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A Privatisation Too Far: Mercenaries and Torture in Iraq

By nebbish in Op-Ed
Sat May 01, 2004 at 01:02:33 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

"If we can't hold ourselves up as an example of how to treat people with dignity and respect, we can't ask that other nations do that to our soldiers", says Brigadier General Mark Kimmett, deputy director of operations for the US military in Iraq of damning evidence of the use of torture in a US-run Iraqi prison. This sort of action is unacceptable on a human rights level, puts US forces at risk of revenge attacks and could jeopardise the strength of the coalition. It is important that we understand how such appalling human rights abuses have been allowed to take place.


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According to an article in the Guardian, the jail in question was run by private contractors, and the accused soldiers claim they were acting under the instruction of private interrogators - mercenaries, if you like - hired by the Pentagon.

Aside from the creeping privatisation of all aspects of American life, the use of private contractors in such a sensitive area is a worrying development. It allows the US military and government to devolve responsibility when accused of human rights abuses, and opens up yet another legal grey area in the War on Terror, as the US military does not have jurisdiction over private contractors and Iraq itself does not have a solid legal framework or the means to enforce it.

It should be clear that the US government holds ultimate responsibility for human rights abuses carried out in its name, but yet again a worrying desire to escape responsibility by resorting to legalese is undermining this. Let's just hope that this is the worst example we see.

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o damning evidence
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o an article in the Guardian
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o Also by nebbish


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A Privatisation Too Far: Mercenaries and Torture in Iraq | 484 comments (466 topical, 18 editorial, 4 hidden)
You have an oddly phrased statement. (2.90 / 10) (#11)
by Mr.Surly on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 10:36:03 AM EST

The use of private contractors in such a sensitive military area is a worrying development.

Private contractors are absolutely essential to the continued functionality of our military.  The military is unable and unwilling to train and retain the people necessary to accomplish some of the more technical aspects of what it does.

As an example (and something I'm personally familiar with), the US Navy retains civilian contractors in order to repair and maintain the guidance systems for ship-launched torpedoes.  These people have secret clearance, and work in the on-base facilities, surrounded by secret and top-secret equipment, not to mention large amounts of explosives (and in the past, nuclear weapons).

While you worry about private contractors in a "sensitive military area," consider that the military probably couldn't function without them.   Also, it wouldn't be wise to believe that regular uniformed military would be incapable of committing something of this nature.  Indeed, the actual act was perpetrated by those in uniform.  Those soldiers should have had the sense and guts to stand up for what was right.   Not to drag Godwin into this, but "following orders" doesn't cut it.

I was referring to human rights sensitivity (2.66 / 6) (#12)
by nebbish on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 11:04:34 AM EST

Rather than technical or intelligence sensitivity, but you're right, it could be better worded - I'll see what I can do.

You are of course right about the soldiers. They should be punished accordingly. However, my point is that the orders came from above and were not the actions of out of control individuals - if that's the case, where from? Who is ultimately responsible? Are private contractors being used to cover up for a very upalatable campaign of torture ordered by the military or government?

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Yeah, I see what you mean ... (2.75 / 4) (#16)
by Mr.Surly on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 11:26:50 AM EST

It wouldn't surprise me too much if said contractors were a "plausible deniability" shield.  In any case, both the soldiers involved, and those that ordered it should be rotting in prison.  The BCD was a slap on the wrist.

[ Parent ]
Well... (3.00 / 6) (#17)
by MKalus on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 11:38:30 AM EST

While you worry about private contractors in a "sensitive military area," consider that the military probably couldn't function without them.   Also, it wouldn't be wise to believe that regular uniformed military would be incapable of committing something of this nature.  Indeed, the actual act was perpetrated by those in uniform.  Those soldiers should have had the sense and guts to stand up for what was right.   Not to drag Godwin into this, but "following orders" doesn't cut it.

The problem with Civlian Contractors is that they are no longer "at home" servicing equipment but are now in the Battlefield as well.

This is dangerous.

For one because they are pretty much only loyal to their boss, but worse, because they wear "civlian" clothing but carry weapons and shoot with the intent to kill reports for example are in danger now as well.

Also, if the US wants to go to war they should be abel to support themselves, to rely on private companies to feed and transport the troops is dangerous, especially because the military has no real jurisdiction over those privateers.
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

overseeing POWs (3.00 / 4) (#26)
by mami on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 01:59:32 PM EST

is not a "technical aspect" of war, dammit.

I agree with you on the other point. Anybody can abuse his powers, contracted or active duty military. The difference is that active duty military personel - so far - still get heavily punished for such abuses. I am not so sure, if the same is true for the civilian contractors, reservists or whatnot.

[ Parent ]

Reservists... (3.00 / 4) (#34)
by Mr.Surly on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 02:36:52 PM EST

...are subject to exactly the same legal system as active duty, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), and as such, it would make no difference whether they were reserve or active.

[ Parent ]
ok, I am glad to hear they are under UCMJ (none / 1) (#37)
by mami on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 02:49:52 PM EST

and what about the "contracted Blackwater guys"?

[ Parent ]
They should be under ... (none / 3) (#60)
by Mr.Surly on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 04:32:24 PM EST

... a 300 lb inmate named "susie".

[ Parent ]
Them too (2.50 / 4) (#211)
by dn on Sat May 01, 2004 at 05:47:31 PM EST

The United States Code, Title 18, Section 2340 (18 USC 2340(a); reference courtesy of a comment on Sgt. Stryker's Daily Briefing) makes it a federal crime for a US national to torture anyone:
Whoever outside the United States commits or attempts to commit torture shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and if death results to any person from conduct prohibited by this subsection, shall be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life.
Torture is elsewhere defined to include purely mental attacks, like the mock electrocutions in this case.

Note that if any death arises from the prohibited conduct, the death penalty applies. If some random suicide bomber uses this fiasco as their rallying cry, the contractors will be facing the death penalty, and somehow I don't think Ashcroft & co. will be in a forgiving mood.

Regarding the contracted company, the law frequently treats the actions of US-based companies uniformly regardless of where the actions take place.

    I ♥
TOXIC
WASTE

[ Parent ]

Great link, slight error (2.75 / 4) (#217)
by kmcrober on Sat May 01, 2004 at 06:25:34 PM EST

Thanks for the code pointer.  Very informative, and I wasn't aware of it.

But although the code says "if death results to any person from conduct prohibited by this subsection," no court would (or could, if were inclined to try) interpret that as you suggest.

That is, if a suicide bomber adopts this barbarity as his cause du jour and kills himself and a bus full of orphans, it wouldn't be considered a death under this provision.  To be punished for causing a death, the offender would have to be the proximate cause of that death.

(I think it's proximate; 90% sure, anyway.  Could be some slightly lesser standard.  It's not a but-for cause, though, which is what you suggest.)

Great comment, btw.  I may be prejudiced, but linking to actual law is the gold standard as far as I'm concerned.

[ Parent ]

Maybe (none / 0) (#453)
by dn on Tue May 04, 2004 at 10:00:22 PM EST

Homicide laws are usually pretty specific: if they say "cause the death of any person", they really do mean it. An example is the robbery laws, under which getaway drivers have been convicted of murder when a robber was killed by a bank guard.

    I ♥
TOXIC
WASTE

[ Parent ]

Conspiracy (none / 0) (#454)
by kmcrober on Tue May 04, 2004 at 10:47:32 PM EST

Actually, in that example the liability would stem from the conspiracy.  Since the getaway driver is part of an active criminal conspiracy, he is liable for all the crimes* of his co-conspirators.  Also, the death of a guard in the course of a particular crime would be within the "proximate cause" area; the torture of a prisoner would not be a proximate cause of that prisoner's later insurgency.  Too much distance in time, space, and quantity and quality of causative factors.

* There are a few limits on conspiratorial liability.  Generally you are responsible for the foreseeable acts of your co-conspirators undertaken in the furtherance of the conspiracy.  So if your fellow armed robber shoots a guard, you're liable for the murder charge.  If you rob the bank, get home, stash the loot, and then one of the other robbers shoots a random passer-by, you're probably off the hook for that murder.  If your accountant, who helps you evade taxes, breaks into a meth lab, grabs a knife, and makes a dress out of human skin, you're only liable for the white-collar crimes.  

I love criminal law.  

[ Parent ]

OK (none / 0) (#477)
by dn on Sun May 09, 2004 at 01:01:05 AM EST

Good point. My knowledge of criminal law is only exceeded by my ignorance of it. ;-)

    I ♥
TOXIC
WASTE

[ Parent ]

So? (none / 0) (#166)
by yeux on Sat May 01, 2004 at 12:53:05 PM EST

It's pretty obvious the military can't function even with them.  Despite apparently having the most sophisticated weaponry in the world, the military is struggling to defend itself from a bunch of guerillas with relatively primitive weapons.  The connection between having better weapons and being a more effective fighting force has not been made.

Get out of Iraq now.

[ Parent ]

contractors don't belong (none / 2) (#188)
by Bossk on Sat May 01, 2004 at 03:16:42 PM EST

This has been stated in some other posts.  The use of contractors by the military can be a great asset if they boosting research and development. However, they have no place in military operations, unless they are directly incorporated into and accountable to the military structure.

When did the US start using contractors in US operations?

[ Parent ]

Man bites dog (1.88 / 9) (#18)
by minerboy on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 11:45:08 AM EST

Of course its news when this happens in the U.S. military. It was also news when it happens in the British Army. It is not news if this was Sudan, Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, China, or even Russia.

What you should do is change the article to point out the difference between a free and open society, where we hear about these things, and take action, and socialist dooches can rant endlessly about the incident and a closed society where this is hidden from the outside world, and socialist dooches are content (or else their dead).



irrelevant. (3.00 / 7) (#19)
by Run4YourLives on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 12:46:44 PM EST

You don't bring a "free and open society" to Iraq by  acting the same way as a totalitarian state.

Nobody gives a fuck whether you "take action". The only thing joe iraqi cares about is that it happened, and perhaps things wouldn't be as rosy in a "free and open society" as you paint them.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

Very relevant (none / 1) (#40)
by minerboy on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 03:15:39 PM EST

When was the last time a totalitarian state put one of its own officers on trial, or allowed a broadcast of the type of criticism seen on this issue?

There are bad people in all cultures, and in any type of government. The key is to remove them from authority as quickly as possible, to openly criticize the problem and to insure that it does not continue or happen again. Joe Iraqi should be damn glad.



[ Parent ]
you missed my point... (3.00 / 6) (#49)
by Run4YourLives on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 03:58:49 PM EST

There are bad people in all cultures, and in any type of government.

Thanks for the news flash. I'm sure this guy feels better now.

The key is to remove them from authority as quickly as possible, to openly criticize the problem and to insure that it does not continue or happen again.

No. The key is that when your country goes around proclaiming to be the Bringers of Better Lives, it simply CANNOT have this happen. How they handle the situation after the fact whether nobel or not, it utterly and completely irrelevant.

Joe Iraqi should be damn glad.

And that attitude is why Americans (military and civilian alike) will continue to die. You can't win this fight.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

with this logic (none / 0) (#62)
by minerboy on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 04:38:25 PM EST

No one would do anything that they couldn't do perfectly



[ Parent ]
What you fail to realize (none / 1) (#203)
by curien on Sat May 01, 2004 at 04:30:13 PM EST

or admit, at least, is that the reason the US is being held to such high moral standards is because we went in with a holier-than-thou justification. Your above post that the argument would lead to no one doing anything is fallacious and ignorant of the specific details of this situation.

--
All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
[ Parent ]
holier-than-thou (none / 2) (#223)
by kurioszyn on Sat May 01, 2004 at 07:00:24 PM EST

Maybe we should "aspire" to be like the rest of the world.

In case of perceived injustice ( or outright attack as it was the case with 9/11) we should simply respond with a brutal force, killing and annihilating people we think are danger to our survival.
No more "harts and minds" , democracy building or any of that crap.
A good old-fashioned eye for an eye.

Face it - we are going to be hated no matter what,might as well live up to that hate.
Patton approach , if you will ..

[ Parent ]

hey funny (none / 0) (#275)
by vivelame on Sun May 02, 2004 at 04:40:43 AM EST

that's exactly what the US did.
while still claiming the moral high grounds, no less.
go figure..

--
Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
[ Parent ]
Well (none / 0) (#292)
by minerboy on Sun May 02, 2004 at 10:14:32 AM EST

Falluga isn't Nagasaki, or Dresden. It could be, if we wanted



[ Parent ]
Sure (none / 0) (#358)
by PrinceSausage on Mon May 03, 2004 at 01:29:24 AM EST

And suddenly you would be all alone.

[ Parent ]
we're already alone (nt) (none / 0) (#379)
by minerboy on Mon May 03, 2004 at 06:45:51 AM EST



[ Parent ]
with Damn Good Reason n/t (none / 0) (#463)
by tonedevil on Wed May 05, 2004 at 02:56:12 PM EST



[ Parent ]
What you on about? (none / 2) (#83)
by GenerationY on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 07:22:00 PM EST

Um. Last week, maybe the week before in Zimbabwe.

Thats what, by defintion, totalitarian regimes do.

If the troops of a totalitarian regime had embarassed it before the world, in all probability they would be tortured, brought to a kangaroo trial (if at all) and then executed. The dead bodies would then be publically displayed and not given a proper burial (This would be regardless of whether their actions were actually in accord with official policy. Stalin did this sort of thing thousands, if not millions, of times).

What was your point again?

[ Parent ]

There is another reason.... (3.00 / 5) (#41)
by MKalus on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 03:19:12 PM EST

.... the US likes to proclaim to be the "good guys". Good guys simply don't torture people no matter what.

This is why this is double plus ungood.
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

Not to be argumentative, but. (none / 0) (#164)
by FieryTaco on Sat May 01, 2004 at 12:16:24 PM EST

I'm just going to point out that the United States of America (the US) has never tortured, raped, or killed anyone. The US is a political union of states. As such it actually lacks the ability to do many things. Such as drive a car, eat a hamburger, torture a prisoner, etc. Now, if you choose to look at this unemotionally and without trying to fit it into whatever agenda you may (or may not) have, then you would know that these acts were carried out by individuals. The acts of individuals do not constituate the complete moral stance of an entire nation. There is not a single nation on the planet (with a population larger than 100,000 people) that doesn't have it's share of assholes, murderers, rapists, do-googders, doctors, samaritans, etc. It's merely a fact of life.

Does this mean that this event isn't important or horrible? Fuck no! It is a horrible occurance. But is it so surprising? Many of the people involved were in law enforcement and corrections in their civilian lives. As is apparent to anyone with eyes and a brain, these career fields attract two kinds of people, 1) those who truly want to make a difference, and 2) complete fucktards on a power trip. My guess is that the US soldiers involved happen to come from the second group.

Anyway my rant is over. In the future try and use the ability to see the difference between individuals and nations. Don't use such a broad brush to paint everybody with, because whereever you are from also has it's share of dickheads.

[ Parent ]

Representation (none / 2) (#273)
by MKalus on Sun May 02, 2004 at 03:38:11 AM EST

The acts of individuals do not constituate the complete moral stance of an entire nation. There is not a single nation on the planet (with a population larger than 100,000 people) that doesn't have it's share of assholes, murderers, rapists, do-googders, doctors, samaritans, etc. It's merely a fact of life.

If you are abroad, wearing the Uniform of a State you represent (<-- important word here) then your actions to one degree or the other speak for your nation as a whole.

Your President, and the things he announces, are the "voice" of the US. Legally that might not be true, but it is perception mainly here that counts.

Anyway my rant is over. In the future try and use the ability to see the difference between individuals and nations. Don't use such a broad brush to paint everybody with, because whereever you are from also has it's share of dickheads.

The brush isn't broad, the problem is that in specific circumstances the actions of one person can represent a group of people. Look around, some Muslims flew planes into the WTC and a guy living in a cave calls for a Jihad, yet the majority of people seems to think that "better safe then sorry" when it comes to muslims, if you only look like one you will be turned upside down at airports.

The reality is that if someone represents their country in an official form (e.g. a soldier on assignment) then his or her actions respresent the country.

You might not like it, but that is how it is.
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

pictures are here (2.85 / 7) (#20)
by Run4YourLives on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 12:56:58 PM EST

here.

I have no affilation to the page in question.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown

Let's hope that this is the worst example we see. (3.00 / 6) (#23)
by mami on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 01:50:19 PM EST

I think it will be the worst. US Forces withdraw already and will "cut and run" very soon.

They just name it differently to not embarrass their commander in chief. I am all for cutting and running. It's the right thing to do. The problem is convincing the commander in chief to do the right thing.  

Responsible for the abusive treatment of prisoners are the ones who committed them and the ones, who knew they happened and allowed them to happen.

Do you hear those losers whining already: "We poor people have never been trained to be decent and have never heard of the Geneva Convention."

Well, if you need to read the Geneva Convention to know that it's bad to threaten torture and abusing prisoner's human dignity, I would say you shouldn't be allowed to serve in any position, where you could chose to abuse prisoners.

not by a long shot (none / 1) (#137)
by martingale on Sat May 01, 2004 at 06:25:49 AM EST

I think it will be the worst. US Forces withdraw already and will "cut and run" very soon.
I very much doubt this is the worst. There was a reason the reporters weren't allowed to film the actual war. What we've seen now is the "tame" period a year after the war "ended". It's not hard to imagine this was even more prevalent during hostilities.

In fact, simply look at the indiscriminate attacks on Falluja by the Americans. You'll recall that the USian generals routinely go on television claiming 95% accuracy in targeting terrorists, but the true numbers are at least 50% women and children. Liars.

Frankly, this puts the Iraqi suicide bombings into perspective. With this kind of institutionalized abuse by the occupying forces, it's no wonder some Iraqis prefer to put explosives into cars and crash into Americans.



[ Parent ]

Getting your propoganda from Al Jazeera again? (none / 2) (#246)
by lordDogma on Sat May 01, 2004 at 10:00:57 PM EST

"In fact, simply look at the indiscriminate attacks on Falluja... but the true numbers are at least 50% women and children."

If we wanted to indiscriminately attack Falluja we would simply drop a few daisy cutters or MOABs on it. It would take all of a dozen MOABs to completely flatten the entire city and kill everyone in it.

[ Parent ]

Problem with that idea (none / 1) (#313)
by greenrd on Sun May 02, 2004 at 04:01:35 PM EST

That idea offers zero deniability. What the US have been doing, treating Iraqis as "subhumans" (I'm quoting a senior British officer on this one), treating everyone as targets - that has some deniability, unfortunately, with our cowardly, cowardly media.
"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]
well let's see (none / 1) (#344)
by martingale on Sun May 02, 2004 at 10:06:49 PM EST

If we wanted to indiscriminately attack Falluja we would simply drop a few daisy cutters or MOABs on it. It would take all of a dozen MOABs to completely flatten the entire city and kill everyone in it.
By the same token, if we wanted to solve the USian problem, we could just drop a few nuclear bombs on the US, taking out entire cities and killing everyone in it. Of course we don't do that, for the same reason your suggestion is stupid. Compare apples to apples, not oranges.

In this case, indiscriminate means that the US troops are willing to kill x numbers of civilians for each armed insurgent. The generals claim for the cameras that x is close to zero, but the statistics on the ground don't support that view. Please feel free to enlighten me on what the correct word to use is, instead of indiscriminate.

[ Parent ]

How about this. (none / 0) (#351)
by lordDogma on Sun May 02, 2004 at 11:28:53 PM EST

"the statistics on the ground don't support that view. Please feel free to enlighten me on what the correct word to use is, instead of indiscriminate."

Well in every war that has ever taken place on the planet civilians have died. Therefore, by your wording, every army that has ever engaged in armed conflict has indiscriminately attacked and bombed villiages full of civilians.

That includes the UN. So the UN is running around indiscriminately attacking civilians. What a wonderful way to spin the truth.

Not to mention, how the fuck do you know what the statistics on the ground support? Just because some Fallujan doctor says we killed 600 civilians doesn't make it so. Don't tell me you're going to fall for that trick. I'm sure you also believed Sahaf when he said the Americans were being slaughtered at the gates of Baghdad, didn't you?

[ Parent ]

no can do (none / 0) (#352)
by martingale on Sun May 02, 2004 at 11:51:44 PM EST

Well in every war that has ever taken place on the planet civilians have died. Therefore, by your wording, every army that has ever engaged in armed conflict has indiscriminately attacked and bombed villiages full of civilians.
Way to spin my words. I only said the US indiscriminately attacked Falluja. But sure, knock yourself out. In every war so far, you're right that civilians have died.

Not to mention, how the fuck do you know what the statistics on the ground support? Just because some Fallujan doctor says we killed 600 civilians doesn't make it so. Don't tell me you're going to fall for that trick.
This may be a hard point for you to grasp, but what the US warmachine says are casualties is a lie. Remind me where the WMD are again? When you are faced with a known liar who says one thing, and an unknown who says another, the reasonable thing to do is put more weight on the unknown. But of course, in this case it's easy to point to the dead people by counting, so the unknown's account is not hard to corroborate or disprove if that was the case.

I'm sure you also believed Sahaf when he said the Americans were being slaughtered at the gates of Baghdad, didn't you?
I don't give a fuck whether someone says that US servicemen are being slaughtered at the gates of Baghdad or not. If that question interests you, go count the body bags returning from Iraq, and make up your own mind. Personally, I don't give a damn about those numbers, they're not civilians.

[ Parent ]
You are making this up. (none / 0) (#340)
by SPYvSPY on Sun May 02, 2004 at 09:18:21 PM EST

Who are you to determine valid targets for the soldiers who are trying to keep the mob from ruling Falluja? What help would you be offering if Falluja were allowed to fester as a militant hotbed and became a problem for the rest of the world in five/ten/fifteen years? Or would that the point at which you would blame the US government for turning a blind eye. You are the liar, as far as I can tell.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

I'm just a bystander (none / 1) (#343)
by martingale on Sun May 02, 2004 at 09:59:52 PM EST

Who are you to determine valid targets for the soldiers who are trying to keep the mob from ruling Falluja?
I'm a concerned bystander, and I'm not about to determine valid targets for the USian lot. As far as I'm concerned: USians, get the fuck out of Iraq.

What help would you be offering if Falluja were allowed to fester as a militant hotbed and became a problem for the rest of the world in five/ ten/fifteen years?
I don't need to offer any help. Please remind me: where are the WMD? This hotbed == problem for the rest of the word in the future business is pure bullshit propaganda from the horse's mouth in the white house. If you believe that, you're a moron. As I said, where are the WMD?

Or would that the point at which you would blame the US government for turning a blind eye.
Frankly, I don't give a fuck about the US government. I'm rather annoyed when they come knocking at my government's door and my gov then implements bullshit terror legislation. But such is life. I certainly wouldn't blame the US government for turning a blind eye to some made up threat. The incompetents who rule you are your concern, you go do something about it and leave innocents out of it.

[ Parent ]
In other words, you don't know jackshit. (none / 0) (#390)
by SPYvSPY on Mon May 03, 2004 at 10:42:01 AM EST

Worse, you are barely paying attention, except to pamphlets at pointless rallies and to editorializing "former radicals" re-living their good old student days in the op-ed pages.

Here's some news for you: your opinion is not enough to make a difference. It has never worked like that, despite whatever tripe your bearded history professor fed you between attempts to score with the cute, new freshman girls.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

heh (none / 0) (#412)
by martingale on Mon May 03, 2004 at 09:45:19 PM EST

Worse, you are barely paying attention, except to pamphlets at pointless rallies and to editorializing "former radicals" re-living their good old student days in the op-ed pages.
Come on, you can stay on target. You were doing so well, but you have to pull through with the arguments, not leave them unfinished on a pile. Otherwise, it looks like you're just bumbling your way through.

Here's some news for you: your opinion is not enough to make a difference.
Who says I'm trying to make a difference? K5 is neither the place, nor will it ever be the place to make a difference on this. I don't know what you think your ranting accomplishes, but it sure ain't a lot. Please confine the delusions of grandeur to flamewars with others.

This isn't about arguing whether the US is somehow doing the right thing or the wrong thing. Everyone who matters in the world knows the US is doing the wrong thing. We're just arguing about degrees ... because it's fun.

[ Parent ]

We see alright.... (none / 3) (#159)
by MKalus on Sat May 01, 2004 at 11:32:45 AM EST

... I am more concernd about what we don't see or hear about.
-- Michael
[ Parent ]
in the words of Donald Rumsfeld (none / 2) (#347)
by martingale on Sun May 02, 2004 at 10:34:17 PM EST

As we know, There are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know There are known unknowns. That is to say We know there are some things We do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, The ones we don't know We don't know.
Department of Defense news briefing Feb. 12, 2002

[ Parent ]
"cut and run"? they need the bases... (none / 0) (#200)
by kpaul on Sat May 01, 2004 at 04:09:25 PM EST

if indeed they also see ww3 as a very real possibility, i think.

they're planning on setting up permanent bases in the country - along with afghanistan - last i read.

the thing is, all the players aren't yet moving their pieces as openly as we are. i'm sure most are in for some 'big surprises' about which sides some countries are going to fall on...


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

some questions (2.62 / 8) (#25)
by circletimessquare on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 01:53:13 PM EST

when the us invaded iraq, was it their intent to get rid of saddam hussein? or torture iraqis?

do these toothless hicks represent the us in iraq? in other words, now that news has gotten out about the fun these redneck fucks have had, do you think their ass is grass? or do you think their actions will be celebrated?

does every single soldier on the frontline not resent the increase in anger, and possibly deaths, that they will feel because of the actions of these dumb fucks?

i think, imagine this... i have no idea where i am pulling this radical idea from, but stay with me here as i say something really really wacky: there is a difference between the actions of some wannabe sadists and the intent of the us in iraq

whoa, i'm going way out on a limb with that statement, bear with me, it's kind of a radical pronouncement

but by all means, jump on the propaganda bandwagon and confuse the two, ignore me, i'm not really being reasonable about my analysis of this situation or trying to make sense or anything like that


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

sure they are wannabe sadist (2.80 / 5) (#28)
by vqp on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 02:13:15 PM EST

Then why the US goverment tried to protect them.

happiness = d(Reality - Expectations) / dt

[ Parent ]
ah the icc (none / 1) (#33)
by circletimessquare on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 02:35:41 PM EST

i would love to see an icc that stands for what it should stand for

a world where the icc has strong clout is a just world indeed, i embrace its promise completely

unfortunately, and you would be intellectually dishonest if you deny so, it is just a political football today, and that is a shame

it is kind of like the kyoto protocol: great idea, poor implementation

if the icc affords no protection for servicemen who fight for a world in which an icc is possible, what's the point?

these sadists should be bought before the icc, by all means

why won't they? not because of the us, but becaus eof the icc... how can i say this?

well: why doesn't the icc make provisions for the necessity of all world states to oppose dictators in iraq, north korea, myanmar, with military force... in the name of justice?

what is the value of a justice system which serves only to tie down those who would fight injustice?

what is a world where buraeucracy stifles those who mean well, and gives a free pass to corrupt and dangerous and unjust states like the drug lord kleptocracy of myanmar and the cult of personality nuclear war intent state of north korea?

it's a toothless world, where more injustice reigns, not less

if we had a world where the icc functioned as it should, it would be making itself busy fighting injustice in the world, right?

well, then it would be spendong most of its time announcing why it is necessary to invade north korea, iraq, and myanmar, for the good if the citizens of those countries, instead of stonewalling those states in the world who actually have the resolve and will to do something about those injustices

what the us did in iraq was just, what the sadistic prison guards did was unjust, and in a perfect world, they would be on trial before the icc, while the icc was announcing plans to muster its member states to invade north korea and myanmar

in the name of justice


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

well... (none / 0) (#98)
by vqp on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 09:19:26 PM EST

In your country policemen that don't respect the law are judged and condemned.

