Not good.


Nothing that signals a huge turnaround in the situation, but this happened in Iraq yesterday.

I remember a similar event in Israel a few years ago, when a few Israeli soldiers were captured by a Palestinian mob and hacked to death. The two images I remember most from that were one of their bodies being thrown from a second-story window, and a man sticking his head out the window shortly afterwards with his hands raised, to show to the crowd how they were covered in blood. All performed live for the cameras, of course, so CNN could transmit it to the world.

This reminds me of that in that the violence was especially personal. A mob beating soldiers’ bodies, maybe still alive and maybe not, with concrete blocks and their bare hands, is a fairly different sort of event from a rocket hitting a helicopter, mostly in what it requires of the people participating therein. It’s significant both as a sign of the angers and frustrations brewing on the ground, and simply in its own right, as a horrifying act of violence. (But then, what act of violence isn’t?)

The daily casualty tolls get numbing after a while. But maybe today is a good time to pause and take time to meditate on the frailty of human life, and the costs that war takes. And, of course, in memory of the dead.

Published in: on November 23, 2003 at 17:58  Comments (2)  


  1. That is really disturbing. Why would they do that? A message for the US to get out?

  2. Sure, I imagine they were pretty angry and frustrated, but one thing that people tend to overlook is that the old rule of ‘blood for blood’ is still very real in the Middle East, and they can take it pretty seriously. Every civilian casualty in Iraq is a potential spawning bed for a family of vengeful once-civilians, who might well feel compelled to see justice done the way they know justice, against whatever American invader they can get their hands on.
    And no doubt any dissidents in the area will encourage this. It’s a nasty situation, all around.

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