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this is appalling, abuse of Iraqi prisoners - Page 9

post #321 of 613
Quote:
Originally posted by NaplesX
proof.

How would you know? You've already demonstrated that you don't have any knowledge of this subject and aren't interested in actually looking into it at all.

Anyone else get the feeling that in 50 years when the war is a distant memory and hundreds of books are written on this Naples will be sitting on his porch muttering to himself, "not until all the facts are in, not until all the facts are in..."
post #322 of 613
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
You did say that you didn't defend those actions. But you also said about the dead Iraqi that "maybe he deserved it." That seems to be defending the actions, or at least leaving open the possibility that they could be defensible.
I blame the president and the civilian leaders in the administration because they have clearly set a tone in which the means is subordinate to the end. The Geneva Convention is optional. They put POWs in a legal no-man's-land in Cuba. They argue that they can imprison people, including American citizens, with no legal counsel and no charges. They believe their cause is more important than any faggy legal or procedural issues. As George Bush said in his 2003 state of the union, "America's purpose is more than to follow a process -- it is to achieve a result."

Has anyone said that all the soldiers are sadistic? I personally don't think any of them are bad, even the specific individuals involved. I even feel kind of bad for them in a way. To dehumanize others like that has to have a negative effect on them, too. I don't think they're necessarily bad, I just think the administration is bad. They've been bad all along. The difference is that we have pictures now.

I think this is where you lose me. I cannot directly blame Bush for some idiot's actions.

The pictures seem to prove to me that people are numbskulls. I see no fact showing that Bush approved of this, actually just the opposite. If you want to give him credit, that is.
post #323 of 613
Quote:
Originally posted by NaplesX
I think this is where you lose me. I cannot directly blame Bush for some idiot's actions.

The pictures seem to prove to me that people are numbskulls. I see no fact showing that Bush approved of this, actually just the opposite. If you want to give him credit, that is.

Do yourself a favor and read even a little bit about this so you can understand what the criticisms of each level are.
post #324 of 613
Quote:
Originally posted by giant
How would you know? You've already demonstrated that you don't have any knowledge of this subject and aren't interested in actually looking into it at all.

Anyone else get the feeling that in 50 years when the war is a distant memory and hundreds of books are written on this Naples will be sitting on his porch muttering to himself, "not until all the facts are in, not until all the facts are in..."

Once again i will point out the obvious:

You need not post a reply to someone as unedumakated as me. I actually prefer it that way.

I also have readily acknowledged your vastly superior understanding of the world and every subject therein, particularly foreign affairs and intelligence knowledge.

You are preaching to the choir on this one.

Thanks though.
post #325 of 613
Quote:
Originally posted by NaplesX
I actually prefer it that way.

I'm sure you do.
Quote:
Quote:
Originally posted by NaplesX
That picture shows a dead man, but does not point to how he died. If you think that flashing a picture of a dead arab is going to make anybody join AQ with you, you are fooling yourself.

I know that if this man died at the hands of his captors and through torture those responsible will be punished quickly and appropriately.

Get yourself up to speed

You do realize that there is a mountain of info concerning Abu-Ghraib, don't you?

Here is just one passage from the most famous of the articles (do you know where to find it?) written on these prisoners:
Quote:
In November, Frederick wrote, an Iraqi prisoner under the control of what the Abu Ghraib guards called O.G.A., or other government agenciesthat is, the C.I.A. and its paramilitary employeeswas brought to his unit for questioning. They stressed him out so bad that the man passed away. They put his body in a body bag and packed him in ice for approximately twenty-four hours in the shower. . . . The next day the medics came and put his body on a stretcher, placed a fake IV in his arm and took him away. The dead Iraqi was never entered into the prisons inmate-control system, Frederick recounted, and therefore never had a number.

That's from Staff Sgt. Ivan L. Frederick's diary.

From an ABC story:
Quote:
The photographs show a 52-year-old former Baath Party official, Nadem Sadoon Hatab, who died at the detention center last June after a three-day period in which he was allegedly subjected to beatings and karate kicks to the chest and left to die naked in his own feces.

Abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Camp White Horse was allegedly carried out by U.S. Marine reservists. The accused reservists have told their lawyers they were given orders to "soften up" the men in their custody for interrogation by what were known as human exploitation teams from military intelligence.
...

According to testimony in the case, Hatab was targeted for especially harsh treatment because he was believed to be in possession of Jessica Lynch's 507th Army Battalion weapon and suspected of involvement in the ambush of her unit.

There is a ton of info out there about all of this. We are reading it. I suggest you do yourself a favor and read it as well before coming in here making clearly uninformed comments.

As you can see once again, your arguments here are clearly uninformed.
post #326 of 613
Quote:
Originally posted by giant
I'm sure you do.

Get yourself up to speed

You do realize that there is a mountain of info concerning Abu-Ghraib, don't you?

Here is just one passage from the most famous of the articles (do you know where to find it?) written on these prisoners:

That's from Staff Sgt. Ivan L. Frederick's diary.

From an ABC story:

There is a ton of info out there about all of this. We are reading it. I suggest you do yourself a favor and read it as well before coming in here making clearly uninformed comments
As you can see once again, your arguments here are clearly uninformed.

Clearly.
post #327 of 613
Quote:
Originally posted by NaplesX
Is english your first language?

The reason I ask is, you seem to be getting a totally different translation of what I am saying.

I specifically said I am not defending these actions. And yes these actions, helped those who want to harm us. I agree with you on that totally.

If any of these soldier's superiors were supporting these kinds of things, they should also be held to task, as far up as it goes. So, I think we can agree on that. Right?

How far up should it go? Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that all 6 of the accused soldiers are found guilty. Does it stop there or should it continue up the chain of command to Wolfowitz? To Rumsfeld? To Bush? I'm willing to entertain the notion that the soldiers aren't wholly responsible for their actions.

Further, I'm willing to entertain the possibility that these photos are, in fact, real. If you'll indulge me in that, I think you'll see the reason for the outrage. Up to this point, I think my reaction to your posts are that you're not willing to believe the nearly incontrovertible evidence that detainees have been abused. We don't know how far up the chain it goes - were the soldiers "just following orders"?, was it negligence on the part of the DoD?, were there political motives behind not providing the soldiers the support they needed (as a few soldiers have suggested)?, etc.

