Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Iraqi army slaughters animals with bare teeth

There was a ceremony today in which American authorities turned the city of Najaf over to Iraqi control. During part of this ceremony, according to Reuters:
Politicians, tribal and religious leaders and soldiers watched displays of military prowess and one demonstration, hailed as a display of courage, in which five soldiers stopped before the grandstand to bite the heads off frogs.

A sixth holding a live rabbit slit open its stomach and ate its heart before tossing the carcass to his comrades to chew on.
To be honest, I find this disturbing. I'm a red meat eating, gun toting, raised in the wild, all that gung ho stuff American male, but there is a line I draw. One of those lines is the gratuitous infliction of pain on animals. If anything, this behavior from the military which we are handing control over to makes me fear for the safety of the town at the hands of their supposed protectors.

Civilized people do not engage in this wantonly barbarous behaviour. In fact one of the first signs of sociopathic inhumanity is the ill treatment of animals. Interestingly enough, the Reuters story concisely draws the parallel between the treatment given these animals by the current Iraqi military, and the thugs of Saddam Hussein:
Under Saddam Hussein's rule, his feared Fedayeen militia carried out similar acts, and in one instance were videoed hunting a fox and then tearing it apart with their teeth.
Maybe this is societal, and I as a fat and happy American do not understand the way of things on a day to day basis in Iraq. In fact, by and large I'm certain this is the case. But there are certain truths that ought to be set for civilized humanity. Wanton cruelty to animals crosses a bright line as far as I'm concerned. Then again, maybe this type of behaviour shows us how it is that so many people over there seem to think it's ok to drill out a captives knees before killing them, or whatever else they do to each other. This behavior seemed common practice under Saddam, and now it's even more common practice under the warlords and the ghouls of the Interior Ministry.

Well I suppose Americans can be happy that what happens in Najaf is no longer our concern. I'm not sure with the behaviour displayed by the Iraqi military today that I want to know what happens there going forward either.

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