Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist
12 December 2003
Filed under:Current Affairs (World) at9:34 am

According to Dexter Filkins at the “New York Times”:http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/07/international/middleeast/07TACT.html?ex=1386133200&en=b502ae4c549da2f4&ei=5007&partner=USERLAND :

As the guerrilla war against Iraqi insurgents intensifies, American soldiers have begun wrapping entire villages in barbed wire.

In selective cases, American soldiers are demolishing buildings thought to be used by Iraqi attackers. They have begun imprisoning the relatives of suspected guerrillas, in hopes of pressing the insurgents to turn themselves in.

All of these tactics have apparently been used in Israel, and, ‘writing in the July issue of Army magazine, an American brigadier general said American officers had recently traveled to Israel to hear about lessons learned from recent fighting there.’ Colonel Sassaman (the man who surrounded a village with wire) is quoted in the article saying, ‘with a heavy dose of fear and violence, and a lot of money for projects, I think we can convince these people that we are here to help them.’

This is frightening stuff. Fred Kaplan at “Slate”:http://slate.msn.com/id/2092178/ (who pointed to the NYT piece) suggests – correctly in my view – that this kind of approach only breeds more terrorists, whether in Iraq, Israel or (historically) Vietnam and the Philippines.

It appears that the Marines “don’t intend”:http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/12/international/middleeast/12MARI.html?ei=5007&en=1a1a29c3bded603f&ex=1386565200&partner=USERLAND&pagewanted=print&position= to behave the same way, but it will be interesting to see if those good intentions remain once they start getting fired on.


  1. interesting to read about the different approaches (ie the barbed wire contrasted with the approach of the marines described in the ny times article) being employed by the american military in iraq.

    Comment by ward — 21 January 2004 @ 5:40 am

  2. UGH… Iraq and Vietnam parallel through Israel Proxy?

    Blog.org: Current Affairs (World) Archives Barbed wired? Yeesh. Everytime I think the world has completely lost it’s mind, something like this pops up. How can we discuss freedom of information when we run doing around things like this? Almost makes…

    Trackback by KnowProSE — 12 December 2003 @ 3:42 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.