Quote:

I just don't see any benefit for anyone to presume the guilt of everyone all the way up the long chain of command, to the president. Which by the way, he has taken the responsibility that is his and apologized for these actions, to the world.

These days an apology and a buck and a half will buy you a small cup of coffee. Apologies need to ring true for them to mean anything. For the president to NOT come out immediately and say something himself, rather than through his staff, makes the apology seem a little contrived.

If America is not just about following process, but about results (as Bush said in the SOTU address), we need to see some. NOW. That means people need to held responsible for their actions AND those of their charges. (Did you see the last episode of "The Apprentice"? Kwame was fired not because he wasn't competent, but because he didn't fire Omarrosa, one of his employees. There's a lesson to be learned there.)

Quote:

I also am pretty sure it does not help the morale of soldiers to know that a huge chunk of this country has fallen into the trap of partisan politics and thinks they are all of that kind of people, that would do these things.

i personally like to believe that people are good and make the right decisions.

You can believe what you want.

Naples, I hope you really truly believe that. I mean for ALL people. The world isn't made up of "good guys" and "bad guys". And that's why the perpetrators of these crimes (war crimes, as Bush said a while back when asked about the treatment of prisoners. I wish I had a link...) deserve the outrage they're seeing. People's belief in the US of Benevolent Action has been shaken. I'm not sure there's anyway to regain the world's trust any time soon.
post #328 of 613
Quote:
Originally posted by torifile
How far up should it go? Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that all 6 of the accused soldiers are found guilty. Does it stop there or should it continue up the chain of command to Wolfowitz? To Rumsfeld? To Bush? I'm willing to entertain the notion that the soldiers aren't wholly responsible for their actions.

Of course the whole chain is responsible in a variety of ways. Naples can't understand in what way each is responsible because he doesn't know what each one does.

For example, the line of responsibility goes straight through military intelligence, meaning Boykin, Mr Mission From God himself.
post #329 of 613
This thread is closed because the posts in it are just too condescending to tolerate. Too bad because this is a very important topic.
post #330 of 613
[UPDATE]

This thread is open for business again. Those who continue the poor form in here will be dealt with on an individual level, meaning lockouts from the AO forum for a period of time.

The topic is an important one, and people who can't behave like adults won't be allowed to ruin it for the rest of us. Please ignore the more obnoxious comments posted before this point, and consider it a fresh start.
post #331 of 613
Thanks. It's an important topic.
What strikes me most about this is the sexual character of the abuses. Why is that?
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post #332 of 613
Quote:
Originally posted by New
Thanks. It's an important topic.
What strikes me most about this is the sexual character of the abuses. Why is that?

I think it has to do with Arab culture.. where homesexuality is considered even a bigger taboo as in the western world.


For instance here in the netherlands was a big row about a book that was sold in Mosques. It said that it was considerd a good deed to kill homosexuals.... it also said how it had to be done..

"Take the homosexual person to a large building, go to the top floor and throw the person of the building... head first"
post #333 of 613
Quote:
Originally posted by New
Thanks. It's an important topic.
What strikes me most about this is the sexual character of the abuses. Why is that?

Yeah, that's the most disturbing part.

To almost anyone who grew up in a non-native environment, clothing protects personal intimacy. It is the division between self and the rest of the world. Stripping someone and ordering him to stand naked in front of clothed people deeply unsettles his mental balance, since he has no means of keeping up this protection (look at some of the pictures to see the men putting their hands over the genitals). It is meant as a degradation and it obviously works.
It is known that experienced tortures nearly always expose their victims to drive the point home that they are deprived of any protection - this can be traced back from south american dictatorships to witch hunts.

The next (and last) personal boundary is being able to decide who penetrates our body. Raping humans (no matter if with penises, hands, broomsticks or chemical lights) is a proven means to crush their will - pimps rape their whores to make them docile, violent husbands rape wifes to keep them humble. The one who is sexually "taken" is "owned" by the aggressor.

Obviously the guards knew about those mechanisms and used them without restraint or mercy. This points to deeply-ingrained (racial?) hatred towards their victims combined with insecurity. They don't know if they are welcome in Iraq, they see ambushes, demonstrations, hate, they feel unsure about themselves and the roles they play. To reassert themselves, they win power over the Iraqis at hand by reducing them. This is where the hoods come in handy too - a hooded person has no face and who has no face has a lot less abilities to express emotions.

Sexual abuse (or sexualized torture) by female guards is not completely new, but I fail to remember any case where it was so blatant and wide-spread. This leads me to believe that the female soldiers felt they had a bone to pick with what they see as a macho culture (not completely unfounded). They know that they are not regarded as equal to their male comrades and this presumably led to overcompensation.
post #334 of 613
good replies...

also, for a "weak" woman to do this to a muslim man is very degrading in his eyes...this is why they do this to groups of men at a time or in front of other muslim men...a white, likely christian, woman doing these acts to a single muslim man in a cell would likely make him angry and deviant...a white, christian woman doing this to a muslim man or men in front of other muslim men would make him feel weak and helpless and shamed....

they knew their victims so well this way...possibly too well as they added the act of photographing them to further the humiliation...and i bet they wish they didn't do that now...

what is strange is that they know so well what harms these muslim people, but they have little clue what to do to make them like us or work with us...

i mean, who didn't see that once saddam was removed that the people of iraq would want us gone the next day?

g
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post #335 of 613
Quote:
Originally posted by thegelding

what is strange is that they know so well what harms these muslim people, but they have little clue what to do to make them like us or work with us...
g

indeed, This is a common thread that has popped up a lot, in this instance, in the war in general, and in many different aspects of life.
and basically what it boils down to is that, it's a lot easier to make a mess than it is to clean it up.

To be hated, you only need to do one heinous act, but to be loved you have to be nice all the time. And reversing damaged done is an incredibly difficult process.

