Saturday, November 20, 2004
The video of the soldier shooting is proof, we are told, of America’s evil. And the kidnapping, torture and murder of Mrs. Hassan is then proof of what?...
All tactics of the insurgents are excused. Hide among civilians. Justified. Wear civilian clothes. Justified. Shoot from a mosque. Justified. Feign death to draw soldiers in (the way one Marine died the day before the incident). Justified. Wave a white flag as a ploy. Justified. Booby-trap dead bodies. Justified. That’s just Fallujah.
Moving outward — Deliberately killing Iraqi civilians daily. Justified. Bombing churches. Justified. Bombing cafes. Justified. Using schools and mosques as arsenals. Justified. Attacking the police. Just fine.
The rules of war don’t apply to the insurgents, only the Americans. And if one horrible act occurs at the hands of one American soldier, the world howls.
The Western press does not hold Arab fighters to the same standards as American soldiers because, in its heart, it has contempt for Arabs. If it respected them it would expect that they observe some rules of war, even in asymmetric combat. The Arab press does not hold Arab soldiers to the same standards as Americans because it is a tool of, or at least beholden to, Arab dictators and clerics who are terrified of even merely plausible elections in Iraq. It is as simple as this.