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Comments by YACCS
Saturday, January 03, 2004

Abusing history

The spokesman for CENTCOM made this aside today at a press coneference

MR. SENOR: Sure. It's an issue that we are monitoring. However, early indications are that it is an isolated incident.

We have been struck by the limited number of internecine, regional or interethnic attacks since liberation. There has been a general sense of unity in this country, very few of the sorts of attacks that you're characterizing as sort of Kurdish versus Arab or Kurdish versus Turkmen.

Certainly when you think about it in terms of -- in historical comparisons, in France, for instance, following the Second World War, there was 100,000 acts -- individual acts of retribution, French against collaborators, what they regarded as collaborators. In Italy, in the fall of Mussolini, you had approximately 20,000 individual acts of retribution by Italians against their fascist co-citizens.

So certainly by historical standards, we've seen nominal numbers in Iraq. And this development you're pointing to we really think is just that -- nominal, just an exception, not part of a larger trend. But we will monitor it.

Once again, we have someone totally abusing history for their own purposes.

In both Italy and France, these were not just random killings by mobs or people with a grudge. Americans trained the resistance, armed them, made them the law of the land. The fascists were armed and trained into various units. And while there may have been some grudges settled, what was truly going on was a civil war. To compare Iraq to the aftermath of France and Italy in WWII beggers the imagination.

First of all, both countries had sizable armies fighting with the allies along with a government in exile. It wasn't just people dealing out private justice. Second, most of the retribution fell short of shots in the back. Most women had their heads shaved and most collabortators were jailed. Even Mussolini's execution was an executive decision, and not the act of a mob.

At every point along the way, resistance leaders tried to prevent individual revenge with the semblence of justice. No society could survive widespread vengence taking, no matter how justified. This is part of the reason DeGaulle forced all the resistance into the Army in September, 1944. He didn't want unemployed young toughs handing out street justice. The worse collaborators were shuffled into court, tried, and often executed.

What is happening in Iraq is the absence of justice. Since there is no place for people to make complaints. it's time for revenge. We've had eight months to jail the worst local thugs and instead, we're recrituing them for death squads. So yes, we're seeing revenge killings and once again Young Republicans Abroad tries to deny, obfuscate and abuse history to their own ends.

Revenge killing are the spirial which leads to civil war, not some kind of rough-post war justice.

posted by Steve @ 9:08:00 PM

9:08:00 PM

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