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CIVIL WAR IN IRAQ -- Negotiating Through Insanity

by GraceReid Sat Jul 16th, 2005 at 08:25:46 PM EST



Basically everyone is out for a "good time" unless they are part of a solemn ceremony, and the gathering creates opportunity for violence, property destruction, blood, and few casualties.  When out of hand, the weapons include malotov cocktails, bottles, rocks, clubs, etc.  Usually no knives, unless wielded by street criminals, or guns, unless wielded by police.  When it's police they may use "friendly" fire like rubber bullets which can maim, blind or kill, or live ammunition.  Tear gas, beatings, and death in police custody are not unusual.

Riots happen whenever opposing parties or sides get together to do something else... like have a parade, go to the market, go to a sports match, or collect their unemployment.  Riots, unlike terrorist attacks, are always expected, which is why the police are so often involved in the violence.  In a large percentage of riots it is claimed that the police presence did not curb but instigated the violence.

Belfast gunfire kills one on divisive holiday's eve
Buffalo News, NY - July 12, 2005


18:41:52 - Dissident republicans 'tried to bomb police'
13:55:32 - Officers urged to fire baton rounds sooner
12:23:15 - SF condemns blast bomb attacks on police
08:20:18 - Orange parade rioting leaves 88 injured
07:00:23 - North: Pressure to review march guidelines after riot


A terrorist attack is a small battle in an undeclared or unofficial war.  The casualties can be as small as one or two people, and can be as high as 200 or 2,000.  There is always a political agenda, and, as in all wars, efforts at diplomacy, negotiation, or settlement have either been exhausted or have never been tried.  In the post-911 world, the leaders of the G8 countries are often quoted as saying, "Never negotiate with terrorists, it would be giving in to them."  Instead the world has been evolving along the lines of a police state under constant code orange alert in terror from an unknown enemy.

Terrorists do not wear uniforms, unless they do.  Terrorists do not belong to a "regular army," unless they are.  Terrorists do not bear arms openly, unless they do.  Terrorists are everywhere ... there is state sponsored terrorism that is called the military action or police action.  There are ad hoc paramilitary groups, revolutionaries and resistance fighters.  All of these can act as terrorists when their demands and means are incommesurate with their efforts to negotiate, to use diplomatic and non-violent means to achieve their ends.

The Dawning of a New Age of Barbarity

When the Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl was abducted out of a restaurant in 2001 by a group of terrorists, they broadcast their demands over the internet, and other media.  They said they would kill Danny Pearl within 24 hours if 12 Pakistanis were not released from prison.  The terrorists waited far longer than 24 hours.  After 4 days they beheaded Daniel Pearl on the internet.  Thus, a new terrorist means was born: death by means of beheading on the Internet.  This has continued to work for those who use this modern medium for criminal barbarity that goes back to pre-history.  These are blood rites of a brutal age.  This is what Hannah Arendt wrote about in "Banality of Evil" when writing about Eichmann, and what Freud wrote about in 1931, "Civilization and Its Discontents,"  man becomes wolf to man.

Homo Homini Lupus

". . . men are not gentle creatures, who want to be loved, who at the most can defend themselves if they are attacked; they are, on the contrary, creatures among whose instinctual endowments is to be reckoned a powerful share of aggressiveness. As a result, their neighbor is for them not only a potential helper or sexual object, but also someone who tempts them to satisfy their aggressiveness on him, to exploit his capacity for work without compensation, to use him sexually without his consent, to seize his possessions, to humiliate him, to cause him pain, to torture and to kill him. Homo homini lupus [man is wolf to man]. Who in the face of all his experience of life and of history, will have the courage to dispute this assertion?" (Sigmund Freud, Civilization and its Discontents, 1930)

After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center towers, President Bush declared a war on terrorism.  He has been waging it ever since.  The October Declaration granted the President the powers to go after terrorists wherever they might be, and the countries that harbor them.  The problem is that terrorists live in every country in the world... and in that they are citizens of countries like Britain, the United States, Ireland, Morocco, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, China, and... well, the whole world, President Bush would have to make war on every country in the world to achieve his end.

