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"The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt." - John Philpot Curran


What Would Americans Do?

Americans were sickened and apalled at the images coming out of Fallujah. Not surprisingly, the incident has those who backed the unconstitutional police action in Iraq calling for blood. Conservative Republican online forums like FreeRepublic.com were filled with such vengeful comments:
* Evacuate the woman and young children, hunt down those on the video-tape and summarily execute them (even the kids) - then FLATTEN Fallujah. And it's not like we've never done anything like that before; the purpose of the fire-bombing of Dresden was to kill civilians, nothing more.

* The world has seen what happened. Now they must see what will happen in response. I pray that the lesson will be swift, overwhelming, educational and unforgettable.

* We have to prevail. We have to blow away our enemies, whether they're men, women or teenagers. God is with us.

There were also the obligatory pictures of mushroom clouds thrown in for good measure.

It's interesting to see these knee-jerk responses. The general consensus seems to be that "shock and awe" is the way to go, that the only response is to brutalize and humiliate the enemy into submission. Has anyone paused to consider that the Iraqis in Fallujah were thinking exactly the same thing? After all, what would we do when faced with a foreign occupation force that had us out-manned and out-gunned and didn't seem to respond to anything but brute force?

Jacob G. Hornberger, in an article entitled "Resisting the Occupation ('Liberation') of Iraq" posits the following hypothetical situation:
Imagine that Chinese troops have invaded the United States with the stated goal of liberating the American people from the grips of the IRS, DEA, BATF, and the many other departments and agencies that violate the principles of freedom set forth by our Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence. ...

... Imagine also that the Chinese occupation ("liberation") troops embark on a campaign to pacify America, including curfews, surprise searches of homes and businesses, gun confiscation, pat-down searches of men, along with their wives and daughters, and roundups and indefinite detentions without trial of suspected Americans insurgents who, for whatever reason, don't like Chinese troops in America telling Americans what to do and what not to do. ...

... Some Americans would undoubtedly cooperate with their Chinese liberators, arguing, "What's done is done, and it's now time to move on. The Chinese are here to help us and we need to cooperate with them so that we can get our new government established and running as soon as possible. Those troublemakers who are resisting what the Chinese are doing for us should be hunted down and punished for their terrorist acts."

Yet, who can doubt that a certain percentage of the American people would resist the Chinese occupation ("liberation") of our country, regardless of the fact that the invaders had liberated them from the IRS, DEA, BATF, and other admittedly tyrannical departments and agencies of the federal government? And who can doubt that much of that resistance would be violent? Some Americans would be shooting, bombing, and killing Chinese occupation ("liberation") troops and officials, with a demand that they depart the United States immediately, leaving America to Americans.
Granted, this scenario is a bit far-fetched, but it does put things into perspective. Is it really so difficult to understand that there are a few Iraqis who are upset that we invaded, conquered and continue to occupy their homeland? Is it impossible for us to imagine that Americans might resort to similar tactics if the situation were reversed?

But understanding the enemy is of little importance to those who value pride and emotion over logic and reason. I suppose that explains why so many Americans still believe that it's actually possible to set up a lasting democratic republic in that part of the world.

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