this is appalling, abuse of Iraqi prisoners



  • Reply 321 of 578
    sammi josammi jo Posts: 4,634member
    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.


    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 Hussein?s henchmen.

    One can only wonder why the prison wasn?t 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 hadn?t read Taguba?s 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 Rumsfeld?s 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.

    That?s 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.

  • Reply 322 of 578
    giantgiant Posts: 6,041member

    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.


    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.


    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."
  • Reply 323 of 578
    akumulatorakumulator Posts: 1,111member

    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.


    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.
  • Reply 324 of 578
    sammi josammi jo Posts: 4,634member

    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:


    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.
  • Reply 325 of 578
    smirclesmircle Posts: 1,035member
    And the vicious cycle shifts into high gear:

    Al Qaeda-Linked Group Beheads American in Iraq


    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.

  • Reply 326 of 578

    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"

    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.
  • Reply 327 of 578
    giantgiant Posts: 6,041member

    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.


    Originally posted by sammi jo

    Maybe nobody in command isued a direct order, such as " you go torture Mohammed X in cell 1234"...etc.


    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.
  • Reply 328 of 578
    wrong robotwrong robot Posts: 3,907member

    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
  • Reply 329 of 578
    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.

    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.
  • Reply 330 of 578

    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.
  • Reply 331 of 578
    giantgiant Posts: 6,041member

    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.
  • Reply 332 of 578
    kneelbeforezodkneelbeforezod Posts: 1,120member

    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.
  • Reply 333 of 578
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,664member
    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"?
  • Reply 334 of 578
    giantgiant Posts: 6,041member

    Originally posted by addabox

    by America's sex mad and godless culture

    I feel like I've heard that somewhere before.
  • Reply 335 of 578
    faust9faust9 Posts: 1,335member
    The other apologist argument, as we've seen here in this thread, is "...they were bad men..." Never mind our core values as Americans. Forget about that rule of law. Protect the Pres, and Scumfeld any way possible. Their explanations are shallow and I dare say most people see right through them. You can't polish a terd no matter how hard you try. Bush needs to come forward and apologize to the Iraqis himself. Bush needs to give Scummy the boot before this little incident will truely blow over. Until that time pictures an alligations will do nothing but harm his bid for reelection. A picture or alligation, or video will find media coverage each week for the next month chipping away at Bush's standing and credability unless he--himself not McCleland--steps up to the plate.

    Oaklhoma residents here's your rep: James Inhofe.


    If they're in cellblock 1-A or 1-B, these prisoners, they're murderers, they're terrorists, they're insurgents. Many of them probably have American blood on their hands, and here we're so concerned about the treatment of those individuals.


    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.


    Moron!!! We have a constitution which applies. We are signatories to the Genovia Conventions. What a F'n boob!!!

    McCain got up and walked out of the senate hearings while Inhofe was spewing his drivel. Did McCain have to use the bathroom or did he get a 911 text message? Who knows but it is odd that he, a POW, chose that moment to walk out. Well done McCain. Way to lessen the impact of your fellow repub's speech without having to say a word for or against. Well played.
  • Reply 336 of 578
    hardheadhardhead Posts: 644member
    faust9, you're being too easy on Mr. Inhofe. I have a better term for him and his ilk... I had lost faith in McCain. Apparently some of his soul still remains intact...

    Our heroes would not be in such dire straights if our "leaders" had not chosen this particular fight under these particular circustances based on a particular set of seemingly erroneous data.

    President Bush dropped the ball (again...) by not immediately appologizing to the people of Iraq directly and honestly. Of course, he doesn't make mistakes, or can't remember a time that he did... This situation is so pathetic and becoming worse by the hour for our soldiers in harms way.

    Our troops have been put in position where they will have to fire first and ask questions later.

    If, I say if, there is any grain of truth that many of the detainees were mistakenly put in AG, only to suffer at the hands of the "liberators", the damage to American and British military PR integrety may be long term. Even if Kerry takes the White House.

    This prison in particular should have been TORN DOWN! WTF!
  • Reply 337 of 578
    naplesxnaplesx Posts: 3,743member

    Originally posted by Smircle

    And the vicious cycle shifts into high gear:

    Al Qaeda-Linked Group Beheads American in Iraq

    Are you suggesting that AQ is doing this because of these mistreatments?

    What about Pearle?
  • Reply 338 of 578
    northgatenorthgate Posts: 4,461member

    Originally posted by NaplesX

    Are you suggesting that AQ is doing this because of these mistreatments?

    What about Pearle?

    Just because they died in a similar fashion DOES NOT make their murders connected. Sure, all the needed was an excuse. But an excuse we gave them.
  • Reply 339 of 578
    naplesxnaplesx Posts: 3,743member

    Originally posted by Northgate

    Just because they died in a similar fashion DOES NOT make their murders connected. Sure, all the needed was an excuse. But an excuse we gave them.

    What is the difference?

    Plane, knife, gun or explosive. This is what AQ does. If this beheading is our fault then all of it ever is our fault.

    You can't have it both ways on this one.
  • Reply 340 of 578
    sapisapi Posts: 207member
    Give me proof that this was done by AQ.


    Are you suggesting that AQ is doing this because of these mistreatments?

    Mistreatments? Wow! Be nice to your friends.


    Plane, knife, gun or explosive. This is what AQ does.

    Now replace AQ by USA.

    And tell us to how to get out of vicious cycle.
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