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07/11/2006 Archived Entry: "Once again: Government ID helps killers"

ONCE AGAIN, GOVERNMENT ID CARDS AID KILLERS. It happened in Rwanda, where tribal classifications on government-issued cards enabled Hutus single out Tutsis for slaughter. Now, in Iraq, Shiites are identifying Sunnis by the names on their mandatory government IDs and singling them out for death. Sunnis have done the same in reverse.

So Sunnis are desperately seeking life-saving fake ID cards. And Shiites are seeking new Sunni-sounding names so they can work without fear in Sunni-dominated areas.

The linked article (sent by Jon Ford of Paladin Press, my new editor) never even mentions the word "mandatory," never even asks the basic question: Why are people carrying any document that might get them murdered? Do we take it so much for granted now that everyone on earth must carry government ID?

Other people's religious slaughters always look like mind-bogglingly idiotic folly from a distance. But the biggest folly of all is any government imagining that "official" ID will solve more problems than it causes.

Posted by Claire @ 02:05 PM CST

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