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June 18, 2003

When I Think About You, I Torch Myself

link via yahoo

In France, the country that opposed the liberation of the Iraqi people, Muslims are setting themselves on fire.

When was the last time you remember an Iraqi setting himself on fire in despair over his countrymen's treatment by the United States?

Setting oneself on fire is not an act of terrorism. Self-immolation does not involve suicide belts packed with ball bearings or car bombs. It is an act of protest, against a perceived oppression so great that suicide is the only response.

When France opposed the liberation of the Iraqi people, the seeds were sown. Now the comes the harvest, where France is seen as supporting the theocrats in Teheran, even though the actions that spurred the fiery protests were ostensibly in support of the war on terrorism.

When the United States confronted the Mujahedeen-e Khalq, an Iraqi based Iranian dissident group also labeled a terrorist organization, that group surrendered and did so without a qualm, because the United Sates had earned a measure of trust by its liberation of the Iraqi people.

Also, we had a lot of guns, but preponderance of force counts for less than you might think, as the daily attacks by the remaining Saddam loyalists show. The MEK disarmed itself not because the U.S. threatened its goals, but because their goals were the same.

France has earned no such trust, because France has taken no actions to earn it. It looks the other way when Muslims oppress others, not only on the international stage, but domestically as well.

The principles of the French revolution Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite! are both universal in application and worth defending, yet France acts as if neither were true. Unless this position is reversed, France's Islamic question will only be answered by acts like the one above.

Posted by Bigwig at June 18, 2003 11:20 PM | TrackBack
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>>In France, the country that opposed the liberation of the Iraqi people, Muslims are setting themselves on fire.

I'm not necessarily saying you're wrong, but where do you get this interpretation? Any other time people do something so radical itis to protest a success that they disagree with.

You seem to be writing out of both sides of your keyboard, so to speak.

Also, speaking as a journalist that is either a very staged picture, stuntman like, ot it is a very very good picture and somebody was dedicated to the cause of photojournalism big time.

Posted by: Andrew | BYTE BACK at June 19, 2003 12:57 AM

The sad thing is that the French will not give a damn about the poor old immolator

Posted by: John Ray at June 19, 2003 07:37 AM

I do like the header, however.

Posted by: hoo at June 19, 2003 09:14 AM

Hi Andrew,

I'm not saying the French realized that they were opposing the liberation of the Iraqis in opposing the war on Iraq, just that that is how it appears in retrospect.

And to be honest, the war in Iraq and the liberation of the Iraqi people was thought of by a large number of people, including myself, as one and the same before the war.

For the French to have missed what seems to me to be a rather obvious point bespeaks of a fairly large moral failure, and one that, IMHO, will increasingly haunt them in the future.

As to the pictures, there were others, that was just the most striking one.

Posted by: Bigwig at June 19, 2003 10:05 AM

A number of folks at the pentagon and state apparently think that this particular Iranian exile group, that the French cracked down on yesterday, would be an improvement over the present government of Iran.

That would explain why the French busted them.

I don't know enough about the group in question to have a definitive opinion, but I do know enough about French perfidy to suspect that the group was helping the pro-democracy agitators.

Self immolation is a little over the top, but if you remember, it's exactly what the Buddhist monks did in '62 - '63 to bring down the corrupt Diem government in Viet Nam. And nobody is impugning Buddhist monks. (Lord knows, we don't want 'em going all ShaoLin on our asses).

If you really want to choke on your own vomit, go surf around a bit and find out how ineffective and sorry the French so-called peacekeepers are in the Congo. Their presence appears, in fact, to be encouraging the slaughter, seemingly daring the rebels to take ever more open, bold and depraved acts of defiance of the French presence.

The angry irony here is that the Congo will no doubt blame the U.S. for its situation once the French are done completing the wrecking job begun by the Belgians.

Posted by: Omnibus Bill at June 19, 2003 12:52 PM
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