Of course I'm sure there are exceptions, this isn't a rule or anything.
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post #336 of 613
Quote:
Originally posted by New
Thanks. It's an important topic.
What strikes me most about this is the sexual character of the abuses. Why is that?

Coming from a middle eastern background, I could only imagine the reaction these images got over there. I can see my dad cursing the US for this indignity. I thought it was the worst that could happen.... But then I read there may be a photo of an Iraqi woman being raped by a soldier. THAT would be the worst thing that could happen. I can't imagine the reaction that type of photo would get.

Muslim men value their honor greatly but value the honor of their women even more.
post #337 of 613
Quote:
Originally posted by thegelding

what is strange is that they know so well what harms these muslim people, but they have little clue what to do to make them like us or work with us...

Another interesting motive is the dog thing. AFAIK dogs are considered impure by muslims (like pigs, only less). Degrading muslim men symbolically to being a dog (the infamous Lynndie England leash photo) or having Germand Shepherds attack prisoners should add insult to injury to a muslim much more than a christian (any muslim here care to comment ?).

I don't know if this was just diabolical instinct or cross-cultural training put to bad use...

Anyhow, I think we (as we in "all westeners") can stop worrying about pacifying the NE and/or bringing democracy there for some years - I doubt a lot of people are going to believe the talk about human rights and universal moral principles now.

I wonder what is going to happen to the victims. Will they receive psychological counceling on behalf of the US or will they receive just some money to appease the western press. Will Bremer or some higher-ranking official have the guts to confront them and shake their hands?
post #338 of 613
Quote:
Originally posted by Smircle
Another interesting motive is the dog thing. AFAIK dogs are considered impure by muslims (like pigs, only less). Degrading muslim men symbolically to being a dog (the infamous Lynndie England leash photo) or having Germand Shepherds attack prisoners should add insult to injury to a muslim much more than a christian (any muslim here care to comment ?).

You hit the nail on the head. There's nothing more to it, really. They believe dogs to be impure. I don't know where it comes from except that there's a saying of the prophet that says if there has been a dog in an area, you can't pray there until it is cleaned.

Quote:

I wonder what is going to happen to the victims. Will they receive psychological counceling on behalf of the US or will they receive just some money to appease the western press. Will Bremer or some higher-ranking official have the guts to confront them and shake their hands?

Middle eastern men don't do therapy.
post #339 of 613
This is what a US Senator had to say this morning:
Quote:
I watch this outrage that everyone seems to have about the treatment of these prisoners I have to say and I'm probably not the only one up at this table that is more outraged by the outrage than we are by the treatment.

He's more outraged at being critical of torture than of torture itself. Huh. He then went on to say essentially "yeah but Saddam was even worse!" and then had this to say:
Quote:
I am also outraged that we have so many humanitarian do-gooders right now crawling all over these prisons, looking for human rights violations while our troops, our heroes, are fighting and dying.

I saw Senator McCain, who was sitting next to him, get up and walk out. Maybe he had to use the bathroom or something, but it was interesting that he got up and left right at that time.

Someone should catalog conservatives' responses to this. Another example, Limbaugh has said:
Quote:
I'm talking about people having a good time, these people, you ever heard of emotional release? You heard of need to blow some steam off?

Wow. The MPs were just trying to have some fun, and here we are trying to ruin their good times. Who would've known that Limbaugh's idea of a good time was to torture people.
post #340 of 613
Quote:
Originally posted by ericg
I think it has to do with Arab culture.. where homesexuality is considered even a bigger taboo as in the western world.

With respect, his doesn't make sense. The question was about why the US troops abuse manifested in a sexual way - if this has to do with Arab culture, are you saying that the abuse was consciously sexual because the troops new of this (alleged) attitude of the Arabs ?

Surely the position of 'Arab culture' is in any case irrelevant as it is in western culture that the answer to this question must lie as the perps were western.

Also, I would argue that homosexuality is less of a taboo in the Islamic/Arab world. One only has to read the first few pages of the 1001 Nights or research the exploits of Isherwood, Laurence etc in the hinterlands of Morocco and Arabia to glimpse the real Arab view on this matter.

Prejudice, where it does occur, is reserved for the passive partner in homosexual acts. In fact there are no different words for gay men in Arabic (excluding slang) but there are two words for the sexual activity as a whole which are generally applied - one, for the person on the receiving end (so to speak) is always perjorative (this is the insult that nearest approximates to 'gay' or 'queer' when used as a term of abuse in the west), the other is for the active partner and is 'heroic' in meaning regardless again of gender. Although this is still an unenlightened attitude, one might reasonably argue that it is less so than in the west where homosexuality is 'taboo' (where it is taboo) in both instances.

Excellent source material for this topic can be found in the indefatigable Arabist Richard Burton's voluminous notes on the subject of Islamic sexuality in general and homosexuality in particular (a field in which he had a certain amount of experience apparently).

Err...I'm waffling and off-topic - sorry

Better say something pertinent: Imo there is no cultural issue here. War will always throw up cases of rape and of course it is well known as not being so much a sexual act than an establishment or proclamation of power that increases in frequency and ferocity in proportion to the perceived 'powerlessness' subconsciously manifested by the perpetrator.

These guys were just let off the leash in a place where they felt they would not be held accountable for things they felt like doing but never could due to the constraints of their own society. That's what happens - I think we could usefully look more to 'Christian morality' (this isn't a bash - I mean theologically) and conditioning than any eastern source personally.
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post #341 of 613
Quote:
Originally posted by segovius

Also, I would argue that homosexuality is less of a taboo in the Islamic/Arab world. One only has to read the first few pages of the 1001 Nights or research the exploits of Isherwood, Laurence etc in the hinterlands of Morocco and Arabia to glimpse the real Arab view on this matter.

Prejudice, where it does occur, is reserved for the passive partner in homosexual acts. In fact there are no different words for gay men in Arabic (excluding slang) but there are two words for the sexual activity as a whole which are generally applied - one, for the person on the receiving end (so to speak) is always perjorative (this is the insult that nearest approximates to 'gay' or 'queer' when used as a term of abuse in the west), the other is for the active partner and is 'heroic' in meaning regardless again of gender. Although this is still an unenlightened attitude, one might reasonably argue that it is less so than in the west where homosexuality is 'taboo' (where it is taboo) in both instances.

