Ride of a Lifetime
This article from ABCNews.com really worries me. In it, the General in charge of military intelligence in Iraq says that some suicide bombers may not be volunteers. He says that chains and ropes held the drivers in the car bombs. He suggests that the bad guys are kidnapping children and holding them hostage to force others to do bombings. This is bad.
I'll ignore for the moment the fact that a General Custer is leading our troops in enemy territory, even if he is confident that the number of bad guys is much lower than it might seem. Ok, I won't ignore it. That's funny. It's scary, but it's also funny in a morbid kind of way. I keep waiting to find out that the name of some Iraqi city translates into, "Little Big Horn". Ok, I'm done now.
Anyway, it's a bad thing if the bad guys are strapping unwilling victims into car bombs and sending them at the Iraqi infrastructure. There are two main reasons why. First, the Iraqi people aren't going to feel safe and democratic if they can be randomly snatched and sent on thrill rides. An important part of preventing the build up of a totalitarian regime is that people must feel safe. If they don't feel safe they will accept any tyrant who can come along and promise security. It's been repeated throughout history. Hitler led the Germans on the belief that he would make the world safer and more prosperous for them. The Republicans got the Democrats to pass the Patriot Act. There are plenty of other examples.
Secondly, and this is the one that bugs me most, it gives a huge supply of suicide bombers. I always liked suicide bombings more than other kinds of bombers because it meant that at least one of the idiots responsible for would die a horrific death. Eventually, according to my reasoning, they would run out of bombers. If they are now using wimps that won't fight back instead of themselves, they'll never use up all the bombers. Sure, they'll cut down on the number of wimps in the world, but not the number of bad guys.
It's always possible that they've already used up all of their really stupid supporters. That would be a good thing, in general. Unfortunately, it also means the remainder are the ones smart enough not to blow themselves up. The herd is thinned and is now more able to survive. That's bad. That's really bad.
As long as the violence in Iraq keeps attracting the nut jobs over there to fight, instead of coming over here, then the war is still doing what it was meant to do. Still, I really worry about clearing all the incompetent terrorists out of the ranks and leaving only the better skilled ones. At least the smarter ones have to be a little more cautious because they obviously don't believe in dying for the cause. Bad terrorists, no virgins!