HOME



Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405



Twitter:
@digby56
@DavidOAtkins

emails:
Digby:
digbysez at gmail
David:
isnospoon at gmail
Dennis:
satniteflix at gmail








Infomania

Salon
Buzzflash
Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Slate
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic
Common Dreams
AmericanPoliticsJournal
Smirking Chimp
CJR Daily
consortium news

Blog-o-rama

Eschaton
BagNewsNotes
Daily Kos
Political Animal
Driftglass
Firedoglake
Taylor Marsh
Spocko's Brain
Talk Left
Suburban Guerrilla
Scoobie Davis
Echidne
Electrolite
Americablog
Tom Tomorrow
Left Coaster
Angry Bear
oilprice.com
Seeing the Forest
Cathie From Canada
Frontier River Guides
Brad DeLong
The Sideshow
Liberal Oasis
BartCop
Juan Cole
Rising Hegemon
alicublog
Unqualified Offerings
Alas, A Blog
RogerAiles
Lean Left
Oliver Willis
skippy the bush kangaroo
uggabugga
Crooked Timber
discourse.net
Amygdala
the talking dog
David E's Fablog
The Agonist


Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

01/01/2003 - 02/01/2003 02/01/2003 - 03/01/2003 03/01/2003 - 04/01/2003 04/01/2003 - 05/01/2003 05/01/2003 - 06/01/2003 06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003 07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003 08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003 09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003 10/01/2003 - 11/01/2003 11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003 12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004 01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004 02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004 03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004 04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004 06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004 08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004 09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004 10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004 11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004 12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005 01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005 02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005 03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005 04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005 05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005 06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005 07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005 08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005 09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005 10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005 11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005 12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006 03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006 06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006 07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006 08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006 09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006 10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006 11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006 12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007 01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007 02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007 03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007 04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007 05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007 06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007 07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007 08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007 09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007 10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007 11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007 12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008 01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008 02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008 03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008 04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008 05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008 06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008 07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008 08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008 09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008 10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008 11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008 12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009 01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009 02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009 03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009 04/01/2009 - 05/01/2009 05/01/2009 - 06/01/2009 06/01/2009 - 07/01/2009 07/01/2009 - 08/01/2009 08/01/2009 - 09/01/2009 09/01/2009 - 10/01/2009 10/01/2009 - 11/01/2009 11/01/2009 - 12/01/2009 12/01/2009 - 01/01/2010 01/01/2010 - 02/01/2010 02/01/2010 - 03/01/2010 03/01/2010 - 04/01/2010 04/01/2010 - 05/01/2010 05/01/2010 - 06/01/2010 06/01/2010 - 07/01/2010 07/01/2010 - 08/01/2010 08/01/2010 - 09/01/2010 09/01/2010 - 10/01/2010 10/01/2010 - 11/01/2010 11/01/2010 - 12/01/2010 12/01/2010 - 01/01/2011 01/01/2011 - 02/01/2011 02/01/2011 - 03/01/2011 03/01/2011 - 04/01/2011 04/01/2011 - 05/01/2011 05/01/2011 - 06/01/2011 06/01/2011 - 07/01/2011 07/01/2011 - 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 - 09/01/2011 09/01/2011 - 10/01/2011 10/01/2011 - 11/01/2011 11/01/2011 - 12/01/2011 12/01/2011 - 01/01/2012 01/01/2012 - 02/01/2012 02/01/2012 - 03/01/2012 03/01/2012 - 04/01/2012 04/01/2012 - 05/01/2012 05/01/2012 - 06/01/2012 06/01/2012 - 07/01/2012 07/01/2012 - 08/01/2012 08/01/2012 - 09/01/2012 09/01/2012 - 10/01/2012 10/01/2012 - 11/01/2012 11/01/2012 - 12/01/2012 12/01/2012 - 01/01/2013 01/01/2013 - 02/01/2013 02/01/2013 - 03/01/2013 03/01/2013 - 04/01/2013 04/01/2013 - 05/01/2013 05/01/2013 - 06/01/2013 06/01/2013 - 07/01/2013 07/01/2013 - 08/01/2013 08/01/2013 - 09/01/2013 09/01/2013 - 10/01/2013 10/01/2013 - 11/01/2013 11/01/2013 - 12/01/2013 12/01/2013 - 01/01/2014 01/01/2014 - 02/01/2014 02/01/2014 - 03/01/2014 03/01/2014 - 04/01/2014 04/01/2014 - 05/01/2014 05/01/2014 - 06/01/2014 06/01/2014 - 07/01/2014 07/01/2014 - 08/01/2014 08/01/2014 - 09/01/2014 09/01/2014 - 10/01/2014


 

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Hullabaloo


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

 
The bloody work of hairless monkeys

by David Atkins

Whenever I read about something like this...

