Monday, November 17, 2003

A little slice of heaven

According to a report that won't make the US news, a couple of nameless Iraqis, including an eleven-year old boy, were shot dead by US forces in Baghdad yesterday, when someone fired a gun in the air to test the weapon as our troops passed by in an armored column. I point this out not to disparage our troops, who are young kids frightened of the locals (in Baghdad, not in the "Sunni Triangle" BTW), and armed to the teeth. I am instead making sure it's not forgotten that such acts, however explicable, are those of a force that is more likely to create hatred than peace.
Let's face it, the notion that we can impose "democracy" (whatever that might mean in an arab, Muslim desert, ruled for centuries by nondemocratic tribes), is nonsense. Even more nonsensical is the idea that the US can shed its mantle as occupier simply by the passage of time. We are digging a deeper hole for ourselves and our troops every day, with every killing. And these killings, we now know, go unreported, unacknowledged, unknown, except by those who witnessed them, who survived them and remember.

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