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December 10, 2007

Religious vigillantes killed 40 women in Basra

Juan Cole points to a horrifying news item about religious vigilantes in Basra suspected of murdering at least 40 women in the past year:

BAGHDAD (AP) — Religious vigilantes have killed at least 40 women this year in the southern Iraqi city of Basra because of how they dressed, their mutilated bodies found with notes warning against "violating Islamic teachings," the police chief said Sunday.

Maj. Gen. Jalil Khalaf blamed sectarian groups that he said were trying to impose a strict interpretation of Islam. They dispatch patrols of motorbikes or unlicensed cars with tinted windows to accost women not wearing traditional dress and head scarves, he added.

"The women of Basra are being horrifically murdered and then dumped in the garbage with notes saying they were killed for un-Islamic behavior," Khalaf told The Associated Press. He said men with Western clothes or haircuts are also attacked in Basra, an oil-rich city some 30 miles from the Iranian border and 340 miles southeast of Baghdad.

"Those who are behind these atrocities are organized gangs who work under cover of religion, pretending to spread the instructions of Islam, but they are far from this religion," Khalaf said.

"Your makeup and your decision to forgo the headscarf will bring you death," according to the red graffiti proliferating in certain districts.

Notes are found affixed to the mutilated bodies that explain why the victim was targeted. Stated motives include alleged adultery and violations of "Islamic teachings."

The authorities estimate that the true death toll exceeds the 40 murders reported so far. Many families are too afraid to come forward, they say.   

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Comments

But hey, at least "religion requires freedom and freedom requires religion." (Utah Plastic Jesus 8:11-12)

Four years into the Neocon Iraq petro-project and the only oil port is still in chaos. Does this mean that Iraqi oil revenue won’t pay for the whole thing like Uncle Wolfowitz promised?
Oh, well, at least they're enjoying their new Freedom™.

So what? They're only women, and there's too damn many of us, anyway.

Freedom's untidy, and freedom, as we're reminded on a constant basis, is a concept that applies to human beings, as opposed to women. At least they've gotten the fuck out of Iraq.

mudkitty

There's one too many of you, that's true.

Phantom, you seem like a halfway thoughtful guy.

Think about it -- a post put up for no purpose other than to whack some other poster hurts your credibility as a grown-up, serious person and trashes your status as a class act.

You can always live without it, even if it's somebody a lot more rabid and personal than mudkitty.

Dock Miles,

Not an isolated incident, is all I'm saying.

mudkitty
There's one too many of you, that's true.

B-Money a few days ago urges mudkitty to ice herself. God-crazed Iraqi guys whack 40 women...
I dunno, something about women gets under conservative mens' skin I guess.

Cache.

-- something about women gets under conservative mens' skin I guess.--

You must have been bitten by one of them fishes out there. It's not that whatsherface is a woman that bothers me, its that she's quarrelsome, and usually with nothing to back it up.

And its obnoxious and wrong to compare blog sniping with Muslim fanatics murdering 40 women because they didn't like their attire. Weren't you the guy who was giving b-money the big lecture on the inappropriateness of his comments? Please review your own.

Dock

Your statement is not without merit.

Good point Phantom. I echo your comments. Womenhood has nothing to do with it. And cfrost, well, your comment is just plain ridiculous, as Phantom points out.

Funny, still no reaction to Buzz's use of "lynch mob" in another thread. Where are all of you who railed on Phantom when the term was used? The hypocracy continues...

Mudkitty may be quarrelsome, annoying, wrong, stupid, pointless, or whatever you care to think. You're entitled to your opinions, and there's no reason you shouldn't express them. Wish that her fingers get too arthritic to type, wish that she takes up heroin and hocks her computer, but don't wish her dead. Save that for the very few who really deserve to die.


"still no reaction to Buzz's use of "lynch mob" in another thread."

Alright, I'll say it: Buzz's use of "lynch mob" is no more appropriate that Phantom's or B-Money's use of the phrase. It's one of those phrases/words, like holocaust, or rape that ought not be cheapened with careless, trivial use.


>Funny, still no reaction to Buzz's use of "lynch mob" in another thread. Where are all of you who railed on Phantom when the term was used? The hypocracy[sic] continues...

Okay, lemme spell this out. "Lynch mob" and "lynching" has an undeniable racial component in this country. Therefore, putting the term on any movement, protest, even mob action by a black person is profoundly insensitive. And then claiming not to care whether or not it's insensitive is, well, something worse.

Clear enough?

Okay, the term also has common use meaning any wild, irrational stampede to persecute something. It's not "forbidden language." If no racial component is involved (esp. since, as the article details, it has had many non-racial uses in this country) it's a perfectly fine description of rabid acts.

>Alright, I'll say it: Buzz's use of "lynch mob" is no more appropriate that Phantom's or B-Money's use of the phrase. It's one of those phrases/words, like holocaust, or rape that ought not be cheapened with careless, trivial use.

Eeeh, I think yer caving in there. "Holocaust" is a special case. "Rape" and "lynch mob" are terms that enrich general descriptions.

Your perfume stinks, btw. (search for a history of terms about "smell")

And I didn't read what Buzz said.

I will continue to use "lynch mob" to describe such racially tinged mob attacks on the Duke students or the attacks of over a year against Steven Pagones (the Tawana Brawley/Sharpton incident)

Assaults in which justice or truth or justice was never sought by the mob, and for which almost none of the mob every apologized or admitted error after the truth became known.

If you have a guilty conscience, that's your problem. Maybe you should have a bad conscience, if you called me on a supposed misuse of the term, while blithely ignoring it when someone else used it, and then dragging me into a half-hearted kinda sort mea culpa here.

