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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Thomas Friedman, "I.S. = Invasive Species ": What About Halabja and Hama?

Would-be Middle East expert Thomas Friedman has a penchant for word games. Do you remember his less than memorable New York Times opinion piece entitled "ISIS and SISI"? Perhaps not. In any event, Friedman is back with another humdinger of a title for his latest Times op-ed, "I.S. = Invasive Species," in which Tom claims that "ISIS operates just like an 'invasive species' in the world of plants and animals." Friedman writes:

"Today, ISIS — the foreigners and locals together — is putting pressure on all of Iraq’s and Syria’s native species with the avowed goal of reducing the diversity of these once polycultural societies and turning them into bleak, dark, jihadist, Sunni fundamentalist monocultures."

Ah yes, the good old days in Iraq and Syria, when tolerance permeated their respective ecosystems!

But heck, didn't Saddam Hussein murder 50,000 Kurds during the genocidal al-Anfal Campaign from 1986 to 1989? Surely you remember how some 5,000 Kurds died in the 1988 poison gas on the Kurdish city of Halabja in 1988.

Moreover, tens of thousands of Kurdish and Shiite civilians died when Saddam Hussein brutally suppressed the 1991 uprisings in northern and southern Iraq.

Syria? In 1982, Hafez al-Assad, father of Bashar al-Assad, put down a rebellion of the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood in Hama, killing somewhere between 20,000 and 40,000 innocent people.

The violence of ISIS is foreign to the "polycultural societies" of Iraq and Syria? Cut the bullshit, Tom! Violence is endemic to the Muslim Middle East.

1 comment:

  1. maybe TF got confused when he read the wiki entry on Saladin,except Saladin beheaded the [King Baldwin's Gaza-based Templars] Crusaders who were in Hama and Homs in 1178.

    Saladin was a Kurd, but he promised the Arabs he would keep the Turks away...

    827 years later ...