If you agree with that, how would this principle be applied to military action in an international conflict affecting several states?

Despite what you might answer, rhetorical answers are useless to convince an angry world: It's not enough to be fair and respectful of others, you also have to look fair and respectful too.



happiness = d(Reality - Expectations) / dt

[ Parent ]
all i care about (none / 2) (#101)
by circletimessquare on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 09:32:09 PM EST

is that those who are angry at the us, don't let their petty anger (petty in relation to what they should really be angry at) interfere with and obstruct the real fight against real evil in this world: kim il jong, the military junta in myanmar, saddam hussein, al qaeda

it is all about justice, and the fight against these regimes and organizations is the greatest fight for justice in the world today

the fight against the us stinks of melodrama in comparison

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Speaking of melodrama.... (none / 1) (#103)
by bradasch on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 09:44:42 PM EST

I think you've watched too many of them

[ Parent ]
i have (none / 1) (#105)
by circletimessquare on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 09:45:48 PM EST

thanks for playing

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
LOL ;-) (nt) (none / 1) (#108)
by bradasch on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 10:11:44 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Ever stop to wonder (none / 0) (#355)
by PrinceSausage on Mon May 03, 2004 at 01:20:23 AM EST

why so many people think the US is evil. Perhaps this whole right and wrong is much harder than people think.

[ Parent ]
UN (none / 1) (#300)
by kurioszyn on Sun May 02, 2004 at 01:02:53 PM EST

"If you agree with that, how would this principle be applied to military action in an international conflict affecting several states?"

Because there are people all over the world who would use this sort of court against US the same way UN forum is being used to chastize Israel for literally everything they do.

[ Parent ]

Israel (none / 1) (#302)
by kurioszyn on Sun May 02, 2004 at 01:25:21 PM EST

Follow up:
-------------------
Just heard on the news that a Jewish mother with couple children was killed by Palestinian "freedom fighters" on her way to a settlement.

Let us see how the condemnation and world-wide outrage?
Hhow many resolutions condemning "this criminal Sha..ops .. Arafat" will we see in UN ?

After all  Israel faced a shit-storm after killing a man directly responsible for sending people to kill and blow up people just like that unfortunate woman.

This sort of one-sided "justice" is precisely the reason US will never agree to any sort of "world court'.


[ Parent ]

UN conspiracy? (none / 0) (#331)
by vqp on Sun May 02, 2004 at 07:24:55 PM EST

Do you think that the vast majority of the world is conspiring against the US and Israel, using the UN for their goals?

I don't think so, maybe there are a few countries doing that, but the majority are standing by themselves.

All I want is the US to lead and support supranational organizations as one member, respecting the decisions of the majority, even when they are not favourable to the US. What would "the founding fathers" do if they were in charge now?



happiness = d(Reality - Expectations) / dt

[ Parent ]
US (none / 1) (#350)
by kurioszyn on Sun May 02, 2004 at 11:19:14 PM EST


" What would "the founding fathers" do if they were in charge now?"

Nothing.
They wouldn't get involved in any sort of agreement like that.
On the other hand they wouldn't embark on any kind of democracy building adventures either.

The bottom line is that, as far as countries go, US is a pretty darn civilized and  law abiding society and , if I were going to create a court like that, I would rather worry about   places like Sudan and other nations where human rights are non-existent, before I would worry about US.

[ Parent ]

Arafat (none / 0) (#354)
by PrinceSausage on Mon May 03, 2004 at 01:14:40 AM EST

Yes, the man himself, caught up in his headquarters for God knows how long, was of course involved in this. He probably planned it, supplied the guns AND pulled the trigger.

[ Parent ]
Arafat (none / 1) (#392)
by kurioszyn on Mon May 03, 2004 at 11:10:00 AM EST

"Yes, the man himself, caught up in his headquarters for God knows how long, was of course involved in this. He probably planned it, supplied the guns AND pulled the trigger."

They tried exactly the same defense with Hitler and his cronies and it didn't work, what makes you think it will work with this criminal ?

[ Parent ]

wtf (none / 2) (#110)
by livus on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 10:35:47 PM EST

basically you're saying that if the icc was any good at stopping war crimes it would go out and facilitate some, US style.

Man, there's more to life than marching into a country and fucking up the natives.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

dude (none / 1) (#113)
by circletimessquare on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 10:58:44 PM EST

kim il jong

saddam hussein

the military junta in myanmar

they're... "fucking up the natives"

you see no need in your eyes to fight these people?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

yah, I got that, but clean up your own shit first (none / 1) (#116)
by livus on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 11:40:18 PM EST

especially given that the US has just proved that it's idea of liberating the natives involves a collossal fuck up with torture thrown in.

The way I see it, sharpen the knife before you use it, or it will take twice as long and be half as effective.

Hone your people into sharp tools. This includes cutting out the dead wood and getting rid of Bubba the Torturer from your forces. The ICC is not set up to stormtroop bad guys (that's the UN's job, not that it's doing it).

It is set up to prune the sick fucks out of the way so that things can be accomplished efficiently and without the war crimes.

Saying that there is no point in trying to stop the war criminals in your own forces until after you've brought them all imto more countries is like  putting the cart before the horse. Or like refusing to sharpen a knife until after you've finished using it.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

huh? (none / 2) (#118)
by circletimessquare on Sat May 01, 2004 at 12:23:52 AM EST

the us can't do the right thing in iraq because of dumb rednecks?

so is what you are telling me that france and germany should have helped the invasion of iraq becauser thye have no rednecks in their armed forces? lol


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

huh? no, that was you, not me (none / 1) (#126)
by livus on Sat May 01, 2004 at 01:54:35 AM EST

I'm saying that rednecks should be weeded out. It's you who thinks the ICC should invade Korea.

I don't think anyone should have invaded iraq. Though, I guess I do think that if anyone was going to it shouldn't have been a poorly disciplined civil rights abuser like the US.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

I wouldn't go that far (none / 3) (#152)
by vqp on Sat May 01, 2004 at 09:51:37 AM EST

> poorly disciplined civil rights abuser like the US. The US is no worse nor better than any other civilized country in that respect. All I ask is that they swallow their giant ego and accept they are less than 5% of the world population, and respect the "all men are created equal" part of their constitution.

happiness = d(Reality - Expectations) / dt

[ Parent ]
USA (none / 1) (#299)
by kurioszyn on Sun May 02, 2004 at 12:59:42 PM EST

"All I ask is that they swallow their giant ego and accept they are less than 5% of the world population, and respect the "all men are created equal" part of their constitution."

A lot of people agree with that statement.
They think that sponsoring  any sort of democracy programs for others is a mistake.

Perhaps they are correct. We have lost hundreds of thousands of soldiers during World War 2 and what do we have to show for it ?
A hostile continent filled with people who think US/Israel is a similar danger to the world peace as was their own bastard son Adolph.
This sort of sentiment was there long before Bush came to power - it is nothing new.

[ Parent ]

is that what you call it (none / 0) (#409)
by livus on Mon May 03, 2004 at 09:19:42 PM EST

"sponsoring democracy?" It takes a peculiarly undemocratic form, doesn't it?  

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
It's up to USians (none / 0) (#479)
by vqp on Sun May 09, 2004 at 12:31:46 PM EST

To change this opinion. Stop acting like cowboys, repeat after me:
The cowboys were killers. Deserve prision
The cowboys were killers. Deserve prision


happiness = d(Reality - Expectations) / dt

[ Parent ]
north korean society versus us (none / 0) (#260)
by circletimessquare on Sun May 02, 2004 at 01:39:06 AM EST

if you don't think that a country whose people starve and eat leaves... where entire prison colonies passes a snormal society... while their fearless cult of personality leader builds nuclear bombs, is not a country that needs cleaning up, then you don't care about your fellow human being in the world

this "poorly disciplined civil rights abuser" that is the us that you speak of... present to me a list of countries and rights enjoyed by their citizens... show me where the us lies on that list...

try to crawl out of your pit of propaganda every now and then please and have a little intellectual honesty in your words

i don't defend the us, but i do defend common sense


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

You know what (none / 0) (#356)
by PrinceSausage on Mon May 03, 2004 at 01:22:25 AM EST

There are people tonight who are hungry as hell in the US too. While the leaders build nuclear weapons. Your point being?

[ Parent ]
perspective context scale (none / 0) (#365)
by circletimessquare on Mon May 03, 2004 at 01:57:27 AM EST

what do those 3 words mean to you mr. propaganda about your point above?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
It means (none / 0) (#429)
by PrinceSausage on Tue May 04, 2004 at 08:07:09 AM EST

let him who is without sin throw the first stone. Or bomb as it were.

[ Parent ]
No way to do it (none / 1) (#232)
by driptray on Sat May 01, 2004 at 08:53:17 PM EST

kim il jong

saddam hussein

the military junta in myanmar

they're... "fucking up the natives"

you see no need in your eyes to fight these people?

"Need" is not the issue. The issue is whether such a fight could ever be effective. Whether it could ever unfuck the natives, rather than just fuck them up worse or differently.

This isn't an ideological argument I'm making, it's a practical one. Invading a foreign country to unfuck the natives is unlikely to work in anything but highly unusual circumstances. Having the biggest baddest military in the world doesn't help you here.

This fact is obvious even to the George Bushes of the world, which is why their claims of being "liberators" are flat-out lies rather than naive hopefulness.
--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
[ Parent ]

Realpolitik? (none / 1) (#242)
by lordDogma on Sat May 01, 2004 at 09:53:43 PM EST

"This isn't an ideological argument I'm making, it's a practical one."

I see. So if the US establishes diplomatic relations with Saddam Hussein for practical reasons (because we need their oil and we can't get rid of him) then you people accuse us of "propping up a brutal dictator" and claim that we are his best friends.

But if we then try to get rid of Saddam for ideological reasons (to establish democracy in Iraq) then you people accuse us of "warmongering" and start to demand that we stop acting on ideals and go back to being best frieds with dictators in the name of peace and practicality.

You can't have it both ways folks.

[ Parent ]

No ideological reasons (none / 0) (#261)
by driptray on Sun May 02, 2004 at 01:39:32 AM EST

So if the US establishes diplomatic relations with Saddam Hussein for practical reasons (because we need their oil and we can't get rid of him) then you people accuse us of "propping up a brutal dictator" and claim that we are his best friends.

Fair comment. But you don't mention options like paying extra for non-Iraqi oil, or reducing oil dependency. Yes, they're politically difficult, maybe impossible.

But if we then try to get rid of Saddam for ideological reasons (to establish democracy in Iraq)...

Even if there was a genuine desire to establish democracy (a desire that would be in conflict with the desire for Iraqi oil), it was totally obvious that such an attempt would be doomed to failure. An analogy might be if I desired to be the President of the USA, and so decided to shoot the current President so I could replace him. Well, I'd be either mad or be lying about why I really wanted to shoot the President.

I don't believe Bush/Cheney etc are mad. There are no ideological reasons for the Iraq war.
--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
[ Parent ]

since when did diplomatic relations (none / 0) (#410)
by livus on Mon May 03, 2004 at 09:24:19 PM EST

necessarily involve supplying weapons? The US does way more than "prop up" dictators. It facilitates them, it actively assists them, and it installs them.

Then they get uppity and it bombs them and the poor hapless people they are imposing on.

There is a third way, you know, and the US should try it. Minding its own business for a change.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

RealWorld? (none / 0) (#473)
by bradasch on Fri May 07, 2004 at 03:21:56 PM EST

The us supported Saddam Hussein when it served the us government. It was independent from any ideology whatsoever.

The Iraq war is an exercise of power. It was not to get rid of Saddam (if it was, then the us should be out of there for a long time now, shortly after Saddam was arrested). It was not to establish democracy in Iraq. Democracy cannot be "established". It is built and conquered by the people over time.

[ Parent ]
here, crawl out of your propaganda hole (none / 0) (#263)
by circletimessquare on Sun May 02, 2004 at 01:45:15 AM EST

from the tehran times (about as far as you can get from fox news, no?)

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- More than half of Iraqis in a survey done primarily in March and early April said their nation will be better off in five years because of the U.S.-led invasion, but 55 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion of the United States.

The CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll focused on the future of Iraq as a result of the invasion and the toppling of Saddam Hussein.

Most interviews were done between March 22 and April 9 -- before the latest flare-up of violence that brought some of the deadliest fighting since the end of major combat nearly a year ago.

Iraqi interviewers conducted face-to-face surveys with 3,444 adults in Arabic and Kurdish in respondents' homes. The poll covered urban and rural areas throughout Iraq, representing about 93 percent of the population. It has a sampling error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Some results from the poll were released Wednesday, including responses that showed nearly half of the Iraqis polled said they believed the U.S.-led war had done more harm than good. However, 61 percent of respondents said Saddam's ouster made it worth the hardships they had endured.

Despite their struggles and the challenges of forming a new government, 63 percent of respondents said they were convinced Iraq will be better off in five years, while 20 percent said they were unsure, according to results released Thursday. Sixty-five percent said they believed their immediate locale will be better off, the poll found.



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
I hope they're right... (none / 0) (#267)
by driptray on Sun May 02, 2004 at 01:53:52 AM EST

...but I think they're being naive, especially concerning the question regarding the establishment of democracy.
--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
[ Parent ]

ah yes (none / 0) (#271)
by circletimessquare on Sun May 02, 2004 at 02:03:42 AM EST

i should take your hollywood b-movie paranoia and chicken little hysteria and simple stinking FUD over the words of iraqi citizens

thanks for your useful wisdom you got their friend, your truly a shining star of balanced insight and perspective  ;-P


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

CNN (none / 0) (#472)
by bradasch on Fri May 07, 2004 at 03:14:12 PM EST

Is not "as far as you can get from fox news"

[ Parent ]
No, no, no. (3.00 / 4) (#114)
by kmcrober on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 11:10:55 PM EST

I'm a hard-core ICC booster; I've done a pretty significant amount of research and writing on it.  One of the most interesting things about the court is how few people understand a damn thing about it.  Conservatives howl because it's an international court, and therefore THE DEVIL, end of story.  There is no, zero, debate on the plusses or minuses of the Court among conservative leaders; it's feared and hated on ideological grounds.

The truth is that the Court is there as a backstop.  Complementarity guarantees nations the right to try their own damned nationals if they're willing and able to do so.  It's inconceivable, legally and realistically, for American servicement to wind up before the Court unless they're already in the custody of a nation unwilling to render them back into American hands.  If I were such a soldier, I would be delighted to be given to the ICC; the ABA says the Rome Statute is the single greatest written guarantee of procedural rights in existance, and that's a damn sight better than being tried by a foreign state that's not on good terms with the US.

Now, I'm just venting, and I realize that that's not really germane to what you're saying.  But, honestly, I have no idea what the hell you're saying.

what the us did in iraq was just, what the sadistic prison guards did was unjust, and in a perfect world, they would be on trial before the icc, while the icc was announcing plans to muster its member states to invade north korea and myanmar

I think that perhaps you're a little fuzzy on the concept of what a "court" is.  They don't schedule hostile crusades, for one thing.

[ Parent ]

ok, good point (none / 1) (#117)
by circletimessquare on Sat May 01, 2004 at 12:21:49 AM EST

i like the icc, i like the idea of it, it is very necessary in this world

perhaps we've both been trolled by the poster who bought the subject of the icc up in this case

what the sadistic rednecks did would be punished, icc or no icc

and in a perfect world, those screaming about these sadistic rednecks would understand the difference between their nickel and dime shit and the evil of someone like saddam hussein and how damn necessary it was to get rid of him, icc or no icc

instead, they take this nickel and dime sadistic redneck crap and slap it on the bumper of their antiwar crusade, all propaganda and no thought involved


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Untrue and unfair (none / 3) (#123)
by kmcrober on Sat May 01, 2004 at 01:47:27 AM EST

instead, they take this nickel and dime sadistic redneck crap and slap it on the bumper of their antiwar crusade, all propaganda and no thought involved

To be blunt, that's a pile of crap.  The outrage has been (A) muted in the states, possibly as a result of the relatively scanty media coverage, (B) fairly sophisticated, and (C) directed mostly at the systematic problems that allowed the abuse to occur and may be unable to adjudicate it.

Those structural problems matter.  It's not "redneck hillbilly" stuff.  We have serious problems if troops can do this and get off without visible criminal sanctions, or worse if civilian contractors can play a role and escape due to their unregulated nature.

[ Parent ]

i have a problem with this bureaucratize (none / 0) (#259)
by circletimessquare on Sun May 02, 2004 at 01:35:12 AM EST

this ability some anal retentive asperger's syndrome cubicle dwellers seem to have:

a pit bull lockjaw ability to hone in and focus on some petty crime, and build in their outrage and litigate and obsess and discuss ad nauseum issues like these BECAUSE THEY CONFORM TO THEIR PROCESS-DRIVEN VIEW OF THE WORLD

they can't process the "messy" part of the world out there, where really huge evil shit goes down, so they spend all of their time and energy and deathgrip focus on these petty crimes- like a handful of mostly assholes in guantanamo and what their prison cafeteria menu is like

while meanwhile, really, really evil shit is going down in all corners of the world- but see, that is just too messy to them, so that gets a pass from them, because they can't seem to grasp or control that area in their mind

that's not morality to me, that's not a human conscience to me

they let mountains evil pass, so that their shrill little narrow minds can focus on the molehills

that bother me

a lot

i see it here all the time- bureaucrats versus soldiers

bureaucrats counting beans over the mistakes soldiers make

while the soldiers are fighting evil out there that would eat the little world the bureaucrats live in for lunch

it's counterproductive

scale, context, perspective- with these 3 magical words, people can learn where evil lies and what they should really obsess about


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Buddy, that's The Law. (none / 0) (#304)
by kmcrober on Sun May 02, 2004 at 02:22:13 PM EST

We don't ignore some crimes because they don't feel icky enough, or because they aren't high profile enough.  The gold standard is punishing every crime, especially the ones that are hardest to address, and especially the ones that our own people commit.  We take care of our own sins, first, before we go log-hunting in the eyes of others.

[ Parent ]
agreed (none / 0) (#370)
by circletimessquare on Mon May 03, 2004 at 02:01:06 AM EST

so why are so many bent on punishing the parking infractions with such righteous indignation while they let the muggings and stabbing on the same block go unpunished?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Because crazy non sequitor? (none / 0) (#397)
by kmcrober on Mon May 03, 2004 at 12:34:28 PM EST

Vanilla monkey.

Seriously, that analogy doesn't make a lick of sense.

[ Parent ]

here's the analogy (none / 0) (#401)
by circletimessquare on Mon May 03, 2004 at 01:47:26 PM EST

OH MY GOD! LOOK WHAT THEY ARE DOING TO THOSE HANDFUL OF MOSTLY TERRORIST ASSHOLES IN GUANTANAMO! THEY AREN'T GETTING THEIR MULTIVITAMIN!!!

meanwhile:

millions starve in north korea while kim il jong builds the bomb? oh well, not my problem...

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

so your point is... (none / 0) (#471)
by bradasch on Fri May 07, 2004 at 03:07:48 PM EST

so your point is we should criticize every single error we can find in the present world before accusing the us of anything?

this is utter non-sense

and this kind of debate serves for what?

simple answer: it serves for itself

and this is the problem: current politics serve for itself

this is the real human nature: one should be concerned with others, serve for oneself

this war has no purpose. it's an exercise in power

[ Parent ]
Human rights starts at home, Cletus. (none / 1) (#332)
by Russell Dovey on Sun May 02, 2004 at 07:54:22 PM EST

Cletus, you seem to have these blind spots in the areas of your brain that could once have criticised the USA, but now bear nothing but the scorched marks of "ALL THE WAY WITH THE USA" branding.

It is okay for people to be outraged, Cletus, when pictures of American soldiers torturing people are splashed across international media. Soothe your patrio-cells with the realisation that we FUCKING LOVE THE USA.

We are a world in love with the USA. Hollywood speaks to us of wonders and delights beyond compare, of aerogel crystal cloud-palaces where Democracy and Freedom always prevail.

So, Cletus, when we see pictures of American soldiers treating human beings who are at their mercy like amusing lumps of faceless meat, our idealistic little souls are ripped in half.

And we like our souls, Cletus. Your President has no fucking idea how much people are going to hate him if he doesn't squash these people flatter than your forehead after a barn-dance.

If you let these  torturers off lightly, you urinate into the open mouths of the international community. You piss on people who burn to think you're the Land Of The Free, and shit on the gravestone of the great country you used to have.

Cletus, wake up. The reason we don't invade Burma is today known as The Place Where American Soldiers Fucked Defenseless POWs Up The Ass. Wake up. You can't save a country by destroying it.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

you know nothing of human nature (none / 0) (#368)
by circletimessquare on Mon May 03, 2004 at 02:00:00 AM EST

i am not an american, i am a human being

when you stop human beings from caring about other human beings, regardless of nationalistic tribal religions, then you will have a point

until then, you just don't understand human nature, and you have no point

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

This is the body of an Iraqi man who died of (none / 0) (#333)
by Russell Dovey on Sun May 02, 2004 at 07:58:05 PM EST

beatings at the hands of the American soldiers.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

and they should be punished (nt) (none / 0) (#367)
by circletimessquare on Mon May 03, 2004 at 01:58:30 AM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
They were forced to do oral sex on each other at (none / 1) (#334)
by Russell Dovey on Sun May 02, 2004 at 07:59:43 PM EST

gunpoint.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

and they should be punished (nt) (none / 0) (#366)
by circletimessquare on Mon May 03, 2004 at 01:57:58 AM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
it's very important (none / 2) (#29)
by mami on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 02:15:23 PM EST

that the US Armed Forces find their potential  sadists, before they unleash them to serve in the battle field and for service as prison guards.

I think they try hard to "psychological evaluate them to the bones", but I guess they can only so much ...  one day be a nice neighbor, next day  (wanna)be a sadist, it happens all the time, everywhere. That's not an excuse, nor a reason to not condemn it publicly.

 

[ Parent ]

BTW: Quote from an Army Officer (from dailykos) (2.83 / 6) (#31)
by mami on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 02:30:27 PM EST

Locals often mistake the guards for special forces or CIA personnel, which makes active-duty military troops a bit edgy. "Those Blackwater guys," says an intelligence officer in Iraq, "they drive around wearing Oakley sunglasses and pointing their guns out of car windows. They have pointed their guns at me, and it pissed me off. Imagine what a guy in Fallujah thinks." Adds an Army officer who just returned from Baghdad, "They are a subculture."

As long as the subcultures are not too much embedded in the Army, there is hope.

[ Parent ]

Yeah kos is great (links) (none / 0) (#122)
by jongleur on Sat May 01, 2004 at 01:28:31 AM EST

linked from kos

kos itself for more (scroll down a ways)

--
"If you can't imagine a better way let silence bury you" - Midnight Oil
[ Parent ]

truly a nuanced view of morality (none / 2) (#51)
by power guido on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 04:03:45 PM EST

when i grow up i want to be just like you.

[ Parent ]
thanks (nt) (none / 1) (#71)
by circletimessquare on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 05:52:08 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Oh gee... (none / 1) (#82)
by melia on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 07:21:07 PM EST

Shit! we sent some sadists out there and let them run a prison camp, but overall, we're good guys!

The problem is that this article deals soley with one issue, and you confuse it with another. Read this line of the article carefully:

It is important that we understand how such appalling human rights abuses have been allowed to take place.

Do you agree? What's more important, to discuss the issue and try and prevent a reoccurance, or is it more important to pretend that everyone is out to get you so you can ignore what happened?
Disclaimer: All of the above is probably wrong
[ Parent ]

huh? (none / 1) (#84)
by circletimessquare on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 07:32:41 PM EST

"we sent some sadists out there and let them run a prison camp, but overall, we're good guys!"

agreed, punish the sadists, right?

"It is important that we understand how such appalling human rights abuses have been allowed to take place."

they took place because of MISTAKES not INTENT

it was a MISTAKE to allow these redneck cretins to be in charge of ANYTHING

they will be PUNISHED, preferably by getting them naked and having them perform oral sex on each other ;-P

"or is it more important to pretend that everyone is out to get you so you can ignore what happened?"

huh? are you talking to me or a figment of your imagination?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Oh dear. (none / 0) (#86)
by melia on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 07:35:53 PM EST

they took place because of MISTAKES not INTENT

Ahh! It was a mistake! Oh in that case, fuck it who cares. Mistakes can't be prevented.

huh? are you talking to me or a figment of your imagination?

Once again, you managed to address the point. You're an excellent (mass)debater.

PS: That is one of my favourite schoolboy jokes :)
Disclaimer: All of the above is probably wrong
[ Parent ]

it was a mistake, it will be punished (none / 1) (#104)
by circletimessquare on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 09:44:47 PM EST

do understand that these dumb rednecks will and should be punished bor their heinous crimes and that people are outraged? additionally, what exactly does intent mean to you? do intentions in someone's actions have any bearing on this matter, or any others?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Can we hope for televised flogging (none / 0) (#185)
by PrinceSausage on Sat May 01, 2004 at 02:56:00 PM EST

Or perhaps a reality TV show featuring their lifes. I am sure they can get at least a movie deal.

Seriously. Geneva convention. They are war criminals. Off with them to the ICC. If you claim to fight a just war, let them be tried in a real court.

[ Parent ]

the icc (none / 0) (#258)
by circletimessquare on Sun May 02, 2004 at 01:28:09 AM EST

http://www.kuro5hin.org/comments/2004/4/30/85930/4002/33#33

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Yeah (none / 0) (#359)
by PrinceSausage on Mon May 03, 2004 at 01:31:16 AM EST

I already know you think that every court should have it's own army. Which just goes to show exactly how interesting your world view really is.

[ Parent ]
yeah (none / 0) (#371)
by circletimessquare on Mon May 03, 2004 at 02:02:51 AM EST

your respone to my point that minor crimes are prosecuted while major ones go unpunished is exactly what?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
So why not (none / 0) (#430)
by PrinceSausage on Tue May 04, 2004 at 08:08:32 AM EST

try Henry Kissinger in an american court? Put your money where your mouth is.

[ Parent ]
Hmmm (none / 1) (#92)
by pyramid termite on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 08:54:50 PM EST

they will be PUNISHED, preferably by getting them naked and having them perform oral sex on each other ;-P

Interesting how this seems to be a meme that a lot of people in our culture are comfortable enough with to do, or to joke about, isn't it?

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
huh? (none / 2) (#102)
by circletimessquare on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 09:43:17 PM EST

that's what they did to the prisoners silly, i'm not dealing with some sort of subconscious psychosexual urge, my darling psychoanalyst, i'm just talking eye for an eye shit, capisce? geez ;-P


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
You pushed them to torture, Cletus. (none / 0) (#336)
by Russell Dovey on Sun May 02, 2004 at 08:25:26 PM EST

The rednecks were asked to torture these people by their commanding officers. These commanding officers were under pressure to get results, to get some information on militant groups. For fuck's sake, Cletus, if Amnesty knew about it for months, then so did the higher-ups. And yet they didn't stop it.

So, Cletus, America tortures prisoners for information, but it's okay because of Starbucks, right? Starbucks makes up for it?

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

You Unapologetic Imperialist Asshole (none / 2) (#121)
by Peahippo on Sat May 01, 2004 at 01:01:53 AM EST

i think, imagine this... i have no idea where i am pulling this radical idea from, but stay with me here as i say something really really wacky: there is a difference between the actions of some wannabe sadists and the intent of the us in iraq

Strange, we can say the same about Iraqi leaders and the country of Iraq as a whole. But your postings demonstrate that you fully support the US attack of Iraq over the "actions of some wannabe sadists" (Hussein's regime). (And it is doubly funny that some of these Hussein-regime sadists are being directly reinstated by US forces.)

