Thursday, April 17, 2003

A Taste of things to come?

This was always on the cards but I didn't think the American "liberation" of Iraq would begin to sour quite this quickly. American soldiers have killed at least 10 Iraqi civilians and wounded between 60 and 100 when they reportedly fired on a political rally in Mosul. Go those Americans...who was the clever soldier who thought that this would be a good idea?

Interestingly, although you can read all about it in these reports from the Independent and the BBC, a quick search of the American media (CNN, CBS, MSNBC, Washington Post) has failed to find any mention of the incident. Perhaps they are waiting for their masters in the Whitehouse to tell them what to say. Perhaps they are saving the space for some really big bit of breaking news that will shock the world (I did hear a rumour that they'd found either George Bush's brain or Donald Rumsfeld's moral conscience.)

On the other hand perhaps the death of 10 Iraqi civilians doesn't really mean much to them in the grand scheme of things. After all its less than 1% of the total number of civilian deaths incurred in this conflict. They are only collateral damage, and we are dealing with people who are happy to use weapons like cluster bombs, bunker busting bombs or depleted uranium munitions in residential areas.

Still the Americans only got around to signing the Geneva convention about 50 years after the rest of the world so you can expect them to be a little bit slow on the uptake. Especially the really complex parts like the one that goes something like "killing enemy soldiers good, killing enemy civilians bad." Its understandable that they'd have difficulty with that.

The big question is, how will this shooting incident affect the powder keg that is Northern Iraq? and is it a taste of things to come?