In the deadliest day in Iraq since the withdrawal of the United States military in December, a series of explosions that mostly targeted Shiite Muslims amounted to an emphatic demonstration of the still potent capabilities of the Sunni insurgency and a reminder of the instability left behind by American forces.

Shortly after midnight Wednesday, a homemade bomb exploded here in the capital, a harbinger of what was to come. Around 5 a.m., a truck bomb exploded in Khadamiya, a Baghdad neighborhood where Shiite pilgrims had begun to gather to commemorate the life and death of a revered imam who was the Prophet Muhammad’s great-grandson. From then on, reports of other attacks flooded in from around the country — Samarra, Kirkuk, Mosul, Falluja, Ramadi, Hilla — and by midday officials said more than 70 people were dead and at least 260 people wounded. The only large cities spared were the southern port city of Basra and the holy city of Najaf.

It reminds me of this:

The Sack of Magdeburg (German: Magdeburgs Opfergang or German: Magdeburger Hochzeit) refers to the siege and subsequent plundering of the largely Protestant city of Magdeburg by the forces of the Holy Roman Empire and the Catholic League during the Thirty Years' War. The siege lasted from November 1630 until 20 May 1631.

On the latter date, Imperial Field Marshal Gottfried Heinrich Graf zu Pappenheim, and Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly, attacked Magdeburg for its rich stores of goods. When the city was almost lost, the garrison mined various places and set others on fire. After the city fell, the Imperial soldiers went out of control and started to massacre the inhabitants and set fire to the city. Of the 30,000 citizens, only 5,000 survived. For fourteen days, charred bodies were carried to the Elbe River to be dumped to prevent disease.

In a letter, Pappenheim wrote of the Sack:

I believe that over twenty thousand souls were lost. It is certain that no more terrible work and divine punishment has been seen since the Destruction of Jerusalem. All of our soldiers became rich. God with us.[2]

At the time of the Peace of Westphalia ending the war in 1648, the city's population had further dropped so that only 450 people were still living in the city.

The devastation was so great that Magdeburgisieren (or "magdeburgization") became an oft-used term signifying total destruction, rape and pillaging for decades. The terms "Magdeburg justice", "Magdeburg mercy" and "Magdeburg quarter" also arose as a result of the Sack, used originally by Protestants when executing Catholics who begged for quarter.
Obviously, religious wars and sectarian conflicts are often extensions of other more mundane struggles over territory and resources. But they also often take on a life of their own.

I think a lot of people on the Left believe that if we only eliminate imperialism and create sustainability of energy, food and other resources, we can achieve a world free of violence and war. These are admirable and desirable goals, of course. Sadly, a study of human nature from before civilization to the modern day tends to disprove the hypothesis that achieving these thins will lead to world peace.

Human beings everywhere love to form in-groups and out-groups, and those groups will fight each other for the stupidest possible reasons. It happens in indigenous tribal groups, constantly warring with one another and raiding their neighbors: I will never forget the story in a college anthropology class of the men of an Amazonian tribe who during a raid in which the women were kidnapped and the men killed as usual, had chased a 10-year-old boy up a tree and proceeded question him for 10 minutes on his lineage to find out if they were related by blood. After slowly and calmly determining that they were not, they shot the boy down with bow and arrows. And, of course, this same sort of morally blind insanity happens constantly among "civilized" peoples everywhere east and west. Rarely has there ever been a culture with a history as bloody and brutal as those of the native Hawaiian kingdoms.

People everywhere are essentially hairless monkeys whose basic dispositions haven't evolved that much despite our larger brains and capacity for more moral decision making.

If the reasons to fight don't exist, they will be invented. Fighting over which version of the same god to worship has to be one of the most nonsensical, yet it is also depressingly commonplace.

Minimization of war and human suffering will depend on tightly binding people and civilizations to one another, and on taking a dim view of the in-groups and out-groups that people use to separate themselves from one another. And that in turn will require a stronger multinational peacekeeping force, not a weaker one. Peace and the reduction of human misery depend heavily on it, particularly in the inevitable age of a panoply of nuclear-armed nation-states. Left to their own devices, it is inevitable that nation-states will eventually become embroiled in nuclear conflict or that nuclear weapons will fall into the hands of belligerent non-state actors. At this point in our evolution we're still as overgrown toddlers playing foolishly with loaded guns in a grand, modern technology version of Lord of the Flies.

Turning an isolationist eye of indifference toward all of this will not prevent bloody conflict for stupid reasons from enveloping humanity. It will simply guarantee it.

.

Search Digby!