CircleJerk, you are an unapologetic supporter of the vicious Imperial invasion of Iraq. Whatever the Imperial soliders and mercs do, you are OK with -- killing kids, abusing prisoners, shooting travelers at checkpoints, etc. Time to 'fess up and admit that you support direct American fascism and frankly like to attack other cultures based upon your limited Western mentality. (Not limited in its appetite for oil, however.)

It is precisely people like you that have come up with the idea to exempt American citizens from international courts, making a mockery of justice. The only consistency with that is the legal system in America where the wealthy are routinely exempted from the courts.

Hypocrite. Does anyone actually take what you say seriously? (Well, from the last 3 years of Fox News et al cheering on the slaughter, I'd have to sadly say the answer is yes.)


[ Parent ]
heehee (none / 0) (#270)
by circletimessquare on Sun May 02, 2004 at 02:01:18 AM EST

are you upset?

let me educate you about who i am:

i am not an american, i am a human being

i recognize that human beings must fight for the peace and prosperity of other human beings in this world

i applaud the us govt for having the balls that other govts did not

i celebrate the more peaceful and prosperous future iraqis will now enjoy now that saddam hussein is gone

iraqis agree with me, says the tehran times (thats not a fox affiliate (snicker))

this is the world i live in: reality

what strange demented world you live in where there is nothing worth fighting for and all there is to life is this visceral surface level appreciation of violence and motives are only of the worst b-grade hollywood movie level paranoia is frankly, a place i don't want to visit, and a place that does not resemble

reality


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Cletus, reality is stranger than you can imagine. (none / 0) (#338)
by Russell Dovey on Sun May 02, 2004 at 08:59:15 PM EST

Cletus, you don't know what balls are. I'm not sure where yours have got to, maybe you left them in that sheep you were fucking yesterday?

Cletus, courage is not saying to some general "Okay, blow those towelheads a new asshole". Courage is not saying "These companies are rebuilding your country" then giving them 80 billion dollars. Courage is not trying to hide the war crimes that your soldiers have been committing against Iraqi men, women, and children.

Courage is certainly not dismissing the murder of 800 women and children with the remark "We could have made Falluja a killing field." (What, you expect us to say "thanks for not killing 100,000 people" and forget that you killed 800, asshole?)
Courage is not using cluster bombs and 2000-pounders on a FUCKING SUBURB, YOU MURDERING FUCKS.

Courage is facing up to the fact that you have been a piece of shit, that you have lied, cheated, stolen, tortured, betrayed your own people and country to enrich your buddies and all you are going to get for it is booted out of the White House and Stupidest Fucking President Ever Award.

Courage would be to actually rebuild Iraq, without once thinking "How can I make money from this?"

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

listen up fucktard (none / 0) (#363)
by circletimessquare on Mon May 03, 2004 at 01:55:13 AM EST

you do not understand human nature

before you, you see the visceral nature of war and react to it, and you do not see the historical and justifiable (and unjustifiable) reasons that fighting was undertaken
this is either incredibly naive or intellectually dishonest of you

war is an ugly evil thing, but do not consider the fighting, without considering the reasons why people fight

all that means is that you are naive, and that you have a problem with human nature itself, not america

human beings, as long as they have a range of ideological beliefs, and have a passion to take the fight for their ideology to deadly force, will wage war

this is a fact of human nature, not the usa

you apparently insist on holding the usa culpable for the crimes of human nature

so i'll tell you what: i won't justify everything the us has done on the battlefield, because plenty it has done is unjustifiable, if you don't attack everything the us has done on the battlefield, because plenty it has done is entirely justifiable

capisce?

otherwise, you are just drowning in propaganda, and have lost your grasp on reason

you are way out to sea:
read a police blotter
study tribal societies

it is extremely easy to kill another person in this world... am i happy because of that? no... do i admit it? yes... you don't: does that make you wiser than me? no, just naive

but you apparently are intent on killing the messenger: i am telling you that evil war is unfortunate but sometimes necessary, and you hear from me "god i love war!" why is that?

i see a central point of misunderstanding between two fundamental sides of defining human nature:

that left alone, aggressors will fade away
that left alone, aggressors will be emboldened and be more ambitious
frankly, given my own personal experience in life and from my readings of human history overall, #1 to me is naive about human nature, #2 is more realistic
on a fundamental level of understanding all that i have seen in this world of human behavior, i don't understand a worldview that says malicious men will just fade away if left alone

to me, caring about your fellow being is proactive, and to me, everyone who would leave saddam hussein alone are just inventing excuses to care about no one except themselves

like this: you can't ever justify to me a pov or an ideology in this world that says you care for your fellow human beings by doing nothing

whatever your reason for doing anything in life, to me it is automatically superior than doing nothing, by virtue that it is proof positive that you actually care, however malformed your action smay be in this world, at least you prove you cared

while doing nothing is a proof negative exercise that you care about anyone else in this world except yourself: kinda like trying to find wmds ;-P

and so to me, one idiot doing the wrong thing but proving he cares is worth more to me than 10 million wise cynics who only invent reasons to do nothing, and therefore, prove they don't care about their fellow human beings

a cynic is someone who knows the cost of everything, and the value of nothing

do you let evil thrash about during it's half-life, taking out much innocence and good just because you will not intervene?

or will you challenge it directly, minimizing it's destructive effects on the innocent and the good, and hastening it's departure?

what is the point in not intervening when you are certain something is evil? what can be gained in not challenging evil directly?

to me it is the highest virtue in life- to be embraced, not avoided, the fight against truly evil men and organizations

if all you see before you is suface level visceral suffering, then you do not know what it means to care for your fellow human in this world... caring can be infuriating

but it is better than the emptiness of a soulless uncaring existence

nobody said it was easy, or not messy

it is very easy to criticize those who act

it is very had to actually do something

but it's the only thing that ever mattered

my question for those who see wisdom in the "just leave them the fuck alone" option

how do you expect people to stop caring about other people?

how does your "just leave them the fuck alone" option jive with the tutsis and hutus in rwanda 10 years ago? it is your idea, people who reacted like yout o that killing that supports the death of hundreds of thousands there

i would assert to you that not only is it impossible for you to tell your fellow human being to have no sympathy or empathy for other human beings outside your little petty ethnic or nationalistic enclave, but that in fact caring about the suffering of others, and sacrificing for them, REGARDLESS of what ideology you toil under, is among the highest and most noble purposes one can aspire to in this life

i say this not as an american, but as a human being

you may rage all you want against the us going into iraq, but you cannot move this rock of reason: sometimes, in life, to prove you care, you must fight

to deny this idealism, blindness, naivete

and to suggest that your ability to care for your fellow human beings ends at the borders of your pathetic little country is simply racism and xenophobia at heart

death to nationalistic religions

welcome to the age of pandemocracy

to stand in the way of it shows no wisdom, but simply that you don't care about anyone but yourself

we can view human beings one of two ways: blank slates who mimic what their culture and society tells them is acceptable, or as seething cauldrons of primordial violence and sex that must be tamed and channeled by society and culture into appropriate modes of behavior.

the second depiction of human beings is more accurate

we have within us an innate ability for much evil behavior, and i think you have the opposing view of human nature, the blank slate one, and it's just flat out wrong.

frankly, you are so blind to some extremely basic observations of human nature, i really wonder about you.

you are more likely to murder someone than i ever will
i am aware of my nature, and if i find myself in a situation where i might be capable of taking someone's life, i can flee it

you, in believing you are incapable of killing another human being, will probably run right into that psychological area, and someone will be dead before you snap out of it

you are a very frightening person: you are unaware of your own nature

you genuinely scare me

if you think you will never die in a car accident, you won't wear a seatbelt and you will drive recklessly, increasing the chances you will get killed

if you think you might die in a car accident, you wear your seatbelt and drive cautiously, decreasing the chances you will get killed in a car accident

by thinking you can never kill another human being, you are closer to that reality than i ever will be, for you will take no steps to protect yourself from your own potential for evil

you are a scary spooky person

one of two things is possible for taking your pov:

you are a cold passionless lump of a human being
you have passion, but you don't even understand it's true nature in human psychology, and homan sociology
the wisest man in the world says he doesn't know everything
the most peaceful man in the world admits that he is capable of great evil and murder
that you don't even recognize the potential you have for great sin only makes you cold and dead, or very scray: like a child walking aorund with a loaded gun: you don't even have recognition of what simple horrible experience in your future life can awaken within you as a simple, emotional human being

that's downright scary

you are not wise, you are not peaceful

you are flawed, and dangerous

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

difference (none / 3) (#136)
by gdanjo on Sat May 01, 2004 at 06:09:34 AM EST

i think, imagine this... i have no idea where i am pulling this radical idea from, but stay with me here as i say something really really wacky: there is a difference between the actions of some wannabe sadists and the intent of the us in iraq
There is also a difference between Afghanistan, where support for Al-Qaeda was entrenched, and Iraq, where Al-Qaeda was actively expelled. And yet these two were lumped together, such that Iraq was invaded for Sept. 11.

Here's a radical thought - if the US wishes that people be able to tell the difference between hicks and Real Soldiers, perhaps the US should try a little harder to find the difference between one Arab and Another. Otherwise, how can you expect to be judged under different criteria than you yourself judge?

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

you should try your own medicine (none / 1) (#265)
by circletimessquare on Sun May 02, 2004 at 01:50:05 AM EST

Here's a radical thought - if the US wishes that people be able to tell the difference between hicks and Real Soldiers, perhaps the US should try a little harder to find the difference between one Arab and Another. Otherwise, how can you expect to be judged under different criteria than you yourself judge?

are you this hick that you speak of? are you talking about iraq and afghanistan? because last i checked, afghanisatan was not an arabic country

which makes you so stupid, you don't even realize what a hypocrite you are

iraq and afghanistan were invaded for different reasons

because your too stupid to appreciate that doesn't mean that your point means anything to me except that you are stupid

low iq

dumb


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

bait (none / 2) (#286)
by gdanjo on Sun May 02, 2004 at 06:23:35 AM EST

iraq and afghanistan were invaded for different reasons
What constitutes a different reason? You said so? Bush said so? Do you realise that the most of the rest of the world, including other western countries, believe that the invasion of Iraq was linked to terrorism? What you say after-the-fact has no impact on the reason for your action - only evidence can be accepted.

because your too stupid to appreciate that doesn't mean that your point means anything to me except that you are stupid
You know Mr. square, you often do have interesting things to say, but I fear that you have succumbed to troll baiting here on kuro5hin. Frankly, I don't give two fucks about what you think of me - so why do you keep repeating it? I made a comment about your comment, and you attack my intelligence. Why? Do you consider me a troll like the other trolls I've seen (successfully) bait you? Do you not see a difference between me and a standard troll? What is it about my statements that makes you so defensive?

Honestly I want to know - it would seem that anyone that has a contrary opinion to you is a troll. Do you see no problem with this?

Or are you just baiting me?

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

yeah that's bait alright (none / 1) (#294)
by circletimessquare on Sun May 02, 2004 at 11:14:42 AM EST

do you want me to respond to you and get personal?

do you want to psychoanalyze me?

or do you want to talk about the issue at hand?

you might find in life that people call you names when they disagree with you... sorry to break that to you... i think you need to find a better coping mechanism than "i see that you've called me a name... how does that make you feel about your mother?"

lol


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

jolly's (none / 3) (#335)
by gdanjo on Sun May 02, 2004 at 08:18:37 PM EST

you might find in life that people call you names when they disagree with you... sorry to break that to you... i think you need to find a better coping mechanism than "i see that you've called me a name... how does that make you feel about your mother?"
So you think you're beeter than everyone, you're an out-and-out cynic, you're a grump, and you don't care to talk substance but just like to spray shit. What are you doing on Kuro5hin? Do you get your jolly's abusing people online because you can't do it in real life? Do you have 'performance problems' when it comes to saying what you want to people in real time and then vent when you get time to think about it? Do you like to fuck sheep all the time, or just on Sundays?

No, I just can't do it. I don't get off on insults, sorry. I find it dreary and unsatisfying. But you have made it abundantly clear that you want no part in any other form of discussion, so I'll just leave you alone with your trolls.

It's times like these I wish kuro5hin had killfiles.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

When in Rome (none / 2) (#341)
by kmcrober on Sun May 02, 2004 at 09:34:21 PM EST

So you think you're beeter than everyone, you're an out-and-out cynic, you're a grump, and you don't care to talk substance but just like to spray shit. What are you doing on Kuro5hin?

The same thing as the rest of us?

[ Parent ]

the toddler has tantrumed (nt) (none / 1) (#362)
by circletimessquare on Mon May 03, 2004 at 01:51:50 AM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Read the article (none / 0) (#142)
by nebbish on Sat May 01, 2004 at 07:27:34 AM EST

Its the legal grey area and lack of accountability that bothers me. I fully accept that you are going to get the odd idiot who brutalises prisoners in a war - but personally I like to see them punished with a bit more than a cover-up and a slap on the wrist.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

i agree (none / 0) (#266)
by circletimessquare on Sun May 02, 2004 at 01:53:20 AM EST

i think these hicks should be as publicly punished as possible, they should be publicly embarassed and riciduled... that same shame was what they were seeking from the prisoners they abused anyways... make an example of these stupid prison guard hicks

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Answers (none / 1) (#157)
by emwi on Sat May 01, 2004 at 10:35:04 AM EST

when the us invaded iraq, was it their intent to get rid of saddam hussein? or torture iraqis?

I believe you voiced your support of this war here one or two times before, so you tell me!

do these toothless hicks represent the us in iraq?

Absolutely.

now that news has gotten out about the fun these redneck fucks have had, do you think their ass is grass?

Not at all. A show called investigation, maybe some fines...this is just the famous tip of the iceberg, the one incident that came out because they took pictures, and the pictures went public.

or do you think their actions will be celebrated?

By a lot of your fellow liberators, yes. A lot.

does every single soldier on the frontline not resent the increase in anger, and possibly deaths, that they will feel because of the actions of these dumb fucks?

No. Keep in mind, that people who sign up for killing and getting killed are dumbfucks in the first place - while you, dearest cts, are still sitting here writing stay-the-course comments- as dumb as I think you are, you are not dumb enough to actually sign up and fight the war personally you advertise so boldly :). I doubt that every single one of them is able to resent that, there is just a minority of grunts there capable of that mental effort. Many of them might even become confused that their actions of yesterday are suddenly bad.

i think, imagine this... i have no idea where i am pulling this radical idea from, but stay with me here as i say something really really wacky: there is a difference between the actions of some wannabe sadists and the intent of the us in iraq whoa, i'm going way out on a limb with that statement, bear with me, it's kind of a radical pronouncement

Really? Bush did not invade to humiliate Iraqi prisoners? I ask because, you know, each and everyone here said that all the time...I guess you have partly answered your own question No.1, at least what the us did not want to...so what did they want to do? Again, you tell me.


[ Parent ]

so (none / 1) (#268)
by circletimessquare on Sun May 02, 2004 at 01:56:07 AM EST

the men who fight for your freedom and safety, they are dumb fucks?

what about the cops who protect your home- are they toothless hicks too?

because a man puts on a unifrom and fights things like al qaeda, saddam hussein, etc.: these men deserve your ridicule?

all your words mean to me is that you are out of touch with what goes into giving you your rights and freedoms

fool, thy name is ungrateful


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

You are predictable. (none / 0) (#287)
by emwi on Sun May 02, 2004 at 06:24:54 AM EST

I knew I'd get you with that. Interesting how you ignored my other points-I answered your questions, don't you think it's time to answer mine?

the men who fight for your freedom and safety, they are dumb fucks?

Who is that? Who is fighting for my freedom and safety? Those grunts in Iraq? That's your twisted worldview, cts, not a fact.

because a man puts on a unifrom and fights things like al qaeda, saddam hussein, etc.: these men deserve your ridicule?

By etc. I assume you mean thousands, tenthousands afghans and iraqis, 1 million vietnamese...do I have to continue? Yes, soldiers are paid for killing and get killed, no matter how glossy your rhethoric gets, and they do it for us, the more intelligent ones who stay home, like me and again, you, cts. In doing that, they are stupid. Call them heroes, ultimately sacrificing, our best, it's all a cover for the term "thank you for dying for us, dumb fuck!"

all your words mean to me is that you are out of touch with what goes into giving you your rights and freedoms

So it's soldiers, yes? Funny, I then think the same thing about you. Soldiers, my dear childish mindset, defend power, not freedoms.
For a year now I am reading your meaningless mini-speeches here, and I thought that you would learn as things evolve, that you would get the lesson of thousands of years of war, that it's not black and white, not as easy as in a comicbook, that the abyss stares back - but I realize, you radicalized instead, obviously another lesson of the history of war - you are still convinced that the daily slaughter over there is for a good cause eventually? I don't believe you do, but pride is a hard thing to fight, right? Go on and tell anyone how strongly you believe, and expose yourself as the fanatic mindset you are so deeply loathing.


[ Parent ]

you do not understand human nature (none / 0) (#293)
by circletimessquare on Sun May 02, 2004 at 11:04:17 AM EST

before you, you see the visceral nature of war and react to it, and you do not see the historical and justifiable (and unjustifiable) reasons that fighting was undertaken
this is either incredibly naive or intellectually dishonest of you

war is an ugly evil thing, but do not consider the fighting, without considering the reasons why people fight

all that means is that you are naive, and that you have a problem with human nature itself, not america

human beings, as long as they have a range of ideological beliefs, and have a passion to take the fight for their ideology to deadly force, will wage war

this is a fact of human nature, not the usa

you apparently insist on holding the usa culpable for the crimes of human nature

so i'll tell you what: i won't justify everything the us has done on the battlefield, because plenty it has done is unjustifiable, if you don't attack everything the us has done on the battlefield, because plenty it has done is entirely justifiable

capisce?

otherwise, you are just drowning in propaganda, and have lost your grasp on reason

you are way out to sea:
read a police blotter
study tribal societies

it is extremely easy to kill another person in this world... am i happy because of that? no... do i admit it? yes... you don't: does that make you wiser than me? no, just naive

but you apparently are intent on killing the messenger: i am telling you that evil war is unfortunate but sometimes necessary, and you hear from me "god i love war!" why is that?

i see a central point of misunderstanding between two fundamental sides of defining human nature:

  1. that left alone, aggressors will fade away
  2. that left alone, aggressors will be emboldened and be more ambitious
frankly, given my own personal experience in life and from my readings of human history overall, #1 to me is naive about human nature, #2 is more realistic

on a fundamental level of understanding all that i have seen in this world of human behavior, i don't understand a worldview that says malicious men will just fade away if left alone

to me, caring about your fellow being is proactive, and to me, everyone who would leave saddam hussein alone are just inventing excuses to care about no one except themselves

like this: you can't ever justify to me a pov or an ideology in this world that says you care for your fellow human beings by doing nothing

whatever your reason for doing anything in life, to me it is automatically superior than doing nothing, by virtue that it is proof positive that you actually care, however malformed your action smay be in this world, at least you prove you cared

while doing nothing is a proof negative exercise that you care about anyone else in this world except yourself: kinda like trying to find wmds ;-P

and so to me, one idiot doing the wrong thing but proving he cares is worth more to me than 10 million wise cynics who only invent reasons to do nothing, and therefore, prove they don't care about their fellow human beings

a cynic is someone who knows the cost of everything, and the value of nothing

do you let evil thrash about during it's half-life, taking out much innocence and good just because you will not intervene?

or will you challenge it directly, minimizing it's destructive effects on the innocent and the good, and hastening it's departure?

what is the point in not intervening when you are certain something is evil? what can be gained in not challenging evil directly?

to me it is the highest virtue in life- to be embraced, not avoided, the fight against truly evil men and organizations

if all you see before you is suface level visceral suffering, then you do not know what it means to care for your fellow human in this world... caring can be infuriating

but it is better than the emptiness of a soulless uncaring existence

nobody said it was easy, or not messy

it is very easy to criticize those who act

it is very had to actually do something

but it's the only thing that ever mattered

my question for those who see wisdom in the "just leave them the fuck alone" option

how do you expect people to stop caring about other people?

how does your "just leave them the fuck alone" option jive with the tutsis and hutus in rwanda 10 years ago? it is your idea, people who reacted like yout o that killing that supports the death of hundreds of thousands there

i would assert to you that not only is it impossible for you to tell your fellow human being to have no sympathy or empathy for other human beings outside your little petty ethnic or nationalistic enclave, but that in fact caring about the suffering of others, and sacrificing for them, REGARDLESS of what ideology you toil under, is among the highest and most noble purposes one can aspire to in this life

i say this not as an american, but as a human being

you may rage all you want against the us going into iraq, but you cannot move this rock of reason: sometimes, in life, to prove you care, you must fight

to deny this idealism, blindness, naivete

and to suggest that your ability to care for your fellow human beings ends at the borders of your pathetic little country is simply racism and xenophobia at heart

death to nationalistic religions

welcome to the age of pandemocracy

to stand in the way of it shows no wisdom, but simply that you don't care about anyone but yourself

we can view human beings one of two ways: blank slates who mimic what their culture and society tells them is acceptable, or as seething cauldrons of primordial violence and sex that must be tamed and channeled by society and culture into appropriate modes of behavior.

the second depiction of human beings is more accurate

we have within us an innate ability for much evil behavior, and i think you have the opposing view of human nature, the blank slate one, and it's just flat out wrong.

frankly, you are so blind to some extremely basic observations of human nature, i really wonder about you.

you are more likely to murder someone than i ever will
i am aware of my nature, and if i find myself in a situation where i might be capable of taking someone's life, i can flee it

you, in believing you are incapable of killing another human being, will probably run right into that psychological area, and someone will be dead before you snap out of it

you are a very frightening person: you are unaware of your own nature

you genuinely scare me

if you think you will never die in a car accident, you won't wear a seatbelt and you will drive recklessly, increasing the chances you will get killed

if you think you might die in a car accident, you wear your seatbelt and drive cautiously, decreasing the chances you will get killed in a car accident

by thinking you can never kill another human being, you are closer to that reality than i ever will be, for you will take no steps to protect yourself from your own potential for evil

you are a scary spooky person

one of two things is possible for taking your pov:

  1. you are a cold passionless lump of a human being
  2. you have passion, but you don't even understand it's true nature in human psychology, and homan sociology
the wisest man in the world says he doesn't know everything
the most peaceful man in the world admits that he is capable of great evil and murder

that you don't even recognize the potential you have for great sin only makes you cold and dead, or very scray: like a child walking aorund with a loaded gun: you don't even have recognition of what simple horrible experience in your future life can awaken within you as a simple, emotional human being

that's downright scary

you are not wise, you are not peaceful

you are flawed, and dangerous


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

My god... (none / 0) (#384)
by emwi on Mon May 03, 2004 at 09:03:31 AM EST

really radicalized. Fanatic. Scary.


[ Parent ]
tha' "fanaticism" you hear? (none / 0) (#402)
by circletimessquare on Mon May 03, 2004 at 01:52:33 PM EST

it's called reality

it's called human nature

you rail against the us, when you really have a problem with human nature

and you are merely a victim of propaganda, since all of the crimes you accuse the us of is committed by every other regime, and yet, they get no criticism from you

intellectually dishonest propaganda victim= you


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Re: Your question (none / 0) (#427)
by emwi on Tue May 04, 2004 at 06:13:29 AM EST

now that news has gotten out about the fun these redneck fucks have had, do you think their ass is grass?

AP: "Seven more U.S. soldiers have been reprimanded in connection with the alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners carried out by guards at Baghdad's notorious Abu Ghraib prison, a senior military official said on Monday [...] he believed investigations of the officers were complete and they would not face further action or court martial."

[ Parent ]

i hear your crap, and raise you reality: (none / 0) (#446)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 04, 2004 at 07:01:33 PM EST

http://nytimes.com/2004/05/04/international/middleeast/03CND-ABUS.html?hp

WASHINGTON, May 4 -- The Army disclosed today that it is conducting criminal inquiries into 20 cases of suspected abuse of Iraqi prisoners as the furor over mistreatment of some captives continued to grow.

Leading lawmakers from both parties demanded answers on the origin and extent of the problem, as Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the Army's vice chief of staff, announced the 20 investigations, two of which involve homicides.

As top officials of the Bush administration tried to minimize the diplomatic and political damage, some legislators said Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld should come to the Capitol to face questioning.

Senator Tom Daschle of South Dakota, the Senate minority leader, said on the Senate floor that Mr. Rumsfeld should appear "no later than the end of this week" to explain what Pentagon officials knew about "this extraordinary disconnect, this unbelievable failure of communication."

Several members of the Senate Armed Services Committee emerged from a closed briefing by uniformed Army officials to express anger over the abuses and dissatisfaction with the Bush administration's and the Pentagon's response to date.

"We need to have a hearing as soon as possible with Secretary Rumsfeld testifying, and other service secretaries, if necessary, as to how this whole situation evolved, what action is being taken, and what further action needs to be taken to prevent a recurrence of this terrible situation," said Senator John McCain of Arizona, a leading Republican on the committee.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, headed by Senator Pat Roberts, Republican of Kansas, announced this afternoon that it would hold a closed hearing on Wednesday into the abuse of prisoners.

Mr. Rumsfeld said at a Pentagon news briefing this afternoon that he was "deeply disturbed" by the reports.

"We're taking and will continue to take whatever steps are necessary to hold accountable those that may have violated the code of military conduct and betrayed the trust placed in them by the American people," Mr. Rumsfeld said.

Calling the abuse of prisoners "totally unacceptable and un-American," Mr. Rumsfeld said he disagreed with critics who have said the Pentagon moved too slowly. Defense Department officials have moved correctly and efficiently, he said. "The system works," he said. "The system works."

The secretary said he hoped the disclosures would not have a long-lasting impact on the image of American military people, whom he has repeatedly described as among the best in the world.

Mr. Rumsfeld was not asked whether he would go to Capitol Hill, and he did not bring up the issue.

Meeting at the United Nations today with senior envoys from Europe and the United Nations, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said that pictures of the abuses had "stunned every American" and that he was "deeply concerned" about the negative reaction of the Arab world.

But he added that he hoped that Arabs and others would realize that the United States would punish the perpetrators of these abuses "in a way that the world can observe and watch" and thus set a different kind of example, of criminal actions being punished.

"The one thing you can be sure of is that justice will be done," Mr. Powell said.

Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, said the controversy would not interrupt plans to turn over sovereignty to the Iraqi people on June 30. "I think the president expressed the view of all Americans, indeed all people, when he said that it was sickening and outrageous," she said in response to a question after a speech at the Anti-Defamation League Conference in Washington.

As for the June 30 deadline, she said, "Iraqis need to know that they're going to regain their future -- the control of their own future."

General Casey said military authorities had reviewed a total of 35 cases in Iraq and Afghanistan, including 20 still under review.

This morning, the Senate Armed Services Committee heard General Casey promise that the people responsible would be punished. "We're extremely disappointed that anyone would mistreat detainees in the manner that has been, that they have in Iraq," he told reporters in a Capitol corridor. "The Army is a values-based organization. And what you see on those pictures is not indicative of our training or of our values. It is a complete breakdown in discipline."

The ranking Democrat on the committee, Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, said the abuse of prisoners could endanger the national security of the United States, as well as its prestige before the world. "For the security of this nation we must be open about this, we must root them out, and we must assure the world thereby that in this open society, actions of this kind are going to be dealt with both criminally and within the military code as appropriate," Mr. Levin said.

