Thursday, June 30, 2005

Ignoring the vast majority of people who have suffered, and continue to suffer, in Iraq

As he (rightly) mourns the death of Marla Ruzicka, yet another reader puts the blame for all the ills in the world (or at least in Iraq) on America's (or Bush's) doorstep ("A humanitarian's death," Letters, International Herald Tribune, April 27). According to James Stewart, George W. Bush is responsible, directly or not, for "a whole new class of collateral damage," the "innocent civilian victims of the Iraqi insurgency".

One would hope that the reader's description of CIVIC as "dedicated to helping innocent Iraqi civilian victims of American military action" is wrong, because if not, the organization would have been ignoring the vast majority of people who have suffered, and continue to suffer, in Iraq.

Indeed, what with the partial and biased coverage in the mainstream media these days, apparently it needs to be reminded that the populations that the so-called "insurgents" have deliberately targeted have been, and continue to be, Iraq's unarmed citizens.

And why wouldn't they deliberately seek to make the most victims among those innocents? Before the war, before the presence of the "occupation" soldiers, these "insurgents" were the very people in power in Baghdad — or their thuggish henchmen — who submitted civilians to torture of a far different kind than that bewailed at Abu Ghraib: amputations, tongue-cuttings, and acid-eaten faces, not to speak of the untold tens of thousands who ended up in Saddam Hussein's mass graves.

There is one word for such people, whether they commit their atrocities while in power in time of "peace" (sic) or while in hiding with a foreign army in the country: their policy is to produce terror, among prisoners and victims as well as their families and the rest of the population, i.e., they are terrorists — pure and simple.

Too many people forget, or minimize, the fact (if they ever knew it) that the Ba'ath party, created in 1944, was consciously modelled on the ruling party in Germany at the time — Hitler's Nazi apparatus. And the leaders of Iraq's Ba'ath party were the people that, in 2003, today's pacifists would have had the international community deal with, hold discussions with "as civilized grown-ups", and come to tactful understandings with.

Indeed, with all the emphasis on how Bush and Blair supposedly lied and misled their publics about Iraq, it would be nice if you devoted more space about how the members of the "peace camp" misled theirs as to the possibilities of coming to an understanding with a psychopathic mass murderer — one with whom those "honest and fair brokers" enjoyed quite a number of unsavory business dealings, and that on the backs of the Iraq's suffering population.

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