Violence undercuts the processes and issues for which it is waged. Pouring energy into a system you hope to dismantle is one of the classic acts of stupidity engaged in by those people who understand platitudes but not nuance. Information, however, is a whole different game than energy. The processes of life are very different than the processes of matter. Information does change behavior. The trick is to relay information without reinforcing structure that sustains the lies you are combatting by pumping in sustaining and expanding energy into that structure. I believe it was Mark Twain who said, “History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.” Someone who calls him or herself Noah Vail sent me a bit of writing that pointed out the horrific rhyme scheme that exists between a turning point in our own revolution and a similar event in Iraq. We need to change the meter and restructure the rhyme scheme.
In any case, here is the guest blog for this week:
Green Zone vs the Steven Green Zone
by Noah Vail
I just read Andy McSmith’s report for Reuters of the 15-year old girl in Mahmudiya, who was apparently raped and murdered on March 12th, along with her parents and her 7-year old sister. According to CNN, the 101st airborne soldier who was mostly responsible is a guy named Steven Green, who was arrested for the crime on Monday. It was impossible not to think of how these sort of atrocities played an important role in the birth of our own democracy back in 1776-77. Of course Rove and his gang of thugs would like to compare the struggle in Iraq to the American Revolution. So let’s compare…
The war never went very well for the colonials- they mostly got their asses kicked by the better equipped redcoats, and they almost froze to death at Valley Forge. We lost Boston, we lost New York, we lost Philadelphia- we would have lost Chicago, too- but there was no Chicago then. Many of the colonists had not yet decided to opt for revolution. Many thought we just needed a better deal from King George III. Of course, if our King George (Dubya) had been around then, he would have been a Tory, but I digress… One of the things that convinced many colonists to support the revolutionaries was the way the redcoats treated their prisoners. The revolutionaries unlucky enough to be captured were tossed into the prison ships to rot. Hmmm…. does this remind anyone of more recent prison abuses? Abu Ghraib sure has stirred up a lot of resentment among the colonists… er… I mean the Iraqis. When General Gates and Benedict Arnold were fighting against the 101st… er… I mean the British, their ranks were swelled by pissed off colonists who were upset by the murder of Jane McCrea, who was scalped by Iroquois that had been hired by the British General Burgoyne. Most of us colonists probably do not know the girl’s name. No doubt, Abeer Qasim Hamza, the girl who complained about the soldier’s advances before being raped, murdered and burned, is already well known amongst the Iraqis- probably just as well known as Jane McCrea’s name was in New York back in 1777.
This latest atrocity, along with some 500 lb bombs is not apt to win a lot of hearts and minds back in occupied Iraq. How long will it be before our King George decides that this occupation is just not worth the trouble?