Another leading Democrat on the committee, Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, said, "We have a great sense of revulsion, not only because of these actions, but we also recognize what the dangers are for American troops if they are ever taken prisoners and the kind of treatment that they would be subject to. And this has been a major setback to our interests in that region."

Today's closed briefing was hurriedly arranged after the committee chairman, Senator John W. Warner, Republican of Virginia, called the Pentagon on Monday night and said the committee needed some answers. "Speaking for myself, I'm gravely concerned about this situation," Mr. Warner said. "I have been privileged to be associated with the military for over a half-century, been on this committee for 25 years now, and this is as serious a problem of breakdown in discipline as I've ever observed."

The White House spokesman, Scott McClellan, told The Associated Press today that Mr. Bush first became aware of the accusations of abuse some time after the Pentagon began looking into them, but that he did not see the photographs of sexual humiliation until they were made public and did not learn of the classified Pentagon report about the episode until news organizations reported its existence.

President Bush was campaigning in Ohio today and did not mention the prisoner-abuse affair in his appearances in the Toledo area or Dayton.

Mr. McCain, who endured more than five years of harsh treatment as a prisoner of the North Vietnamese, said he had no way of knowing whether the abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad were isolated, or whether they represented wider mistreatment, perhaps at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba, or in Afghanistan.

"There are so many allegations swirling around this situation, that we must have a public hearing, with the secretary of defense testifying, in order to clear up all of these allegations," Mr. McCain said. "Not an hour goes by that there isn't an additional allegation."

Meanwhile, Mr. McCain said he was also very angry that a 53-page Pentagon report on what is known so far about the abuses was sent to news organizations before it was sent to the Armed Services Committee. "That's quite a commentary," he said.

Senators McCain and Warner said they were sure that most military people were living up to their country's ideals, but that the actions of even a few could cause terrible damage.

Mr. Warner said, "The rest of the men and women of the armed forces of the United States are professionally carrying out their duties all over the world, and we cannot let this single, but tragic, incident tarnish their service."

Senator Levin agreed. "The actions of these individuals have jeopardized members of the armed services in the conduct of their mission and have jeopardized the security of this country," he said. "It's a few individuals that have apparently conducted these despicable actions. We hope it's a few. We don't know how systemic it is."

Steven R. Weisman contributed reporting for this article from the United Nations.

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Let me raise yours by citing Kos: (none / 0) (#458)
by emwi on Wed May 05, 2004 at 08:04:19 AM EST

Herewith a synopsis of the Rumsfeldian spin (click this MSNBC story for more, including Rummy footage) on the Abu Ghraib prison activities, and the real meaning of it:

   1. We are shocked and outraged. Even though we've known since January that something wrong was happening.
   2. We will get to the bottom of this. CNN correspondent Jamie McIntyre reported this afternoon that there are or were 35 separate investigations underway, 25 that involve prisoner deaths, including two that are homicide investigations -- not to mention at least one male soldier who is alleged to have raped a female Iraqi prisoner, thereby restoring the "rape rooms" the president told us had been banished forever thanks to the invasion. Is that the bottom, Secretary Rumsfeld, or will there be news of something yet worse?
   3. "The system works. The system works." Direct Rummy quote that sounds eerily like Nigel Tufnel's "but these go to 11" Spinal Tap moment...yet according to members of both parties on the Senate Armed Services Committee, who say that in countless meetings and appearances by Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, their deputies, and representatives from private contractors in the past few months, the system didn't work because DoD made no mention, not even a whiff, of potential prison problems.

Put it all together -- feigned outrage only after the story is public; the assurance that the matter will now be handled appropriately which means it was therefore bungled up until this point; the insistence that nothing improper or "unsystemic" has occurred -- [...]

Oh, and even more important, please read this.

[ Parent ]

so your assertion is (none / 0) (#459)
by circletimessquare on Wed May 05, 2004 at 09:04:11 AM EST

that the us went into iraq so it could torture prisoners?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
You confuse means with ends. (none / 0) (#460)
by emwi on Wed May 05, 2004 at 09:29:34 AM EST

Occupation is the ends. Torture and killing the means. High words of liberation and democracy are for the idiots at the homefront.
No! That's something evildoers do, not democracies!


[ Parent ]
"Torture and killing the means." (none / 0) (#464)
by circletimessquare on Wed May 05, 2004 at 06:33:00 PM EST

so what do you say to the true believers, that is, those in the us and elsewhere who really believe in liberation and democracy... we're just idiots on the homefront? is that it? is there anyone else who believes in that? i mean, really truly believes in democracy being better for iraqis than saddam?

and all the while everything is being controlled by some dark lord sith somewhere like a bad hollywood b movie? i'm a victim of the illuminati becuase i believe in democracy while you, who believe in secret evil men controlling the world... who like to torture iraqi prisoners... that's reality?

what are you, like 12 years old?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

You try to evade by asking counterquestions. (none / 0) (#474)
by emwi on Sat May 08, 2004 at 03:05:13 AM EST

so what do you say to the true believers,

Right. True believers. Do you find anything strange by using those words? Obviously, unfortunately not.

that is, those in the us and elsewhere who really believe in liberation and democracy...

which is NOT the same as to kill tenthousands of people, do you get that?

we're just idiots on the homefront? is that it? is there anyone else who believes in that? i mean, really truly believes in democracy being better for iraqis than saddam?

Yawn...of course I believe the same, dumbhead. It's just another lame rhethoric twist from you. I disagree on the means to achieve that, because "by any means necessary" are not compatible with the democracy you would like to achieve. Example: Now. Here. And for over a year now. But you are too proud to admit that, you still pretend to believe in the good outcome at last, and that's where your dishonesty gets disgusting. You advocated strongly the death of thousands, now that it's obvious that you did it because you were naive, because you were a tool persuaded by your own government, you refuse to see the obvious, admit the obvious. You are a german.

and all the while everything is being controlled by some dark lord sith somewhere like a bad hollywood b movie?

Lame, evasion-seeking self defensiveness.

i'm a victim of the illuminati becuase i believe in democracy

Believing is not enough. In fact, the believe you present here is dangerous. You are willing to sacrifice lives- not your own of course! OTHER peoples lives- for your belief. In that, you are in no way different to say, a terrorist. Or bolshevik. Or nazi. The content of your belief doesn't matter (and is usually quite moral and acceptable for itself)-the totalitarian approach of justification through righteousness is what turns you on the bad side, no matter how noble your intentions once where. Another disappointment  for you might be that you will doscover one day that you are not the first. You think you "understand human nature", you see things others don't, you have finally figured it out what's going wrong, but you are not. You are just another totalitarian victim, as they appeared through all times.

while you, who believe in secret evil men controlling the world... who like to torture iraqi prisoners... that's reality?

I answered that already. Means and ends, you know.
But obviously, someone in fact likes to torture on those images, right? I also recall a poll just some time ago, where a majority in the US would support torture of "terrorists". There you have the strong moral values of your all-healing great democracy. I could give you a lot more examples, but I think even you will agree that there are a lot of undemocratic mindsets in the midth of our democracies, a disturbing fact. And where did I say "secret"? Yes, I believe evil men control the world, and not just the US. That's one of the flaws of democracies: It's not getting the best on top, but the most power hungry, the most ruthless, the loudest, preferrably with a great haircut, too. I see a lot of other flaws as well-have you ever adressed that? What do you do about that, you great believer? Or is it all so perfect, so shiny that there is no need for it? But hey, look here, Saddam= very evil! Let's kill thousands, everything better then!

Enough now. I suggest you should start thinking, or at least answer directly, instead of asking more and more questions. You have two choices: Be honest with yourself-admit to yourself that you were wrong, and learn from it. Or refuse any introspection, assure yourself of the righteousness of your goals (and beliefs) and let the Saddam in yourself rule.

[ Parent ]

CTS (none / 0) (#314)
by GenerationY on Sun May 02, 2004 at 04:12:47 PM EST

if you were a fisherman, you'd never go hungry.

[ Parent ]
CTS, you don't seem to understand the military (none / 2) (#317)
by JohnnyCannuk on Sun May 02, 2004 at 04:19:59 PM EST

The problem here is either:

1. The soldiers acted on their own and are sick, sadistic twits that disparage the whole military.

or

2. The US military condones these acts of torture in Iraq and are accomplices to it (along with, apparently, the CIA).

So, which one is it? Up here in Canada, where we faced a similar, albeit smaller scale, scandal with our troops in Somalia 10 years ago, we call this a LOSE-LOSE situation:

If #1 above is true, then the vaunted US military has had a complete breakdown in it's command and control - multiple members of the the US armed forces have acted on numerous occasions in direct contravention of the rules of engagement and the Geneva Convention, of which the US is a signatory. There appears to have been a total breakdown in the control the officers of these units had on their soldiers. The US military must admit that it cannot exert proper military discipline and control over its units in the field (or their 'contractors'), and does not have a proper, effective recruit screening procedure to weed these "sadists" out before they go into a theatre of operations. Apparently this is so bad in Iraq, that it apears to have infected the British military as well.

If # 2 is true, the the US military (and its other allies in the coalition) is knowingly violating the Geneva Convention, to which the US is a signatory, and probably doesns of other international laws and treaties. They are thus placing thier soldiers in the field in danger because if they won't obey the Geneva Convention, then soldiers captured by the insurgents will likely face the same, if not worse, treatment. If #2 is true, then it is clear that the US occupation and War are most certainly not for liberating Iraqi's from oppression since they are acting just like the worst of Saddam's thugs ever did.

So, which is it? Are they out of control of their units and incompetent or do they condone these actions and thus liars, thugs and war criminals just like Saddam rather than 'liberators'? Tough one, eh?

I suspect the truth is somewhere in the middle. But like it or not, the treatment these POWs and other prisoners recieved is a barbaroous violation of the Geneve Convention and a war crime, irregardless whether they are the acts of 'individuals' or explicitly oked by the military. Ask some WWII vets who did time in Japanese POW camps or Sen. John McCain if they think torturing prisoners of any kind is a good idea - if you tolerate if from your own military we must tolerate and expect it from your enemies. I'd be willing to bet the average US citizen would be outraged if it were some of their Marines in those pictures surrounded by smiling Iraqi's.

In Canada, when our own Somalia shame came to light, there was outrage at the treatment Shidane Arone recieved leading upto and including his murder by memebers of our armed forces. As a result a so-called 'elite fighting unit', The Airbourne Regiment, with a long history of service, including D-Day, was disbanded and those directly responsible were court marshalled and jailed. Officers recieved demotions and transferes to less 'glamourous' positions. Many eventually 'retired' from the military. The Canadian Armed Forces has revamped training and recruitment because it discovered that the individuals that commited the crime were allowed to do so because of institutional racism and a breakdown of proper command and control. Our officers and NCO's now have more indepth leadership training to try to prevent this kind of thing from recurring (My brother, a Sargent in an Amoured Unit, just returned from such a course).

Hopefully you Yanks can learn from this as well. But not if the attitude of 'its ok, we're the good guys' or 'a bunch of rogues, it doesn't represent the whole military' keeps coming up. You can't fix a problem if you won't admit it exists. There is precious little sympathy for this war in the rest of the world right now - the Bush administration squandered whatever post 9/11 moral authority it had a long time ago, when it lied to attack Iraq. This kind of activity by your military makes this exponentially worse, especially in the Muslim world. Your military has just made the US an even bigger target of hatred and terrorism. Your military has just made your hundreds of times less safe, not more safe.

That this comes out on the 1 year anniversary of the 'End to major combat' in Iraq is a sad bitter irony.
We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
[ Parent ]

yet another example (2.25 / 8) (#27)
by vqp on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 02:03:44 PM EST

At least now we all understand this
If US wants to export democracy, it has to be ready to accept some surprises: ask what 4.850.000.000 voters think of that, this , this and this

happiness = d(Reality - Expectations) / dt

Discourage, unexplained links -nt (none / 0) (#81)
by andersjm on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 07:18:17 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Be fair. (none / 0) (#151)
by geoswan on Sat May 01, 2004 at 09:14:19 AM EST

Those links were all on topic.

[ Parent ]
From my perspective I was being fair (none / 0) (#308)
by andersjm on Sun May 02, 2004 at 03:15:04 PM EST

Is half a line of descriptive text for each link really asking too much?

The thing is, I don't follow links if I have no idea what they lead to. And that means for my purposes a stack of unexplained links is just noise, no matter what they point to.


[ Parent ]

I always liked (none / 0) (#330)
by vqp on Sun May 02, 2004 at 06:58:05 PM EST

when links are used like bullets in a chain gun.

happiness = d(Reality - Expectations) / dt

[ Parent ]
Bush (3.00 / 4) (#120)
by baseball on Sat May 01, 2004 at 12:59:09 AM EST

is looking forward to the upcoming Rapture. Why worry about any of those things?
* * *
Bush is a liar, Rumsfeld a war criminal.
[ Parent ]
Jesus Holy Mother of God (none / 2) (#238)
by lordDogma on Sat May 01, 2004 at 09:25:47 PM EST

Sigh. Do we have to go through this utter nonsense again?

A few countries that have REJECTED the ICC:

US, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia (note that's 3 of the 5 permanent UN security council members) and many, many others. That's like 90% of the military power in the world right there.

Here's two countries that RATIFIED the ICC: Afghanistan, Liberia.

Question: What are the chances that the warlords of Afghanistan and Liberia will ever face justice in the ICC?

The ICC is a big god-damned joke. The only people who don't know that are idiots living in la-la land such as yourself. So, please shut the fuck up about the ICC already.

And as for Kyoto, perhaps you never got the message - it never would have passed through congress, even if Al Gore was in office with Michael Moore as his VP. Why don't you read up on the truth of Kyoto instead of just believing the propoganda pumped out by CNN that the Bush administration killed it?

ask what 4.850.000.000 voters...

Well thats kind of hard when there aren't even four billion voters in the world, let alone three billion, because they're all living under brutal dictatorships supported by stalin-apologists such as yourself.

[ Parent ]

cnn conspiracy? (none / 0) (#295)
by vqp on Sun May 02, 2004 at 11:38:59 AM EST

4.85 Tv: I'm talking about a worldwide democracy, which is what I thought the US and myself want. That's why I put that number.

China, India, Pakistan, Israel, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia : They don't preach representative democracy to other countries.

Kyoto and WTO: I know is hard to convince Homers Simpsons to lose their current lifestyle. But if US thinktanks can't convince or force their educated people to act with responsability, will they succeed trying to convince terrorist to stop their acts?.



happiness = d(Reality - Expectations) / dt

[ Parent ]
Yeah. (none / 0) (#297)
by lordDogma on Sun May 02, 2004 at 12:29:13 PM EST

4.85 Tv: Is that 4.85 teravolts or trillion voters? FYI, there are only around six billion people in the world. Yes, worldwide democracy is good, but unfortunately we are seeing that it is not easy.

China, India, Pakistan, Israel, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia: First off, what does preaching democracy have to do with the ICC? Most of those countries can't preach representative democracy because they don't practice it themselves.

The ICC isn't democratic in the least sense. Its controlled by a huge worldwide beauracracy over which we have no more control than say, Egypt. Recently a judge from China sitting on the World Court ordered that the US should review the cases of several convicted murderers from Mexico because we "violated their rights" by not contacting the Mexican consolate about them. A JUDGE FROM CHINA FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! You know, that place where the government puts people in jail for saying bad things about it? Thats the kind of dumb shit we can expect from the ICC.

I know is hard to convince Homers Simpsons to lose their current lifestyle.

I love how people all over the world tell Americans that we are ignorant, when everything they know about the US comes from tv and cartoons.

act with responsability, will they succeed trying to convince terrorist to stop their acts?.

More stupid liberal equivocation. So you're saying that if someone drives an SUV then they are just as irresponsible as someone who flys planes into buildings? Moron.

[ Parent ]

You know, that is kind of funny. (none / 0) (#444)
by Sanction on Tue May 04, 2004 at 03:39:37 PM EST

A judge from totalitarian China is telling us to respect the civil rights of Mexican citizens, while judges from the US, self proclaimed land of freedom, are making up rationalizations for denying any and all rights to US and foreign nationals in Gitmo on the flimisiest of pretenses.  No wonder we don't want any part of the ICC, we might be forced to actually uphold our principles upon occasion.

I can either stay in and be annoying or go out and be stupid. The choice is yours.
[ Parent ]
Moron. (none / 0) (#457)
by lordDogma on Wed May 05, 2004 at 02:57:33 AM EST

"flimisiest of pretenses." "forced to actually uphold our principles upon occasion." Flimsiest pretenses? Upon occasion? More evidence that you liberals belong in an insane asylum.

[ Parent ]
Yes, flimsy. (none / 0) (#467)
by Sanction on Thu May 06, 2004 at 05:31:10 PM EST

You would define the argument that a US military base, under the complete control of the US military, is somehow outside of US law because we lease the land, as a solid argument?

As to how often we uphold our principles, not as often as I'd like.  The country starts a crusade to bring "democracy" to Iraq, then Bush cheers on the leaders of countries that back the war despite the little problem that 70%-90% of the voters in their countries oppose it.  Claiming to support freedom of the press while shutting down opposition newspapers.  Supporting due process of law while detaining people with no evidence or legal representation based on a string of pathetic rationalizations.  Fiercely defending the right of schools to support the Christian god in the pledge while trying to stamp out pornography.

Where exactly do you see the consistency with the founding principles of this country.  All I see is consistency with Christian fundamentalism and mercantilism.

I can either stay in and be annoying or go out and be stupid. The choice is yours.
[ Parent ]

Kyoto (none / 1) (#298)
by kurioszyn on Sun May 02, 2004 at 12:47:52 PM EST

"But if US thinktanks can't convince or force their educated people to act with responsability, will they succeed trying to convince terrorist to stop their acts?."

You still don't get it , do you ?
You are acting as if Kyoto was a certified solution guaranteeing better life for everyone.

There are a lot of people who sincerely don't believe that to be true. They see this as an attempt to lower the quality of life in industrialized nations without any tangible benefit for the planet itself.

[ Parent ]

honesty, is hardly ever heard (none / 0) (#318)
by vqp on Sun May 02, 2004 at 04:30:21 PM EST

and mostly what I need from you...
Look, I'm not a rocket scientist, I'm not even a good math teacher. I don't know how to save the planet. Is there any chance that you consider that your government sometimes, just a few times, it is not sincere with you and with the world.
If you think US is always sincere, I would recommend to change the Public Relations department, because from outside it seems the opposite. And, yes, the others opinion is important in a global democracy.


happiness = d(Reality - Expectations) / dt

[ Parent ]
The world (none / 1) (#393)
by kurioszyn on Mon May 03, 2004 at 11:23:00 AM EST

" Is there any chance that you consider that your government sometimes, just a few times, it is not sincere with you and with the world."

It is not about the government.
It is a free society and people like me have a lot of options as far as educating themselves on various issues.

"And, yes, the others opinion is important in a global democracy."
Fine with me.
They can have any opinion they want - I am not trying to influence or force anything on anyone.
In fact it is the opposite, you are trying to force US into what you and your friends think it is the right course of action for the planet.

You need to understand something.
This world democracy you keep referring to doesn't exist.

UN is a loose organization of various nations, majority of which cannot be even considered legitimate - all of them playing for their own home team.

[ Parent ]

you USians (none / 0) (#476)
by vqp on Sat May 08, 2004 at 10:51:10 PM EST

I kept referring to the "world government" because, although it currently doesn't exist, it is IMO the only way to go. The sooner US and developed countries understand that, the better.

You surely agree with the existence of US federal government and institutions, they in some way "control" the states (I mean, California, Ohio, etc...). Sure the congressmen of these states "play for their own team".

Why don't we extend the federal to a new level, where you americans will play the Philadelphia role, while us thirdworldies play the New Mexico part?

I think that as a sole superpower, you don't want to lose your privileges (invade a random country at will, for instance). But same attitud corrupted the Roman Empire, at least it lasted several centuries (thus at least many roman generals died happy), you won't be lucky enough to survive 30 years acting like Romans in this interconnected world.

US has the chance in its hands to build a more "organized" world. I'm very happy that this opportunity is given to the US, you have a multiracial culture, a capitalist economic system, a very long tradition in democracy and respect to the law and to others, a widespread language. But it seems that the "superpower feeling" brought the worst of you. Come on USians, you already sold us several good and bad characters through Disney, Mickey, Donald, Pete, Goofy, Pluto... whose role is Bush playing?

happiness = d(Reality - Expectations) / dt

[ Parent ]
Sigh. (none / 1) (#323)
by kmcrober on Sun May 02, 2004 at 05:01:05 PM EST

More of the kneejerk reaction to the ICC from the Free Republic crowd.  "International Courts = THE DEVIL!"  

I find that very few people really understand the ICC's mechanisms and methodology, especially the conservative ideologues.  The ICC is not there to seize war criminals from their home countries and try them.  It is a safety net and a stopgap, so that nations like Liberia and Afghanistan, without strong and trustworthy courts, can use it to try criminals that they have in custody.

Are the warlords in charge of those nations going to go on trial there?  Not while they're in charge, certainly.  But it gives hope that they might find themselves held responsible before a court of law at some point.

The ICC is a beginning, and an effort to create a responsible and trustworth international jurisprudence.  Our temporary measures, such as the ICTR and ICTY, haven't done so well because they're so ad hoc.  We need a permanent body with the expertise and experience to give nations facing chaos and turbulence a judicial outlet they can rely on.

The ICC is a big god-damned joke. The only people who don't know that are idiots living in la-la land such as yourself. So, please shut the fuck up about the ICC already.

Please, deliver us from the ranting of fools.  The need for international tribunals isn't going anywhere.  Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and Iraq aren't going to be the last internecine conflicts.  Of the three, only two have made any passable pretense of fair and efficient criminal justice; Iraq is teaching us why the military model just doesn't cut it for finding justice after the shooting has (more or less) stopped.  Since we're going to need tribunals, better to regularize and codify them in a body nations can negotiate with and have a voice in, rather than drumming them up ad hoc whenever someone is willing to temporarily foot the bill.

And as for Kyoto, perhaps you never got the message - it never would have passed through congress, even if Al Gore was in office with Michael Moore as his VP. Why don't you read up on the truth of Kyoto instead of just believing the propoganda pumped out by CNN that the Bush administration killed it?

Again, that might cut it on the Free Republic, but that kind of ranting just isn't going to cut it with people who are thinking critically.  The most serious criticism of the Bush response to Kyoto wasn't that it would have been ratified here, it was the manner in which he dealt with the treaty process.  Rather than negotiating in good faith and attempting to make something work, the Bush administration contemptuously dumped all over the process.  It hurt our bargaining position in other treaty processes and hindered the progress of the Kyoto regime for other nations.  It was an infantile and ineffectual way to deal with the treaty, and it's turned an otherwise less than significant treaty into a major international embarassment for the U.S.

So, congratulations.  You are king of the internationalism is stupid and pointless and the USA doesn't need their stupid rules! trolls.  It's fine for a message board.  But it's a damned stupid way to run a country.  God save us all.

[ Parent ]

Oops. (none / 1) (#239)
by lordDogma on Sat May 01, 2004 at 09:39:48 PM EST

I guess Liberia didn't ratify it after all. But look! It seems like Colombia did. I wonder how many war criminals are being prosecuted from Colombia?

[ Parent ]
what a strange world we live in. (1.94 / 17) (#30)
by rmg on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 02:17:42 PM EST

the contractors can blow people's legs off and leave them to die in the street, but if they take them to a prison saw their legs off, something must be done!

where's the consistency here, people? this is just absurd on the face of it. if it's wrong in one situation, it's wrong in the other one, and conversely.

if it's okay for the contractors to defend themselves on the field, then surely they are free to do so in their own prisons as well. i mean, if not, why even build the darn things? the fact is, if that iraqi escapes, he becomes another enemy combatant. it's just good sense to "clip his wings" so to speak.

i really want to know what the logic behind the outrage here is because this is just contradictory and, frankly, intellectually dishonest.

----

dave dean

intellectual dishonesty can be (none / 2) (#36)
by mami on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 02:47:48 PM EST

humanely honest.

[ Parent ]
but... sadly, there's nothing humane (none / 0) (#93)
by Undesirable Username on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 08:55:43 PM EST

about this scandal.

[ Parent ]
yes, but (none / 2) (#97)
by mami on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 09:14:58 PM EST

to "clip the wings" as rmg says, it is sufficient to emprison them, there is no need to do anything beyond it.

It's one of those tasteless trolls of rmg, why even bother to find an answer that makes sense.

[ Parent ]

However, he also brings up (none / 2) (#99)
by Undesirable Username on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 09:28:22 PM EST

the point that this scandal is diverting attention from the far more tragic violence all throughout Iraq. That, and the scandal is just inviting more violence.

[ Parent ]
this scandal is pointing to something much more (none / 0) (#161)
by mami on Sat May 01, 2004 at 11:49:56 AM EST

tragic. I decline to comment further, because you don't want to know what I think.

[ Parent ]
tease... [mt] (none / 0) (#197)
by kpaul on Sat May 01, 2004 at 04:04:14 PM EST


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]
Tell it to the judge. (3.00 / 4) (#50)
by killmepleez on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 04:01:17 PM EST

During your trial, please tell the judge that "My ex-wife has openly admitted hating me."
[judge nods in sympathy]
In fact, one of the reasons I divorced her was that she physically attacked me on several occasions."
[judge nods in sympathy]
I tried to be the good husband and not fight back when we were married, but now I have a new life I'm trying to build, and her continued harassment is a threat to the stability of my new life."
[judge nods in sympathy]
Last Saturday, she came to the field where she knows I fly model airplanes with some of the guys in my Wiccan Male Divorcees support group, where she picked up my airplane and starting trying to break it over my head."
[judge nods in sympathy]
So, you see, judge, for my own safety, I had to drag her by the hair back to my house, lock her into the storage room, strip her naked, whip her with a rubber hose, and then ram a cattle prod into her insolent bitch pussy and threaten to crank it all the way to eleven if she showed any signs of resistance."
[judge approves your 40-year prison sentence without possibility of parole]

Good luck, rmg -- just try to sell your asshole to some 6'3" 230lb former narcotics-distributer from the projects in exchange for protection and cigarettes.

__
"I instantly realized that everything in my life that I thought was unfixable was totally fixable - except for having just jumped."
--from "J
[ Parent ]
"Clip his wings"?!?! (none / 0) (#181)
by Lord Snott on Sat May 01, 2004 at 02:21:15 PM EST

Jesus fucking Christ, what the hell is wrong with you? How can you simpltons demand respect when you treat the rest of the world like shit?

Here's a brain-teaser for you - Why is the US and its lackeys in Iraq?

Liberate the people? Promote democracy? Secure the "civilised" world from terrorism?

WELL WHAT THE FUCK IS THE US DOING? Oppressing the population, enforcing it's double-standards, MAKING PEOPLE HATE YOU.

For Christ sake, get a fucking clue.

Where's the consistency? STOP BLOWING PEOPLES LEGS OFF AND LEAVING THEM FOR DEAD. That would be a good start.

I've read a lot of your comments on K5, but none have struck me as so bloody fucking stupid as this before.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This sig in violation of U.S. trademark
registration number 2,347,676.
Bummer :-(

[ Parent ]

YHBT. YHL. HAND. (nt) (none / 0) (#278)
by vivelame on Sun May 02, 2004 at 04:55:11 AM EST



--
Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
[ Parent ]
Oh, the humanity (2.45 / 11) (#32)
by imrdkl on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 02:32:55 PM EST

I don't care whether they're "real" military or not, the fact is that the nature of all human beings, when in a situation like this, is to be mean and ruthless - especially when the prisoner is also the "enemy". These reservists and mercs had no training and no experience, and were ordered to take on a job which should have been given, minimally, to Military Police, and even better - to real prison guards. I'll be frankly quite surprised if they didn't bring pigs or pig blood into their methods, when and if the full truth ever comes out.

