May 22, 2004

Unforgivable Desecration

Juan Cole ladles the "woe is us" on pretty heavy:

Even if the shrines were not damaged, you can't imagine how much Shiites don't want to hear phrases like "American tanks and AC-130 gunships pounded insurgent positions near two shrines in the center of the holy city of Karbala early Friday . . . " I cringed when I saw it. I don't see how Iraqi Shiites are going to forgive us for this. Ever.

Perhaps he should ask christians how they have forgiven muslim fighters invading the Church of the Nativity. The ire in the christian world to that military desecration seems to be a realistic model for what is likely to happen regarding Shiite outrage over anti-Sadrist operations in Najaf and Karbala. Near does not mean in and it's pretty obvious that if only military considerations were being taken into account all the shrines (which are being used as strong points by Sadr's Mahdi army) would be leveled by now. The fact that the worst damage in most of them is the mess that the muslim cartridges make as they clatter on the floor after firing shows an extraordinary level of sensitivity to Shiite religious feelings. We're spending our blood to protect their buildings. I find it hard to believe that a billion muslims will tip over from their previous, more friendly attitudes to a more hostile one because of this.

Posted by TMLutas at May 22, 2004 07:31 PM