Police Action Against Terrorists Does Succeed

This strategy has not worked out.  Moreover, President Bush is interested in only some, but not all terrorists.  He is interested in Islamic and Arab and Palestinian terrorists.  He is not interested in Israeli or Italian terrorists.  The Basque Separatists do not seem to concern him too much, and the IRA does not seem to concern him at all.  Columbian terrorists and Afghani terrorists concern him greatly, but not so much as to interrupt the drug trade... that's another day's work.

The terrorists that most concern GW Bush are those who come from oil-rich nations.  In order to erradicate those terrorists, it is necessary to destroy the country that might harbor them, depose its leaders, take over their government, set up a new one, and continue to make war on that country even after the war is declared over.  Basically there is no end to this military action, because in the process of getting rid of terrorists, one has set the conditions for creating more terrorists than one could ever imagine.  It is like what is said of the prison system: it is a state-sponsored training camp for criminals.

These are soldiers in an undeclared war that resort to the most violent and expedient means... suicide bombers, bombing mosques and churches, bombing market-places (Israel, Omagh, etc.), bombing trains (Madrid, London)  In that their targets are most often innocent people, the terrorists are different from resistance fighters and violent revolutionaries whose targets are most often government officials, embassies, economic centers and other symbols of the concentrated power of governments.

The Lowest Level of Dante's Inferno

Then in the Dante's Inferno of terrorism, there is the lowest level of Hell, that is occupied by suicide bombers who target crowds of children, and snipers who target children.  These terrorists use car bombs and drive into crowds where children are gathered.  The worst two instances are September 30, 2004 - 37 children killed; and July 13, 2005 Baghdad - 24 to 32 children killed, 20 injured.  Sniper attacks on children going to school have been going on in the North of Ireland, and between Palestine and Israel for years.

The War On Children

(4 day old Miriam Jabber who was injured in a suicide bomb explosion in Baghdad, which killed at least 24 children on July 13, 2005; AP Photo)

It was said once that war is the insane proposition where you and I sit down and agree to kill one another's children.  That's the insanity of a declared war.  The death toll of children in modern warfare is insanity born out of insanity - imperialism, racism, religious hatred - genocidal ambition.


In today's world of modern warfare the terrorist wars are undeclared and unofficial.  Negotiation becomes impossible because it is a means of reconciliation born out of civilization.  Justice and not revenge is the course of civilized humanity.  War does not cultivate humanity... it destroys humanity.  The destruction of a people, the people's home country, and the people's culture, history and civilization in its built-up art, history, architecture... the impostion of sanctions by the occupying force stifle if not extinguish the very impulse towards creating peace.


The war on Iraq was illegal from its conception.   That was a plan developed by the US as early as 1997.  It was illegal when, after 911, Bush shouted "F--- Saddam, we're going to war against Iraq,"  and when he shouted, "F--- Geneva, we're going to get his ass."  It was illegal when Bush shouted, "F--- the UN, we're going to invade on the 19th of March,"  and it was illegal when Bush and Powell declared war in a church after 911.  It was illegal when Bush declared POW's to be "illegal combatants" and put their captives from the Afghan and Iraq invasions into open cages, shackled to the ground. It has been illegal every day since then and is illegal now.

The war on Iraq, and the continued occupation of Iraq is illegal, immoral, and cannot succeed in bringing stability or prosperity to the Iraqi people.  The continued occupation can only increase instability, continue what has become a Civil War, and continue to function as a breeding ground for further violence, bloodshed, and casualties to US/UK forces, to the Iraqi resistance, the civilian population - the elderly and infirm, to women, to children and to infants.  The war on Iraq has, over it's 15 year development, claimed the lives of as many as 1,000,000 people.  

Who is left to create a world worth living in?
Who is left to work for democracy and freedom and a peaceful way of life?
Who is left to occupy rebuilt neighborhoods?
Who is left to negotiate between sides in the Civil War that is developing in Iraq?
Who would turn to the US & UK for diplomatic and humanitarian intervention?

This is the insanity of war:

One must appeal to the insane to stop the insanity
One must appeal to the barbarians in power to create justice
One must use sane means to create peace, even while negotiating with the barbarians in power.