The problem here is nothing less, and nothing more, than prideful, uncaring, and stubborn leadership at the highest levels - who were blinded by their ridiculous plans, and their narrowminded lust for Saddam. And in doing so, were derelict in their duties and responsibilities as the invading force. Putting the blame for these crimes anywhere but squarely in the laps of Bush and Rumsfeld is as stupid, ridiculous, and naivé as the very hicks and halfwits who perpetrated them.

geesh - (none / 2) (#35)
by mami on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 02:46:40 PM EST

if that is the nature of all human beings, then you better fight your nature, dude, and don't use it as an excuse.

[ Parent ]
I'd like to think (none / 2) (#38)
by imrdkl on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 02:51:54 PM EST

That I'd be tough, but fair, in that situation - but I'm no fool. Being from Germany, perhaps you can shed some additional light on the subject.

[ Parent ]
Huh? What light should I shed on what? (none / 3) (#47)
by mami on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 03:55:16 PM EST

What has my being from Germany to do with it? The German experience with genocide and inhumanity? OK.

But may be you ask some man or woman from Ruanda? They too have a lot of experience with being humans with that terrible nature of ours - you know, the one day a victim, next day a torturer kind of stuff.

As far as I understand it (and I most probably don't) both, victims and torturers want to be protected (the torturers from themselves, the victims from the torturers) and seek fair and humane justice.

I don't think they want you to just turn a blind eye, ignore the inhumanity, and say, darn, that's our bad, bad nature - and go on with our business.

As far as I know, the Nuremberg Trials and the creation of the United Nations was the most important thing for Germans after the war. Having failed so miserably as a people under the Nazi regime, the trials and the UN (and their new constituion) gave them hope.

Same thing in Ruanda, people created their own local courts everywhere and put their neighbors, who turned into torturers, on trial - the Ruandan way. In addition they craved for justice in the ICC.

Conclusion - the last thing we need is the UN to fail and the US not helping to make the UN succeed, or even worse, the US fighting against the UN and failing themselves with regards to fair justice and human rights abuses.

[ Parent ]

There are no Ruandans here (none / 0) (#63)
by imrdkl on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 04:45:07 PM EST

And you're the one claiming that human beings are above it. The UN really is corrupt, btw, I don't like the fact any better than you do, but perhaps you haven't heard about the oil-for-food thing? But, that just makes my point, doesn't it? All humans, mami. Even self-righteous drones who think they've evolved beyond it, and yet are more than willing to dismiss other races out of hand, like you.

[ Parent ]
thanks for reminding me that I can get pissed off (none / 0) (#65)
by mami on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 05:10:32 PM EST

by things that are said on K5, which turn me into "dismissing other races out of hand". I am too lazy now to read back what the context was that got me so upset to spit out that comment.

Call me a racist, if it helps you dealing with my comments. I can't help you with that. It's my nature, you know. How about your nature? Are you less racist than I am? Bless you.

Concerning the Oil for Food Program, yes I have heard about it, I even got upset about it, imagine. If you read the last paragraph of this I am sure you will find again me "dismissing other races out of hand". Sorry for that in advance.

[ Parent ]

I didn't say you were racist (none / 0) (#69)
by imrdkl on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 05:44:16 PM EST

I said we are human, and that our nature takes more than good feelings and liberalism to overcome.

[ Parent ]
ok, I am too tired to understand yourEnglish today (none / 0) (#96)
by mami on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 09:10:08 PM EST

I am also confused. Actually I even agreed with one of your comment.

Leave me alone. K5 seems to be the only place where one has to be ashamed of being upset about humiliation and abuse of human dignity of prisoners of war. Time to leave.

[ Parent ]

No, I don't think so (none / 2) (#44)
by minerboy on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 03:27:02 PM EST

In the end, everyone must be responsible for their own actions. And keep in mind, Since we all believe in moral relativism here at K5, the acts shown may well be justifiable - we don't really know the entire circumstance.



[ Parent ]
For a military wonk (none / 0) (#48)
by imrdkl on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 03:56:52 PM EST

You show surprisingly little insight regarding the rules and regulations of command, and especially when blindly defending your beloved lie. Perhaps you've never heard the old phrase, "The buck stops here." The general in command of the facility was arrested yesterday, and if she tells the truth, the buck must go higher.

It's also utterly ridiculous to assert that "we all" believe in moral relativism as a justification for demanding impossible levels of knowledge, training and discipline from the auto mechanics and hairstylists who were put in charge of that facility along with the mercenaries. Cruelty is never justifiable, but it is human instinct - and only discipline and knowledge of international law can keep it at bay. And, historically, there are still always violations.

[ Parent ]

right (nt) (none / 0) (#54)
by mami on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 04:13:28 PM EST



[ Parent ]
but ? (none / 3) (#55)
by minerboy on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 04:14:57 PM EST

in the Nuremberg trials, chain of command was no excuse, I mean who would believe the following argument - "I'm sorry, I never read the Geneva convention, I had no idea that it was wrong to make one prisoner suck the other prisoners cock - please.

Moral relativism would say that the Geneva convention wouldn't apply to certain types of prisoners. It may well be that mistreating these Iraqi's saved the lives of other iraqis - we don't really know.



[ Parent ]
Damn (none / 1) (#131)
by felixrayman on Sat May 01, 2004 at 04:58:24 AM EST

I'm sorry, I never read the Geneva convention, I had no idea that it was wrong to make one prisoner suck the other prisoners cock

It's quotes like this that make me wish Rumsfeld would resign so I could consider a new sig...

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]

It get worser and worser (1.00 / 7) (#56)
by walwyn on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 04:15:10 PM EST

The general in command of the facility was arrested yesterday, and if she tells the truth

They put a woman in charge!?!?

Just what were they thinking?

----
Professor Moriarty - Bugs, Sculpture, Tombs, and Stained Glass
[ Parent ]

moral relativism - my butt (nt) (none / 1) (#57)
by mami on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 04:16:55 PM EST



[ Parent ]
don't quite agree (none / 0) (#135)
by martingale on Sat May 01, 2004 at 06:05:07 AM EST

The problem here is nothing less, and nothing more, than prideful, uncaring, and stubborn leadership at the highest levels
I agree with you that the leaders share the blame, but the executioners most certainly share the blame too. The US soldiers in Iraq, as I'm often reminded on k5, are all volunteers. They elected to be put in situations which require courage, moral fortitute, luck and expertise. They failed on the only requirement which is reasonably under their control.

Perhaps the US recruiters should be a little more careful about hiring the riffraff. To say that the torturers are essentially blameless is like saying the people who respond to 419 nigerian spams are essentially victims. The spammers may be criminals who steal their money, but nobody responds to those spams for noble reasons. Similarly, the torturers in some of those pictures definitely grabbed the chance to enact their sadistic and homosexual fantasies with impunity.

[ Parent ]

AFAIK (none / 1) (#192)
by imrdkl on Sat May 01, 2004 at 03:43:47 PM EST

There were not any executions, so for now I'll refer to them as abusers. Yes they were volunteers, and yes they needed all of the attributes of a good liberal to do the job. My point is that it takes much, much more to guard a war prison, including a) extensive, specialized training b) knowledge of internation law, and c) lots and lots of staff. Exactly none of these were provided. Indeed, their actions may have even been encouraged from higher up.

I'm certainly not saying that they're blameless, what I am saying is that the responsibility lies much, much higher up.

[ Parent ]

that's sort of a strawman (none / 0) (#346)
by martingale on Sun May 02, 2004 at 10:29:15 PM EST

The word I should have used was executor, not executioner. (Although, there is the matter of the prisoner who was beaten to death).

I understand your point, but I think it's still a strawman. The overwhelming majority of Americans are decent, moral people, who don't need a) or b) to realize that torturing another person is wrong. This sort of specialized knowledge is only needed if you're going to be acting right on the limits of legality.

Now I accept your point that it's the leaders who placed those people right on the limits, but it's also true that the US military is perhaps the best organized in the world. Unless Rumsfeld has been doing some serious upheaval, the people in charge of the prisons would have been deemed the best choice for the task. It's not like those soldiers had been choir boys IRL, and if they had been, they would not have been tasked with this.

There's also a mirror argument, which is that the leaders ordered broad policies, and have no reasonable responsibility over the actual implementation. By delegating responsibility for the details to the soldiers, the effective responsibility is greatest on the implementors.



[ Parent ]

Instead of burning straw men (none / 0) (#395)
by imrdkl on Mon May 03, 2004 at 11:55:47 AM EST

I suggest you go and read a newspaper. You clearly aren't following this story, or you wouldn't be trying to tell me that the US military is well organized. We've got the CIA telling prison guards what to do, and meanwhile Gen. Myers is so far out of the loop that he hadn't even read the report detailing these abuses published two months ago.

Sure the sergeant was the best choice for the task as the only one with any experience at all, but that certainly doesn't justify putting him in charge of a war prison interrogation block.

Anyway, the next person who mentions the "rape rooms" to me is really going to get an earful.

[ Parent ]

nonsense (none / 1) (#418)
by martingale on Mon May 03, 2004 at 10:58:02 PM EST

I suggest you go and read a newspaper. You clearly aren't following this story, or you wouldn't be trying to tell me that the US military is well organized.
Perhaps you've noticed a trend with foreign policy scandals in recent years. It's fashionable to claim confusion, systemic breakdowns, etc. Bush and co do it by claiming the FBI and CIA are and were incompetent, Blair does it by claiming an unknown breakdown in intelligence, Howard claims communication difficulties with subordinates, etc. It's also typical to then turn around and profess full confidence in the very organizations which take the blame.

Which makes one wonder, if those organizations were such bumbling fools, shouldn't they be rebuilt from the top down, or at least put aside and not relied upon for a while? More generally, it's questionable how anybody could accomplish anything at all with a mess of command and control structure. If the prison system suffers from these types of problems, surely other aspects of the Iraq occupation suffer similar problems? How does the US even manage to protect the oil wells?

You know much better than I do that in terms of organizational strengths, the US military is probably unequalled in the world. It constantly improves procedures, optimizes allocations of equipment and people, etc. It has an army of thinkers who work through all contingencies.

The truth I believe is much simpler. Breakdowns are the fashionable excuse, a kind of sophistry which is being milked until it will no longer work at some point in the future. The prisons in Iraq are being used in exactly the manner intended, but unlike Guantanamo, haven't been as easy to keep quiet about. The military leaders are being leaned on in no uncertain terms by the administration, and are quite aware of what's going on. That's not to say they agree, but they do follow orders just like the grunts. Just look at how easily Powell went to the UN with his claims of honest-to-god-checked-and-rechecked-for-four-days "evidence" against Iraq. He may be the tamest of the lot in the white house, but when the president tells him to do something, he does it.

Oh well, this has turned into the usual rant against the usual suspects. All politicians have dirt on them. Putin goes after his enemies by claiming to clean up corruption, Chirac is abusing his powers to fix his own corruption problems. I just don't accept that the US military is sufficiently together to organize a small war but sufficiently messed up that it can't account for how it treats the occupied population.

[ Parent ]

It's funny you would say that. (none / 1) (#160)
by FieryTaco on Sat May 01, 2004 at 11:45:56 AM EST

These reservists and mercs had no training and no experience, and were ordered to take on a job which should have been given, minimally, to Military Police, and even better - to real prison guards.
How strange. If you had done some background reading on this story, beyond the articles linked in the writeup, you would know that there have been several names mentioned. One of the names was Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Chip Frederick, who is identified in the CNN article this way:
Chip Frederick, with the 800th Military Police Brigade based at Cresaptown, Maryland, was relieved of his duties in mid-January, his father said.
60 Minutes II also provides the information that "He's a corrections officer at a Virginia prison, whose warden described Frederick to us as 'one of the best.'" So one would think that not only is this guy a professional prison guard, police work is also his duty in the Reserves. Another name mentioned in articles about this event is Master Sgt. Lisa Marie Girman, who is identified as:
The general found that Master Sgt. Lisa Marie Girman, 35, a Pennsylvania state trooper, knocked a prisoner to the ground, "repeatedly kicking him in the groin, abdomen and head, and encouraging her subordinate soldiers to do the same," Harris said.
Again, professional law enforcement. Staff Sgt. Scott A. McKenzie, in the same article, is stated to be "lieutenant at a boot-camp-style prison." So one begins to think that maybe the army looks at these sorts of things and if a person signs up for the reserve and happens to have a particular background and skill set, they are given duties that leverage those skills.

Are they super special army police? No. But one would think that they would be aware that there are rules of engagement and that those rules would apply to the treatment of prisoners. Hell, look around you, most of the people you see couldn't recite for you chapter and verse from the Geneva Convention, but they sure as fuck could tell you that it's inappropriate to beat the shit out of a prisoner.

[ Parent ]

Not funny. Fact. (none / 1) (#191)
by imrdkl on Sat May 01, 2004 at 03:36:21 PM EST

Guarding some podunk prison in Virginny along with 500 other staff just ain't the same as guarding war prisoners with a handful of reservists and some gung ho mercs, son. The single guy with any experience was put in charge of the whole damn facility by a general who was never there, and without any possibility for training of those he was in charge of - not as a prison guards, and most definitely not as a war prison guard.

If you really think these people were qualified, or even aware of their responsibilities, then you're either high, or really naivé. Beatings occur in all American prisons, as do rapes, and abuse. The problem here is that American hearts and minds are already won over.

[ Parent ]

Huh? (none / 0) (#389)
by FieryTaco on Mon May 03, 2004 at 10:34:13 AM EST

You are a complete fucking, ignorant cunt. What a wonderful arguing tactic you have chosen, ignore the fact that you have no real facts and just make shit up so that you can act superior. You don't have any information about which prison in Virginia Fredericks actually is a guard at. You have absolutely no idea how staffed prisons are. I doubt you've ever had any experience with jails or prisons. Having had several friends spend time in a local jail, I can tell you that a facility with an inmate population averaging from 1900-2000 has an on duty staff of 50, which includes a number of support staff, ie. CO's managing the visiting desk, accepting bail and deposits for inmate books, accepting self-surrenders.

What's more I doubt you have any clue as to the nature of being a prison guard, let alone a "war prison guard."

Certainly beatings occur in American prisons, and it's not because the citizens are innured to that fact that it goes on, it's because the fucking bureaucrats in charge are incompetant, self serving, lazy, corrupt fucktards.

[ Parent ]

Haw Haw Haw! (none / 0) (#394)
by imrdkl on Mon May 03, 2004 at 11:48:09 AM EST

It's hilarious how kids these days think they know something because they've got "friends" who know something. Here's a clue, you silly halfwit, your friends who were in jail have no idea what a prison is like, either.

American prisons certainly don't have special blocks designated exclusively for interrogation and torture, as the war prison(s) in Iraq do. But the beatings, rapes, and abuse that occur in American prisons, occur for one reason only, because the American heart and mind has already been won, you silly ass.

[ Parent ]

First hand experience. (none / 0) (#461)
by FieryTaco on Wed May 05, 2004 at 09:49:19 AM EST

It's not because my friends were in jail and they told me something, it's because I went there to visit every week. It's because I talked to the guards. I've been there. I've seen it myself. I've been in direct contact with people who were living it, not because they're telling me stories about it after the fact, but while they were there.

But I'm not going to argue with you. It's obvious that you're not going to acknowledge any one's experiences as being more valid than your own delusional world view. I always find it funny when talking/arguing with people who wrap themselves up in their own feeling of rightousness and self superiority because it's usually a sign that they don't have any facts to back up their arguments.

[ Parent ]

Humane humans. (none / 0) (#435)
by mrBlond on Tue May 04, 2004 at 09:29:51 AM EST

most of the people you see couldn't recite for you chapter and verse from the Geneva Convention, but they sure as fuck could tell you that it's inappropriate to beat the shit out of a prisoner. - FieryTaco
Terrie England, mother of Lynndie R. England, the smiling female soldier in the released photos said the abuses were "stupid, kid things - pranks".

Zeenithia Davis, wife of accused Javal S. Davis said "We really don't know how those prisoners are behaving". She's in the Navy.

Maybe their parents taught them it's okay, maybe they were encouraged to volunteer to become trained serial killers.

"But then it must be asked if we can remove cultural value from one part of our lives without destroying it also in the other parts. Can we justify secrecy, lying, and burglary in our so-called intelligence organizations and yet preserve openness, honesty, and devotion to principle in the rest of our government? Can we subsidize mayhem in the military establishment and yet have peace, order, and respect for human life in the city streets?" - Wendell Berry

"Violence breeds violence... Pure goals can never justify impure or violent action... They say means are, after all, means. I would say means are, after all, everything. As the means, so the end." - Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
--
Inoshiro for cabal leader.
[ Parent ]

Prisoner is the enemy!?!?! (none / 0) (#177)
by Lord Snott on Sat May 01, 2004 at 02:11:36 PM EST

The US invaded Iraq!!

These are the people you're supposed to be liberating, not torturing/humiliating/degrading!!

How do you expect the rest of the world to take you people seriously with an attitude like that?!

"What? The land of the free? Whoever told you that is your enemy..."
- Rage Against The Machine

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This sig in violation of U.S. trademark
registration number 2,347,676.
Bummer :-(

[ Parent ]
oh boy... (2.85 / 14) (#39)
by Run4YourLives on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 03:13:47 PM EST

Some of your compatriots are actually defending this.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
Read this one? (3.00 / 7) (#45)
by GenerationY on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 03:29:47 PM EST

Why in God's name would you choose to air such a story at this time? This is something our country didn't need to know now. Everyone in this country is hanging on for dear life to support the troops, and you have taken all our faith in goodness away. How many more reports can we watch like this before support fades?

We are losing our fight with other countries to support us, and now you have just sealed it. ... We've just lost the goal of helping anyone over there because of this show, and God help us. You are no better then those who did these horrible acts. Your reports are bringing down this country.
--Betsy Berra

I don't know what else to say really. Do you think its a troll or something?

[ Parent ]

I dunno... (3.00 / 4) (#46)
by Run4YourLives on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 03:43:43 PM EST

I mean, one or two ok, but the sentiment's it's close to half of the comments... some will do anything to defend their ideology I guess...

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
Response, from the article. (3.00 / 8) (#77)
by cburke on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 06:40:26 PM EST

What disgusting comments.  I found a good rebuttle, however.  It's in the story linked to at the top of the mailbag page, here.

"We will be paid back for this. These people at some point will be let out," says [Former Marine Lt. Col. Bill] Cowan. "Their families are gonna know. Their friends are gonna know."

This is a hard story to have to tell when Americans are fighting and dying in Iraq. And for Cowan, it's a personal issue. His son is an infantry soldier serving in Iraq for the last four months.

[News anchor Dan] Rather asked Cowan what he would say to "that person who is sitting in their living room and saying, `I wish they wouldn't do this. It's undermining our troops and they shouldn't do it.'"

"If we don't tell this story, these kinds of things will continue. And we'll end up getting paid back 100 or 1,000 times over," says Cowan. "Americans want to be proud of each and everything that our servicemen and women do in Iraq. We wanna be proud. We know they're working hard. None of us, now, later, before or during this conflict, should wanna let incidents like this just pass."




[ Parent ]
exactly (3.00 / 5) (#133)
by martingale on Sat May 01, 2004 at 05:30:48 AM EST

"If we don't tell this story, these kinds of things will continue. And we'll end up getting paid back 100 or 1,000 times over," says Cowan.
He's right on the money. It's because these sorts of stories weren't told enough (so that they can be limited) that the US got 9/11. I shudder to think what was swept under the carpet during the time the US was stationed in Saudi Arabia. Perhaps someday, we'll know.

[ Parent ]
Care to explain? (none / 0) (#405)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon May 03, 2004 at 04:52:49 PM EST

It's because these sorts of stories weren't told enough (so that they can be limited) that the US got 9/11.

What exactly is the causal link you're insinuating?

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
just the usual (none / 0) (#415)
by martingale on Mon May 03, 2004 at 10:11:04 PM EST

We all know that 9/11 and the other Al Qaida attacks on the US before were originally due to the propping up of and later stationing troops in Saudi Arabia.

On the point you refer to, I'm claiming that during the first Gulf War buildup and after it, there were no doubt abuses of the population which were swept under the carpet through collusion with the Saudi rulers. It's inevitable, would happen with any sizeable stationed force of any nationality. It always gets hidden, unless it's impossible to do so.

The current scandal is typical - it was known for months, and only acted on when the media aired it. But as despicable as it is, the current scandal is a small thing. It's the buildup over years of such small things that turns populations into enemies. Al Qaida used this buildup over decades to create its support base.

I'm saying as a rule, such abuses must be aired and dealt with, as the long term cost is higher if kept quiet, even though the short term cost is higher by admitting it. 9/11 was set in motion the previous two decades earlier.

[ Parent ]

A game of counterfactuals? (none / 1) (#423)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue May 04, 2004 at 03:18:36 AM EST

We all know that 9/11 and the other Al Qaida attacks on the US before were originally due to the propping up of and later stationing troops in Saudi Arabia.

Define "propping up." And how should it have been managed?

Perhaps Standard Oil & Co. should have chosen--following Vanderbilt's example set a generation earlier in Nicaragua--to install their own puppet regime rather than dealing with the Sauds?

Or was it Roosevelt's misstep a generation later which has resulted in Al Qaeda? Perhaps you think Roosevelt judged Stalin too harshly and thereby fundamentally misconstrued the post-Yalta strategic situation in Europe? Were that the case, then the rush to secure a stable supply of petroleum might be seen as just a little too hasty. After all, reconstruction efforts in western Europe could have proceeded at a more leisurely pace if Roosevelt actually was wrong.

But then we're still left with the little matter of America's "propping up" the Saud regime, and the more encompassing question of how it all could have played out differently. If only? What exactly?

Perhaps the Saudi nationalization of all ARAMCO properties and assets should have been utilized as a convenient pretext for deposing the Sauds and setting up a "democratic Republic," to whom America could then have handed over, in good humanitarian-minded conscience, the astronomical sums of money it was regularly transferring into Suadi Arabian hands? Or to whom else could they have made out the check?

Or was it the impotent US response to the OPEC embargo? Perhaps appeasement was the wrong course? We should have called their bluff?

Or maybe you believe we should have just toughed it out until one of the research efforts being made into photovoltaic cells and windmills produced the Big Payoff?

On the point you refer to, I'm claiming that during the first Gulf War buildup and after it, there were no doubt abuses of the population which were swept under the carpet through collusion with the Saudi rulers. It's inevitable, would happen with any sizeable stationed force of any nationality. It always gets hidden, unless it's impossible to do so.

Whereof one cannot speak... You're fictionalizing here, pure and simple.

And just for comparison's sake:

Japan, Korea, Germany, Phillipines, Italy, ...:

petty theft, assaults against persons and property, drunken and disorderly behavior, rape, arson, murder, and even a few training mishaps with a not insignificant civilian body count.

Saudi Arabia:
audacious western sluts strutting their stuff sans veil and driving themselves around without a male escort, clandestine efforts to smuggle in pornography and liquor.

A raw deal indeed.
The current scandal is typical - it was known for months, and only acted on when the media aired it. But as despicable as it is, the current scandal is a small thing. It's the buildup over years of such small things that turns populations into enemies. Al Qaida used this buildup over decades to create its support base.

The buildup from what exactly? In the case of Al Qeada, what specifically?
I'm saying as a rule, such abuses must be aired and dealt with, as the long term cost is higher if kept quiet, even though the short term cost is higher by admitting it.

Agreed.
9/11 was set in motion the previous two decades earlier._

This is what remains to be seen. Fill in the blanks for me.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Know what's crazy about that? (3.00 / 4) (#80)
by kmcrober on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 07:04:34 PM EST

I googled the name, just for the hell of it, and the only Betsy Berra I could find is Yogi's daughter in law.  

[ Parent ]
Other choice excerpts: (3.00 / 12) (#74)
by sllort on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 06:20:50 PM EST

At one time I would have condemned the way they were treated, but after recently seeing them burning Americans there, I say they should give those troops medals. An eye for an eye.
--J Guzzi

I believe that if proven guilty, the soldiers involved in this story were wrong. However, with the unstable environment in Iraq right now, and for the safety of our soldiers there, this story should not have been aired on national television.

I know that news reporters feel that the public needs to know everything that is going on. I feel that your first responsibility is to our soldiers putting their lives on the line. Do you really think this is going to help this situation? Don't you think the government can correct this situation without you publicizing it? Of course they can.
--Pam Anderson

While tens of thousands of U.S. men and women serve their country in the Battle of Iraq, 60 Minutes II has the audacity to violate their character by showing the disgusting actions of "several" of their comrades to foreign prisoners.

Not only do you "report" the incident, you distastefully show the pictures that only serve to brand all our loved ones in uniform. You leave little doubt, both past and present, of your liberal agenda and desire to taint this military action.
--Raymond E. O'Neill

Our country has 150,000 military personal in a desperate fight to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. Do you think, by airing the reprehensible acts of a small percentage of these soldiers, you have helped in this cause? What, other than ratings and increased revenue, did you expect to achieve with this program which verges on treason in a time of war?
--Sondra Cutcliffe

There seems to be a prevailing opinion among many that the job of a career American journalist is to function as a US military propoganda arm.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]

No, no, no, no (none / 3) (#119)
by baseball on Sat May 01, 2004 at 12:39:51 AM EST

There seems to be a prevailing opinion among many that the job of a career American journalist is to function as a US military propoganda arm.

That's not so. The link is great. I think is shows most people are outraged at how the Iraqi prisoners were treated. That view was also expressed by former members of the military and a woman whose husband is now in the service in Iraq. The views you quote are in the minority, and at the extreme edge of the minority at that.
* * *
Bush is a liar, Rumsfeld a war criminal.
[ Parent ]

Yes (3.00 / 4) (#127)
by kmcrober on Sat May 01, 2004 at 01:59:16 AM EST

I was heartened by the visible outrage in the professional military.

[ Parent ]
As someone who lives in Az, I can tell you (none / 3) (#319)
by RandomLiegh on Sun May 02, 2004 at 04:45:55 PM EST

without any fear of contridiction that the views quoted by sllort are the views of mainstream america.  We -as a nation- believe that whatever we do to the iraqis is a-ok, particularly after the way that the iraqis burned and mutilated the mercs previously.

Mainstream americans want blood; and they do not want anything to get between them and their fapping for vengence.

---
Thought of the week: There is no thought this week.
---
[ Parent ]

FAPPING FOR VENGEANCE (none / 1) (#441)
by grendelkhan on Tue May 04, 2004 at 02:15:33 PM EST

"Fapping for vengeance". I'm gonna remember that one.

--grendelkhan
-- Laws do not persuade just because they threaten --Seneca
[ Parent ]

I live in california (none / 1) (#455)
by baseball on Tue May 04, 2004 at 11:34:43 PM EST

and all the cheese eating, wine sipping, latte drinking, SUV driving takes that out of you. I have no doubt that everyone in Ariz (including the domestic terrorists) wants revenge. I think though that they'd like it the old fashioned way, with lots of bombs killing people they can't see. I don't think even Arizononites as a group want to see actual real people tortured and humiliated. It's so untidy.