For the record, I may have ( in your little minds ) misused the term lynch mob, but there are those here who took part in a lynch mob, and who then never apologized even after the Duke case imploded for the entire world to see.

>For the record, I may have (in your little minds ) misused the term lynch mob, but there are those here who took part in a lynch mob, and who then never apologized even after the Duke case imploded for the entire world to see.

Well, I wasn't around for that. And I don't see how that justifies abusing the term. Except for those looking for an excuse, or with baggage from previous discussions.

>for which almost none of the mob every apologized or admitted error after the truth became known.

This seems to be the main issue here. Language should not be the victim of a lynch mob.

There are plenty who here who were around for the entire Duke conversation. It's possible that cfrost made comments criticizing what was unfolding, but I surely don't remember it. There were a lot who spoke responsibly, perhaps against what some would see as type, and there were many who talkative types who did not speak up when it was time to stand up and be counted.

I've been all over this before. Tawana/Sharpton is old news, but Duke sure isn't.

I'm a big grudge person. I'm not with "getting over it" when issues fester. The Duke thing does seem to be filtering through the system on reasonable course.

I would say "get beyond it" is a wise row to hoe right now. Majikthise is not the world.

cfrost, I never used the term "lynch mob". Get your shit straight and don't put words in my mouth.

"I never used the term "lynch mob". "

Sorry, B-Money & Phantom are sometimes easily confused/conflated.


Now that we’re picking at the “lynch mob” scab again. . .
Fine to bring up The Duke U. business, but don’t flog Tawana Brawley/Sharpton for the millionth time. It’s become the Matsu and Quemoy of American race relations. Pave an old borrow pit and propose that it be called the “Martin Luther King skateboard park” and you’ll get twenty letters to the editor whining about Tawana Brawley/Sharpton.


Back to the unalloyed joy that is Iraq - Dock Miles’ recommendation of the NY Review of Books article is worth pursuing. After six years of the war on terror (I’ll never hear that phrase without thinking of Borat’s rodeo “I support your war of terror” address.) we may finally be ready to face the fact that if you send thousands of people, many barely out of their teens, into a violent, lawless free-for-all, some of them, and not just the contractors, may do some very ugly things.

It’s a shame English doesn’t have the German word “soldateska” (I think it originally comes from Italian.), meaning lawless, soldier rabble. We barely even have the concept. England and the United States, unlike the continental Europeans hadn’t had the experience of the hundred years war, the thirty years war, Napoleonic wars, etc., etc., bringing marauding bands of warrior-thugs to everyone’s doorstep every couple generations or so, for century after century. Unlike here, the period of nationalistic military-worship in Europe existed for a short time after nation-states coalesced in the eighteenth century and was brought to an abrupt end in 1945. Jingoistic nonsense like “Greatest Generation” blather rings a little hollow south and east of the English Channel. Even in Russia where the anti-Nazi struggle was waged on the most heroically imaginable scale, the nasty realities of how the Soviet army and partisan forces were armed (or not), provisioned (or not), disciplined (or not), coordinated (or not), led (or not), along with the years of shamelessly cynical post-war iconographic manipulation by the Communist government left a few ashes in the victor’s mouths.

Soldiers have to be given some protection from legal consequences of their actions. We’re tasking them with murder after all, and that’s what rules of engagement and the UCMJ are for. Enforcement in a combat zone may be more or less strict depending on circumstances. In a well-run army necessary scope is allowed for violence and indiscipline in the context of combat, but isn't allowed to get out of hand. Brutal work requires brutal methods, but, ideally, soldiers can be controlled with a harsh bit harshly applied. We train these people to be violent when ordered to be so, so we shouldn’t be surprised when violent behavior bleeds into inappropriate venues and circumstances. Indeed, it’s inevitable and should be expected and planned for. Not to do so is every bit as irresponsible as permitting undisciplined behavior or as the behavior itself.

There are good reasons to wage war, and most soldiers don’t need to even be reminded what is out of bounds, but no war is clean, and Bush’s Middle East campaign will only get more ugly as the years drag on. Handing essential functions and duties over to lowest-bidder mercenaries (along with the general level of BushCo incompetence) only invites trouble.

Don’t start in on my being a peacenow/hippie/traitor/fag for raising the issue of undisciplined troops. I was a military brat. I’ve lived and worked on military bases. My immediate family includes veterans & combat veterans. I can’t however ignore things like my female (military-) junior high school classmates getting fucked –as in sex- by GIs, or hearing non-coms who’d had a couple too many while I tended bar on an army base recount -in detail- clear and patent war crimes they’d seen and/or participated in.

Well, wouldn't you know it, the latter two thirds of my comment above is in the wrong thread. Shouldda been in "KBR employee says she was gang raped by coworkers and detained in Iraq". Yeah, yeah, yeah, lame, I know.

The Basra model of British troops withdrawing and turning security control over to local forces is going to be applied to all of Iraq, says a story today in the LA Times. The Surge has peaked and it's time for the Surge to subside. US commanders are scratching their collective head and have decided that however much they dislike what the British have done in the southern part of Iraq, they'll copy it. The Shiite militias are going to have much greater scope to apply their Islamic revolution to the rest of Iraq. This is the "good example" the neocons expected Iraq to become gone awry. Who could have guessed it ahead of time ... besides "those guys?" "Reverse Dom ino": brilliant!

"So what? They're only women, and there's too damn many of us, anyway."

I find it horrific that people are bashing each other on this forum and yet no one has commented on this person's post.

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