April 01, 2004
Four Mercenaries Killed in Iraq
That should be the headline from yesterday's attack in Iraq.
Talking about "civilians" killed, when the people involved are ex-military hired as security, is just a silly euphemism.
This is the privatization of military violence, and the Iraqi insurgents are hardly going to distinguish between rent-a-soldiers and the real thing.
A number of folks in comments and linked posts have accused me of supporting the killing of the mercenaries/security guards/soldiers/food service workers (whatever word you want). I never said anything of the kind.
I was objecting to the euphemisms of the Iraq Conflict, where we invoke "war" to declare any Iraqi casualty even children, a justified death, while labelling anyone we can on our side a "civilian", no matter their role in combat operations.
I oppose the war, and oppose the civilians and soldiers killed on our side and those we have killed-- since most of Saddam's troops wanted to die no more than our young men and women.
We illegally invaded another country. Folks may think it was the moral thing to do, but it was an illegal invasion. I have no sympathy for Saddam Hussein and am glad he is in prison. But it is crass hypocrisy to sit there applauding the US killing of Iraqis in that war of invasion, then act as if it is some kind of bizarre human rights outrage when Iraqi resist an illegal occupation.
If Russia invaded the United States and imposed an Occupation, the same people outraged at this guerrilla attack in Iraq would be applauding the exact same actions taken against Occupation soldiers on US soil.
I understand why such folks accuse me or others of saying the soldiers deserved to die. They don't like the Iraqis and think they therefore deserve to die. So they think anyone who doesn't like the US Occupation share their bloodlust. But the reality is that opponents of the US actions in Iraq wish only safety for US soldiers and its hired guns-- sooner rather than later, by ending the Occupation as soon as possible without leaving total murderous chaos behind.
Update 2: Folks outraged by the pictures of the well-paid security guards have the right to their outrage only if they were equally outraged by the deaths of these victims of US attacks on Iraq:
More of my response here.
Update: The nice folks at Little Green Footballs are filling my mailbox with expletives. Their kind of hateful fascism is basically the same as the pro-Saddam ANSWER fringe in the antiwar movement; their "hate muslim" views are the same as the "hate America" views of the WWP/ANSWER types. For LGF types, a death of an Iraqi child is worthless compared to the death of an American.
But the hate spewing from the warhawk Right reminds me why a bunch of decent progressive folks end up lining up with the ANSWER types-- the LGF types embody the stereotype of hateful Americans that lead to hate of the US around the world. LGF folks are the real source of terrorism, the reason Americans aren't safe around the world. The terrorists individually are evil bastards, but the only reason they have so many people willing to hide them and protect them is because of the arrogance and hate spewed by the rightwing fringe of America.
Thanks to the LGF nuts for helping breed murder of our soldiers and our friends and family here in New York.
>Update: What wimps! After sending his rightwing hounds to post obscenities on my site, Little Green Footballs has disabled links from my site to his (a neat tech trick I admit).
But talk about being able to dish it out, but not being able to take it!
Posted by Nathan at April 1, 2004 07:46 AM