First the spankings…then the oral sex. No. Wait….
It’s Peggy “Tough Love” Noonan and she wants to scare some Iraqis straight…or Christian…or something. Okay. She wants to kick some ass, but in a loving, hopeful way:
The four civilians were not the only American who died in Iraq yesterday. We lost five soldiers in a roadside bombing. The statements of American officials in Iraq were appropriate: This stops nothing, the terrorists will not win. A State Department spokesman said the contractors “were trying to make a difference and to help others.” Indeed they were. There are many such in Iraq. They are risking their lives for many reasons, including improving the prospects for health and safety of 12-year-old boys like the one quoted by Reuters who witnessed the actions of his elders after the attack on the civilians. “I am happy to see this,” he said.
It is hard not to hate the teenagers and young men who celebrated under the bridge where they hanged the charred bodies. They are human expressions of nihilism. They take pleasure in evil, and they were not shy to show it. They are arrogant. They think barbarity is their right.
If this time, in this incident, these young men are left unchecked, their ways and attitudes, their assumptions and method of operating will only be encouraged, and spread. So we had better check them.
The brutalizing of the bodies was done in a way that seemed imitative, as all have noted, of the incident in Mogadishu, Somalia, where in 1993 a frenzied mob dragged the dead body of a U.S. Army Ranger through the streets. The civilized world was horrified, and everyone knows what followed: a quick American retreat.
It is not a stretch to imagine the young murderers of Fallujah had this on their minds: Do it again to America, kill them and string up their corpses, because when you do this America leaves.
And so this time the response must be the opposite of the response in Mogadishu.
We know what the men and boys who did the atrocity of Fallujah look like; they posed for the cameras. We know exactly what they did–again, the cameras. We know they massed on a bridge and raised their guns triumphantly. It’s all there on film. It would be good not only for elemental justice but for Iraq and its future if a large force of coalition troops led by U.S. Marines would go into Fallujah, find the young men, arrest them or kill them, and, to make sure the point isn’t lost on them, blow up the bridge.
Whatever the long-term impact of the charred bodies the short term response must be a message to Fallujah and to all the young men of Iraq: the violent and unlawful will be broken. Savagery is yesterday; it left with Saddam.
Actually it looks like savagery will be leaving right after we catch those young men, kill them, and then blow up the bridge, in much the same way that Peggy just blew up the concept of irony.