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Wed

11

Jul

2007

Vicious circles
Wednesday, 11 July 2007 21:02
by Paul Balles


Coalition forces in Iraq kill 100 "insurgents." Families, friends and acquaintances of the 100 dead insurgents become 200 new insurgents, fighting to avenge the first insurgents' deaths.

More troops join the occupation in "surges" needed to deal with the rebellion. More rebels get killed "out of necessity" to protect the occupation. That produces even more new insurgents.

The leaders of the coalition forces are either too idiotic to recognise that they are responsible for the increasing insurgency or they know it well and have a pathological desire to murder.

Juan Cole, the most visible American Middle East scholar, summarised it in a particularly vivid comment: "The US misadventure in Iraq is responsible (in a little over three years) for setting off the killing of twice as many civilians as Saddam managed to polish off in 25 years."

David Brown, writing for the Washington Post said: "A team of American and Iraqi epidemiologists estimates that 655,000 more people have died in Iraq since coalition forces arrived in March 2003 than would have died if the invasion had not occurred."

Michael Schwartz, writing in Counterpunch, said: "Over half (56 per cent) were due to gunshots, with an eighth due each to car bombs(13pc), air strikes (13pc) and other ordinance (14pc). Only 4pc were due to unknown causes.


"We can be very confident that the Coalition had killed at least 180,000 Iraqis by the middle of 2006. Moreover, we have every reason to believe that the US is responsible for its pro rata share (or more) of the unattributed deaths. That means that the US and its allies may well have killed upwards of 330,000 Iraqis by the middle of 2006."

According to Schwartz, the electronic and print media simply do not tell us that the US is killing all these people. We hear plenty about car bombers and death squads, but little about Americans killing Iraqis, except the occasional terrorist, and the even more occasional atrocity story.

"In the city of Haditha in November 19, 2005," wrote Schwartz, "American marines deliberately murdered 24 civilians including executing - with point blank head shots -19 unarmed women, children and older men in a single room, apparently in retribution for the death of one of their comrades earlier in the day."

First Lt Adam P Mathes, the executive officer of the company involved, argued against issuing an apology to local residents for the incident. Mathes advocated that instead they should issue a warning to Haditha residents, that the incident was "an unfortunate thing that happens when you let terrorists use your house to attack our troops."

Reminiscent of films of WWII Nazi storm troopers, the Germans used the same kind of terrorism to frighten villages and towns into submission to their occupation. The Nazis were more honest about their tactics. They made civilians stand up against a wall and mowed them down in front of the whole village. They even allowed the massacres to be filmed for use in terrorising others.

We hear a great deal about terrorist threats. It's been George W Bush's constant theme song. We never hear or read about state terrorism. Noam Chomsky once wrote: "It's very simple. If they do it, it's terrorism. If we do it, it's counter-terrorism. That's a historical universal."

The coalition forces in Iraq do the same thing with greater stealth, murdering innocent civilians in the dead of night. The only natural response moves the resistance to a larger, more active insurgency.

Dr. Paul Balles has lived and worked in the Middle East for 38 years - first as an English professor (Universities of Kuwait and Bahrain), and for the past eight years as a writer, editor and editorial consultant. He's had more than 250 articles published, focusing on companies, personality profiles, business profiles, women achievers, journalists and the media, the Middle East, American politics, the Internet and the Web, consumer reports, Arabs, diplomats, dining out and travel. I’ve also edited seven websites. His book, Under an Arabian Sky is awaiting publication

Vicious circles of violence do not get quelled by more viciousness. They become more self-perpetuating, more deadly, more widespread, more useless and more idiotic.
 
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