The question, is war ethical, should always be the first question asked and the first question answered before engaging in such a world altering, life changing endeavor. One must be sure that purpose of war is to bring peace. “That its essential aim is always peace, so if peace is forthcoming in any guise, it is morally critical for all parties to seek a return to a permanent peace rather than a momentary lapse of war” (Moseley). Unfortunately, this is not the mindset of Falcon, one of the charters in The Sirens of Baghdad.
He is militant; consumed with Thanatos and with an “appetite for destruction” (Hedges 251) towards the American troops; Falcon in the event below is determined to deceive and poison the minds of his brethren against the Americans troops. The event with Falcon takes place at the barbershop in Karfr Karam. Falcon and the elders of the town are gathered there, discussing the capture of Saddam by the American force in Iraqi. After some of the elders expressed their gratitude for the Americans capturing Saddam. Falcon takes this opportunity to place his seeds of doubt. He tries to unethically persuade his brethren.
He expresses to them that the Americans had no right to go after Saddam and insists that it was the people of Iraqis responsibility. He believed it was because of every Iraqi’s cowardice that Saddam tyrannized them. He references this when he said, “People have the kings they deserve” (Khadra 32). He then expressed that Saddam may have been a monster but added that he was their monster. Falcon went on to explain that Saddam was one of them and shared their blood. He added that Saddam may have been a tyrant but he was Iraqi and therefore the Americans had no business touching or going after him.
Falcon expressed that he would rather have Saddam still in power rather than the infidel American troops in Iraq. Falcon believed it was the Americans’ force, not Saddam that put Iraq in dire straits. Falcon says, “Look at what they’ve made of our country: hell on earth” (Khadra 33). Falcon’s behavior is fueled by Thanatos just as the behavior of the Islamic clerics was when they were determined to convert their countrymen into devout Muslims. “They spurned the decadence of the West including what the clerics condemned as the West’s loose sexual mores, drug use and thirst for sensual gratification”(Hedges 260).
In that very moment Falcon was purposely lying to demoralize the American troops. He was trying to persuade his audience that the Americans did not come to free Iraq and bring peace. Falcon felt Saddam was an excuse to take Iraq’s resources and pillage their towns and cities. He tried to fill his audience’s minds with doubt and mistrust. He was unethically deceiving his community the same way real life insurgents behave in the Iraqi war. Tariq say’s, “More and more Iraqis were fooled by the insurgents’ propaganda, and the attacks aimed at Americans and their supporters increased.
My country … has suffered greatly from the insurgency, and we have lost many people who believed in the U. S. message” (Abandoned in Iraq). Falcon, just like the real insurgents in Iraq dedicated to their unethical war, chose an unethical path. He spread deceitful lies and led his brethren into the jaws of Tahantos instead of guiding them towards a life of peace and happiness. The next event in The Sirens of Baghdad is fueled by the insurgents’ use of deceitful tactics. In pursuit of their unethical war, they purposely caused innocent lives to be lost in order to create media propaganda to recruit the naive young men of Iraq.
They dressed in civilian clothing and hid among the people. They used the innocent women and children for cover and human shields. “A populace…. held hostage by a group of ragged, starving ‘rebels,’ armed with filthy rifles and rocket launchers” (Khadra 76). Their actions and behaviors are very similar to those of the real insurgency and their unethical war in Iraq. An example of this is when they gave young school children realistic toy guns to play with at the very same check points their relatives work at with US troops.
This was obviously done to cause innocent bloodshed which, in turn, will create some type of media propaganda for their cause. Specialist Raven Jenks says, “It’s to train the kids to use real weapons, and also to provoke us into killing civilians” (Iraq’s young Blood). The insurgency uses this unethical tactic to create media propaganda of war. This is for the sole purpose of causing despair and rage within the people of Iraq to brainwash them and turn them against the forces that are sent to help. In the event described below, Yassen is one of the first young men in the Sirens of Baghdad to be won over by this unethical war tactic.
The event takes place in the cafe in Kafr Karma. Seeds of doubt and deception have already reached the minds of Kafr Karma’s youth about American troops. Before departing for Bagdad, Sayed, Falcon’s son, purposely left a parting gift of a television for Kafr Karam’s youth at the cafe. He did this in hopes the youth would not forget his message and “that the young men of Kafra Karam would not lose sight of their country’s tragic reality” (Khadra 74). Along with the seeds of doubt and deception already planted within the young men’s minds, this gift “proved to be a poisoned chalice” (Khadra 83). It served its purpose well.
The youth were griped with the images of war and enraged by the lost of innocent blood shed of their people. They began to sway to the side of the insurgency unethical war; “applauding successful ambushes and deploring skirmishes that went wrong” (Khadra 84). The young men of Kafr Karam were growing closer to Thanatos everyday and the temptation to “honor false covenants …. and gender” (Hedges 250),such as Saddam, was taking affect. Fully aware of the unethical wrongs Saddam committed, the youth still began to further familiarize themselves with him. Their initial delight for his capture turned to frustration.
One of the youth, Yaseen, felt the publicity portraying the capture of Saddam portrayed him as a rat; dirty, confused, unshaven, and exposed to the cameras of the world. Yassen took offense to this and announced “by humiliating him like that, they were holding up every Arab in the world to public opprobrium” (Khadra 84). Yassen was clearly won over by the insurgency’s propaganda and unethical chose to aid in spreading its lies and deceit. The insurgency’s seed of doubt and deception enforced by their media propaganda enforced their campaign for the loyalty (Hedges 250) and paid off.
The insurgency gained a new recruit from Kafr Karam to join their unethical war. The final event described below from The Sirens of Baghdad is a fictional example of the ultimate insanity of the insurgency’s unethical war. The Iraqi insurgency preys on the young men and boys who have been submerse in violence; “the closest analogy may be to the Taliban in Afghanistan. They offer these orphans of war a different kind of family structure cemented by the bonds of Islam”(Iraq’s Young Blood). These young Iraqis want to belong but more importantly crave purpose. Their minds are impressionable, easy to manipulate and brainwash.
Making them the perfect candidates to turn into suicidal human weapons. The event described below from The Sirens of Baghdad bear witness to this product of unethical war. The main character (the narrator) turns himself into human weapon. The final event takes place in Beirut, Lebanon. The narrator has been groomed by his cousin Sayed (a member of the insurgency) since his arrival in Baghdad form Kafr Karam. The narrator, who has longed to become a suicide bomber, now receives his chance. Fully aware of his cousin’s fate, Sayed still makes the unethical decision to offer the narrator the mission. Sayed says, “you wanted some action….
Well, the miracle has taken place…. mission is now possible” (Khadra 236). The narrator accepts the unethical mission. Delighted, but aware of the possibility the narrator may change his mind before the mission, Sayed makes the unethical discussion to manipulate his young cousin once again. He says, “Kafr Karam, the forgotten, will take its place in history” (Khadra 237). Those words send the narrator into a state of purpose and honor. This is evident when he says, “He had lifted me up into the ranks of those who are revered” (Khadra 237). The narrator has made the unethical choice to become a human weapon.