On Fallujah

What happened in Fallujah yesterday strikes me as a form of evil for which we have a name: lynching. The hanging and mutilation, the angry mob backing up a few direct murderers, the undercurrent of paranoia and rage—all feel disturbingly familiar. This is mob rule, this is hatred of the other, this is the same sort of symbolic violence with which the Deep South rumbled.

All of which makes discussion of the “reconstruction” of Iraq darkly ironic.