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June 25, 2007


I'd say something about fair trials but it seems stupid in the face of those documents.

I should say two things. First, in the documents, the ellipses did not cut off any of the actual orders, jut HRW's background.

Second, this from the first order:

"3. Concerning the harvest: after the conclusion of winter, which must end before July 15, farming will not be authorized in [the area] during the coming winter and summer seasons, starting this year.

4. It is prohibited to take cattle to pasture within these areas."

-- is also a death sentence. I've been near this part of Iraq, across the border in Turkey. It is very mountainous, and most of the villages are cut off in winter. What they do not grow, they do not eat. When I was in SE Turkey, in a tiny remote village that has probably since been bulldozed during the war with the PKK, it was early October, and everyone was desperately drying, smoking, curing, in every imaginable way preserving things for the winter, because if you happen to run out of food, then you starve.

During the summer, people take their animals to pasture in the mountains, and this keeps them alive as well.

There is just no room at all in their lives for not farming and not taking their animals to pasture. None at all.

Re 4008, esp. 3: is this quite equivalent to "Go to place X and kill everybody", or is it more "If anyone hasn't fled place P after date D, kill them"? Is the "return to national ranks" thing just hiding concentration camps?

rilkefan: the places in which everyone was to be killed -- that were (2) "strictly out of bounds to all persons" -- made up a pretty large chunk of the Kurdish areas of northern Iraq. See here. I have never heard that they gave people warning, or the chance to flee.

That order reminds me of the "executing the ban"* in the Old Testament (that also included the animals). That might be a deliberate allusion.

*I don't know, whether that is the term used in English, I just retranslated the German wording.

I suppose it's not even worth asking what the Reagan administration knew about this?

Mistah Reagan-he dead

Hartmut: I thought the same thing as soon as I read that. Our New GOP Overlords ostensibly worship a deity who ordered the same thing repeatedly to the Israelites.

LJ: Mistah Reagan may be dead, but his administration lives on, as so many of them work for GWB now. It would be interesting to know whether they knew of and condoned this then, seeing as how they used information like this to whip people into a war frenzy now.

Phil, not to get all literary on you, isn't the point of the servant telling the Marlowe and the manager in such a rough way is to suggest that nothing has really changed? Which might be why TS Eliot chose to use it for Hollow Men.

It is because of people like Ali that I do not strictly oppose capital punishment.

He will hang? Good.

This is so sad. Under different geopolitical circumstances, this man could be earning a degree at the Kennedy School of Government

But death by bees would violate the ban on cruel and unusual punishment ;-)
Oh, for a workable Prometheus treatment!

Much to my chagrin, LJ, I've never read Conrad. (I am something of an unstudied cretin. But points for getting the allusion even if not its context, right?)

Definitely, Phil. In fact, I am wondering if the campaign against King Leopold (of which Heart of Darkness is related to) would be a template for dealing with the current administration.

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