Global Imbalances Continue...
links for 2009-07-16

Hoisted from the Archives: Wars of Religion

Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal: A Weblog: Wars of Religion: Faisal Jawdat directs us to Robert X. Cringely's narrative of what he saw after he finished his article for Penthouse on "How to Get a Date in Tehran":

PBS | I, Cringely . Archived Column: I eventually finished the piece and decided to go see the war since I had been in Beirut and Angola, but had never seen trench warfare, which is what I was told they had going in Iran. So I took a taxi to the front, introduced myself to the local commander, who had gone, as I recall, to Iowa State, and spent a couple days waiting for the impending human wave attack. That attack was to be conducted primarily with 11-and 12-year-old boys as troops, nearly all of them unarmed. There were several thousand kids and their job was to rise out of the trench, praising Allah, run across No Man's Land, be killed by the Iraqi machine gunners, then go directly to Paradise, do not pass GO, do not collect 200 dinars. And that's exactly what happened in a battle lasting less than 10 minutes. None of the kids fired a shot or made it all the way to the other side. And when I asked the purpose of this exercise, I was told it was to demoralize the cowardly Iraqi soldiers.

It was the most horrific event I have ever seen, and I once covered a cholera epidemic in Bangladesh that killed 40,000 people.

Waiting those two nights for the attack was surreal. Some kids acted as though nothing was wrong while others cried and puked. But when the time came to praise Allah and enter Paradise, not a single boy tried to stay behind.

Now put this in a current context. What effective limit is there to the number of Islamic kids willing to blow themselves to bits? There is no limit, which means that a Bush Doctrine can't really stand in that part of the world. But of course President Bush, who may think he pulled the switch on a couple hundred Death Row inmates in Texas, has probably never seen a combat death. He doesn't get it and he'll proudly NEVER get it.

Welcome to the New Morality.

And while we're at it, let's also quote from historian-eyewitness Jacques-Auguste de Thou's account of the September 1572 St. Bartholomew's Day massacre:

St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre: [T]he streets and ways did resound with the noise of those that flocked to the slaughter and plunder, and the complaints and doleful out-cries of dying men, and those that were nigh to danger were every where heard. The carkasses of the slain were thrown down from the windows, the Courts & chambers of houses were full of dead men, their dead bodies rolled in dirt were dragged through the streets, bloud did flow in such abundance through the chanels of the streets, that full streams of bloud did run down into the River: the number of the slain men, women, even those that were great with child, and children also, was innumerable...

And let us also add the chant of the Huguenot cavalry, from Psalm 118, as they prepared their charges during the War of the Three Henrys:

This is the day the LORD has made!
Let us rejoice and be glad!