Matt Mower, responding to my Destroy Majar Al-Kabir post, wrote:
"Enough's enough. Normally I think Don is right on but this is so not it's almost off the scale.
- Destroying a town because it contains criminals?
Well it's justified isn't it? And we all know that escalating violence bring peace right? I mean you only have to look at Israel bulldozers destroying palestinians settlements to see what a good policy it is.
For the sake of argument though: what if destroying their town doesn't stop people seeing this as an unwanted force of occupation. What if it doesn't bring the correct long term response?
Well of course you could go one better couldn't you? Destroy a city next time. Just to make sure they know you really mean business.
And of course, there are one or two people killed whilst "just doing their duty" in US cities. I can't wait to see this policy employed back home!" – Matt Mower
I understand Matt's view, but I think he misunderstands where I am coming from. Our soldiers in Iraq are there because I let it happen out of desire for security and comfort at the cost of strangers in a fog of confusion and misinformation. Since I let it happen, I feel responsible for their safety and well being, again at the cost of same strangers. I am being selfish yet I find comfort in that Iraqis would do the same if given the opportunity.
While Majar Al-Kabir is a town composed of individuals and families, most of whom did not take part in the violence, it is also a community that has some responsibilities as a whole. Letting thousands of angry townfolk attacking and killing two British soldiers and then besieging four trapped British soldiers for two hours are not innocent bystanders in my view. They also had guns and could have done something during that two hours if they believed the angry mobs were threatening their own livelyhood.
Instead, they just let it happen thinking that, since they didn't raise their own hands, they were innocent. If the town was a person, anyone would call that person a madman who must be put away for he lacks the ability to balance his violent thoughts and emotions with his other more reasonable thoughts and emotions. If they catch and imprison those killers, then they can recoup some of that presumed innocence.
I believe that peace is an unstable state that can only be maintained by constant effort and willingness to enforce the line that separate peace from violence. Letting Majar Al-Kabir off the hook with only a slap on the wrist blurrs that line. Think about what message they will get from this event and scale that thought up to what it means to the entire population of Iraqis. Matt's peaceful approach is more likely to bring about more violence in the future than delivering a clear understanding of 'letting violence happen' now through destruction of buildings in Majar Al-Kabir.
As to Matt's reference to Israel bulldozers, same policy applied in different circumstances need not have same results. Palestinian situation is in a loop of violence with both side reacting to each other like a boxing match between vending machines that blindly drops violence whenever a button is pressed. Palestinians to Iraqis cannot be compared for they are in far different situations. I would not have made the suggestion unless I thought it would work. As things are happening now, I fear that more massacres on both sides are inevitable, thanks to misapplication of peace and reasons.
PS: I know that my views are not the norm in most societies so most of my readers will disagree with my view on this topic. But I hope you will continue to read what I write and object when you disagree like Matt did instead of stop reading. Otherwise, I'll be left with only readers who agree with my views which will eventually create a reality-distortion field even I can't break out of.