I'm sorry, but you couldn't be more wrong. Many middle eastern parents would rather have their children die than be gay. I'm serious.

As for the Arabian Nights thing - they were just stories and that culture is long since gone.
post #342 of 613
From BRussell's link above:

Quote:
Now -- oh, one other thing. All the idea about these pictures. I would suggest to you any pictures -- and I think maybe we should get direction from this committee, Mr. Chairman, that if pictures are authorized to be disseminated among the public, that for every picture of abuse or alleged abuse of prisoners, we have pictures of mass graves, pictures of children being executed, pictures of the four Americans in Baghdad that were burned and their bodies were mutilated and dismembered in public. Let's get the whole picture.

They did worse, so it's ok we do bad too. Sickening. Really.
post #343 of 613
So , if we re talking about soldiers using dogs and humiliating prisoners by sex acts.. someone told them what this would be more humiliating to these people as opposed to other things (beating in front of others, etc..).

All that saying that they weren't properly trained... is a BS.

They were PROPERLY trained, oh they were....
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post #344 of 613
Quote:
Originally posted by torifile
From BRussell's link above:



They did worse, so it's ok we do bad too. Sickening. Really.

It is sickening. People are trying to justify this in response to the outrage because it has reflected poorly on the Bush Administration... but there really is no defending this.

post #345 of 613
Quote:
Originally posted by segovius
With respect, his doesn't make sense. The question was about why the US troops abuse manifested in a sexual way - if this has to do with Arab culture, are you saying that the abuse was consciously sexual because the troops new of this (alleged) attitude of the Arabs ?

That's certainly one theory, and I think it's probably why New brought it up. Remember, the allegation here is that MPs were brought into the interrogation process when they shouldn't have been. They were softening up the prisoners. One theory is that the military intelligence officers performing the interrogations knew enough about Arab culture to know that this would be a pretty severe form of torture, and so, at least in their view, it would help them with the interrogation. It also could be the reason women were involved in the torture, and why they were taking pictures - both would increase the humiliation.

It could be that these MPs were totally acting on their own and came up with this just to have some fun, as Limbaugh would say. They were taking pictures just for souvenirs. I personally doubt it, but who knows.
post #346 of 613
CNN displays the current headline: "No direct orders given for abuse". What exactly does "direct order" mean, and in what context? This is so typically misleading, where the media are being apologists for senior officials, instead of taking them to task.

In contrast, here is the lead editorial in the latest issue of ARMY TIMES, which paints a very different picture.

Quote:
Editorial: A failure of leadership at the highest levels

Around the halls of the Pentagon, a term of caustic derision has emerged for the enlisted soldiers at the heart of the furor over the Abu Ghraib prison scandal: the six morons who lost the war.

Indeed, the damage done to the U.S. military and the nation as a whole by the horrifying photographs of U.S. soldiers abusing Iraqi detainees at the notorious prison is incalculable.

But the folks in the Pentagon are talking about the wrong morons.

There is no excuse for the behavior displayed by soldiers in the now-infamous pictures and an even more damning report by Army Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba. Every soldier involved should be ashamed.

But while responsibility begins with the six soldiers facing criminal charges, it extends all the way up the chain of command to the highest reaches of the military hierarchy and its civilian leadership.

The entire affair is a failure of leadership from start to finish. From the moment they are captured, prisoners are hooded, shackled and isolated. The message to the troops: Anything goes.

In addition to the scores of prisoners who were humiliated and demeaned, at least 14 have died in custody in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Army has ruled at least two of those homicides. This is not the way a free people keeps its captives or wins the hearts and minds of a suspicious world.

How tragically ironic that the American military, which was welcomed to Baghdad by the euphoric Iraqi people a year ago as a liberating force that ended 30 years of tyranny, would today stand guilty of dehumanizing torture in the same Abu Ghraib prison used by Saddam Husseins henchmen.

One can only wonder why the prison wasnt razed in the wake of the invasion as a symbolic stake through the heart of the Baathist regime.

Army commanders in Iraq bear responsibility for running a prison where there was no legal adviser to the commander, and no ultimate responsibility taken for the care and treatment of the prisoners.

Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, also shares in the shame. Myers asked 60 Minutes II to hold off reporting news of the scandal because it could put U.S. troops at risk. But when the report was aired, a week later, Myers still hadnt read Tagubas report, which had been completed in March. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld also failed to read the report until after the scandal broke in the media.

By then, of course, it was too late.

Myers, Rumsfeld and their staffs failed to recognize the impact the scandal would have not only in the United States, but around the world.

If their staffs failed to alert Myers and Rumsfeld, shame on them. But shame, too, on the chairman and secretary, who failed to inform even President Bush.

He was left to learn of the explosive scandal from media reports instead of from his own military leaders.

On the battlefield, Myers and Rumsfelds errors would be called a lack of situational awareness a failure that amounts to professional negligence.

To date, the Army has moved to court-martial the six soldiers suspected of abusing Iraqi detainees and has reprimanded six others.

Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, who commanded the MP brigade that ran Abu Ghraib, has received a letter of admonishment and also faces possible disciplinary action.

Thats good, but not good enough.

This was not just a failure of leadership at the local command level. This was a failure that ran straight to the top. Accountability here is essential even if that means relieving top leaders from duty in a time of war.
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post #347 of 613
Quote:
Originally posted by New
What strikes me most about this is the sexual character of the abuses. Why is that?

I have found it very interesting that there have been a good number of articles discussing issues within US prisons and how this may not be so completely unheard of. NYT had an article concerning an Iraqi prison administrator that had previously been under fire because, among other things, a prisoner had dies in his prison after being bound naked to a chair for 16 hours.

Add to this the wide acceptance (encouragement?) of sexual abuse in prisons and one has to wonder what exactly is at work.
Quote:
Originally posted by torifile
I'm sorry, but you couldn't be more wrong. Many middle eastern parents would rather have their children die than be gay. I'm serious.

And not just muslims.

