Thursday, May 11, 2006

Life, and Death, in Baghdad

Nearly 1,100 people have been "executed" in Baghdad in the last month. (I put executed in quotation marks because these are killings outside the legal system. They are most like what we would call a mob hit in the US.)

Most of the dead were handcuffed or tied up with a gunshot to the head.

Many show signs of torture.

Some have been beheaded.

Bodies are dumped all over the city.

How could the US not have anticipated this? After the fall of the Soviet Union and puppet regimes in Eastern Europe, this sort of sectarian/ethnic violence was rampant. It took years to bring it to a halt in the Balkans. Similarly, we have seen such violence as a result of the breakdown of regimes in Africa. With repressive regimes gone, ethnic and religous power struggles began.

Saddam kept his country together with terror. Absent Saddam, the US should have anticipated the violence that has occurred. The US government should have, once the decision was made to go to war, put enough troops on the ground to provide security for the country, using the experience of US and UN troops in the Balkans as a model. Surely someone in the State Dept. or DOD or CIA keeps track of at least our most recent history.

As I've said before, this sort of incompetence is immoral.


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