News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: The Strange Case of Iraq's Dead Intellectuals; or, Cut Off the Head, the Body Follows

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Strange Case of Iraq's Dead Intellectuals; or, Cut Off the Head, the Body Follows

This article details the puzzling massacre of the Iraqi intelligentsia after the US invasion. According to the author of the article, the reason for these murders and assassinations is "mysterious:

The most striking fact is that the majority of those killed where not scien[t]ists (thus targeted for the alleged knowledge of Iraq’s weapon’s programme) but were involved in [the] field of humanities (such as law, geography and history). The motives for these assassinations are unknown.
Anyone familiar with history might conjecture a guess...

that is, as has been practised in most wars of occupation and indoctrination, you have to destroy those with critical thinking skills. Anyone who might provide historical context, propose imaginative and creative ideas, or give any notion of a framework outside a pre-conceived doctrine or dogma will be targeted.

Every tyrant from Hitler to Stalin to Mao knew it and acted accordingly by murdering the intellectuals.

I'm not suggesting that the US has been active in assassinating Iraq's intelligentsia. My faith in the basic decency of the US military--even in the face of Abu-Ghraib, rendition, and Falluja--still stands. (Yet, with this Bush administartion's evil streak, such a thing as what used to be what we Americans and the world could count on as American decency has taken a hit.)

Besides the American occupiers, there are plenty of suspects afoot in Iraq. The lock-step mentality of tribal thought, as well as the two brands of Islamic fundamentalism--Sunni and Shia--provide a big enough pool of suspects. And their goal would be to stifle any critical thought that might stand against their programmatic plans at instilling doctrine and dogma once they take power.

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