OxBlog

Friday, October 19, 2007

# Posted 11:33 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

HOW MUCH IS AN IRAQI LIFE WORTH? The Army recently released more than 500 documents that deal with the efforts of Iraqi civilians to secure compensation for deaths and other injuries inflicted by US troops. Here are the opening paragraphs of a Baltimore Sun story about the documents:
WASHINGTON - On a dusty street in Samarra, a bustling city north of Baghdad, two brothers, 10 and 12, are carrying plastic bags of groceries home from the market. Approaching an intersection guarded by U.S. troops, they strip off their white undershirts and wave them in the air as they cautiously venture across. Suddenly, shots.

Down goes the 10-year old, his stomach ripped by bullets. Down goes the 12-year-old with his stomach shot away.

This snapshot, as documented by Iraqi witnesses, is the mundane and perhaps inevitable collision between Iraqi civilians and heavily armed troops who are maneuvering, against a shadowy enemy, entirely within a civilian world of schoolchildren, bustling markets and traffic jams.
"Mundane". As if American soldiers killing white-flag waving Iraqi children were an everyday occurrence. Certainly it happens. The case described is taken directly from Army documents. Sadly, the Army denied the boys' father compensation for their deaths. The article continues:
But for Iraqis such as the father and extended family of the two boys killed in Samarra in October 2005, nothing "explains or palliates their loss," said Gary Solis, a retired Marine officer and expert on military-civilian clashes who teaches law at Georgetown University. "The U.S. usually -- almost always -- becomes the object of the survivors' anger and hatred."

That could explain the anger, baffling to some outsiders, that many Iraqis express toward the United States, rather than gratitude for toppling Saddam Hussein. According to an August poll of more than 2,000 people across Iraq, 72 percent said the American presence in Iraq is making things worse, up from 69 percent in February. Eight-five percent said they had "not much" or "no" confidence in U.S. forces, up from 66 percent in 2004.
This argument is both cliche and dead wrong. If killing innocent people translated directly into unpopularity, then the Sunni insurgents and Shi'ite militias would be the least popular forces in Iraq, not the US military. Yet article after article gets written in which civilian deaths inflicted by our forces are held up as the 'real' explanation of Iraqi resentment, without the author even bothering to ask about the impact on Iraqi public opinion of the tens of thousands of intentional murders committed by other Iraqis.

Now, as you probably know, I firmly subscribe to the school of counterinsurgency doctrine that recommends the minimum necessary use of force (although the minimum is still considerable in the midst of war). I subscribe to this theory because there is an inevitable double standard in operation, whereby our adversaries can exploit ethnic, sectarian or other identities to ensure that we are judged more harshly for doing less damage. That is simply a challenge the counterinsurgent must overcome.

To be fair, the Sun's correspondent observes that:
American troops are exhaustively trained to avoid harming innocent civilians, and they operate under strict rules that govern when lethal force can be used. Unlike private security contractors, U.S. military clashes with civilians are routinely investigated
But what is that kind of throw-away caveat worth in article that describes in gory detail only our tragic mistakes but never the enemy's atrocities?

I also found it rather galling that the Sun first described several cases in which the US military found loopholes to avoid paying out compensation for civilian casualties, but only reported in the final paragraphs of the article that the US military has spent tens of millions of dollars on precisely that kind of compensation. If you only read the first half of this article, you'd be left with the impression that the US military regularly kills children and then tries to nickel-and-dime its way out of the problem.

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(19) opinions -- Add your opinion

Comments:
American troops are exhaustively trained to avoid harming innocent civilians,

I don’t think so.

This is just show how people set in their comfort seat and in their comfort offices and making their statements like these.

Why you go to Baghdad and ask Iraqis by yourself and come back and tell us?
 
HOW MUCH IS AN IRAQI LIFE WORTH?

Not very fookin much! Silly ragheads
 
This articles perpetuates an erroneous argument that featured prominently in the decision to invade.

The argument employs the good intentions of American forces or policy in defence of US actions. Intentions are used on this blog to distinguish 'tragic mistakes' from 'enemy atrocities'. Could it be that Iraqis are not so willing to make this distinction? That when a family member is killed, they are dead, and blame is apportioned regardless of the virtuous or malign intentions of the killer?

The Bush administration's intentions were good when the war was waged, but I fail to see (as do many Iraqis) why this fact should be incorperated into our judgement of the invasion itself (few wars, especially those waged without obvious necessity, are waged without reference to the virtuous intentions of the aggressor).

Perhaps the violence perpetrated by Iraqi groups receives less complaint because these groups are not percieved to be responsible, in the first instance, for creating the violent conditions in Iraq. These groups have not asked to be judged according to their virtuous intentions. Iraqis may be less angered by the fallout of thier violence for this reason, and because many see their actions as reactive - acting out of necessity, and not in pursuit of their good intentions.
 