* * *
Bush is a liar, Rumsfeld a war criminal.
[ Parent ]

In a vain effort to prompt thought (2.86 / 15) (#42)
by godix on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 03:21:40 PM EST

I wish you had gone into more depth, this is an issue that deserves delving into to find answers instead of just a 'torture is bad, mkay'. I'm not defending abusing prisoners like this, but just condeming it without looking at what caused it or what might prevent it won't help anything. Some issues people may want to consider:

The guards were soldiers. All of their training is for making them kill whoever their commanding officer says is an enemy. In this case, Iraqi militants are considered the enemy. When you put someone in charge of caring for the very people he's been trained to kill you gotta expect something to happen. Unlike others I don't blame the military for making contractors in charge of the jail, I blame the military for NOT making contractors in charge of the guards as well.

Anyone here heard of the Stanford Prison Experiment? If not it's worth looking into, the experiment is quite relevent for understanding what happened.

The military intentionally encourages an attitude of 'you support the group no matter what'. That's a great attitude for battle but when military members are put into a situation where the choice is to report fellow members for their actions or support by silence their abuses then it's absolutely the wrong attitude. Note that police alsp run into this problem somewhat frequently and the methods police departments use to try and curb their abuse might be relevent to preventing military abuse.

One of the things I personally am watching is how the situation is dealt with by the US government. Every country in the world has these problems either in it's police dept or it's military, if you don't think so then you're living in a fantasy land. I think it's important to keep track of how these things are dealt with when they happen. Some countries call standard procedure and actively encourage it. Some loudly condem it and actively search for abuses by their members. Others loudly condem it but try to hide it when it happens. You can learn a lot about how a country really feels about human rights by watching their reaction to human rights abuse by their own members. So far the US is falling somewhere between the condeming it and hiding it and condeming it and rooting it out.

There are different levels of torture and abuse of human rights. From what has come out so far it seems that the US was doing mental torture and humiliating prisoners rather than taking them behind the shed and blowing their heads off. Keep some perspective here guys, this wasn't the same level of abuse as Saddams mass graves were and doesn't deserve the same levels of outrage. Hell, this isn't even My Lai. It is an abuse of human rights, it is an outrage, but it could have been much worse and that should be kept in mind.

Once again, I am not justifying or excusing this abuse of human rights. I just think we should use this to try and learn how and why abuse happens and perhaps how to prevent it in the future rathre than just saying 'how horrible' and dropping it. Some perspective is in order as well, the first world has moved from a point where it took millions of jews being gassed to become outraged to today where some prisoners being stacked in a triangle is an outrage. That is, in a perverse way, actually a good thing.

Thank god I'm worth more than SilentChris

What? Obfuscating bubble talk ? (none / 2) (#53)
by mami on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 04:09:51 PM EST

All of their training is for making them kill whoever their commanding officer says is an enemy.
Wow ...!

A POW is not your enemy, it WAS your enemy, and NOW it's your PRISONER. So change the above quote of yours to:

ALL of their training is for making sure that they don't treat a POW like their enemy, but like a prisoner with a minimum set of human rights according to the Geneva Conventions.
Not to mention that the Geneva Conventions need amendments and clarifications for our new kind of Texan defined wars against evildoers.

[ Parent ]
Sigh. (2.80 / 10) (#78)
by kmcrober on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 06:51:39 PM EST

George W. Bush is not a Texan.  He was reared and educated in the north, where he's lived most of his life.  In fact, outside of his stint as governor, and his frequent vacations at the Crawford ranch (that was purchased partially to buff up his "I'm from Texas" credentials), he hasn't spent much time there.  

He does not practice traditional Texan values, such honosty, hard work, and self-sacrifice.

He does practice some of our traditional flaws, though, like sanctimony, false humility, arrogance, and intemperance.

Want to know what he thinks of Texas?  When his administration released a national security strategy document, he ordered it simplified so "the boys in Lubbock" could read it.  As a boy from Lubbock, fuck you, George.  I read just fine, and we'd all be a little better off if you stopped dumbing things down.

[ Parent ]

Sigh, again. (3.00 / 7) (#85)
by kmcrober on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 07:35:03 PM EST

If there was ever a time to misspell "honesty," it would have to be the post where I brag about the literacy of my hometown.

[ Parent ]
sorry, didn't mean to insult Texas (none / 3) (#95)
by mami on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 09:06:31 PM EST

I thought it be a given that most of the people understand that President Bush plays "a Texan".

Peace.

[ Parent ]

That's OK, (3.00 / 5) (#100)
by kmcrober on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 09:30:15 PM EST

Texas doesn't take it personally.  But don't do it again, or we'll have to fire our six-shooters at your feet to make you dance while we yell and swill tequila.

[ Parent ]
I never knew this (none / 1) (#109)
by livus on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 10:27:01 PM EST

I thought he must be a texan! you learn something new every day. Wasn't he voted in as governor there and have many people excecuted?

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
Both true. (none / 2) (#111)
by kmcrober on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 10:42:57 PM EST

And, to be fair, Molly Ivans disagrees with me, and she's about as Texan as they come.  Great interview, by the way.  She's a hoot.


[ Parent ]
Yeehaw, man. (none / 0) (#342)
by Russell Dovey on Sun May 02, 2004 at 09:35:18 PM EST

Yeehaw.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

What world do you live in? (none / 3) (#61)
by mami on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 04:32:40 PM EST

First world, second world, third world?

I think it's an insult to say that "it took millions of jews to be gassed" to make "the first world" understand that "some prisoners being stacked in a triangle" is an outrage.

First of all, you might not believe it, there were a lot of people, who didn't even understand after they became part of the problem in the genocide of the Jews in the Third Reich, that it really was "something bad". They had all their personal reasons and excuses, everything was relative. The most you could hope from them with regards to "their understanding" was that they did shut up and tried to not engage in hate propaganda and not to fall for any sort of demagoguery again.

Didn't we conclude from other comments here that the evil is in our nature? If that is true, then why do you think the fact that I understand my father's and grandfather's generation's sins would make me a person with "a better nature"?
My nature is still the same.

You think the Standford Prison Experiment would have a significantly different outcome, if you used people from "the first world", who have "understood" what is moral and what not? I doubt it.

[ Parent ]

Spoken like an idiot (none / 1) (#88)
by godix on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 08:12:48 PM EST

I think it's an insult to say that "it took millions of jews to be gassed" to make "the first world" understand that "some prisoners being stacked in a triangle" is an outrage.

Ummm, I would suggest that you take a reading for comprehension class but based on your posting history it seems that being insulted is your hobby and I'd hate to destroy a man's hobby. Carry on misunderstanding everything and being insulted because of it, you're really getting quite good at it.

Thank god I'm worth more than SilentChris

[ Parent ]
That's a reasonable way of looking at it. (3.00 / 7) (#68)
by cburke on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 05:33:25 PM EST

The Stanford Prison Experiment immediately comes to mind whenever a story like this (or any other abuse of power) appears and people question how such a thing could even be possible.  The answer, obviously, is that it is in human nature to be capable of it, and that power structures often allow or encourage it.  

Watching what is done in response to this is the most important thing.  Of course it is possible, it happened, now what?  I'm not enthused that so far what seems to be happening is the soldiers in question were given simple discharges, even honorable ones.  What's the message supposed to be?  We'll get angry and stern if you abuse prisoners, but the thing we'll really do about it is send you home?

There are different levels of torture and abuse of human rights. From what has come out so far it seems that the US was doing mental torture and humiliating prisoners rather than taking them behind the shed and blowing their heads off.

Well, no heads blown off, but from the Seattle Times (linked elsewhere in the comments): "The general found that Master Sgt. Lisa Marie Girman, 35, a Pennsylvania state trooper, knocked a prisoner to the ground, 'repeatedly kicking him in the groin, abdomen and head, and encouraging her subordinate soldiers to do the same,' Harris said."

It still could have been worse, obviously.  It always can be.  I'm sure the Iraqi prisoners prefer American tortures over Sadaam's, not that this preference will gain us any friends.  But for our part, I'm not sure the level of outrage is inappropriate.  We are supposed to have a power structure that does not encourage or allow this to happen.  The failure to do this is a betrayal of trust.  The only reason we have left for being in Iraq is to help them be free of this kind of shit,  and finding out that we're causing it should, I think, prompt outrage.  Hopefully from there, though, things can get better.

[ Parent ]

You know... (none / 1) (#216)
by jreilly on Sat May 01, 2004 at 06:22:03 PM EST

the truly amazing thing is that a state trooper is the kinda person you'd expect to have some idea how to deal with prisoners. Remind me to stay out of Pennsylvania...

Oooh, shiny...
[ Parent ]
we are often reminded (none / 1) (#281)
by vivelame on Sun May 02, 2004 at 05:14:40 AM EST

to stay out of the US, in fact.
You know, safety, not being kicked senseless by some police of military on a power trip, not being sent to Syria for some good ol' torture, stuff like this.

--
Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
[ Parent ]
mkay (3.00 / 6) (#79)
by melia on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 06:53:56 PM EST

The guards were soldiers. All of their training is for making them kill whoever their commanding officer says is an enemy... (etc)

This doesn't sound like going into more depth, it sounds like making excuses.

From what has come out so far it seems that the US was doing mental torture and humiliating prisoners rather than taking them behind the shed and blowing their heads off.

Some things are worse than death. If there's one basic fact about torture people need to learn, it's that "Mental torture" is not some kind of pussy, wussy, minor sort of torture.
Disclaimer: All of the above is probably wrong
[ Parent ]

There's a difference (none / 2) (#89)
by godix on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 08:18:59 PM EST

between and excuse and an explanation. One is used to brush off the entire affair without changing anything the other is an attempt to understand how this could go on and what would need to be changed to stop it from happening again.

"Mental torture" is not some kind of pussy, wussy, minor sort of torture.

I never said it was. What I did say is that it's actually a positive sign that the world has gotten to the point where mental torture is something to get outraged about. It used to take far far worse to get people to care.

Thank god I'm worth more than SilentChris

[ Parent ]
prisoner experiment (3.00 / 4) (#134)
by gdanjo on Sat May 01, 2004 at 05:59:22 AM EST

Anyone here heard of the Stanford Prison Experiment? If not it's worth looking into, the experiment is quite relevent for understanding what happened.
You know, I've always wondered what would happen if this experiment was repeated with the people participating knowing the full results of previous experiments. Would they modify their behaviour? Or would they continue to act in the same "uncontrolled" manner?

If they modify their behaviour because of knowledge of the outcomes of previous experiments, then perhaps we should teach soldiers in charge of prisoners what happens in situations similar to theirs - perhaps we should be teaching the psychological effects of power, so they can better control it.

There are different levels of torture and abuse of human rights. From what has come out so far it seems that the US was doing mental torture and humiliating prisoners rather than taking them behind the shed and blowing their heads off. Keep some perspective here guys, this wasn't the same level of abuse as Saddams mass graves were and doesn't deserve the same levels of outrage. Hell, this isn't even My Lai. It is an abuse of human rights, it is an outrage, but it could have been much worse and that should be kept in mind.
There's a big difference here. One regime wants people to know that they torture, to keep the people under control. The other regime (the west) wears the Badge of Human Rights on their sleeve, as a guide to all Moral and Just Millitary Offensives. We must be held to a higher standard to those that purposefully ignore human rights as method.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

I've had the same idea (none / 0) (#212)
by godix on Sat May 01, 2004 at 05:51:33 PM EST

perhaps we should be teaching the psychological effects of power, so they can better control it.

I've had that idea before but there are two big problems with it. First off, AFAIK, studies like Stanford Prison Experiment and the Milford study (another relevent one for how normal people can turn into torturers) are now considered unethical so it'd be hard to find a psychologist to do them, much less enough psychologist to do the entire military.

Second off, in order for a soldier to pretend to be a guard someone has to pretend to be a prisoner. You wanna volunteer for that role cause I sure in hell ain't.

We must be held to a higher standard to those that purposefully ignore human rights as method.

And we are being held to a higher standard. Do you think if this happened under Saddam that we'd even hear about it, much less have it be a major issue? My point wasn't that the US should be excused because there are worse countries around, my point that was while the US is clearly wrong here it's STILL better than many other countries. The people responsable for this should be punished and changes need to be made to prevent future actions like this but the people who are claiming we're no better than Saddam or other mass murdering abusers of human rights are full of shit.

Thank god I'm worth more than SilentChris

[ Parent ]
oh, come on (none / 1) (#280)
by vivelame on Sun May 02, 2004 at 05:11:38 AM EST

Second off, in order for a soldier to pretend to be a guard someone has to pretend to be a prisoner. You wanna volunteer for that role cause I sure in hell ain't.

You're talking about US soliers here, and who wouldn't love to be jailed by US soldiers? They're the epitome of morality and honor, ffs!
You seem to be dangerously close to treason, with this kind of comments, and YOU'RE NOT SUPPORTING THE TROOPS.

--
Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
[ Parent ]

ethics (none / 0) (#285)
by gdanjo on Sun May 02, 2004 at 06:09:31 AM EST

I've had that idea before but there are two big problems with it. First off, AFAIK, studies like Stanford Prison Experiment and the Milford study (another relevent one for how normal people can turn into torturers) are now considered unethical so it'd be hard to find a psychologist to do them, much less enough psychologist to do the entire military.
AFAIK, they are considered unethical because of the treatment that occurs to the "prisoners" in the experiment. What if the prisoners were trained to take the abuse? I wonder if it would still be considered unethical to allow the guards to "feel" the power that the situation allows ...

Dan ..
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

It's not real (none / 1) (#315)
by greenrd on Sun May 02, 2004 at 04:15:12 PM EST

The prisoner in the experiment is an actor, who doesn't actually suffer at all. Geez! You thought it involved real torture?? It doesn't.


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

Correction (none / 1) (#316)
by greenrd on Sun May 02, 2004 at 04:16:07 PM EST

Ah wait no, I was confusing the Milgram experiment with the other one. Sorry, forget what I just said.


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

Torture is bad, m'kay (none / 1) (#138)
by nebbish on Sat May 01, 2004 at 07:19:02 AM EST

Did you actually read my article? The point is about privatisation in the US army and the lack of accountability this causes.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Wrong example for that point. (none / 1) (#199)
by wiredog on Sat May 01, 2004 at 04:08:05 PM EST

The soldiers are being held accountable. Courts-martial all 'round. From the sound of things some NCOs and officers are going to be court martialed as well.

As well they should. Apparently, from what I've been hearing, no one remembered to train the soldiers in the Geneva Conventions. And while that doesn't excuse the soldiers for their actions, it does mean that their seniors can be held accountable for their actions (or, in this case, lack of action).

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]

yes, harsh sanctions like (none / 0) (#279)
by vivelame on Sun May 02, 2004 at 05:08:05 AM EST

a letter. OH my god! I'm sure that will teach them.

--
Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
[ Parent ]
More like (none / 0) (#305)
by wiredog on Sun May 02, 2004 at 02:31:16 PM EST

Jail and, at least, a BCD. Possibly dishonorable discharge.

Either one of which can make it difficult to get a job at, say, McDonalds in the future.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]

Doubt it (none / 1) (#312)
by GenerationY on Sun May 02, 2004 at 03:50:55 PM EST

Either one of which can make it difficult to get a job at, say, McDonalds in the future.

I bet there are sufficient jingoistic idiots out there just dying to do their bit to support these "patriots" who got one up for Uncle Sam over the Evil Terrorists.

[ Parent ]

Unless americans can agree that (none / 2) (#320)
by RandomLiegh on Sun May 02, 2004 at 04:50:36 PM EST

"torture is bad, mmkay"; there's no way to have a deeper discussion with any merit.

And at this point, the viewpoint of mainstream, republican-voting america is "torture is good, mmkay"; at least if it's done to iraqis.

---
Thought of the week: There is no thought this week.
---
[ Parent ]

So, what's your point? (1.22 / 9) (#43)
by Fon2d2 on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 03:23:53 PM EST

The gov't privatized something out that shouldn't have been privatized and life got shittier. How is this anything new?

Some fucked up shit happens somewhere in world (2.50 / 6) (#64)
by GreyGhost on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 04:46:23 PM EST

Cock monkey on Internet asks why is it even being discussed. Film at 11.



[ Parent ]

Thank you. (none / 1) (#442)
by Fon2d2 on Tue May 04, 2004 at 02:52:06 PM EST

I gave you a 3, since unlike my comment, yours was actually deserving of one. I am not being facetious.

[ Parent ]
Why should I care (1.08 / 12) (#52)
by Undesirable Username on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 04:04:34 PM EST

about some pictures that could been photoshopped by a kid in, I dunno, Canada? As far as I can tell, there were *no* reliable confirmations of the authenticity of the images.

Why aren't (2.80 / 5) (#59)
by GenerationY on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 04:30:44 PM EST

the six people accused denying it then?

[ Parent ]
I suppose that (none / 0) (#87)
by Undesirable Username on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 08:08:33 PM EST

you can consider my comment editorial. As an op-ed piece, it should describe explicitly what it's talking about. The CNN link is useless ("has not verified the authenticity of the images", "17 people are relieved until investigation is complete") -- not any different from the Boudreaux case, which is quite clearly bogus.* The Guardian link just doesn't work for me, so I have no idea what details it mentions. The piece doesn't introduce the evidence adequately, so I presume innocence until shown otherwise. Especially since there are a great many people interested in doctoring photos of this nature, and making it as convincing as possible.

*While the images in this case are more revolting than in the Boudreaux case, there is _no_ qualitative difference in the accusation that I can see. Note that what the military/government is doing is conservative, and parallels the Boudreaux case. They don't want to deny it, and have a chance of being wrong, and doubly damned. So instead they say: "this is horrible; we'll look into it".


[ Parent ]

Does this (3.00 / 4) (#115)
by baseball on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 11:29:38 PM EST

help?
* * *
Bush is a liar, Rumsfeld a war criminal.
[ Parent ]
You have to break some eggs (1.09 / 21) (#58)
by foon on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 04:30:35 PM EST

To make a omelette.  And seriously, these are about the last eggs you'd worry about breaking.  We're talking about terrorists here.  al-Qaida people, Saddam supporters, enemies of the democratic transition in Iraq.  They wouldn't hesitate for a second to torture coalition troops and loyal Iraqi civil defense fighters, not to mention innocent civilians, if given the chance.  If we can get information that could lead to stopping terrorist attacks, either in Iraq or in the United States, by using these methods, what is wrong with it?  

Would you really want to see another 9-11 type attack because our forces and their contractors didn't do what was necessary to get the needed information out of people we had in custody?  The answer is clear:  Our forces need the tools to fight terrorism, and anybody who tries to stop them from using these tools is a de-facto terrorist supporter.

Errm (3.00 / 8) (#66)
by mcc on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 05:17:40 PM EST

But it is, you see, possible to make an omelette without violating the Geneva Convention.

[ Parent ]
what kind of omelette are you smoking? (2.83 / 6) (#67)
by JyZude on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 05:24:09 PM EST

> these are about the last eggs you'd worry about breaking.  We're talking about terrorists here.  al-Qaida people, Saddam supporters, enemies of the democratic transition in Iraq.

Oh, of course. It okay to torture people if they're not nice to us. Or if they're terrorists, (* an increasingly muddied term for anyone we don't like). I mean it's okay, right? We had best torture them or else they'd torture us! And obviously we're the good guys in this war! Guess what... every side thinks that they're the good guys, and thus every side has the right to torture the other.

> Would you really want to see another 9-11 type attack because our forces and their contractors didn't do what was necessary to get the needed information out of people we had in custody?

No, not really. But you assume that these prisoners are deep Al-Qaeda operatives who know everything that was going on, and not just poor dumb bastards fighting out of stupidity. Does a U.S. Army footsoldier know what the next air strike target is? Speak, infidel!

> The answer is clear:  Our forces need the tools to fight terrorism, and anybody who tries to stop them from using these tools is a de-facto terrorist supporter.

If you're not with us, you're against us! So grab your guns and your bombs, and shoot any liberal pinko commie bastards that get in your way, cuz they're terrorists too! Yee haw! The with us or against us argument is old hat, and is wrong wrong wrong. It's amazing how many dumb decisions you can make when your only objective is not supporting the enemy.

You're throwing away the Geneva convention, and that means you're throwing away common respect and decency towards others. You're throwing away their human rights and dignity. Aren't these the elements of our culture we're trying to instill in others? Sigh.

-----
k5 is not the new Adequacy k thnx bye


[ Parent ]
You have some nerve (3.00 / 4) (#72)
by Eater on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 05:59:32 PM EST

First the United States invades Iraq, and now you're calling the Iraqis that are resisting foreign, hostile occupation terrorists? You have some nerve. What these people are doing are not acts of terror, they are acts of self-defense, misguided or not.

Eater.

[ Parent ]
don't feed the trolls fools (nt) (2.25 / 4) (#76)
by Run4YourLives on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 06:40:07 PM EST



It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
American response (2.92 / 13) (#70)
by phraggle on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 05:47:32 PM EST

I love how the American response is to send in the director of camp X-ray to oversee the investigations and run the prisons. That will put peoples concerns to rest for sure!

Its coherent (3.00 / 9) (#73)
by GenerationY on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 06:13:25 PM EST

with attempting to put Henry Kissinger in charge of chairing of 9/11 investigations (incidentally, did you know Kissinger was a backer of Google?! I wondered why whenever I typed in "world peace" it would correct it to "bomb cambodia").

[ Parent ]
It's Haliburton's war anyhow (none / 2) (#90)
by daishan on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 08:36:54 PM EST

The sooner America pulls out the troops and leaves the companies on their own to fight their own battle the better off we'll all be.

Meta-MLP (none / 2) (#94)
by kmcrober on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 08:57:46 PM EST

There's a good story on Slate about how the war hasn't actually been all that profitable for Halliburton.

Interesting read.  I wonder if the big payoff is in longer-run contracts, or if there was simply a basic miscalculation at the higher planning stage?  The article suggests that Hally's sales department is maybe too good for their own good; that getting a contract and making it profitable are very different things.

[ Parent ]

Halliburton's sales dept. (none / 0) (#128)
by Psycho Dave on Sat May 01, 2004 at 02:12:28 AM EST

Read: Dick Cheney.

[ Parent ]
Since it looks (1.84 / 13) (#91)
by Undesirable Username on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 08:43:59 PM EST

like this rather poorly written op-ed is going to make it, here are my 2c (read: troll). Assuming the truth of the accusations, the real villains in this case are the media.

What do they claim happened in the prison? Some inmates were subjected to psychological abuse, ostensibly with the aim of breaking them to aid interrogation. According to the military, all it took was a few hours. Hardly murder or torture.

Had these prisoners been brought up in a more flexible culture (as opposed to an obsessively religious one, even exceeding America in puritanism), they would easily get over this in a few weeks. As it stands -- the men were of fighting age, and plenty healthy physically and psychologically; they'll get over it soon enough.

All right, so a few people were hurt a little, perhaps even with good intentions -- to prevent real violence from happening. Certainly doesn't compare to the routine levels of violence inflicted by American soldiers and Iraqi fighters on each other.

What do the media do? They scream about it at the top of their lungs -- front page stories everywhere (k5 no exception). Outrage wells in every country of the world. All right, Europe is harmless, but in the Middle East, I'm sure hundreds of people enlisted with rebel and terrorist organisations over this. Their convictions tell them that the gravest, graver than murder, offence, has been committed against their brothers. The media know of this, and go right ahead with the sensation.

What will come out of this publicity? More attacks on coalition troops and civilians, a further escalation in violence in the Middle East. Couldn't resist, could they? Front page story or some hundreds of lives? Easy choice!

***

I retain the thin hope that the scandal will help keep Bush from getting re-elected, and wreaking more havoc in his own country, and in the world.


Yawn (none / 0) (#140)
by nebbish on Sat May 01, 2004 at 07:20:50 AM EST

Why is it only the people who disagree with me that pull me up on my writing style?

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Sorry, I didn't mean (none / 0) (#153)
by Undesirable Username on Sat May 01, 2004 at 09:58:41 AM EST

your style. I meant your content. The little that you did write was perfectly easy to read. However,  you do a poor job of presenting and discussing the case -- you don't provide detail. The links aren't that informative either. This link, for instance, you shouldn't have missed.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/04/27/60II/main614063.shtml This is more MLP than Op-Ed; it has not a bit to hang an opinion on. I'm certainly not the first to point it out.

In fact, the whole purpose of my parent comment was to illustrate *where* one can go by being given an
emotional, underresearched article to start with.


[ Parent ]

Alternative? (none / 2) (#144)
by pere on Sat May 01, 2004 at 07:51:51 AM EST

So the alternative is that the media does not report when american soldiers torture Iraqis?

And only report when american soldiers are being threated badly. Like this (here and here) terrible violation of the Geneva threaty where american soldiers where questioned about their name and rank on TELEVISION(!) while they where served tea. An incident that Bush claimed showed the Iraqies total disregard for human rights, and in itself justified the war.

[ Parent ]
There's a difference between report and (none / 0) (#155)
by Undesirable Username on Sat May 01, 2004 at 10:08:25 AM EST

sick sensation. The topic does not deserve the amount of coverage (FP stories everywhere) -- there are much worse things being perpetrated by *both* sides in Iraq. Whereas this is just disgusting.

Compare (fictitious) headlines for impact:

Iraqi POWs forced to lick vomit, excrement
60 Iraqis and 4 US soldiers dead in street violence

Got it? I'd rather have details of *what coul be done* about the latter, than gory details of the former.

[ Parent ]

The difference (none / 1) (#162)
by Quila on Sat May 01, 2004 at 12:03:23 PM EST

I understand the need for directed psychological methods ("torture") of getting people to talk, that's fine. The problem here is that these actions were against current U.S. policy for soldiers -- they were disobeying standing orders. They and their commander should recieve appropriate punishment.

One thing the conspiracy theorists here shouldn't forget is that another soldier turned them in and it wasn't blocked by the command. The Army treats this stuff very seriously.

[ Parent ]

really, now (none / 2) (#169)
by John Thompson on Sat May 01, 2004 at 01:09:15 PM EST

Undesirable Username wrote:

What do they claim happened in the prison? Some inmates were subjected to psychological abuse, ostensibly with the aim of breaking them to aid interrogation. According to the military, all it took was a few hours. Hardly murder or torture.

Had these prisoners been brought up in a more flexible culture (as opposed to an obsessively religious one, even exceeding America in puritanism), they would easily get over this in a few weeks. As it stands -- the men were of fighting age, and plenty healthy physically and psychologically; they'll get over it soon enough.

How 'bout we sign you up for the next round, Bucko?

[ Parent ]
They won't get over it. (none / 0) (#391)
by Russell Dovey on Mon May 03, 2004 at 11:05:25 AM EST

These men, if they are not beaten to death like some of their fellow inmates, will get a gun, attack an American military unit, and be slaughtered.

They won't get over it.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

What I want to know is... (2.88 / 17) (#112)
by livus on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 10:54:17 PM EST

what is the status of a mercenary? If a mercenary isn't responsible to the US army, then wouldn't that make him an unlawful combattant? In which case, according to the US he's fair game and can be incarcerated indefinately by the enemy?

The second thing I'm curious about is whether the US could or would invade the Hague or wherever for holding a mercenary for war crimes. (If, on the other hand, it could do so).

Let's face it, what we have seen may not be the norm but it's also unlikely to be the full extent of it. I would expect there's quite a bit of this going on, given how many freaks online think this is "normal" or "justified" (either as a piece of fun revenge or because they suffer from the delusion that the average iraqi male is somehow privy to all the highest secrets of every terrorist cell in the world). What are the long term legal implications of what's happening?

The other thing that occurs to me is the punitive damage case a few years ago against that Indonesian ex general. I mean, in the next ten years are we going to get tortured people launching civil lawsuits against their US torturers?

