Forty-three US military troops dead in Iraq in the last 10 days!. Top the poisonous cake with the capture of a wounded marine today.  Photos will soon be releaed.  Will George Bush call the kettle black????

Will Americans understand that all bets were off long ago?


(Courtesy of George W. Bush’s and the American News Media)

Hostage-taking is now a standard weapon in Iraq.  That’s a given.  At this moment, at least one American soldier has been taken hostage in this insane quagmire. Thankfully, a US contractor escaped captivity and is now safe. Hostage-taking has a long and painful history in the Middle East, and you can bet your bottom dollar it will continue.  In the past, arduous negotiations, sometimes years in the making, have brought some hostages home. In the past, hostages were sometimes unharmed by their captors. In the past, there were deals and hostages survived.  The past, however, is over.

In the light of recent revelations about our horrid abuse of Iraqi prisoners, what are the odds that our missing men or any future American hostages will ever again survive their ordeals?

Americans are not unfamiliar with revenge. The military response to the murders and mutilations of four American security personnel was a devastating attack that killed more than 1,300 people in the Suni city of Fallujah.  Women and children and old people died in homes indiscriminately hit by 500 and 1000 pound bombs.  This was payback, big time.  US marines went into the city with a vengeance, and their revenge was swift and bloody, if not sweet.  But the American wish for retaliation cannot hold a candle to the cultural need to avenge a wrong in the Moslem world.

Avenging a wrong is not a choice among most Moslems, for Islamic culture teaches that it is a duty to take revenge against those who would harm you.  Not to avenge an undeserved wrong would bring dishonor to an entire family for a lifetime in a culture where family honor is a driving force.  Now consider this: the images of humiliation and abuse that have been released this week throughout Iraq and the entire Moslem world are devastating and unprecedented.  These are images of acts committed by those who would bring them democracy and freedom.  These are images of acts that will sadden, shame, and enrage.  These are images of acts that will be avenged, – if not today, tomorrow, and if not tomorrow, the day after.  Time is not a factor, honor is.   Remember that

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