(Once again, thanks to SusanHu & RubDMC and IRAQFACT)

Do you believe that government and law derives from the consent of the governed? I do. I also believe that that consent can be withdrawn at any time. As it is with "international law"; America does not have to recognize the opinions of the so-called international community. If we choose we can elect to be in a state of war instead. We have done that. We are at war and in war, the laws are written by the winners. We will win this war against the Islamic rejection of modernity, because 1) we are fighting it on their soil, not ours, 2) our economy keeps chugging along 3) people are getting sick of the indiscriminate slaughter by the terrorists. While you are appealing to "all sides" to abandon war, it becomes increasingly clear that the true villain of the piece is not the West or America or Great Britain or Tony Blair or George Bush, but Islamic fundamentalism. We know how to build and look to the future, they only know how to destroy and look to the past. In the future, do not bother with posting such appeals to a left-wing message board. Most people here sympathize with you, even if they don't agree with you. No. You need to take these pleas to the madrassas in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the Sudan. Tell them all about Sigmund Freud and all the rest. Then come back and tell us how much progress you made. If you truly want, peace, I mean truly, truly want peace, and not just to score some cheap political points, that is what you will do.
by Coriolanus on Sat Jul 16th, 2005 at 10:22:02 PM EST
In the future, do not bother with posting such appeals to a left-wing message board. Most people here sympathize with you, even if they don't agree with you. No. You need to take these pleas to the madrassas in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the Sudan. Tell them all about Sigmund Freud and all the rest. Then come back and tell us how much progress you made. If you truly want, peace, I mean truly, truly want peace, and not just to score some cheap political points, that is what you will do. Of course I don't want to score cheap political points... with whom? What is the worth of those points??? This is the EUROPEAN Tribune.... should I not post here? Am I wasting space?? I truly, truly do want peace, but if not a sounding board here, where I get other ideas, where should I go???? I don't understand. The last time I posted you said I should develop some rabid hate towards the perpetrators of the criminal war.... Now you seem to be saying that I am wasting space.... Where should I go?
by GraceReid on Sat Jul 16th, 2005 at 11:54:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pay him no attention, Grace. He seems to have become our resident borderline trollish right-winger.

Which is fine insofar as it gives us someone to bicker with when so inclined. But don't ever let him tell you what to post around here and not.

Your diary entries rock, and this one is no exception!

The world's northernmost desert wind.

by Sirocco (sirocco2005ATgmail.com) on Sun Jul 17th, 2005 at 12:18:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't mind what he says at all... it's just where does one go?? To whom does one speak, with whom can one work???

That's the point of my diary... the casualties are getting higher every day... the survivors are in shell shock... who is even thinking about negotiation?  That looks like lunacy in the present situation....

I am flummoxed.... where does one go?

Medicins Sans Frontieres and the Red Cross/Red Crescent is all I can think of.  Think tanks and study groups won't do it....

by GraceReid on Sun Jul 17th, 2005 at 12:27:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
keep on posting. We need the daily reminder of the mindless death toll in Iraq, because we are not getting it from our media, or at last not with the same intensity as for deaths in "our" world

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Jul 17th, 2005 at 07:36:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am probably missing some whoppers, but here goes:

  • indeed international law derives from the consent of the players, countries. And why do you think the USA were the biggest proponent of such laws? Because they had the most to win. Now, just because some of these laws impose supposedly inconveniences on US policies, they want to dimp the whole thing, or choose which laws to uphold (which amounts to the same by the precedent it ceates for others), what do you think will happen apart from massive losses for US interests throughout the world? Fear creates less obedience than shared values, and the USA are busily abandoning those.

  • you cannot win a war when you have everything to lose and they have nothing to lose. Think parent building sand castle vs kid trying to tramble it. Sure, you can punish him and keep him away, but he'll still want to trample it and WILL find a way to sneak past eventually

  • your numbered points: 1) so it is okay to kill innocent Irakis then, or maybe there is no such thing as an "innocent" Iraki? So much for democracy... 2) until the bubble bursts. A spending binge on plastic does not make you rich, especially when you blow hundreds of billions in a counterproductive military invasion, 3) when will you be sick of the indiscriminate slaughter in Iraq?

How about not providing recruits to the madrasas by the boatload? Why don't we let the islamists take power in all the countrieswhere they could? Iran is still selling us oil, they did not invade Kuwait, and they are not on the brink of war with any neighbor over disputed territory.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Jul 17th, 2005 at 08:34:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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