bush's withdrawal from Iraq is going to make Reagan's withdrawal from Beirut look like a pageant. After that, he'll look us right in the eye and say, "We won. Anyone who questions our victory is disrespecting the terrible sacrifice of all those young men and women." The crazy wingnuts will jump for joy and call us sorry losers, traitors, even wingnuts.
Then I snapped out of it. Those visions can be disturbing.