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

The 'Actual' Pictures (3.00 / 8) (#124)
by rajivvarma on Sat May 01, 2004 at 01:50:34 AM EST

The alleged pictures of showing physical abuse of Iraqi persons can be found at http://www.thememoryhole.org/war/iraqis_tortured/
Rajiv Varma
Mirror of DeCSS.

This one is better. (2.40 / 5) (#129)
by SIGNOR SPAGHETTI on Sat May 01, 2004 at 04:18:01 AM EST

Here. I think hunting people down with C-130's is a much more destructive and systemic horror - and symptomatic of "why they hate us" - but whatever I guess rape is more nuanced or something. But shit like that is banal in a war zone. When cbs stumbles onto pictures like that - which we can assume the participants didn't take to have their crimes documented on television - you gotta figure it happens regularly or that cbs was struck by lightning. And sure enough there's been a steady stream of accusations by Iraqis of human rights violations - buried in the marginalized press and sites like indymedia, of course, where we can ignore them. Funny how that works.

--
Stop dreaming and finish your spaghetti.
[ Parent ]

Wow, what were they thinking, to allow pictures? (none / 1) (#130)
by jongleur on Sat May 01, 2004 at 04:33:27 AM EST

And they're smiling and laughing in a couple. Stupid and messed-up people.

And I hadn't heard of the soldiers forcing oral sex etc, thanks for the link.

--
"If you can't imagine a better way let silence bury you" - Midnight Oil
[ Parent ]

They're not all the abu ghraib prison episode. (3.00 / 6) (#132)
by SIGNOR SPAGHETTI on Sat May 01, 2004 at 05:00:21 AM EST

I don't want to troll anyone but I think some of those pictures might be video captures of porn advertised in the back of soldier of fortune magazine.

--
Stop dreaming and finish your spaghetti.
[ Parent ]

i saw them earlier today... (none / 0) (#194)
by kpaul on Sat May 01, 2004 at 03:52:47 PM EST

i'm not sure of their veracity either... if you think about it, though, people can now release photos into the 'webosphere' and some people start to think they're real... i'm not sure about the forced oral sex ones at your link... what are the sources?


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

I found them on an anti-american site. (none / 2) (#230)
by SIGNOR SPAGHETTI on Sat May 01, 2004 at 08:06:57 PM EST

I don't know their provenance. Just now I read someone at chickenlittle dailykos say they're porn. Well I wouldn't know about that but I guess the porn-loving liberals there must.

--
Stop dreaming and finish your spaghetti.
[ Parent ]

there you go... [mt] (none / 1) (#233)
by kpaul on Sat May 01, 2004 at 08:56:23 PM EST


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]
linkage to the dailykos comment? (none / 0) (#248)
by kpaul on Sat May 01, 2004 at 10:09:44 PM EST

thanks.


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

Fuck off. (1.16 / 6) (#249)
by SIGNOR SPAGHETTI on Sat May 01, 2004 at 10:12:25 PM EST


--
Stop dreaming and finish your spaghetti.
[ Parent ]

?? IHBT? (none / 1) (#251)
by kpaul on Sat May 01, 2004 at 11:20:07 PM EST


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]
thus truth and fiction get mixed to great effect (none / 0) (#309)
by Wah on Sun May 02, 2004 at 03:37:57 PM EST

the above troll illustrates a big problem in the hearts and minds campaign.  You can mix a few lesser violations of torture and humiliations, with pictures of gang rape and all of a sudden, yes, the U.S. is convicted of running 'rape rooms' to a good portion of the clueless idiots in the world (like the above troll).

"Let's just see what penalty he gets, but I think he ought to receive the ultimate penalty ... for what he has done to his people," Mr Bush told ABC News.

"I mean, he is a torturer, a murderer, they had rape rooms. This is a disgusting tyrant who deserves justice, the ultimate justice."
--
'The Matrix' is a better interpretation of quantum mechanics than Copenhagen.
[ Parent ]

You finished with "Let's just hope (2.66 / 9) (#125)
by stpna5 on Sat May 01, 2004 at 01:51:57 AM EST

that this is the worst example we see."

Nope.

LONDON (Reuters) - An investigation has been launched into allegations British soldiers abused Iraqi prisoners and the Daily Mirror has published photographs of a captive being urinated on and beaten.

I was absolutely gutted to read that [nt] (none / 1) (#141)
by nebbish on Sat May 01, 2004 at 07:21:53 AM EST


---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

For all you brits out there (none / 2) (#252)
by lordDogma on Sat May 01, 2004 at 11:22:46 PM EST

I was in the US Navy and deployed in the Arabian Gulf in 2000. We were doing Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO), looking for smuggled oil and contraband. We would stop all ships inbound and outbound Iraq and board them looking for "illegal" shipments.

British naval ships were often present enforcing sanctions as well. Their boarding teams had this... lets just say they had this habit of theirs... You see, they liked to round up the crewmembers of boarded ships and urinate all over them and all over their navigation equipment.

So I had to laugh when some British idiot had this to say on the BBC website about the Abu Gharaib Prison incident(s):

And as for the 'don't judge our army by the actions of a few' - nonsense. I think they highlight a serious lack of social responsibility and ethics that has typified American action, and Americans support of such action.

And then just yesterday a picture came out in a UK newspaper showing a british soldier pissing on an Iraqi detainee.

Now the BBC is in full denial mode with this headline:

"Doubt cast on Iraq torture photos - The paper claims British soldiers handed over the photos Sources close to the army have questioned the authenticity of photographs appearing to show British soldiers torturing an Iraqi prisoner."

Hahahahahah! So in other words, only the evil Americans can abuse prisoners, and if evidence pops up of British abuse we hear, "no way! We could never do that! We're the best peacekeepers in the world!"

[ Parent ]

Well... (none / 0) (#255)
by Arevos on Sun May 02, 2004 at 12:25:15 AM EST

Now the BBC is in full denial mode with this headline:

"Doubt cast on Iraq torture photos - The paper claims British soldiers handed over the photos Sources close to the army have questioned the authenticity of photographs appearing to show British soldiers torturing an Iraqi prisoner."

Hahahahahah! So in other words, only the evil Americans can abuse prisoners, and if evidence pops up of British abuse we hear, "no way! We could never do that! We're the best peacekeepers in the world!"


I don't think that's the implication at all. Looking at the photographs, there is the possibility that they're faked. Certainly it's possible they could be faked, and faked very easily. So you must acknowledge that it's entirely possible that these may not be geniune.

Secondly, why would anyone photograph themselves doing these things? (Quite clear photographs too; must have had a good camera). Seems kinda stupid. There are various technical aspects that seem odd as well, as various people have pointed out. And this is the Daily Mirror with these photos.

The BBC article on it, has only a few paragraphs on the "doubt" part. The rest of the article talks about the investigation, the alleged abuse and so forth. More words are given to quotations about how awful this is than are given to discussing the possibility these were faked. Would you rather they skipped out the "possibility of being faked" part, entirely?

Now, of course, these may very well be geniune, in which case I'd be the first calling for blood, so to speak. These soldiers should face trial.

But your assertion that the BBC is just trying to whitewash this incident is, well... you might be jumping to conclusions.

First time I've ever heard the BBC being accused of being on the right-wing side of an argument, though :)

[ Parent ]

Don't get me wrong. (none / 1) (#264)
by lordDogma on Sun May 02, 2004 at 01:45:31 AM EST

I'm not saying that this is typical of British soldiers. I'm simply saying that this kind of crap happens occasionally in every Armed Force.

If abuse happens and people in charge find out then they have to chew some royal ass to make it stop before it gets out of hand. Abu Garaib was clearly out of hand.

In fact I suspect that this kind of behavior is much more widespread and much more vile in other parts of the world. Pissing on prisoners is quite civilized compared to what is done elsewhere.

[ Parent ]

That's war (2.22 / 9) (#139)
by svampa on Sat May 01, 2004 at 07:19:45 AM EST

There are things that are part of a war: Prostitution, rapes, torture, spoils, abuse innocent people dead, soldiers that like to shot when they are boring etc. And an ocuppation needs represion, and represion leads to abuses. An ocuppation leads quite more to abuses that a military action. Longer ocuppation, worse abuses

If you don't acept them, don't go to a war.

No matter what's the reason for going a war, those thing ar part of war. You can hide them, but not avoid them. USA wisely tries to let this things to private contractors and mercenaries to avoid responsability. USA has learnt the lesson, and has the money to do so.

Don't close your eyes, that happens in Afganistan, Iraq, Vietnam, World War II, even Granada, and any war. When USA send troops to a war, or millitary advisors is bringing all that things or allowing them.

Any war has this prize. Is it worth? Perhaps , just be aware of the prize. Is worth for defending to soil from an invasion? Is it worth for a defending national interests? Is it worth for a liberation war? I don't know, just be aware of the prize.

Perphaps there are justified wars, but never innocent armies.



Hi. (1.00 / 7) (#145)
by Hide The Hamster on Sat May 01, 2004 at 07:58:44 AM EST

Don't close your eyes, that happens in Afganistan, Iraq, Vietnam, World War II, even Granada, and any war. When USA send troops to a war, or millitary advisors is bringing all that things or allowing them.

Any war has this prize. Is it worth? Perhaps , just be aware of the prize. Is worth for defending to soil from an invasion? Is it worth for a defending national interests? Is it worth for a liberation war? I don't know, just be aware of the prize.


Hi, will you please fucking learn English?  That is utter gibberish and really doesn't make any kind of sense.  Okay?  Thanks a bunch!


Free spirits are a liability.

August 8, 2004: "it certainly is" and I had engaged in a homosexual tryst.

[ Parent ]

Sheesh (none / 2) (#156)
by bigchris on Sat May 01, 2004 at 10:34:58 AM EST

You're focusing on his poor English grammar?!? I'd be focusing on the way that he just accepts that human rights abuses happen because "it's war, so get over it!".

---
I Hate Jesus: -1: Bible thumper
kpaul: YAAT. YHL. HAND. btw, YAHWEH wins ;) [mt]
[ Parent ]
My points (none / 1) (#172)
by svampa on Sat May 01, 2004 at 01:48:57 PM EST

Sorry for my poor english, perphaps here is clearer.

Any war has this prize. Is it worth? Perhaps, just be aware of the prize you are going to pay. Is defending the soil of your country from an invasion worth to pay such prize? Is defending your national interests abroad worth to pay such prize such prize? Is a liberation war worth to pay such prize such prize? I don't know, just be aware that that's the real prize.

"it's war, so get over it!".

That's not my point. My point is that a war is blood and destruction. When you start a war you open the doors of hell, and nothing will stop the horrors, but the end of war.

When you see your family members crippled or dead by a bomb, the words "colateral damage" or "liberation war" don't stop you hating enemies. When you see your fellow, that good guy from Arkansas, blown by a bomb, the Geneve Convention may go to hell.

There are not wars of gentlemen . There is not such thing. If you want fair war, watch movies, but don't start a real war.

My points are

  • A war bosts the hate against enemy and so worst feelings of human being. Nothing will ever change this.
  • It's naive to think that such things won't happen in any war or in any army.
  • That's exactly what has happened in any war where USA has been envolved, not because USA is evil, but because wars are like that. CIA has even edited manuals about how to torture.
  • USA government and the army are aware of how things work, so they prefer (and have the money to do it) to hire private contractors and mercenaries to avoid responsabilities.

  • If USA didn't want such things happening, USA shoudn't have gone to war.
  • When 75% USA citizen agreed the war against Iraq they should have known that things like that were going to happen.
  • Before the war you should decide if the goals are worth the horrors of a war.

    USA citizens say "We should/shouldn't go to war" as if it were a movement in a chess match. Didn't they count the horror and brutality of a war in their analisys? I thougth they did, and they did accept the prize.



    [ Parent ]
  • American lives (2.82 / 29) (#146)
    by geoswan on Sat May 01, 2004 at 08:08:21 AM EST

    I think this is just a facet of a whole spectrum of attitudes that make Americans unsuited to peace-keeping missions -- or occupations.

    If you watch American news I want you to listen for the phrase "American lives". I will return to this phrase later.

    About a year and and a half ago two trigger happy reservists, not kids, but quite senior pilots, dropped a bomb on a platoon of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan. Four were killed. Two dozen were injured.

    The Canadians were on a training exercise. The training exercise was filed with the joint HQ. The pilots saw weapons fire from the ground, reported it, said they were going in, were told to hold their fire. They fired anyway.

    They did not get dishonourable discharges. They did not have to serve any time.

    Without regard to Bush's recent comments that Britain is America's greatest ally, Canada has been America's greatest ally.

    So, if trigger-happy soldiers can kill allies with no real punishment, what happens when they kill innocent Afghanis? Answer: nothing. Innocent wedding parties were shot to hell. Convoys of tribal leaders, also fighting the Taliban, shot to hell.

    Earlier this week I heard a comment on US Marines in Fallujah. "No better friend, no worse enemy." There was supposed to be a cease-fire in Fallujah. Why were the Marines firing? They thought they had been fired on. I can't remember the exact phrase, but a Marine explained, if they thought they were fired on they would hold nothing back in their retaliation.

    In other words, the opposite of a "measured response".

    What does a retaliation where they hold nothing back mean to innocent Iraqi civilians? What value should they assume Americans hold on their lives. Iraqi civilians should assume that they can find Americans acting as if their lives held no value.

    I am not an American. I am a Canadian. And like most Canadians I have lived within broadcast range of American television stations my entire life. If you watch American news you will hear that phrase over and over, "American lives". If there is a plane crash, American news will focus on "American lives". If no American lives were lost a disaster may not even make American news.

    Americans! The lives of non-Americans matter! Any American GI who does not understand this should not be allowed to serve overseas!

    The 500 or so detainees at Guantanamo Bay are called "illegal combatants". This phrase is used in the Geneva Convention. The Geneva Convention says that a tribunal should be held to determine, when there is any doubt, as to whether a combatant is a POW. The USA has not held any tribunals. These imprisonments are a terrible blot on the USA's claims to respect human rights.

    How is it that the American public is not furious over the Bush administration violation of every principle Americans believe their country stands for? PBS's Frontline recently broadcast the Canadian documentary Son of Al Queda. I stronly encourage you to download it and watch it. Khadr allowed himself to be imprisoned in Guantanamo, as an informant. He reported to his handlers that most detainees were just unlucky, had been in the wrong place at the wrong time. So, why aren't they being released? Is it because their lives don't matter, because they are not Americans?

    During World War 2 some fliers respected the lives of civilians enough to sacrifice their own lives. There are incidents from World War 2 where pilots of damaged planes could have bailed out, and saved their own lives. But they chose to stay with their planes to control the crash, to make sure the crash didn't kill innocent civilians.

    This is the kind of respect we should expect American GIs to show the innocent civilians in Iraq. American GIs need to remember that they invaded Iraq. Rumsfeld foolishly believed the tainted intelligence supplied to him by Achmed Chalabi. Chalabi told Rumsfeld that the Iraqis would welcome a US invasion. The Iraqis are not ungrateful that they don't welcome the US invasion.

    You are right. It is not good. (3.00 / 6) (#154)
    by cca93014 on Sat May 01, 2004 at 09:58:57 AM EST

    This reminds me of the survey carried out in the US, asking for estimates of the total number of casualties suffered in Vietnam. The majority response was between 50,000 to 100,000; i.e. an approximation of the number of GIs killed during the war.

    The fact that between two and four million Vietnamese people died (not to mention those living in Cambodia and Laos) was generally either not known or subconsciously disregarded.

    This was posted at the Whiskey Bar blog the other day...

    Nixon: We've got to quit thinking in terms of a three-day strike [in the Hanoi-Haiphong area]. We've got to be thinking in terms of an all-out bombing attack - which will continue until they - Now by all-out bombing attack, I am thinking about things that go far beyond. I'm thinking of the dikes, I'm thinking of the railroad, I'm thinking, of course, the docks.

    Kissinger: I agree with you.

    President Nixon: We've got to use massive force.

    Two hours later at noon, H. R. Haldeman and Ron Ziegler joined Kissinger and Nixon:

    President: How many did we kill in Laos?

    Ziegler: Maybe ten thousand - fifteen?

    Kissinger: In the Laotian thing, we killed about ten, fifteen.

    President: See, the attack in the North that we have in mind, power plants, whatever's left - POL [petroleum], the docks. And, I still think we ought to take the dikes out now. Will that drown people?

    Kissinger: About two hundred thousand people.

    President: No, no, no, I'd rather use the nuclear bomb. Have you got that, Henry?

    Kissinger: That, I think, would just be too much.

    President: The nuclear bomb, does that bother you?...I just want you to think big, Henry, for Christsakes.

    I just want you to think big, Henry, for Christsakes.

    [ Parent ]

    I remember some of these... (2.75 / 4) (#180)
    by DDS3 on Sat May 01, 2004 at 02:18:38 PM EST

    The Canadians were on a training exercise. The training exercise was filed with the joint HQ. The pilots saw weapons fire from the ground, reported it, said they were going in, were told to hold their fire. They fired anyway.

    Ouch.  That sucks.  I'm amazed that more wasn't done.  That simply isn't right.  Without permission to fire, they are supposed to be castrated.  Especially if they hit the wrong people.

    In the Army, there was a situation where video was smuggled out of an Apache crew attacking.  They did have permission to fire, but the continued to engaged the target AFTER he was missing an arm, near death, and rolling on the ground.  I asked my brother, whom is a Longbow pilot, to comment on this.  He stated that if the uppers get wind of this, they're going to have hell to pay because the Army doesn't work like that.  Sure enough, about two months later, I saw that the press caught wind of the footage.  Last I heard, words like "court marshall" were being used.  I full expect that they will never fly again for the military.  My point?  Not all services are the same.  And sometimes, they do the right thing.

    Innocent wedding parties were shot to hell

    You left out the most important facts here.  It seems, at weddings, some people take weapons and fire into the air.  The second fact is, local soldiers heard the gun fire and asked air support to check it out.  Air support arrived to find muzzle flashes being dischared in their direction.  They "returned fire".  Only an idiot would think anything would come of that.  Let's face it.  If you're getting married in a war zone and think shooting, en mass, is a good idea, then don't be surprised when you or your friends get killed.

    They thought they had been fired on. I can't remember the exact phrase, but a Marine explained, if they thought they were fired on they would hold nothing back in their retaliation.

    That would be because they get fired at on a daily basis and their orders are to return fire if someone actively engages them.  Guess what.  They are actively engaged on a daily basis.  It seems only the coalition know anything of a cease fire.  The enemy is constantly probing and attacking.  The soldiers are returning fire, and rightfully so, are pissed off about it.

    What does a retaliation where they hold nothing back mean to innocent Iraqi civilians? What value should they assume Americans hold on their lives. Iraqi civilians should assume that they can find Americans acting as if their lives held no value.

    Sorry, but you went off into left field there.  If someone is shooting at you, it's reasonable to use superior firepower to kill them.  That's what they mean.  If they are using AK's, you use 203's.  If they use RPG's, you use 203s, Javilins and artillary back.  The point is, just because there is a cease fire and people are trying to kill you, doesn't suddenly mean you should allow your self to die.

    Also, family and children have been allowed to leave.  In fact, there has been a problem with children being kidnapped so that the terrorists can escape the city.

    If there is a plane crash, American news will focus on "American lives". If no American lives were lost a disaster may not even make American news.

    Well, I can tell you here, there is plenty of mention of all life.  But, of course, US life is stressed.  Just the same, I hear about Spanish, Italian, British, etc, and yes, even Iraqie (good guys and bad guys) here all the time.  If you're in the states and don't hear about the spectrum, then I think you're not trying hard...or perhaps that part of the country is working hard to color things.  Just the same, it's not hard to hear about deaths all around.  I've even noticed that recently, the news are starting pushing the wounded rates too, which is good.  Being dead is one thing.  Missing your arms and legs and still being alive at the age of 18-25, is something completely different and think we need to be hearing about these days that pay almost the ultimate price too.  Life will never be the same of thousands of these guys and I think we need to remember that too.

    How is it that the American public is not furious over the Bush administration violation of every principle Americans believe their country stands for?

    We are.  Depending on the part of the country, it's not hard to find that it's split.  Just the same, the soldiers, for the most part, are not us and them.  They are our brothers and friends and neighbors.  As such, we accept that we are all human.  We understand that there will be a couple of bad eggs no matter which basket you look in.  Period.  Do we hate that these abuses happen?  Absolutely!!  Do we want them taken care of?  Absoluetely!  Do we think that these bad eggs are representative of the whole?  No!  That's because they are are not.  No matter what walk of life, no matter the culture, you want to look at, it's fairly easy to find these idiots.

    This is the kind of respect we should expect American GIs to show the innocent civilians in Iraq. American GIs need to remember that they invaded Iraq.

    They have and do respect.  Simple fact is, there are going to be bad eggs in every basket and the stress of the environment helps bring them out from their quiet holes.  This isn't an excuse, it's just a statement.  As long as you're talking about WWII and think it's an example, you also need to remember that there were plenty of bad things on both sides, as it related to civies.  Likewise, there are stories all the time about soldiers helping Iraqies and how proud they are of that.  It's just that it's doesn't make for good news.  So, you don't hear about it as much.

    [ Parent ]

    International news coverage in America (none / 1) (#204)
    by geoswan on Sat May 01, 2004 at 04:38:47 PM EST

    ...Well, I can tell you here, there is plenty of mention of all life. But, of course, US life is stressed. Just the same, I hear about Spanish, Italian, British, etc, and yes, even Iraqie (good guys and bad guys) here all the time. If you're in the states and don't hear about the spectrum, then I think you're not trying hard...or perhaps that part of the country is working hard to color things.

    I think you are going to have to trust me on this one. During my formative years, prior to the 500 channel universe, we here in Toronto got all the big US networks, from Buffalo, plus all of our Canadian stations. The contrast in quality between the coverage of international news here in Canada and that in US broadcast news was like Night and Day.

    [ Parent ]

    News (none / 1) (#224)
    by kurioszyn on Sat May 01, 2004 at 07:07:53 PM EST

    Of course it was.

    But it wasn't a matter of quality but rather degree of bias.
    Face it my friend, every news source is biased in one way or another - considering your views you are simply more comfortable with the obvious leftist bias present in just about every Canadian news outlet.

    [ Parent ]

    Hey, let's keep this a no name-calling zone (none / 0) (#229)
    by geoswan on Sat May 01, 2004 at 07:44:33 PM EST

    Hey, let's keep this a no name-calling zone.

    I wasn't trying to say that the American coverage of international news was biased. I was merely observing that for all practical purposes there wasn't any coverage of international news. This observation doesn't make me a "leftist".



    [ Parent ]

    I don't agree... (none / 0) (#237)
    by DDS3 on Sat May 01, 2004 at 09:08:26 PM EST

    Well, before 9/11, I would agree with you.  In fact, I always wanted to see more internation news on TV.  Just the same, post-9/11, international news is fairly common.

    Having said that, a fair portion of the US population still gets their news from papers.  Internation news is and always has been, a standard part of any quality (big) US papers.


    [ Parent ]

    suspect? (none / 0) (#236)
    by DDS3 on Sat May 01, 2004 at 09:05:39 PM EST

    I'm always suspect of remarks like that.  Chances are even better that your media is just as slanted, but in a different direction.  AFAIC, there isn't a single news outlet that can be taken out face value.  Everyone has their own agenda and everyone is playing politics.

    In otherwords, the truth is MUCH MORE LIKELY to be somewhere in the middle.


    [ Parent ]

    Innocent wedding parties were shot to hell (none / 3) (#206)
    by geoswan on Sat May 01, 2004 at 05:08:11 PM EST

    Innocent wedding parties were shot to hell

    You left out the most important facts here. It seems, at weddings, some people take weapons and fire into the air. The second fact is, local soldiers heard the gun fire and asked air support to check it out. Air support arrived to find muzzle flashes being dischared in their direction. They "returned fire". Only an idiot would think anything would come of that. Let's face it. If you're getting married in a war zone and think shooting, en mass, is a good idea, then don't be surprised when you or your friends get killed.

    Yes, there is a very long cultural tradition of firing weapons into the air as parts of celebrations in that part of world. This tradition goes back hundreds of years.

    You guys are the occupiers, the invaders. The Afghanis didn't invite you. And practically the only Iraqi to invite you was Achmed Chalabi. So, it seems to me, if someone is going to adapt it should have been the US forces.

    There were hints in some of the news reports that some of these regretable incidents occurred because careless and credulous American liaison officers allowed themselves to be conned so America's military might could be used to even the score in long-standing inter-village rivalries. "Mr GI, believe me, the people here in Springfield love America, but those people in Shelbyville are very bad. They are all Taliban. Why listen, they are having Taliban target practice right now."

    [ Parent ]

    Americans are fucking pussies (1.12 / 8) (#225)
    by kurioszyn on Sat May 01, 2004 at 07:19:51 PM EST

    "You guys are the occupiers, the invaders. The Afghanis didn't invite you."

    You are correct.
    All that nation building bullshit is simply waste of fucking time.
    We are putting our soldiers at risk for no reason whatsoever. Every motherfucker who hates US will hate us anyway so perhaps the correct course is just annihilate destroy and don't look back.

    [ Parent ]

    Nice way to spread democracy (none / 3) (#283)
    by svampa on Sun May 02, 2004 at 05:47:39 AM EST

    Method A:

  • We are here to democratize you.
  • Yeah, we've killed some innocent people, we are soldiers and this is a war. Take it.
  • Bastards, you hate us and don't want to be democratized.
  • We are going to turn your cities into rubbles to revenge our few casualities.

    Result: The country is not democratized, the country is now a total mess, with a lot of deads and will need 20 years to be as poor as they were before the war.

    ------------------------

    Method B:

  • We stay at home and don't care to democratize you.

    Result: The country is not democratized, they continue being as poor they were.

    ------------------------

    Sure they hate USA because of its freedom.



    [ Parent ]
  • some tradition sucks.... (none / 1) (#235)
    by DDS3 on Sat May 01, 2004 at 09:03:36 PM EST

    This tradition goes back hundreds of years.

    Yep!  And anyone with common sense is going to forgo tradition in the middle of war zone.  Period.

    [ Parent ]

    Nobody should forget them (none / 1) (#284)
    by svampa on Sun May 02, 2004 at 06:04:46 AM EST

    In the middle of a battle you must forget anything. But after the war, during the occupation time, you've better improve your knowledge about the people sourounds you, and respect their traditions.

    At least if you want to stand there with a relative peace and not too much troops.

    But if you just want to show who's the new master, if you have plenty of resources, if you think it's better to have 100 casualities but kill 10000 enemies than 1 casualitie and kill only 2 enemies, then respecting and knowing traditions is waste of time.



    [ Parent ]
    It happened again. Another wedding party killed. (none / 0) (#483)
    by geoswan on Wed May 19, 2004 at 04:46:39 PM EST

    It happened again.

    Note that this was near the Syrian border, hundreds of miles from any active fighting.

    And here is a quote from the article, about one of the earlier shootings.

    In July 2002, Afghan officials said 48 civilians at a wedding party were killed and 117 wounded by a U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan's Uruzgan province. An investigative report released by the U.S. Central Command said the airstrike was justified because American planes had come under fire.

    No repercussions for the American pilots? This is very bad.

    [ Parent ]
    ...within the military's rules of engagement... (none / 0) (#484)
    by geoswan on Wed May 19, 2004 at 05:12:16 PM EST

    It looks like there will be no punishment in this case either.

    Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, deputy director of operations for the U.S. military in Iraq, told Reuters the attack early on Wednesday was within the military's rules of engagement.