Iraqis seem perfectly capable of distinguishing between a murder and an accident, the way that most cultures have across time.

Let me offer a much simpler hypothesis to explain the double standard. Sunnis mostly look past the murder of Shi'ites. Shi'ites mostly look past the murder of Sunnis. This isn't irrational, just a destructive way of responding to fear and protecting self-interest.

Our challenge is to find a way to transcend this dynamic, such as an alliance with the Anbar tribes against Al Qaeda.

finally, imwithox, the humor could be improved, since some people might take you seriously (which may, of course, be what you're hoping for).
 
Oh, I'm completely serious, though. Just like I know you are, at heart.

No worries.
 
David Adesnik,
Let me offer a much simpler hypothesis to explain the double standard. Sunnis mostly look past the murder of Shi'ites. Shi'ites mostly look past the murder of Sunnis.

Its absurd habit of evaluating the content of American’ consideration in HOW MUCH IS AN IRAQI LIFE WORTH?

First the killing did not happened this year of last year we running to fifth year,

Did come to mind of this blog Abu Graib?
Did come to the mind of this blog Fallujah?
Did come to the mind of this blog Najaf battle with Sadar?

And more over what compensations Iraqi got from bombing their streets houses and farms and most importantly the distraction of their country and their life for generation to come.

These are few examples showing how the American values when its come to HOW MUCH IS AN IRAQI LIFE WORTH?.

Most American reporting never gets past the obvious incongruities and paradoxes

However the standard political and media refrains in America with rapidly shifting realities, with labeling as Sunni Shiites with doubt the bog owner knew what the differences between them, like most of American and most of US officials including State Department
 
Anonymous 8:08 pm:

Saving the Iraqi's from over twenty years of Sadaam Hussein and Baathist oppression is all the compensation that should be payable.

That the Coalition (That's right, the Coalition) pays money when Iraq's die is just another sign of the normal blood money processs in the Middle-East, or should say in Arab countries.

Fancy that, the invader observing the norms of the region. I wonder, did Sadaaam pay blood money when he killed off many Kurd villages, or tried to kill off the Marsh Arabs? And what about the Shiite's not of Al Tikriti, did they get compensation for the death and torture of their loved ones.

Then again, as with some Palestinian women, maybe some in Iraq are treating their children as a means of income, and sending them to be killed for the money.
 
It's a normal behavior in Middle East and here in West too. I dont see what is strange about that.

P.S: there are some here that are incapable to distingish betweena people uprising and extremist groups muder. Saddam was the major murderer of Arabs and Muslims of last 50 years.
 
Saving the Iraqi's from over twenty years of Sadaam Hussein and Baathist oppression is all the compensation that should be payable.

This is replay from Anonymous 8:08 pm:

Don’t cry like crocodiles David for Iraqis.

First Saddam not Ba’ath Party, Saddam ruled Iraq by his Special Forces and people from much closed tribes, and for your info what looks to us you are very poor with Iraq history and info Ba’ath party members 54% are Shiites David.

Saddam you talking about are the same guy your county shake hand with him supported and fed with intelligence’s info and weaponry to fight Iran for 8 years. You should blame yourself first for been supporting tyrant man before stating by saying “Saving the Iraqi's”

You can NOT justifying the crimes in Iraq after invasion by talking about regime crime David, this is not just wrong its absurd thinking obvious incongruities and paradoxes

If Saddam Hussein killed One Million Iraq in 20 years so now how many Iraqi killed in the past four years David?

How George Bush became the new Saddam?


It's very important been minded people and wise when talking, Iraqis did not came to you (country) asking to save them form their tyrant regime and it’s obvious that those thugs and thieves who most of them spent more half of their lives out of Iraq and they did not have supporters inside Iraq those who asked you isn't David.

Please save your words about "That the Coalition " David we all knew what’s "That the Coalition " you taking about.

Afghanistan,
Albania,
Azerbaijan,
El Salvador,
Eritrea, Estonia,
Ethiopia,
Latvia, Lithuania,
Macedonia,
Nicaragua,
The Philippines,
Uzbekistan.

= A Surge of Mercenaries In Iraq Parallel’s US Troops Surge

Very nice list David


or tried to kill off the Marsh Arabs?

Oh so concerned about those in Marsh David,

Let give you some background to help you to understand the case from inside Iraq not biased sources.

The Marsh is the area which sharing Iraqi and Iranian borders.

The Iranians and some Iraqi backed by Iran used that Marsh area to fight Iraqi Army which were 70% are Shiites David, what Saddam did he dried that area to keep the area open and clear that for Iraqi army can find and kill those criminals and all who try to fights Iraqi Army.

