OatSoda, briefly posing as Guest
Amnorix: No, the better option to annihilation is to surrender rather than endanger civilians and then be annihilated.
Of course I agree with you in the context of the all too elusive "in a perfect world."
First, this thread was started by the statement that the Pentagon's response that such tactics were "deadly deception" and "violated the laws of war" was idiotic. We've gone a bit astray here, but bottom line -- the Pentagon's statement is moronic.
Anyway, let's move on to where we are now. What we need to realize is that Iraq is a country which has been chracterized by utter brutality pretty much throughout its entire history. The current political scenario is this:
A regime comprised of a minority group (Sunni Muslims), which has long terrorized, murdered and oppressed other minority groups (Kurds for one) and the majority group of the population (Shi'a Muslims) is currently defending itself from being overthrown by external forces.
In this scenario, Hussein's followers, and pretty much all Sunni Muslims, see the writing on the wall if Saddam is overthrown. What they see is their own turn at being oppressed, murdered and terrorized by the new faction in power. They believe (rightly or wrongly) that the US is not a benevolent friend that will stay to establish and help maintain a peaceful, beneficient new government that will establish civil rights for all Iraqis. Rather, they're figuring that sooner or later, one way or the other, the Shi'a are going to take over, and then it's all over for them.
In this context, given that the Shi'as are mainly in the South of the country, they are essentially risking the sacrifice of Shi'a civilians to preserve their Sunni government. Given their history of brutality against the Shi'a majority, why would anyone expect anything remotely different? Or, put another way, do you think the South would have cared, prior to 1865, if they had to put the life of black slaves at risk in order to preserve their existing social and political structure? Although there are obviously many differences here, the analogy is still roughly appropriate.