Wednesday, September 22, 2004

This one is hard to read...

As we sit here comfortably, pecking away at our keyboards, discussing the ins and outs of business and investing, parts of the world are sinking into an unspeakable state of madness. There are now dozens of weblogs in English being written in Iraq and Iran. The Mesopotamian is one of the most widely read. In this account he describes how the hostage-taking business has reached grotesque proportions in Iraq, impossible for the average American to grasp. Notice he says that for every foreign hostage in Iraq there are a thousand Iraqi citizens. It is hard to imagine anarchy on such a scale.

The Comments section is a stream of encouragements and condolences.

THE MESOPOTAMIAN: "I would like to thank all of you who have expressed such warm sympathy. It helps and consoles when you know that there are so many decent human beings on your side. It is sad to compare the callousness of those who unfortunately are supposed to be of the same race and nationality as oneself with the kindness and decency of others so far away.

Well today, my relative was released and came home. It was a question of money; and unfortunately money had to be paid. But that hardly solves the problem. It is not easy to avoid this. When a gun is pointed at your head by some armed robber in a dark alley how many of you can avoid emptying your pockets?

This is becoming a very common situation and it is particularly the Baghdadi middle class and the better people who are most cruelly hit. For every foreigner kidnapped you must count perhaps a thousand Iraqis, and this is no exaggeration. The good people have become easy pray to merciless gangs with very little protection from the IP or any other form of Law Enforcement agencies, who can hardly protect themselves, let alone providing security for others. These gangs are part and parcel of the so-called 'resistance' and 'insurgency'; in many cases they are one and the same.

As I have said long time ago; without an effective security grip over the cities and particularly Baghdad, the situation will just continue to deteriorate. The kinds of measures that I have proposed then are yet to be implemented and could have been effective in preventing much of what is happening at the present time. Of course, the government and the MNF are working very hard and suffering many sacrifices, and that is something that must not go unappreciated. However, we must admit that there is still much to be done.

Very hard thinking of the required strategy is required; and with all the powerful, technically advanced people on the side of the majority of the Iraqi people who just long for a peaceful decent outcome of this situation; surely the right solutions can be found. This can�t be harder than reaching the moon or splitting the atom! When I recover a little bit from this latest ordeal perhaps I can contribute a little thinking of my own, too."

Yesterday, yielding to a terrible impulse, I found and viewed an online video of a beheading. It was not hard to find with a Google search. I tried to imagine as I watched what kind of person could even hold the camera, zooming in to show the gruesome details of what was being recorded. The man with the knife moved swiftly, cutting the throat from left to right, then pulling back for a few moments to allow the victim to bleed out. He got some blood on his hands, of course, but the volume of blood that pumped out in just a couple of seconds was unbelievable. The victim's chest heaved a few times as I imagine drowning blood got sucked into the lungs through the trachea. If I remember correctly, the carotid artery, which supplies blood to the head and brain, is on the right. There is no way to know if a cut from right to left, rather than left to right, would hasten unconsciousness.

The rest of the video showed the killing of more people by gunshot. All were lying helplessly tied on the ground. There was no sound track but you could know exactly when a bullet was being fired because the person being shot would twitch. There were several instances where bloody spots instantly erupted either on backs or heads.

If the killing were not enough, the perpetrators seem to want others to witness their actions on video. There are really sick and deranged people alive in the world. And their numbers seem to be multiplying.

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