Fallujah, Mogadishu, and Gaza

Muslim clerics in Fallujah denounce the mutilation of the four slain Americans. But they’re OK with the killings themselves. Bad news for us. “This isn’t Vietnam. This is Gaza.”

At least two Muslim clerics in Fallujah who refused to denounce the killings of the four American contract security men — Fawzi Nameq and Khalid Ahmed — nonetheless denounced the mutilation of the corpses.

Khalid Ahmed:

“Prophet Muhammad prohibited even the mutilation of a dead, mad dog and he considered such a thing as religiously forbidden. What happened in Fallujah is a distortion of Islamic principles and it is forbidden in Islam.”

That just shows that some of the decencies can be respected, even among enemies.

But the incident as a whole has a very grim message from the US viewpoint. We’re not just dealing with a bunch of partisan fighters hiding among a terrified population. At least in Fallujah — which is no mere village, but a city of 300,000 — and presumably elsewhere in the Sunni-dominated regions, the occupation is being rejected by the mass of the people, and by the religious and secular leadership, as illegitimate.

As another blogger noted, (Can some helpful reader supply the link?) “This isn’t Vietnam. This is Gaza.” [Update No link to that quote yet, but a reader reminds me that Fred Clark, the Slacktivist, has been writing about Iraq as Gaza for a while.

Since we’re presumably not prepared to go for the Carthaginian-style “final solution” Bill O’Reilly advocates (lovely turn of phrase, isn’t it?), our options aren’t very attractive.

Billmon at Whiskey Bar has more, with reflections on right-wing folk anthropology.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com