Monday, December 06, 2004

Just When I Thought It Couldn't Get Worse... 

Welcome to Thieresenstadt. Form a line over here, please, to enter the "model city…"

Returning Fallujans will face clampdown

By Anne Barnard / Boston Globe

FALLUJAH, Iraq -- The US military is drawing up plans to keep insurgents from regaining control of this battle-scarred city, but returning residents may find that the measures make Fallujah look more like a police state than the democracy they have been promised.
Under the plans, troops would funnel Fallujans to so-called citizen processing centers on the outskirts of the city to compile a database of their identities through DNA testing and retina scans. Residents would receive badges displaying their home addresses that they must wear at all times. Buses would ferry them into the city, where cars, the deadliest tool of suicide bombers, would be banned.

Badges, huh? I guess armbands and patches would be so, well, you know… I mean, it’s been done. Oh, and in case you were wondering why… I mean, the overall strategy:

"You have to say, 'Here are the rules,' and you are firm and fair. That radiates stability," said Lieutenant Colonel Dave Bellon, intelligence officer for the First Regimental Combat Team, the Marine regiment that took the western half of Fallujah during the US assault and expects to be based downtown for some time.

Bellon asserted that previous attempts to win trust from Iraqis suspicious of US intentions had telegraphed weakness by asking, " 'What are your needs? What are your emotional needs?' All this Oprah [stuff]," he said. "They want to figure out who the dominant tribe is and say, 'I'm with you.' We need to be the benevolent, dominant tribe.

"They're never going to like us," he added, echoing other Marine commanders who cautioned against raising hopes that Fallujans would warmly welcome troops when they return to ruined houses and rubble-strewn streets. The goal, Bellon said, is "mutual respect."

See, you just have to understand how these people THINK. For the record, I am not a member of your “benevolent, dominant tribe.” Although I suspect that this may just be a dress rehearsal for when they come after me with the retina scanners and benevolent cavity searches, and so forth… for non-compliance, of course. Failing to understand my own best interests. No! They would never do that!

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