So in your country what you do with some one or group fights your government and your military David? Can you advice us with your brilliant view?


And what about the Shiite's not of Al Tikriti, did they get compensation for the death and torture of their loved ones.

“Al Tikriti” I love to hear this what your troops did with them David? Tell one major acts that Iraqi all thought the “Al Tikriti” will be all killed by your troops instead “Al Tikriti” was first city handed to them and not just that most “Al Tikriti” families are either in surrounding neighbors with billions of Iraqi money or some in US and UK, France and other, you need to check by yourself and sources you find they are all around most interesting one that Al Tikriti in Australia who married to MP in Australians Parliament.

And more for your info “Al Tikriti City” (North Baghdad) in 1991 all Iraqi power station was hit and bombed and Iraq kept in complete darkness and guess what the only power station left David was the power station in “Al Tikriti City”!! Why David? You need to investigate that and come tell us if you allowed telling.
Britain and the United States refuse. Reparations, we can’t even talk about; that's so far from consciousness in the doctrinal system. Well, I think that answers the question. Doesn’t really matter what I think. What matters is what Iraqis think, and I think we know that pretty well. The reason the U.S. and Britain aren’t withdrawing are those I mentioned. You know, the consequences of independence for Iraq would be an ultimate nightmare for them. And they’re going to try to do anything they can to prevent Iraqi democracy, as they’ve been trying in the past.
Noam Chomsky on Iraq Troop Withdrawal,



Then again, as with some Palestinian women, maybe some in Iraq are treating their children as a means of income, and sending them to be killed for the money.


I think the topic is Iraq David don’t miss things here, and BTW, AL-Qaeda was not in Iraq either so keep in mind and don’t mix things here.

But your poor knowledge of Iraq contributes to your missing up things here, read this David to refresh your memory.

In the country which brought the world writing, the first written records, algebra, astronomy, the wheel, the first time piece, irrigation, the first pharmaceutical college, the ``Epic of Gilgamesh,'' and it is thought, the first university, the universities of Florida and Oklahoma are being drafted in as education ``curricular consultants'' to take advantage of the ``key opportunities in ICT and education.''.
.It would be interesting to know what the universities can offer to a country which, as with Palestine, prior to the invasion, had the most Ph.D.'s per capita, in the world. .
Whose educational system was so exemplary, that UNESCO devised a unique award for Iraq, commenting that it was the only country, in their experience, where a child could be born in abject poverty, of illiterate parents and complete his education to become an architect, engineer, surgeon, or whatever he or she aspired to. .
Education was free from kindergarten through university and postgraduate studies abroad. .
Grand Theft Iraq


Last think David with your concerns How Much Iraqi life worth, can you tell why your troops using deployed Uranium to bomb Iraq and Iraqi? Did you know these weapons last for hundreds of years with their environmentally polluted material and radio active stuff?

Oh yes you just came to save Iraqis and these weaponry know who is Shiites and Sunni ““Al Tikriti”” and kill them?
 
so, when did this site become an amateur-hour joke?
 
Great site!

Would you consider a Link Exchange with The Internet Radio Network? At the IRN you can listen for free to over 40 of America's top listened to Talk Shows worldwide via FREE STREAMING AUDIO!

http://netradionetwork.com
 
"This argument is both cliche and dead wrong. If killing innocent people translated directly into unpopularity, then the Sunni insurgents and Shi'ite militias would be the least popular forces in Iraq, not the US military. Yet article after article gets written in which civilian deaths inflicted by our forces are held up as the 'real' explanation of Iraqi resentment, without the author even bothering to ask about the impact on Iraqi public opinion of the tens of thousands of intentional murders committed by other Iraqis."

The blindness behind this writing is pretty amazing. You have admitted to remarkable ignorance about Iraq already, but really, this is common sense.

1) Foreigners are judged more harshly since they are seen as outsiders. This goes especially for foreigners who have the power to kill you in your own country. This may seem remarkable to you. I'm not sure why.

2) Shi'i and Sunni militias generally avoid killing their own sides. They go after civilians from the other side. Thus Sunni militias are unpopular with Shi'i. Shi'i militias are unpopular with Sunnis. Indeed, they have made each other's communities remarkably unpopular with each other --- Sunnis are afraid to go to Shi'i areas, and Shi'i to Sunni areas. Thus you have massive refugee flows, upwards of 4-5 million, as the populations shift to avoid one another and battle for dominance in mixed neighborhoods, or just get out of the crossfire.

Do you see how that works? Amazing, I know. Those crazy wogs, you just can't understand them, it's the inscrutable East. Someone get me Raphael Patai to decipher these mysteries of the Arab mind for Dr. Adesnik.
 
mysteries of the Arab mind

Are there mysteries minds?