I also have the impression that other americans read this kind of point and assume we are discussing gruff, mean-spirited personalities when really it crosses all boundaries.
Quote:
Originally posted by Akumulator
It is sickening. People are trying to justify this in response to the outrage because it has reflected poorly on the Bush Administration... but there really is no defending this.

I think someone put it well when they said (did I see it here on AO?) how disturbing it is that our measure of prisoner treatment is against the absolute lowest end of the spectrum. It's like saying, "Sure we are horrible, but at least we aren't like Saddam or the Nazis."
post #348 of 613
Quote:
Originally posted by sammi jo
CNN displays the current headline: "No direct orders given for abuse". What exactly does "direct order" mean, and in what context? This is so typically misleading, where the media are being apologists for senior officials, instead of taking them to task.

Actually it says "Taguba: No direct order given for abuse"

Taguba is the person saying "No direct order given for abuse", not CNN.

Quote:
In contrast, here is the lead editorial in the latest issue of ARMY TIMES, which paints a very different picture.

That was a great read... thanks for posting it. I agree with it completely.
post #349 of 613
Quote:
Originally posted by torifile
I'm sorry, but you couldn't be more wrong. Many middle eastern parents would rather have their children die than be gay. I'm serious.

As for the Arabian Nights thing - they were just stories and that culture is long since gone.

No doubt - I try to judge 'culture' by its highest manifestation rather than the lowest though.

Christianity and Islam long since lost touch with the ideals of their founders for example but I'd still judge both by their highest ideals rather than what we have now.

I think they call it denial
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #350 of 613
Quote:
Originally posted by Akumulator
[B]Actually it says "Taguba: No direct order given for abuse"

Taguba is the person saying "No direct order given for abuse", not CNN.

Yes, agreed. The point I was trying to make was that the media are just parrotting the misleading commentary of senior officials with little question or analysis, as usual.

From that ARMY TIMES editorial:

Quote:
The entire affair is a failure of leadership from start to finish. From the moment they are captured, prisoners are hooded, shackled and isolated. The message to the troops: Anything goes.

Maybe nobody in command isued a direct order, such as " you go torture Mohammed X in cell 1234"...etc. Under the prison regime there was no need to. Maybe they did, we shall probably never find out. But importantly, this happened, it was approved, it was systemic, and was allowed to continue for a year.

I would bet that nobody's head rolls for this, that nobody will ultimately take any responsibility.

As with 9-11.
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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post #351 of 613
And the vicious cycle shifts into high gear:
Al Qaeda-Linked Group Beheads American in Iraq

Quote:
An Islamist web site showed a videotape Tuesday of an al Qaeda-linked group beheading an American and vowing more executions as revenge for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners.
post #352 of 613
Quote:
Originally posted by thegelding
i mean, who didn't see that once saddam was removed that the people of iraq would want us gone the next day?

Good question, that. Who indeed did not see it? Well, we can all see now who didn't, and there's a surprise. Not.

But that is hardly surprising because that is what happens, when you *don't* have a plan, relying instead on posturing Rambo tactics. That alone should really be reason enough for Rumsfeld to do the honourable <cough> thing and chuck it in. But then, he is doing such a tremendous job, we are told by none less than the man at the top, and the whole country owes him a debt of gratitude. Geeeeez, is this for real?

Why is it these days, that when the s**t hits the fan, politicians everywhere almost always "didn't know"?

Some of us here said over a year ago that it will all end in tears, and of this there can now, alas, be no doubt. What a major ****-up with far reaching consequences. Thank you, the coalition.



As a BTW, Rumsfeld's British counterpart gave a great performance in an hour long session in Parliament yesterday of not really answering any questions at all. Looks like these guys all went to the same school.

This from the "Daily Telegraph" http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main...questid=126772

British troops serving in Iraq broke a 33-year ban on hooding prisoners for interrogation, Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, told the Commons yesterday as he offered an "unreserved" apology to any Iraqis who had been mistreated.

He disclosed that two cases of alleged abuse by British forces had reached "an advanced stage with decisions on prosecutions pending".

But MPs were incredulous as Mr Hoon admitted ministers had not been shown a Red Cross report given to coalition officials in February detailing serious mistreatment of detainees until the allegations surfaced in the press last week.

He claimed that officials took what they thought was the necessary action and did not pass on to him or Tony Blair the detailed allegations of beating, excessive hooding and physical humiliation of Iraqis by coalition forces.

Although most of the criticism was directed at American troops, the Red Cross report raised the death in British custody of an Iraqi hotel receptionist, Baba Mousa.

The report claimed that British soldiers "stamped on the back of the head" of prisoners who raised their heads after being forced to kneel.

The findings of the International Committee of the Red Cross were leaked to the media after the Government refused to publish them. They disclosed that the ICRC complained a year ago about the "systematic use of hoods and flexi-cuffs" in a British interrogation centre at the Iraqi port town of Umm Qasr.

Mr Hoon told MPs the practice was stopped in UK facilities last September, and said the ban on hooding was still in force in the military. Troops were ordered in 1971 by the Heath Government not to use hoods when interrogating prisoners after complaints about the ill treatment of Catholics in Northern Ireland.

Mr Hoon made clear the Government now believed that photographs published in the Daily Mirror nine days ago, allegedly showing members of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment ill-treating a hooded Iraqi detainee, had been faked in Britain.

According to the Military Police Special Investigations Branch, there were "strong indications that the vehicle in which the photographs were taken was not in Iraq during the relevant period", he said.

Later, on Channel 4 News, Mr Hoon described the photographs as a "hoax".

Defence sources said the photographs appeared to have been "mocked up" at Kimberley barracks, Preston, using a four-ton Bedford MK lorry. The barracks is home to the TA's Lancastrian and Cumberland Volunteers.

A carefully worded statement issued by the Mirror left open the possibility that the photographs had been staged.

It said: "We remain absolutely confident that those pictures accurately illustrate a serious abuse of a detainee by members of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment."

But the paper claimed the issue was now wider than the one set of photos and was about whether British soldiers abused Iraqis in contravention of the Geneva Convention.

