Meaning of Respect

On Friday Dr. Jamal Al-Karbouli, vice president of the Iraqi Red Crescent complained that US forces in Iraq had searched the organistation’s headquarters looking for insurgents:

“The main problem we are facing is the American forces more than the other forces,” Al-Karbouli told reporters in Geneva. “We are spending a lot of time to explain about the Red Crescent.”

What about other obstacles to their work?

“The insurgents, they are Iraqis, a lot of them are Iraqis, and they respect the Iraqis. And they respect our (the Red Crescent’s) identity, which is neutrality.”

Such faith in the good intentions of the various militias, jihadis and Saddamists operating in the country struck me as a little naive at the time.

Today’s news reinforces that initial view:

Gunmen have staged a mass kidnapping at the office of the Iraqi Red Crescent in central Baghdad, seizing up to 30 male staff and visitors.

According to the BBC:

The Iraqi Red Crescent, the country’s biggest humanitarian organisation, has previously been the target of the insurgency and random attacks.

That doesn’t sound like much respect to me.