Nations Worth Disconnecting

A House Divided,” by Pearl S. Buck,, pg 80, 1935.

IRAQ: Gunmen seize Indonesian TV journalists,” Committee to Protect Journalists,, 18 February 2005.

In real, present-day Iraq

Two Indonesian television journalists and their driver were seized by Iraqi gunmen in the city of Ramadi this week, an Indonesian government spokesman told reporters today.

Reporter Meutya Hafid and a cameraman identified as Budiyanto, who work for Indonesia’s 24-hour news channel Metro TV, went missing on Tuesday while driving from Amman, Jordan. The journalists had gone to Iraq to cover this week’s observance of Ashura, one of the most important religious events for Shiites, according to station officials.

At least 23 other journalists have been kidnapped by armed groups in Iraq since April 2004, when insurgents began targeting foreigners for abduction. The most recent was Feb. 4 when gunmen seized Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena, a reporter for the Rome-based daily Il Manifesto, near Baghdad University. On Wednesday, her kidnappers released a video showing her pleading for her life and calling on U.S. and coalition troops to leave Iraq.

As in Pearl S. Buck’s novel of Revolutionary China

Sometimes he heard some news of those who plotted, how this one had been found with a bomb hidden in his room to throw at some great man, and once a band of plotters went and beat a certain teacher whom they hated for his friendship with foreigners, but when he heard such things Yuan turned more steadfastly to his books and would not lend his interests elsewhere.

This thuggery and violence is the mark of this old new style of warfare. The enemy’s purpose is to destroy relationships between their countrymen and the outside world. Once they have their people isolated they can create their utopian perfect society. We have seen how well that turned out in Russia, China, Korea, and Cambodia.

We cannot let it happen again in Iraq.

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