Fake IDs save lives in Iraq

Fake IDs save lives in Iraq [schneier].

… Iraqis are using fake IDs in light of the recent growth in sectarian killings. The major groups in Iraq are not distinguishable by physical traits, but they are by name. To avoid being killed, people are getting false identification cards: Surnames refer to tribe and clan, while first names are often chosen to honor historical figures revered by one sect but sometimes despised by the other. For about $35, someone with a common Sunni name like Omar could become Abdul-Mahdi, a Shiite name that might provide safe passage through dangerous areas.

Of course, I’m not suggesting this is an argument against having ID cards here in the UK, at least unless Welsh-English tensions get seriously worse. I did once pretend to be Welsh in the face of some extreme hostility, mind – but the drunk Welsh rugby wanker in question didn’t demand my ID card at gunpoint, so…

One Response to “Fake IDs save lives in Iraq”

  1. July 20th, 2006 | 8:43 pm

    I sometimes wonder if my anti-nationalism stems (in part) from being a member of a minority nationality in my nation of residence (like yourself: English in Wales). Thus, in the unlikely event of the UK doing a Yugoslavia then I’m in big trouble. Unfortunately I seem have a dimmer view of English than Welsh nationalism, so maybe that’s not quite right… [Email on its way before the end of the week, I promise!]