Towards A Good Samaritan World

Monday, November 27, 2006


A chilling, heart-breaking post from Iraq the Model:

Some news were really bad though, my uncle called on Friday to tell me that he and his family of eight were being forced to leave their neighborhood.

My Sunni uncle, his Shia wife and their children were told to leave because the head of the household is Sunni. His voice was filled with pain as he talked to me, I asked him who made the threat and he said ten cars filled with armed men came to our street shooting their guns in the air and announcing through a loudspeaker that all Sunni people must leave within 24 hours, then they went to the mosque and murdered the preacher's son.

The locals didn't like this of course since it was the first time they witness this level of violence and tension according to my uncle. Later that day the Shia in my uncle's neighborhood sent a delegation to the local Sadr office demanding the displacement order be cancelled. The guy in the office turned them down telling them these were "orders from above…we will kick them out the same way they kick the Shia out in other areas. They shall remain refugees until Shia refugees return to their homes."

Sending more US troops to Iraq may or may not help. Ask the American field commanders. Better yet, ask the Iraqis themselves, through a referendum-- though it would be difficult to arrange this in the near term. (Would Sadr accept a challenge to fight the US through ballots instead of bullets, I wonder?)

In any case, if more troops would help, we should send them. To stop the killing should be our #1 priority.

UPDATE: I wonder, does Sadr have enough blood on his hands at this point to be put on trial at the Hague? Genocide is against international law. Sadr seems to be well on his way to Milosevic's circle of hell. Is this an argument the Bush administration knows how to make?

UPDATE: Zeyad's latest post about the violence in Baghdad is even more effective, and more chilling, than Iraq the Model's. It reminds me of George Orwell's description of Barcelona at the height of the Spanish Civil War. My "stop the killing" plea would miss the point, for a lot of the people whose messages (from online message boards) Zeyad quotes; they don't want a ceasefire, they want to fight and win. Some of them are killers and deserve to die. But there are so many innocent people caught in the middle.

The US Civil War and World War II were both much bloodier than Iraq has been, yet people don't typically say that they weren't worth fighting because of that. The case could be made that if the end-result is a strong, durable constitutional state, it's worth a lot of bloodshed to bring that about. I don't want to make that case right now, I'm too sick at heart.


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