The Government is braced for further criticism today in a report from Amnesty International, which has been investigating allegations of abuse. It alleges British troops shot dead Iraqi civilians, including an eight-year-old girl, when they were not under threat.

The report claims that many cases of Iraqis being killed by British troops have not been properly investigated. Any inquiries that have been launched were "secretive" with families of victims not properly informed.

The report was compiled following visits to UK-administered southern Iraq in February and March by delegates from the human rights organisation. They interviewed families, witnesses, Iraqi police and officials of the Coalition Provisional Authority.

It alleges that Hanan Saleh Matrud was shot dead by a member of 1 Bn, the King's Regiment last August. Amnesty cites an eye-witness as saying that rather than being killed as the result of a warning shot as the Army claimed, she was shot dead by a soldier who fired at her directly from 60 yards.

Mr Hoon faced accusations from normally loyal Labour MPs that the coalition risked "losing the peace" as abuse allegations reverberated around the Arab world.

Joyce Quin, a former Foreign Office minister, called for Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, to resign.

Mr Hoon said all allegations of mistreatment by British troops were thoroughly investigated. Of 33 allegations of deaths, injuries and ill-treatment, so far no case to answer had been found in 15.

However, Mr Hoon came under fire after he disclosed that the Red Cross report into treatment of coalition prisoners had been seen by ministers only "very recently".

He said it had been passed to the UK in confidence by Paul Bremer, the US head of the coalition administration, in February.

Copies went to Mr Blair's then envoy in Iraq, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, the UK military representative in Iraq, and Permanent Joint Headquarters in Northwood, Middlesex.

Officials there decided that as all issues relating to British forces had already been dealt with, the report did not need to be referred to ministers.

The Foreign Office denied any inconsistency between Mr Hoon telling MPs that a copy of the Red Cross report had gone to Sir Jeremy, and what Sir Jeremy told The Daily Telegraph on Sunday when he said: "We were not involved with and knew nothing about the methods of interrogation or in any sense the way in which people were being treated."

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "It sounds like he was speaking about when they were happening, we did not know. Then we got the Red Cross report. That is not necessarily contradictory."

Nicholas Soames, the Tory defence spokesman, said: "If he [Mr Hoon) did not know about it, he most emphatically should have done and he is unacceptably complacent and negligent in not having done so."

The Prime Minister looked uncomfortable when challenged during a press conference with the Chinese prime minister, Wen Jiabao, in London. Mr Blair said he had still not seen the ICRC report.



- T. I.
MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2013) / 2.6 GHz Intel Core i5 / 8GB RAM / 500GB SSD
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post #353 of 613
Quote:
Originally posted by The Installer
Why is it these days, that when the s**t hits the fan, politicians everywhere almost always "didn't know"?

Vote Bush '04: It's Not His Fault

I expect politicians to cover their asses. What's really outrageous is that so many american citizens don't feel it's necessary to hold them accountable.
Quote:
Originally posted by sammi jo
Maybe nobody in command isued a direct order, such as " you go torture Mohammed X in cell 1234"...etc.

Exactly.

The higher ups might not be to blame in the 'direct order' sense, but they are unquestionably to blame for laying the groundwork for this to occur. The secrecy of detentions in Iraq, Afghanistan and gitmo, the promotion of distrust of the international community and the "america can do no wrong" attitude all combined to create a situation that allowed the individuals the believe this was acceptable.

Add to this the fact that the military's leadership is so extreme and unrealistic as seen in Rumsfeld's neglect of the army, WMD assessments and reactions, boykin's (Dep underSec of Intel) religious extremism, wolfowitz's undeniable and extreme disconnection from reality and the overall misguided ideology driving the civilian leadership. And this isn't even all of it (for instance: chalabi)

Responsibility for this extends far beyond who did or did not give an order. This did not happen in a vacuum.

It leaves you wondering if there is a single thing the current DoD leadership has done right.
post #354 of 613
Quote:
Originally posted by giant
Vote Bush '04: It's Not His Fault

I expect politicians to cover their asses. What's really outrageous is that so many american citizens don't feel it's necessary to hold them accountable.

That's our dubyah
orange you just glad?
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orange you just glad?
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post #355 of 613
Just found this. Slightly off-topic and a bit long, but still, a good read. And very topical too with a showbusiness analogy.

I am posting the text, because I think you need to be a Telegraph subscriber.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/m...ixnewstop.html

Bush and Blair must never forget: if they blink, they lose
(Filed: 11/05/2004)

Troy, the Brad Pitt version, is coming soon to a cinema near you. It is, as they say in movie credits, "from an idea by" Homer, who called it the Iliad. The Iliad begins during a hiatus in the war against Troy, with the Greeks falling out among themselves. Zeus arranges for a message to come to the Greek king Agamemnon in a dream. It tells him that, if he attacks Troy suddenly and at once, the gods will unite for his success.


Waking, Agamemnon immediately summons the Royal Council, and tells them of the dream, and that he will follow its instructions. Old Nestor, King of Pylos, stands up: "My friends, if any other of our countrymen had told us of a dream like this, we should have thought it false. But as it is, the man who had the dream is our commander-in-chief; so I propose that we take steps at once to get the troops under arms."

They ready themselves; but the dream of Agamemnon is a trick played upon him. Zeus has secretly taken the part of sulking Achilles, and his message sends the Greeks hastening to destruction.

Has something like this befallen America? Agamemnon's dream came after nine years of the Trojan war. Did September 11, coming 11 years after the first Gulf War and the failure to go on to Baghdad, give George W Bush the false dream that he could at last finish the business? Mr Bush is the commander-in-chief. Did he, believing himself inspired by what he calls, to Bob Woodward, his "higher father", lead his people to disaster? And has young Blair, like Nestor, accepted where he should have doubted, and thrown in his own people's lot with the deluded king?

That is what many are now inviting us to think. The narrative on television every day is of crisis, disappointment, suffering, division and anger. And the evidence does not seem to be hard to find.

