September 25, 2003


Fallujah: A multilayered picture emerges (Pepe Escobar, 9/26/03, Asia Times)

This is the heart of the Iraqi resistance. Fallujah, with a population of almost 500,000 people, traditionally "the city of mosques", is now called "the city of heroes" as it is at the core of the Sunni triangle (Baghdad-Ramadi-Tikrit) where most of the resistance to the US occupation is taking place. [...]

For starters, the citizens of Fallujah don't agree with the usual statistics according to which the Shi'ites make 62 percent of the Iraqi population. After a careful tabulation of the population in the main Iraqi cities, they insist more realistic figures would be 6 million Kurds, 8 million Shi'ites and 8.7 million Sunnis: this would prove their point that Sunnis are woefully under-represented in the Governing Council. [...]

The citizens of Fallujah are adamant: the resistance is composed of members of families angry with or victims of violent American behavior, as well as former army soldiers and officers. They swear that they have not seen any Arab fedayeen (fighters) - and definitely no al-Qaeda. And there are no Ba'ath Party members in this indigenous resistance: "They are bad people. They have money. If you had money, would you risk your life resisting?" They insist that "the main reason for resisting is loyalty to your own country". [...]

Convincing tools for the young and the restless are multiple: defense of tribal values, defense of the motherland, and most of all defense against the "bad behavior" of the Americans. The mujahideen can count on total popular complicity. When al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya - the nemesis of the Governing Council - show images of American casualties, not only in Fallujah but also in Baghdad, people stop talking and their faces lighten up. The running commentary is inevitable: "We thanked them for our freedom, but they should have left long ago." At least in Fallujah, as far as the American occupation is concerned, the battle for hearts and minds is irretrievably lost.

One would wish this to be true, but considering the source it likely isn't. If there were a generalized Sunni resistance throughout Fallujah then we could simply treat them all as the enemy and kill them, making the task of running the country far easier.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 25, 2003 10:43 AM

"[W]e could simply treat then all as the enemy and kill them." Funny how you can tell Christians by their love.

(And this from someone who compared the evil of 9/11 to Sauron.)

Posted by: Peter Caress at September 25, 2003 4:47 PM

Sell it in Nagasaki.

Posted by: oj at September 25, 2003 7:56 PM

Yes! Dropping the atom bomb on Nagasaki is the preeminent example of what Michael Walzer called "war terrorism," the deliberate killing of noncombatants in such large numbers as to compel a surrender. Like other forms of terrorism, it's immoral and un-Christian.

Sanctions on Iraq probably increased the Iraqi infant mortality rate -- one of Osama's greviances against the Unites States. The increase was mostly Saddam's fault, but if America were even a little bit complicit in inflicting the hardship, why would 9/11 be so evil if targeting civilians is sometimes A-OK? Even a slight increase in infant mortality would mean far more corpses than what we got on 9/11. If it's acceptable to massacre a city that harbors a troublesome "generalized Sunni resistance", then massacring Americans to end sanctions that are killing thousands is also acceptable.

Posted by: Peter Caress at September 25, 2003 10:51 PM

Agreed. Let's get it on.

Posted by: oj at September 25, 2003 10:57 PM

Hmm. A Caress wouldn't have made the Japanese stop fighting in '45.

Posted by: Twn at September 26, 2003 12:33 AM