I Saw the Pictures

A few days ago I saw the pictures of the four Americans who where killed as they rode though the city of Fallujah. The mainstream American press was careful to not show the most provocative photos and instead showed a burned-out SUV; the rest of the story was left to the reader to imagine through the brief description of their ultimate fate. Eventually, I found the rest of the pictures on a less than mainstream website. After viewing these pictures, I realized that the descriptions I had read were woefully inadequate in describing the demise of these Americans.

Most articles only said that the American contractors were dragged through the streets and one was hung from a bridge while the people of Fallujah cheered. For some of delicate sensibilities this description may be enough. However, no one could possibly image the reality of these pictures without seeing them for themselves. What I saw was far and beyond what I had imagined, or was ready for. One picture in particular struck me as horrible and sobering as any picture has in my entire life. This picture showed a human body, blacken by fire, strung aloft a bridge by his dislocated right knee, ankle torn to its sinews, mouth agape in a horrible expression of pain. And there beside this horrible scene was a young man, smiling in satanic victory.

We have since learned that just before the ambush the streets of Fallujah emptied and its shops closed their doors in apparent anticipation of the coming murders. I was horrified and angered that not only would these criminals in Fallujah would murder American civilians but also commit atrocities to their bodies unseen since the reign of Edward the Longshanks. After viewing such terrible images, the natural question arises about our continued involvement in Iraq: Should we do what we did in Somalia and get out of Iraq, or at least out of the Sunni triangle?

A broader view of the conflict and history must be applied to understand what we are fighting against. First, these are not freedom fighters. They are fascists, just as evil as those we vanquished from Germany, Italy and Japan 60 years ago. They continue to fight because they see their tyrannical grip on the rest of the Iraqi people ripped open, and they are no longer allowed to terrorize, murder, and rape the people of Iraq. They fight because they have no future as overlords in a democratic Iraq. One recent poll of how Iraqis feel about their lives in a post-Saddam Iraq stated that 18% thought that their lives were worse off one year later. It is no coincidence that this percentage mirrors the Sunni population in Iraq very closely. The Sunnis are the equivalent of the Nazis in Germany, whose prosperity was tied to their intimate ties to an evil butcher of men.

A longer view of history would compare the current conflict with the waning days of the Nazi regime in Germany instead of Vietnam. There it took the deaths of 400 Russians to finally extinguish the Nazi resistance in Berlin. The Nazis where so fanatical that they put weapons in the hands of young boys, who went to their deaths for a futile cause. So far we have been treating the Sunni triangle with kid gloves; however these fascists will not capitulate until they are presented with either surrender to the new Iraqi authority or death. We cannot win over these fascists like we are winning over the rest of Iraq with the promises of prosperity and freedom. We can win over much of Iraq with the enticement of running water, healthcare, education and jobs. We can only pacify the Sunni triangle with the sword because any democracy would mean substantially less power and influence for their small group. These Saddamist-fascists want to be the only political power in Iraq and keep the rest of Iraq as their slaves. That is exactly what we are fighting against, and that is why we cannot lose this fight.

Posted by Miguel at April 4, 2004 2:14 PM