This sort of thoughts and writing show us the sickness of some when speaking in this way.
This racists thinking demonstrated by those sick and blood thirsty people those who wage wars around the world who used massive power to kill humans the only thing they care is their greed.

Read this to show those sick and "mysteries mind"?
The Shock Doctrine
 
i can't imagine that you actually subscribe to these views. surely you must be joking?

in case you're not, here are some pointers:

1. the US is the Other in iraq. when 30 odd americans are killed in cold blood by one of their own (virginia tech), the reaction is sorrow and grief. i guarantee you there would have been military strikes, if not outright war, if even half of that number of american citizens had been killed in (a) iran, (b) syria, (c) pakistan or (d) france (just kidding). can you see the difference? foreigner bad, home grown good. that's the way it works for everyone, including oh-so-civilized westerners.

2. "never the enemy's atrocities"? are you effing kidding me? every day we are treated, in intricate detail, to the workings of some militant group with their car bombs and IEDs and suicide bombers. please don't try and make the US the victim here of some propaganda effort.

3. the anger expressed by iraqis against americans can only be "baffling" to those, i'm afraid to say, who are severely intellectually challenged. from "shock and awe", to abu ghraib, to the unleashing of sectarian violence, to the complete mismanagement of the occupation (food, water, electricity come and go), to haditha, to the shooting and killing of innocent children, i could go on but won't.

please grow a brain.
 
The U.S. has been the primary "other" for over a hundred years in many different geographic regions and cultures. It seems the French, Germans, Dutch, Belgians etc. got over their horror of the bombing and shelling of their cities and infrastructure in both world wars by the "other". The Japanese people were incinerated by firebombs and vaporized by nuclear bombs from the "other". The South Koreans got over the many deaths of innocents during the Korean War that were attributable to the “other’.

What is baffling is why the Iraqis are treated as if they cannot see that living under the hated “other” is better than living under the murdering, but Iraqi, Saddam or the beheading, but Muslim, Jihadis, who in many cases are “other” in terms of culture and religious sect.
 
Tim H, with all due respect to your view sorry to say that your statement is a misleading statement.

1- Iraqi lived for thousand of years on their land with different/many ethnic's culture you can deny that and ignore all those years and built you view what's happened inside Iraq for the last three years.

2- Iraqi after US went in and the dictator brought down most Iraqi felt relieved and sensed the freedom that they lost it for long time, none of Iraqis whatever his ethnics and religion rushed and start killing each others only some killed which most probably by those 10,000 criminals some very dangerous by old regime just before the war, also the dismantling the Iraqi Military/Police forces which is really very obvious made lawlessness chaos which freed the hand of bad/ criminals to play their bad crimes which you can find it will happened in any area around the world if you make same as what Paul Bremer did, very simple example what's happened after Katrina when the law enforcement vanished/ disappeared for some time.


3- Iraq borders left open with any control till now, you can not stating that just " Muslim, Jihadis" are inside Iraq now in fact there are more criminals from all sort and types, in addition one of Iraqi official reported saying two years ago that 23 foreign intelligences working inside Iraq this raised questions what they doing inside Iraq?
May be one mysterious question is who is/are behind of the killing of Doctors, Academics engineers and military pilots and military commanders in Iraq?
 
Anon 03:16,

There may be a language problem here, but I do not see any discrepancy between what I wrote and what you wrote. All you wrote is true. I expect you do not believe my conclusion that the Iraqis hate the criminals and terrorists more than they hate the occupiers
 
Noam Chomsky is a liar, a subtle liar, but a liar nevertheless. He specializes in the lie by omission (telling half the story and leaving out the parts that would argue against his thesis) and the lie by insinuation (drawing the reader to make particular erroneous conclusions without having stated the lie directly himself). Only people who are soft in the head fall for his claptrap. The anonymous poster above for whom English is obviously not his or her first language has clearly fallen far and fallen hard.
 
CHUMP CHANGE

Here is some money, what we call
"Chump change" within America,
Receive it with our blessings, all,
Just sign this waiver. Yes, well, duh,
It will not bring your loved one back
That we have "murdered" in Iraq.
The change is for to keep your silence,
Accept it or beget more violence.

There is no end to violent days
Here in Iraq: you are the chumps,
Whom all the while we do dispraise,
Now sign, or let us thump your rumps.
What do you mean coersion? This
Is like to say starvation is
Form of intimidation, or
Threat of despair: but this is war.

The death of any person whom
You loved, or several persons as
The case may be--you can assume
A minor price, for keeping gas
Free-flowing, as the case may be,
Exported to the voting free.
It is a minor sacrifice,
So shut your mouth, and pay the price.

.
 
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