The four "civilian contractors" killed in Iraq were not civilians and not soldiers of the U.S. They were soldiers of fortune, mercenaries. All casualties of war are unfortunate, but these were willing participants. Mercenaries do grunts' work -- serving as bodyguards, security guards, snipers, enforcers, and occasionally as front-line combatants -- for generals' pay (actually more). These people are usually retired members of "legitimate" elite fighting forces. For up to 00 to 00 per day, they serve the highest bidder. The four mercenaries took a high-risk/high-reward gamble and lost.
FALLUJAH: ANOTHER LIDICE?
In 1942, Reinhard Heydrich was the second in command of the German security apparatus, the SS -- roughly the equivalent of John Ashcroft, Tom Ridge, or George Tenet, take your pick.
READ THIS PAGE AND NOTE THE PARALLELS TO THE U.S. AND IRAQ http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/biographies/heydrich.htm
He was feared by all Germans but Hitler. He led the development of the Final Solution to the "Jewish question" in Europe. He had been appointed the Protector of Czechoslovakia, roughly the equivalent of Paul Bremer in Iraq, though Bremer has not been as heavyhanded yet.
In 1942, Czech patriots asassinated Heydrich. Thousands of Jews and others were killed across Europe in reprisal. As a further reprisal for the killing of Heydrich, Hitler ordered the small Czech mining village of Lidice to be liquidated on the fake charge that it had aided the assassins.
In one of the most infamous single acts of World War Two (I once saw a movie about this), all 172 men and boys over age 16 in the village were shot on June 10, 1942, while the women were deported to Ravensbrück concentration camp where most died. Ninety young children were sent to the concentration camp at Gneisenau, with some taken later to Nazi orphanages if they were German looking.
PEGGY NOONAN AND LIDICE
The village of Lidice was then destroyed building by building with explosives, then completely leveled until not a trace remained, with grain being planted over the flattened soil. This part, the destruction part, reminds one of the urging by Wall Street Journal calumnyst Peggy Noonan that the green bridge over the Euphrates in Fallujah be destroyed. The name "Lidice" was then removed from all German maps.
President Bush, Paul Bremer, and Gen. Mark Kimmitt have all promised reprisals on Fallujah. Beware. For every Iraqi killed, 70 mujahideen spring up. For every Lidice created in Iraq, there might be 70 or more Fallujahs in the Arab world.
Gen. Kimmitt: If every military casualty required reprisals, every war would be a battle to the last man. You said your Marines stayed out of Fallujah all day on the day of the attack, not out of fear, but to avoid making a bad situation worse. Remember that. Otherwise we could be hearing cries of Lidice (li'-dyi-ce), Lidice! Fallujah, Fallujah
GHOULS AND COUPS
George W. Bush's grandfather, the father of ex-President Bush, was one five Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, soldiers who in 1918 robbed the grave of Geronimo and took the bones back to the Yale Skull and Bones Society, where they were put on display and used in rituals with necrophilic and sexual overtones. http://www.daghettotymz.com/rkhyvs/articles/skull&bones/s&b1.html
Now, that defines "ghoulish."
A large fraction of the American "elite" (not really the cream of the crop) who are not "self-made men" were/are members of this elite group. (Once you join, you don't leave. You can be blackmailed by photos and such.) Both of the Presidents Bush were/are members. So is Sen. John Kerry. Jeb Bush is safe on this score (graduated from the University of Texas), though his election would cement the dynastic takeover of the United States -- long sought by George Bush Sr. -- that eluded even Joe Kennedy.
The Geronimo "prank" was the biggest Bush coup (until Dec. 12, 2000) and personal military triumph, even though it was a reverse one and over a dead man. Of course, it's not as big an embarassment as John Ashcroft's loss to a dead man, the only known instance of an American politician to have run against a dead man and lost).