There are plenty of protests against the coalition and plenty of attacks on them. There is film of children mutilated in allied actions. There is terrible violence against Fallujah suddenly offered and just as suddenly dropped. No one has found WMD. There are 750 dead Americans. In the Arab world, there is fury. In Europe, there is disgust. And now there are pictures of young American women sexually humiliating their prisoners; and Donald Rumsfeld, in what must be the most reluctant film trailer in history, confesses that there is more to come.

You would not have to be an inveterate opponent of the war to have your doubts. That is where I would guess the largest single group of readers of this newspaper perhaps the largest single group of British people is: not irretrievably hostile, but despondent, uncertain. Where have we got to?

It is necessary, but not sufficient, to point out that much of the drama at this moment is generated by politics. Mr Bush is seeking re-election (and Tony Blair is not far behind him). He therefore desperately needs everything to look good. His opponents (and these include almost all the television networks both here and in America) even more desperately want it to look bad. Even people who, in essence, support the war, such as John Kerry in America and Michael Howard here, feel a bit happier with bad news than is altogether decent.

And, of course, the terrorists have their electoral politics too. They believe they have got rid of a government in Spain. Think of the joy of unseating an American president. The transfer of sovereignty in Iraq whatever, exactly, that means takes place on June 30. So many people have such strong motives for trying to knock the baton out of the hand that tries to pass it. Expect even more sound and fury between now and July. And do not expect the cameras to show you those large expanses of Iraq where there is order, running water, regular electricity and well attended lectures on how to build democracy.

"Some of Iraq is bloody nearly like Maidenhead," said one distinguished expert on the region to me. I can't say I've noticed anything quite like the old Skindles Hotel on the banks of the Tigris or Euphrates, but one shares his frustration at the blood-dimmed presentations daily on our screen.

Comparisons give a bit of perspective. In Vietnam, 55,000 US servicemen died. The figure so far in Iraq is less than 1.5 per cent of that. In the Mesopotamian campaigns of the First World War, there were more than 900,000 British and Imperial casualties (those figures include hundreds of thousands suffering from disease). Casualties among indigenous civilians are also much lower than in the great conflicts of the past. Such perspective is almost entirely lacking in television reporting.

But, as I say, complaint about the media does not cover all points. There are objective reasons not to be very cheerful. Here are some, drawn from recent conversations with soldiers, intelligence sources, political people, historians and our own correspondents, here, in America and "in theatre":

Washington is divided by turf wars, and the American military resent what they see as the high-handedness of Donald Rumsfeld; Colin Powell is seen as weak and ineffective; Condoleezza Rice is criticised for failing to give the President candid advice;

In Britain, no one is in charge, except, intermittently, Mr Blair. Compare it with the Falklands war and you can see how impossible it is for decisions to be taken;

Globalised communications mean that President and Prime Minister get sucked into tactical questions, such as Fallujah, instead of strategy, so you have shock-and-awe one day, hearts-and-minds the next;

The Islamists now have an arena for their violent efforts, one that is in the heart of the Muslim world and readily accessible from Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran. And having got there, they can be anonymous in the crowd;

The Iraqi people themselves are discontented. There is no general revolt but, except for the Kurds, people are grumpy. They are pleased to be rid of Saddam Hussein, but they don't feel confident about the new dispensation. If they got much grumpier, it wouldn't be Vietnam, but it might be like the Soviets in Afghanistan.

Debate rages about the source of the problems. The British, who feel, with some justice, that their troops are better at dealing with local human beings than the "too kinetic" American forces, believe that Washington has imposed organised naïveté upon a complicated country. The Americans don't know how to deal with tribal chiefs, they say, and they have depended too much on returning exiles who are resented by those who stayed at home. The American insistence on "de-Ba'athification", they argue, meant that anyone who knew how to do anything in the country was excluded and is therefore resentful.

A similar problem, say the British, arose with the Iraqi army. I was given the example of the Sikh regiments that fought us in the 1840s. Once we beat them, we simply turned them round, en masse, and got them to fight for the East India Company and then the Raj. After independence, they served their new masters equally happily, as they do in the Indian army to this day: that is what should have happened with the Iraqi army and the police. The British want the Americans to talk less about democracy, and more about stability.

The Americans, on the other hand, are more likely to believe that the project for Iraqi democracy is being hampered by timidity and vested interests. They didn't commit so much just to shuffle the pack of moustachioed villains and cut a deal with whoever came out on top.

It's not true, they say, that the Ba'athists are the only people who can run anything: their top 40,000 members created the infrastructrual mess that we have to clear up, as well as the terror. Regime change is supposed to mean just that. If you cosy up to Ba'athists you will, among other things, systematically exclude Shias, who mostly steered clear of what was essentially a Sunni movement. The lack of a Shia majority revolt so far is what keeps the situation manageable.

It is also debatable whether the invasion is generally unpopular. It took time for the population to accept that the years of terror finally were over, but once this had happened Iraqi anger directed itself at the coalition not for too much intervention but for too little the complaints are about leaving the field open to criminals, Ba'athists and extremists. I was grimly amused to see this confirmed by the letter from a British serving officer in Saturday's paper, who said the people of Basra were constantly urging torture upon him, in order to deal with the gangsters who make their lives a misery.

The Americans think the British and those in their own State Department and the CIA who think like them don't get the point that the old way of dealing with the Muslim world has failed. It drives them wild to see Jack Straw sucking up to an Iranian government that still sponsors terror. They believe that the modern elements in Iraq the surprisingly strong urban, educated, politically secular middle class need the chance to build a civil society there.

They will never get that chance if the coalition temporises with the old order, and sits still as rejectionists flood in from neighbouring countries. Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia, they point out, all want the experiment in Iraq to fail, and can use their porous borders to help bring failure about.

It sounds feeble to say it, but each view has some right on its side. The British probably do have a better pragmatic sense of how to deal with Arabs the long imperial experience is relevant. And, if they are to unpick nations, the Americans must learn the skills of nation-building which, well into 2002, they were still explicitly rejecting. Americans tended to believe that lots of good things would happen spontaneously after the invasion of Iraq, so when most of them didn't, they didn't have a plan.

