A Big Stick and a Small Carrot: A Few Bad Apples

Garry the CuriousHamster takes the Pentagon to task over the massacre at Haditha. A succint post with something for everyone:

In truth, the real difference between US democracy … and dictatorship in these cases is that democratic governments can on occasion be forced, kicking and screaming all the while, to investigate human rights abuses perpetrated by their representatives when confronted with damning evidence collated by the free press.
The idea that the US government can be trusted to effectively investigate abuses by their own military personal voluntarily is, it should be clear by now if it wasn’t already, utterly fallacious.


How many bad apples do there need to be before for it to becomes clear that the managers of the orchard are the root of problem?

(The extra ‘root’ at the end there made me smile).
CuriousHamster is spot on. Legitimate opposition to the Iraq war stemmed from an opposition to the hypocrisy of the people waging it. This massacre makes a mockery of the sacrifice made by American and British troops, especially that of Lance Corporal Miguel Terrazas, whose death apparently sparked the violence. President George Bush is apparently “troubled” by the reports. He should be absolutely livid.
Meanwhile, Andrew Sullivan at Time’s Daily dish is slowly cataloguing the Bush Administration’s retreat from basic freedoms, arguing that it is profoundly unconservative.
Was Iraq better under Saddam? Of course not. But at least back then, we didn’t have the so-called Leader of the Free World erasing the lines between right and wrong.

6 Replies to “A Big Stick and a Small Carrot: A Few Bad Apples”

  1. The Haditha massacre is a tragedy to be sure, but it is something that happens in EVERY war. This is why we should take great pains to never start a war in the first place. You will never have all the troops following the rule of law and the rules of engagement. There will always be exceptions and they will reflect on the other 99% of the decent soldiers.

  2. Sure, war is bad… Indeed, many war films focus on the slide into inhumanity on the part of people who sign up to do good (Deer Hunter and Apocalypse Now are two that spring to mind.
    However, while Sheen, Sheen and Walken are off doing crazy shit and may slide into breaking the rules of war, I certainly don’t predict that the President of the United States will similarly lose focus. It is him I have a problem with here.

  3. What makes you think Iraq is better off now than under Sadam ?
    Life under him was Stable + Fear&Torture whereas now it’s Unstable + Fear&Torture + War .. a simple equation maybe, but pretty conclusive !

  4. Sorry? Can you explain that one a bit?
    I’m not sure I have anything to add at the moment! What I’m saying is that is matters who is waging the war, and how they go about it. As a growing chorus at the Daily Dish suggest, the leadership and diplomacy around the war was rubbish. It ties in with my earlier point: I object to that war because I objected to those guys. They made me uneasy then, and they make me uneasy now.

  5. a simple equation maybe, but pretty conclusive
    It hard to argue against that. I was thinking that the equation might also include something about the potential of a liberal democracy to flourish. Would the answer be dffierent?

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