Thursday, May 16, 2013

Not All Cultures Are Equal

Someone mailed me a gruesome picture purportedly of a Syrian pilot's head being grilled by one of the resistance fighters.  Fake atrocities are a fundamental part of warfare, but I see this May 14, 2013 Telegraph article refers to a variety of acts of cannibalism by the Syrian resistance, and the leaders of that resistance defending such acts:

A Syrian rebel militia leader filmed cutting the heart and organs out of a regime soldier's corpse and putting it in his mouth has defended his actions as legitimate vengeance.

The actions of Khaled al-Hamad, known by the nom de guerre Abu Sakkar, handed an instant propaganda victory to the Syrian govenrment, which accused the West of ignoring rebel atrocities. 
The video purported to show the leader of a breakaway rebel faction cutting the lungs out of a soldier’s corpse before apparently eating a small piece of the organ...

In Damascus, Ali Haider, the minister for reconciliation, said this was only one of many atrocities carried out by the regime’s enemies. “If the international media has just discovered this now, then they are coming to it very late. These type of atrocities have been happening in Syria since the beginning of the crisis,” he said. “The international community just didn’t want to admit it.” 

Mr Haider added: “We have documented hundreds of acts that are equally as horrific as the one documented in this video. We have seen one of our pilot’s heads cut off and cooked on a grill. We have seen rebels toasting their success by drinking the blood of their victims.”
 As much as I find the Assad government worthy of destruction, I am reminded that in much of the Middle East, this is not a conflict between barbarism and civilization, and between different branches of barbarism.  As much as it hurts to see innocent bystanders suffer from such wars, it is rather like what happened when Iraq and Iran went to war against each other in the early 1980s: both were enemies of not only the U.S., but of all civilized notions of proper behavior.  You do not want to applaud, but it is hard to justify spilling even one ounce of American blood or spending one penny of tax dollars to "help" either side.  The more time that various forms of barbarism kill each other, the less time they have to hurt us.


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