But if the British see the "micro" more pragmatically, it is the Americans who continue to furnish the "macro". What do you do with failed states, religiously motivated terrorism and organised instability across the Islamic world? Having seen what Yasser Arafat has done for 40 years, how can anyone believe that what Israel/Palestine needs is just one more heave of some peace process? When you see what happened with the oil-for-food programme, how can you argue that the future of trouble-spots such as these can rest with bodies such as the United Nations? What is the racial theory that insists that Arabs must always be unfit for democracy?

The interventions of the European Union and of what one expert calls the "Dad's Army Intifada" of the 52 British ex-diplomats make some valid criticisms, but offer no solutions or even, forgive the phrase, road-maps for one. When a great power injects a new idea into the political world that we must not appease dictators, that an Iron Curtain is descending across Europe, that we face a "war against terrorism" - it is bound at first to be imperfectly thought out, but it is the opponents of these new ideas, not their authors, who look shabby in the light of history.

Anyway, we are where we are, and where we are, according to all my varied collection of experts, is far from hopeless. A tyrant who ruined his country and defied the free world is in prison. Iraq is becoming more prosperous and the infrastructure is recovering, though too slowly. From July 1, it will have the inklings of self-rule.

Although the country is an artificial construction of the colonial mind, it has acquired reality over time: most of its inhabitants see themselves as Iraqis rather than solely as Kurds, Sunnis or Shias. They want an Islamic nation, but a modern one, not a theocracy. Even the main theocrats (the "moderate" Shia leaders) prefer stability to al-Sadr's Mahdi Army or Iranian intrigue. No, Iraq is not about to become Sweden on the Tigris, but it could become the fairly open, prosperous and educated society which, once upon a time, it was. If it did, it would set an example that changed the shape of the region.

And the coalition attacks on Afghanistan, and then on Iraq, not to mention missions in the Philippines, and gentler tactics in Libya and Pakistan, have made a difference. If you are Yemen, Syria, Iran, you have been given pause for thought. All these warnings against "setting the Muslim world ablaze" ignore the fact that the fire was burning fiercely before anyone thought of the war against terrorism (and that there have actually been fewer terrorist attacks since September 11 than in the preceding years).

As Osama bin Laden himself made clear in advance, the attack on the World Trade Centre was a response to American weakness, not strength. It was America's departure from Beirut in 1984, and from Mogadishu in 1993, that emboldened terrorists to further attack: imagine the violence that would follow an allied retreat from Iraq. People who want the troops to leave now must realise that they are asking for something as politically big, though perhaps not as militarily significant, as calling for all Nato troops to leave West Germany in, say, 1980.

What could the coalition do better? More troops would be nice there have never been enough Americans, and this leads to the insecurity of convoys and the beleaguered compounds that keep occupiers so apart from the people. Clear command and control would be nicer still, particularly for the British, who have more or less unlimited liability for the conflict, but very little power over it.

But what is needed above all is consistent political and military willpower, publicly demonstrated and explained. Without this, the media will create the future. Mr Bush and Mr Blair need serious speeches about why it matters so much to get it right and what getting it right means.

They will, from now till polling day, be tempted to slide away from what is happening in Iraq, but they should, in fact, do the opposite, challenging their opponents to back them. In Iraq itself, they need to enforce their will quickly, preferring the quick assault to the siege. They need to keep up the push for a plural society with elections, rather than one where some new strongman is found to replace the old. And they need to make sure that trouble-making neighbours, especially Iran, are repudiated, not courted. If they blink, they lose.

Mr Bush can comfort himself with the thought that, despite Zeus, the Greeks did win at last. There's just the small problem of finding some wily Odysseus who can think of the Trojan Horse.



- T. I.
MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2013) / 2.6 GHz Intel Core i5 / 8GB RAM / 500GB SSD
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post #356 of 613
Quote:
Originally posted by giant
Vote Bush '04: It's Not His Fault

I expect politicians to cover their asses. What's really outrageous is that so many american citizens don't feel it's necessary to hold them accountable.

I would ©right that slogan before it's stolen from right under your nose

As to the politicians covering their asses, I don't particularly see anything wrong with that, human nature I guess, but most of us I don't think can do it so well. So, there is something we can all learn from our politicians

- T. I.
MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2013) / 2.6 GHz Intel Core i5 / 8GB RAM / 500GB SSD
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post #357 of 613
Quote:
Originally posted by The Installer
I would ©right that slogan before it's stolen from right under your nose

I'd make bumber stickers, but I have a feeling many Bush supporters wouldn't realize it's a joke.
post #358 of 613
Quote:
Originally posted by Smircle
Another interesting motive is the dog thing.

Saddam Hussein reportedly had packs of dogs trained to attack prisoners during interrogation. There were rumors that some dogs were specially trained to rape prisoners.
post #359 of 613
I'm more or less weirded out/horrified/depressed by the latest line of reasoning I've come across in the right wing media.

The thinking is that the behavior of the "few bad apples" that committed the abuse was conditioned by America's sex mad and godless culture (brought to you by liberals).

I've now heard several radio pundits basically blame the whole affair on the lack of values that the soldiers grew up with, leading them to what apparently are regarded as episodes of sexual perversity, not unlike "the sex fairs" and "celebrations of homosexuality" that stain the campuses of Americas "liberal dominated" universities.

I mean, there really isn't too much to say about this kind of insanity, other than to hope it isn't shared by very many people; but combined with the predictable "outraged about the outrage" stuff, and the "have you forgotten Saddam's crimes" stuff, and the "where's the concern for our brave troops" stuff (which taken in the aggregate I have to assume actually does represent the thinking of some appreciable percentage of Americans), it leaves me with a very mournful feeling about who we are, any more, as a people.

I hope I'm wrong, and that in this case the right wing pundocracy has, in its habitual frenzy of liberal bashing, shot right past its audience into a fever dream of rationalization and rage, but I don't know.

Is there really a hard core of people who consider themselves "patriots" that look at something like this and only see partisan politics at play, a relatively minor problem that has been seized upon by the "liberal media" as an opportunity to "get Bush"?
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #360 of 613
Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
by America's sex mad and godless culture

I feel like I've heard that somewhere before.
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