In the old days, you’d just get fined

It's not uncommon to liken the world envisioned by Islamic fundamentalists to a medieval world, where women are shrouded in heavy draperies and are second class citizens; where beheading and torture are the punishments of choice; and where there is supposed to be one universal religion (with Jews as the universal scapegoat). Just recently, though, in Iraq, the fundamentalists outdid even the medieval world. They killed people for wearing the wrong clothes:

The coach of Iraq's tennis team and two players were shot dead in Baghdad on Thursday, said Iraqi Olympic officials.

Coach Hussein Ahmed Rashid and players Nasser Ali Hatem and Wissam Adel Auda were killed in the al-Saidiya district of the capital.

Witnesses said the three were dressed in shorts and were killed days after militants issued a warning forbidding the wearing of shorts.

Other Iraqi athletes have been targeted in recent incidents.

In this case, according to accounts, the men dropped off laundry and were then stopped in their vehicle by gunmen.

Two of the athletes stepped out of the car and were shot in the head, said one witness. The third was shot dead in the vehicle.

"The gunman took the body out of the car and threw it on top of the other two bodies before stealing the car," said the witness, who requested anonymity.

He said leaflets had been recently distributed in the area warning residents not to wear shorts.

In the Middle Ages, sumptuary laws, which were enacted to ensure that people wore the right clothes (although for social status, not religious reasons) were punished by fines, not death.

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  • Anna

    That sounds like Uday Hussein’s MO.

  • Ymarsakar

    This is why Iraqis think Americans are so pacifistic, weak, decadent, and otherwise annoying.

    To hear the Iraqis say it, if we left it to them, they’d purge these people out of existence. But we got to be the spoilsports and tell them they have to use the “courts”. They obey, but they don’t like it, it isn’t very effective. Now AMericans tolerate inefficiency in our courts because there isn’t 5,000 members of an organized criminal agency killing and torturing people. In iraq and baghdad, inefficiency in the court system is not only lethal, but it is pretty obvious as well.

    I keep hearing people say “oh, if we had more troops early on, this would have been prevented”. That is pure bs. Unless you order the US Marines and Army to impose Martial freaking Law and shoot anyone that disobeys (which is going to be a lot of people cause of the language difficulties), then there is no way you could impose law and order, stop the looting and rioting in the beginning.

    Even now, the US army is neither suggesting nor allowing public executions on a regular basis to counter-act this kind of criminal, organized, and insurgent violence. Adding another 150,000 soldiers ain’t going to solve the problems with High Command. It’s not going to make the Generals who give out the orders any smarter, and it is not going to make them more ruthless. In fact, a bigger hammer just means Generals will be forced to use less of that force, lest they crush a few innocents along the way cause there’s like confusion amongst the divisions.

    THe Mob back in Prohibition times knew better than to blow up police stations and execute police recruits. They knew better because the police would land on them like a sack full of bricks if they did outright war with the police. Well, the mob is doing outright war in Iraq, but they call themselves Baathists and Al Qaeda.

    Imprisoning insurgents is only a short term solution. Eventually they are going to get out, or some insurgent will kidnap a judge’s daughter and they will be let out on “legal reasons” or something like a jail break would occur that killed Iraqi guards(already happened). The information is really useful, but it doesn’t take long to drain someone of intelligence. Then you should just get rid of them and put them up as demonstrations.

    The US does not do this and does not allow it, because when you are used to having a lot of power, you get spoiled with being patient cause nobody else has enough power to make you hurry along. But for the Iraqis, they don’t have the US military to protect them all the time, like we do, therefore for the Iraqis, desperate situations require desperate solutions.

    The US High Command is so law abiding that they refuse to support a neighborhood watch militia that watches their neighborhood for insurgents. The military commanders disapprove. Right, like they disapprove of demonstration executions.

    You got to contrast this kind of behavior with Special Forces behavior, which does not have overwhelming firepower, therefore they are forced into cooperating and working with the locals to achieve their objectives. There could not be a better contrast between doing it the Army way and doing it the SpecOps way than the status of Iraq vs Afghanistan.

    More troops equal less cooperation with the locals, which equals no improvement. The NCOs and ground force commanders know what is up from down in Iraq, they do cooperate with the locals. But the High Command Generals and Colonels? They were taught to fight an armored mobility war, not an “insurgency”. They stopped teaching insurgency warfare soon after Vietnam War was over, so the “Vietnam era officers” really have a deficient education that they have to reform on the move. They talk about the Iraqis learning slow, but you should see how the Army High Command howled about dealing with an insurgency.

    One guess, more troops, that is right. That was their solution to fighting an insurgency. More troops, not more intel, not more initiative, not more cooperation with the locals, not hiring local auxilliaries like the Romans did and SpecOps in Afghanistan did, and not doing demonstration executions to show American power and security benefits.

    Most Americans don’t have the background to know what more troops vs less troops means. Things look different once you do have the background understanding.

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  • LAith Al janabeti

    Fuck America and hope one day americans will kill each other as what happenenig all over the world.

    we will teach them the proper lesson one day, there is no empire last forever.

  • Ymarsakar

    Empires may not last forever, but America will be here long after Al Janabeti’s line has been crushed under our bootheels. Or maybe we’ll allow the Iraqis who lost children and mothers to Uday and Qusay do it for us, as the shock troops of a war of liberation.

    Americans are crazy smart. When Americans start killing each other as they did in the revolutionary War and the Civil War, they actually end up stronger. Contrary to what happens in the Arab and Serbian worlds.

    It’s like someone setup an experiment in America, and used the rest of the world as the controls. America would always learn wisdom and power from their wars, while everyone else would fail to learn anything except how to make more wars.

    Take Europe for example. They’ve been killing each other for centuries, and what did they learn? Not how to end war, that is for sure. They fought so much, they had to freaking create a Geneva Convention just to make sure they could get back their prisoners, for the next war of course. Their version of peace is called the Treaty of Versailles. Their version of avoiding war is appeasing Hitler with land and loot. Their version of international diplomacy is bribing Iran and insulting the US.

    And that’s just one minor continent. The rest of the world is substantially darker. Both literally and figuratively.