Thursday, November 24, 2005

Why did the Americans come here?


Headline in a British newspaper that probably sounds more alarming to Americans than to Brits: “Murdered Head’s School in Academy Row.”

Today, some American soldiers went to deliver candy and toys to the child patients in a hospital in Mahmoudiya, Iraq. You already know this story isn’t going to end well, don’t you? But let’s pause to wonder: how were they planning to spin the Thanksgiving tale for Iraqi consumption? Well, people fleeing their homes because of religious persecution, I guess Iraqis can relate to that. Puritanical religious fanatics whose goal is to stamp out every sign of free will and joy, especially among females, that might seem familiar too (Muqtada al-Sadr is of course Arabic for Cotton Mather, and I’m pretty sure somewhere in that new constitution is the phrase “thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”). White guys with guns arriving from a foreign land and taking control of all the natural resources? Check.

So the Americans went to the hospital, and a suicide bomb attack killed 30 or 34 people. Shouted one survivor, in a question that is in no way a metaphor for the wider situation, “Why did the Americans come here? They must have known they would bring the killers with them.”

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