The Mysterious East

May 9, 2008

Spencer Ackerman takes in the baffling ways of the Iraqis, which so confound conservative analysts:

If an unaccountable band of politically-connected soldiers-of-fortune shot my mother as she was trying to flee from a traffic circle, and the State Department offered me $5,000 in order to make the incident go away, I would not only be angry, I would be exploring my options for revenge. You don’t have to be an Iraqi to understand this.

Matt Yglesias does his bit to help:

It’s really bizarre how, in the context of war, totally normal attributes of human behavior become transformed into into mysterious cultural quirks of the elusive Arab. I recall having read in the past that because Arabs are horrified of shame, it’s not a good idea to humiliate an innocent man by breaking down his door at night and handcuffing him in front of his wife and children before hauling him off to jail. Now it seems that Arabs are also so invested in honor that they don’t like it when mercenaries kill their relatives.

Of course, nobody could have anticipated that Iraqis would be upset about such things.


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