Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Iraqi militias targeting gays

By Michael J.W. Stickings

A couple of weeks ago, Boatboy wrote about the horror Iraqi militias are inflicting on gays in that disturbingly violent country. NBC News has more on the recent "surge of violence":

Widespread violence is down across Baghdad, but not for one minority group.

Iraq's gay population is being targeted by militia groups in a wave of killings that has claimed the lives of up to 25 young men and boys in the past month.


Most of the attacks have happened in Baghdad's Shia neighborhoods, and many believe that religious leaders have used Friday sermons in Sadr City as a platform to incite hatred and violence toward homosexuals...

Posters and leaflets have been distributed in the Baghdad neighborhoods of al-Shola, al-Hurya and Sadr City with orders to, "Cleanse Iraq from the crime of homosexuality."

Oh, what a lovely, lovely place, eh?

This sort of murderous abuse fills me with such rage I'm tempted to support a humanitarian war to liberate the people of Iraq from these thugs. (I'm not a pacifist, and I generally support the use of force for such purposes.) But, of course, a grossly mismanaged and utterly deceitful war was already waged (supposedly, at least in part) to liberate the people of Iraq (not to mention their oil reserves) from a certain thuggish dictator. How'd that turn out? Oh, not well, not well.

You see, the problem with the Iraq War and Occupation -- well, one of its problems -- is that it both unleashed the forces of violence and chaos in Iraq (which the warmongers should have seen coming, but didn't, or did, and didn't care) and restricted U.S. flexibility to respond militarily in future both in Iraq (where it is on the way out, as it should be -- there isn't much good it can do there) and elsewhere (it's sort of the Vietnam Syndrome revisited, as the war was waged so poorly that future military action, including humanitarian intervention, will be, initially at least, viewed with suspicion, if not objected to strongly even before the fact, even if initiated by Obama.)

So should the U.S. do something about the ongoing violence, including the humanitarian crisis, including what is being done to gays, in Iraq? Sure, but what can it do? It's an Iraqi problem now, and, of course, Iraq isn't at all prepared for it, let alone willing (one assumes) to do much about it. And it's an Iraqi problem now, a problem to which the U.S. is virtually powerless to respond, largely because Bush and Cheney et al. blew it.

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