    [ Parent ]
    American news coverage (none / 2) (#207)
    by geoswan on Sat May 01, 2004 at 05:15:31 PM EST

    The Canadians were on a training exercise. The training exercise was filed with the joint HQ. The pilots saw weapons fire from the ground, reported it, said they were going in, were told to hold their fire. They fired anyway.

    Ouch. That sucks. I'm amazed that more wasn't done. That simply isn't right. Without permission to fire, they are supposed to be castrated. Especially if they hit the wrong people.

    This kind of emphasises my point. This incident was front page news, here in Canada, for weeks. But even though you are an intelligent American, who is trying his best to follow news in that theatre, you never heard about it...

    Oh. It came out that it is routine for Air Force pilots to be issued amphetamines prior to long missions.

    [ Parent ]

    Measured response? (3.00 / 5) (#228)
    by geoswan on Sat May 01, 2004 at 07:36:26 PM EST

    They thought they had been fired on. I can't remember the exact phrase, but a Marine explained, if they thought they were fired on they would hold nothing back in their retaliation.

    That would be because they get fired at on a daily basis and their orders are to return fire if someone actively engages them. Guess what. They are actively engaged on a daily basis. It seems only the coalition know anything of a cease fire. The enemy is constantly probing and attacking. The soldiers are returning fire, and rightfully so, are pissed off about it...

    Well, I have been trying to follow these events too. And it has been my impression that the average American GI has been very trigger-happy.

    I wasn't really aware, until those four American mercenaries were burned, and their corpses hung, how over-run Iraq was by Western private armies. There are something like 30,000 of these clowns, by some counts. As other articles ask, why aren't these private armies considered "unlawful combatants"?

    If your GI hears firing, how does he know it is not one of these 30,000 rogue warriors?

    Earlier in the occupation there was coverage of attempts to build a new, non-Baath, civilian, non-partisan Police. The casualty rate among these guys has been very high. They were brave men. Unfortunately, very unfortunately, they have been the victims of trigger happy GIs.

    There was an incident when a squad of these new Iraqi Police -- heroes -- good guys, were in hot pursuit of bunch of looters. Some GIs saw a vehicle with Iraqis armed with weapons, and opened fire. I heard one of the survivors describe his ordeal. The Police took refuge in a small Hospital. The GIs kept firing. The Police kept begging for the Americans to quit firing. The Americans wouldn't listen. They were pinned down for hours. What the fuck were they doing firing into a Hospital in the first place?

    Was this the only incident when poorly trained or poorly lead GIs killed Iraqi Police? Even if it was the only incident I want you to imagine the effect it would have on this new Iraqi Police force.

    Sorry ... if someone is shooting at you, it's reasonable to use superior firepower to kill them. That's what they mean. If they are using AK's, you use 203's. If they use RPG's, you use 203s, Javilins and artillary back. The point is, just because there is a cease fire and people are trying to kill you, doesn't suddenly mean you should allow your self to die.

    Also, family and children have been allowed to leave. In fact, there has been a problem with children being kidnapped so that the terrorists can escape the city.

    Sure, in a battlefield, where there are no innocent civilians nearby, and if your superior officers have not agreed to try to implement a ceasefire, then you minimize your own casualties by using superior firepower. But is that what you should do when you are fighting in a city, where you and your opponents are surrounded by innocent civilians? Is that what you should do when your superiors have agreed to a ceasefire?

    If you negotiate a ceasefire, in good faith, you do not expect 100% total observance. The Iraqi resistance does not have a unified command, and it is not a perfectly disciplined army. If the American authorities were negotiating in good faith they would have issued rules of engagement to the troops that they should not respond to breaches with overwhelming force. So lets call this what it is. It is either bad-faith on the part of the American authorities, or it is mutiny -- American troops not following their legally issued orders.

    You seem to be excusing GIs for being trigger-happy because they are pissed off.

    The Marines are being withdrawn. One reading of this is that the senior brass negotiated in good faith, and regard the Marines as being on the verge of Mutiny, because they were not following orders. Another interpretation is that the American troops are inexperienced, poorly lead and poorly disciplined.

    I am sorry if this is difficult for you to hear. Maybe you have friends or relatives in the occupation forces. But being a good soldier sometimes means putting your life at risk without being able to shoot back.

    In Vietnam American pilots were told that some parts of Vietnam were "free-fire zones". You said that women and children were being allowed to leave. Do you mean that they are being allowed to leave Falluja?

    Well how does this prevent civilian casualties if American GIs act as if anywhere they think they were being fired on as if it were a free-fire zone?

    If I have understood what a Vietnam free-fire zone was I welcome correction. I don't know what a Javelin is, or a 203.

    [ Parent ]

    I just listened to Rumsfeld... (none / 0) (#470)
    by geoswan on Fri May 07, 2004 at 02:45:18 PM EST

    I just listened to Rumsfeld speak to the Senate Armed Forces committee. Various aspects of his testimony really bugged me.

    One was that he kept insisting that the reason he and the senior Brass didn't know more about it was to protect the rights of the accused. He said it was a principle of military justice for the senior brass to not know the details, while an investigation was under way, because their knowledge could prejudice the investigation.

    It sounded to me as if he was saying protecting the rights to a fair trial of a relatively small number of rogue soldiers was more important the protecting the rights to be free from abuse, even torture, of a much larger number of Iraqis. During the testimony we heard that something like, IIRC, 43,000 detainees had gone through the interrogation mills.

    And it brings to mind my disappointment with Americans when they act like American lives are more important than the lives of citizens of other nations.



    [ Parent ]

    It might be the worst you see.... (2.92 / 13) (#147)
    by pere on Sat May 01, 2004 at 08:14:30 AM EST

    ...but what should scare you is how common this might be. How often do you think soldiers take pictures when they torture prisoners? How often are these pictures released to the public?

    So far we have had two "picture-incidents" with british soldiers involved and one incident with american soldiers involved.

    What should also scare you is that ONLY when there are picture evidence these cases seem to end up in the media, and only when they end up in the media the military reacts.

    Indeed, especially considering what Amnesty said.. (3.00 / 6) (#150)
    by Del Monte Cyber Monkey on Sat May 01, 2004 at 08:53:52 AM EST

    ...that while they were shocked at this case, they were not surprised.

    This kind of thing is evil, plain and simple.


    Ah, Del Monte!


    [ Parent ]
    Re: It might be the worst you see.... (2.75 / 4) (#163)
    by drsmithy on Sat May 01, 2004 at 12:07:00 PM EST

    What should also scare you is that ONLY when there are picture evidence these cases seem to end up in the media, and only when they end up in the media the military reacts.

    Uh, weren't the American soldiers investigated and suspended/imprisoned/punished *weeks* before this hit the media ?

    [ Parent ]

    no (none / 3) (#175)
    by pere on Sat May 01, 2004 at 02:03:06 PM EST

    No. AFTER this was covered in the media, the military answered that the persons was "under investigation".

    You are right that this "investigation" had been going on for weeks. Im not sure if that speaks to the military's advantage though.

    [ Parent ]
    Reminds me of a joke (2.33 / 6) (#149)
    by bradasch on Sat May 01, 2004 at 08:46:51 AM EST

    That one from the guy and the private detective: this guy hires a private detective to find out if his wife is cheating on him. Next day, the detective comes and says "Yup, she's cheating you". Go tomorrow to this motel at 4 pm and she'll be there.

    The next day the detective arranges for the guy to peek thru a hole in the wall inside the room of the motel. There's his wife, and another guy. She undresses. He undresses. He sits on the bed. She is standing right in front of him. The naked man turns off the light and the room gets dark. The guy peeking looks to the detective and says: "Damn it, I will never know it for sure."

    'Contractor' (none / 2) (#158)
    by virtualjay222 on Sat May 01, 2004 at 10:58:53 AM EST

    I'm not sure I like the term 'contractor' to describe the people involved here, probably because I'm not entirely clear on what the status of these 'contractors' are - whether they are hired by the US government, or by one of the companies working to 'rebuild' Iraq - but something doesn't smell right. Is there any historical precident for this (specifically if they have been hired by the US government)?

    This whole affair brings to mind Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Leopold, this time, is Bush, ivory is oil, and the light of civilization is the light of democracy.

    How tragic.

    ---

    I'm not in denial, I'm just selective about the reality I choose to accept.

    -Calvin and Hobbes


    Appalling ? (1.85 / 7) (#165)
    by drsmithy on Sat May 01, 2004 at 12:20:48 PM EST

    It is important that we understand how such appalling human rights abuses have been allowed to take place.

    I don't condone this sort of behaviour at all and I certainly hope the perpetrators are punished severely.

    However, calling this sort of thing - the bulk of which would barely even count as "severe" to the average victim of a Rugby recruiting or college fresher "initiation" - "appalling" is a ridiculous overuse of language.

    If you call this sort of trivial schoolyard humiliation "appalling", how do you then give sufficient weight to real, significant abuses of rights, like prisoners being hooked up to electrodes (and actually electrocuted), having fingers and toes cut off one at a time with wire clippers, or watching their companions be fed into plastic shredders ?

    Criticise it, certainly. Vilify and attack the perpetrators freely. However, don't give the impression that it equates with the sort of torture that leaves victims permanently disfigured and disabled, if not dead.

    Re: Appalling ? (none / 2) (#171)
    by cpghost on Sat May 01, 2004 at 01:47:35 PM EST

    The worst picture we've seen (so far?) was the hooded man with attached wires. If it is true that they threatened that guy with elecrocution if he fell off the block, it would have been a rather appalling and severe form of torture. It doesn't matter that the wires were not attached to any electric device or circuit. Near-execution (bluff) is a form of torture nonetheless and it should be punished to the full extent of the UCMJ. This kind of behavior cannot be tolerated!

    Acting like this against prisoners is a shame on the US military as a whole. It doesn't matter that it was just a few of them (or perhaps contractors?) who did this. It happened under the auspices and the responsibility of the United States military, and they have to assume full responsibility for the ruthless handling of prisoners by or on behalf of their personnel. Hiding behind mercenaries is a poor (and IMHO invalid) excuse for what happend.

    As bad as it seems (and the political consequenses in the arab world are well known and expected), there's no reason to go over board by being ueber-moralistic. After all, this incident looks like a kind of sick joke, a prank, at the expenses of the prisoners. The soldiers who did this may not have planned to harm these guys. Yes, it was disgusting, and a deliberate attack against the dignity of the captives (esp. in the light of their cultural standards), yet it was very far from what usually (and sadly) happens in a war or war-like situation. Putting this electrocution bluff aside, which is real torture, the remaining stuff was "only" degradating, yet not dangerous for the prisoners.

    The real issue here is what happens with contractors who violate the UCMJ and the Geneva Convention. If my reading of the UCMJ is right, contractors who are being hired by the US military fall under UCMJ jurisdiction anyway and can be treated like normal soldiers. Of course, they will be held responsible under the Geneva Convention which applies universally, but it may be much easier (and faster) to try them before a regular military tribunal.


    cpghost at Cordula's Web
    [ Parent ]
    Yes, it's appalling (2.50 / 4) (#174)
    by Lord Snott on Sat May 01, 2004 at 01:56:07 PM EST

    And the American and British forces involved should hope they get away with dishonorable discharges.

    In a schoolyard, you're not wondering if you're going to be killed at the end of the humiliation.

    The USA is not the "kinder and gentler nation" you've been told. The USA has committed plenty of atrocities in its time, from the slaughter of civilians in Vietnam, to the massacre of caged Afgans.

    When Japan bombed a military base in Pearl Harbor during WWII, the US's response was the blanket-bombing of civilian areas of Tokyo, sustained for 4 hours. The US killed 120,000 CIVILIANS in 4 hours for attacking a military base on US soil.

    It was supposed to "demoralise" the Japanese.

    I'd be shitscared to be an Iraqi right now.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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    [ Parent ]

    nice sig. [mt] (none / 0) (#193)
    by kpaul on Sat May 01, 2004 at 03:45:17 PM EST


    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]
    Thanks! [nt] (none / 0) (#382)
    by Lord Snott on Mon May 03, 2004 at 08:50:31 AM EST


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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    Bummer :-(

    [ Parent ]
    USA (none / 2) (#227)
    by kurioszyn on Sat May 01, 2004 at 07:31:14 PM EST

    What's your point ?

    Well, we all are humans aren't we ?
    All in all I would still prefer USA to any other nation.

    [ Parent ]

    Clap clap clap! You're soooo smart! (1.20 / 5) (#234)
    by lordDogma on Sat May 01, 2004 at 09:00:41 PM EST

    The USA has committed plenty of atrocities in its time, from the slaughter of civilians in Vietnam, to the massacre of caged Afgans.

    Right. And we all know that the Viet Cong and Taliban never killed a single civilian.

    When Japan bombed a military base in Pearl Harbor during WWII, the US's response was the blanket-bombing of civilian areas of Tokyo, sustained for 4 hours. The US killed 120,000 CIVILIANS in 4 hours for attacking a military base on US soil. It was supposed to "demoralise" the Japanese.

    Um, excuse me you pathetic moron.

    First of all, Pearl Harbor was a totally unprovoked sneak attack during a time of peace. That's what brought the US into the war in the first place, you dumb shit-for-brains.

    Secondly, as far as blanket bombing - we didn't exactly have satellite guided bombs at the time you stupid cretin.

    Thirdly, I'm continually amazed at the morally bankrupt, apologetic drivel coming out of the insanse left-wing establishment of today. No doubt you would have been rooting for the Japanse imperialists during WWII, even as their soldiers were killing Chinese and Philippino civilians by the thousands.

    What a sick fucker you are.

    [ Parent ]

    translation (none / 3) (#282)
    by vivelame on Sun May 02, 2004 at 05:39:23 AM EST

    of
    Right. And we all know that the Viet Cong and Taliban never killed a single civilian.

    for rednecks:

    "yay! the other side is bad! they do baaad things! so it's ok if we do the same baaad things, because we're the good guys!"

    moron.

    --
    Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
    [ Parent ]

    How can ANYONE believe (none / 1) (#324)
    by RandomLiegh on Sun May 02, 2004 at 05:05:10 PM EST

    ...that mainstream (eg: redneck) america feels any remorse for what's gone on in iraq: I'll tell you for certain that the grand-parent poster does not! Do you think he's an abberition? Let me tell you that it is not so!

    ---
    Thought of the week: There is no thought this week.
    ---
    [ Parent ]
    Blow it out your ass prick. [n/t] (none / 0) (#348)
    by lordDogma on Sun May 02, 2004 at 11:18:18 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    When did all conservatives become hypocrites? (none / 3) (#325)
    by kmcrober on Sun May 02, 2004 at 05:05:23 PM EST

    [Parent poster notes that the US has committed atrocities in the past.]

    Right. And we all know that the Viet Cong and Taliban never killed a single civilian.
    ...
    I'm continually amazed at the morally bankrupt, apologetic drivel coming out of the insanse left-wing establishment of today.

    What a hypocritical fucker you are.

    [ Parent ]

    Re: Yes, it's appalling (none / 1) (#243)
    by drsmithy on Sat May 01, 2004 at 09:56:36 PM EST

    And the American and British forces involved should hope they get away with dishonorable discharges.

    Personally, I'd be hoping they're punished severely - to send a message to *both* sides.

    In a schoolyard, you're not wondering if you're going to be killed at the end of the humiliation.

    I would propose to you that for some victims of schoolyard bullying, particularly the younger ones who don't fully understand death, dying would be a "welcome release".

    Incidentally, I doubt many of these participants would/should have been in great fear of dying.

    The USA is not the "kinder and gentler nation" you've been told. The USA has committed plenty of atrocities in its time, from the slaughter of civilians in Vietnam, to the massacre of caged Afgans.

    Indeed, and those sort of things *are* appalling. This sort of thing should not be equated to atrocities such as those..

    [snip irrelevant trolling]

    [ Parent ]

    Why not? (none / 1) (#398)
    by Nursie on Mon May 03, 2004 at 12:36:05 PM EST

    Indeed, and those sort of things *are* appalling. This sort of thing should not be equated to atrocities such as those..

    Why the hell not? It's all part of the same spectrum of torture and murder brought on by US army (and civilian) disrespect for anyone that's not an 'american' citizen. It's exactly the same sort of behaviour. At least one prisoner was tortured to death, and others were threatened with execution.

    You not the good guys any more when you are sodomising a helpless unarmed prisoner.

    Meta Sigs suck.

    [ Parent ]
    Why? (none / 0) (#408)
    by tonedevil on Mon May 03, 2004 at 06:03:01 PM EST

    Incidentally, I doubt many of these participants would/should have been in great fear of dying.

    I don't see why they shouldn't have feared dying, if people you didn't know proved to you they owned you like a dog, could/would do anything to you for a laugh, and appear to have no controlling authority to stop them, why wouldn't you fear they might kill you.

    P.S. one of the pictures is labeled "Beaten to Death" That would make me fear for my life as well.

    [ Parent ]

    Matter of perspective (none / 2) (#184)
    by dipipanone on Sat May 01, 2004 at 02:42:35 PM EST

    However, don't give the impression that it equates with the sort of torture that leaves victims permanently disfigured and disabled, if not dead

    You may well take that view if you were the victim of this kind of abuse. I certainly would as well.

    There are those though, who feel that robbing them of their dignity and their sense of masculinity is a far greater torture than any physical torture. For example, would you rather I broke your nose, or forced you to give me a blowjob? No physical damage is done by forcing you to suck my dick, but as a red-blooded heterosexual man, I'd much rather someone broke my nose.

    And there are those experts who claim that the anger the muslim world and Al Qaida feels towards the west is grounded in this very loss of dignity and sense of cultural inferiority.

    So while I might agree with you, I'm not sure that the next wave of muslim terrorists will share our views.

    --
    Suck my .sig
    [ Parent ]
    Uh-huh (none / 1) (#213)
    by pyramid termite on Sat May 01, 2004 at 06:11:38 PM EST

    However, calling this sort of thing - the bulk of which would barely even count as "severe" to the average victim of a Rugby recruiting or college fresher "initiation" - "appalling" is a ridiculous overuse of language.

    TRANSLATION - "Our western culture depends upon some torture and humiliation to keep functioning - we're simply educating them to be real Westerners ..."

    You really screwed up with this defence.

    On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
    [ Parent ]
    Re: Uh-huh (none / 0) (#241)
    by drsmithy on Sat May 01, 2004 at 09:50:12 PM EST

    TRANSLATION - "Our western culture depends upon some torture and humiliation to keep functioning - we're simply educating them to be real Westerners ..."

    I think your translator needs some work.

    You really screwed up with this defence.

    It's not a defence, it's an observation. At no point did I defend or condone the actions. I was just pointing out that if you call this sort of stuff "appalling", what do you call it when someone gets a few limbs cut off one at a time until they talk ? "Super appalling" ? How about when they get mind-fucked until they can't even speak anymore ? "Hyper appalling" ? What about the times when the torture kills the victim ? "Doubleplus appalling" ?

    [ Parent ]

    I'm not the person who decided to ... (none / 2) (#291)
    by pyramid termite on Sun May 02, 2004 at 08:57:11 AM EST

    ... compare what happened in Iraq with hazing rituals - like it or not, there is a cultural continuity there and you've unconsciously demonstrated it.

    On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
    [ Parent ]
    Pretty fucking appalling. (none / 0) (#373)
    by handslikesnakes on Mon May 03, 2004 at 02:16:43 AM EST

    Who cares? If somebody says "I was forced to perform oral sex on other men", I know that's bad. If somebody says "I had my limbs cut off", I know that's BAD.

    I'm going to judge how horrible something is based on the details, not whether somebody calls it "appalling" or merely "holy shit that's fucked up".



    [ Parent ]
    Just how bad was this? (none / 1) (#231)
    by geoswan on Sat May 01, 2004 at 08:34:33 PM EST

    DrSmithy compares the abuse of the prisoners documented in the recent photos with the hazings fraternity boys volunteer to undergo and questions whether it is really worth making a fuss over.

    Well maybe Dr Smithy didn't follow the various links that other correspondents have supplied, and doesn't fully understand the context of these beatings.

    First, college kids volunteer to undergo those initiation rituals.

    Second, the prison in question was the one the Saddam regime used for its tortures and executions. So, allow me a mistake that its bad reputation made it a mistake for the Americans to use at all. Far better to improvise a way of confining prisoners in one of Saddam's palaces than to re-use one of his torture centres for the American interrogation centres.

    Third, one of those photos shows a guy who has been severely been. The various places I have seen it identify him as someone who has been beaten to death. Not usually a consequence of a frat-boy initiation.

    If you read the Sixty minutes account the prison had 900 inmates, guarded by half a dozen or a dozen MPs, and an unknown number of civilian interogators.

    Who were these civilian interogators? Who did they work for? Under what authority were they conducting these interogations?

    The accounts describe those being interogated as being "broken". Also not usually a consequence of a frat-boy initiation.

    [ Parent ]

    Re: Just how bad was this? (none / 0) (#240)
    by drsmithy on Sat May 01, 2004 at 09:45:36 PM EST

    DrSmithy compares the abuse of the prisoners documented in the recent photos with the hazings fraternity boys volunteer to undergo and questions whether it is really worth making a fuss over.

    No, I didn't. It certainly *is* worth making a fuss over.

    Well maybe Dr Smithy didn't follow the various links that other correspondents have supplied, and doesn't fully understand the context of these beatings.

    No, I didn't. However, even after doing so, my comment stands. The sort of behaviour that is reminiscent of schoolboy hazings does not qualify for a tag like "appalling" and labelling it so reduces the impact of those who really have undergone "appalling" human rights abuses.

    First, college kids volunteer to undergo those initiation rituals.

    Uh, no. Some of them might, but a lot of them don't.

    [snip irrelevant trolling]

    [ Parent ]

    Umm (none / 1) (#256)
    by GenerationY on Sun May 02, 2004 at 12:51:01 AM EST

    Have you not read what Chip Federick himself claims he did?

    The point is not the pictures. They were the milder end of it. FYI he admits they literally tortured someone to death...and do you think its trivial to be shot with non-lethal rounds? Left with untreated tuberculosis? Attacked by a dog? Forcibly buggered? Having your faced stamped on?

    http://www.sundayherald.com/41693

    You are wrong anyway, by your logic abducting someone and keeping them hostage in your cellar is less of a crime and less damaging to the victim because other people go to S&M clubs.

    [ Parent ]

    Re: Umm (none / 1) (#274)
    by drsmithy on Sun May 02, 2004 at 03:56:22 AM EST

    The point is not the pictures. They were the milder end of it.

    They were the part I was commenting on.

    FYI he admits they literally tortured someone to death...

    There you go. *That* is something that deserves a tag of "appalling".

    and do you think its trivial to be shot with non-lethal rounds? Left with untreated tuberculosis? Attacked by a dog? Forcibly buggered? Having your faced stamped on?

    Nope.

    You are wrong anyway, by your logic abducting someone and keeping them hostage in your cellar is less of a crime and less damaging to the victim because other people go to S&M clubs.

    Uh, no. By my logic being kept hostage in a cellar and have no harm to you shouldn't be described with the same sort of language that being abducted, kept in a cellar, raped, mutilated and killed should be.

    [ Parent ]

    This is silly (none / 1) (#276)
    by GenerationY on Sun May 02, 2004 at 04:47:09 AM EST

    The word 'appalled' means one is overcome with shock, consternation or dismay. I think in general the consternation aspect features most strongly in its popular usage. Personally I find it perfectly appropriate in far lesser cases than even those pictured in these people's polaroids.

    I find your attempt to taxonomise emotional responses to witnessing different kinds of torture frankly bizarre and worrying.

    [ Parent ]

    Re: This is silly (none / 0) (#290)
    by drsmithy on Sun May 02, 2004 at 07:55:21 AM EST

    The word 'appalled' means one is overcome with shock, consternation or dismay. I think in general the consternation aspect features most strongly in its popular usage.

    Personally, I would expect most people associate the word "appalled" with the "shock" and "dismay" aspects of its definition. Probably with a bit of "disgust" mixed in as well.

    I doubt most people think of it as synonymous with "consternation". It's certainly not a meaning I've ever associated with the word.

    Personally I find it perfectly appropriate in far lesser cases than even those pictured in these people's polaroids.

    Sounds like you're prone to overreaction.

    If you find this sort of stuff appalling (ie: you're overcome with emotion), then reading about the things that happened in WW2, Bosnia or Rwanda must leave you blubbering and incoherent.

    I find your attempt to taxonomise emotional responses to witnessing different kinds of torture frankly bizarre and worrying.

    You find it "bizarre and worrying" that I look at a situation and go "yes, it's bad - but it could have been a hell of a lot worse" ?

    I repeat, the bulk of those photos depicted activity that wouldn't be uncommon in a typical high school. While certainly something that should be investigated and punished to the maximum extent possible, compared to torture that leaves its victims mentally and/or physically scarred and debilated for life - if not dead - it barely rates a mention.

    Get some fucking perspective, people. If this had been events being recounted from Hussein's, Hitler's, Pol Pot's or most other homocidal dictator's regimes, it would barely qualify for a footnote in the typical historical snapshot.

    The only reason it does - and it is an exceptionally good reason - is because we hold ourselves to higher standards of accountability and morality. The actions of a few trailer trash rednecks drunk on a power trip should not be considered official policy or typical behaviour. *That* is what makes "our side" different.

    [ Parent ]

    What can I say (none / 0) (#296)
    by GenerationY on Sun May 02, 2004 at 12:01:17 PM EST

    If you find this sort of stuff appalling (ie: you're overcome with emotion), then reading about the things that happened in WW2, Bosnia or Rwanda must leave you blubbering and incoherent.
    Yes; thats exactly the effect that (amongst other things) the writings of Solzhenitsyn and Primo Levi have had on me. And yes, sometimes I find the news itself distressing to watch. I'm not going to pursue this argument, but it is genuinely worrying to me that you appear to think that it might be an unusual response.

    [ Parent ]
    Well, yeah. (none / 0) (#372)
    by handslikesnakes on Mon May 03, 2004 at 02:10:08 AM EST

    I did break into your house, destroy all your possessions and kill your pets, but hey - it could have been a hell of a lot worse!

    Come on, get some perspective - what I did wasn't that bad. If Jeffrey Dahmer had done it nobody would have batted an eye.

    See? You're overreacting. My crime wasn't that big a deal.



    [ Parent ]
    the brits were caught too... (1.77 / 9) (#167)
    by kpaul on Sat May 01, 2004 at 12:58:53 PM EST

    this makes me physically ill - moreso when i see flag stickers on huge SUVs rolling around in air conditioning to go get food of any kind from a giant supermarket...

    most people i know don't care - aren't talking about it. out of sight out of mind.

    "oh, iraq, is that still going on? stupid ragheads. nuke 'em i say..."

    i wonder how many think that way.

    and now that word is out, the pictures are out - how many of the people we're 'helping' do you think will cross that line from school teacher to revolutionary, from doctor to martyr?

    think of the ones who don't get caught - someone lost a buddy and now wants revenge - on anyone, they all look the same. right?

    USia (aka mysterybabylon) needs to quit waving flags and telling God to bless them and get on her knees and beg forgiveness, repent.

    i truly fear it is too late, though, at this point for the nation. get your own households in order, people. there may come a time when taco bell doesn't reopen, when food lines begin forming in the big cities, when being american means being a third class world citizen.

    i know a lot of you don't believe that man from Nazareth existed or was who He said he was. i urge you to at least look into it, though. if you haven't, read the new testament all the way through - or at least the gospels - with an open mind.

    things are changing even now. doom and gloom and paranoid? perhaps. others feel it too, tho. others look around and see the end is very f'ing nigh...


    2014 Halloween Costumes

    will probably go deeper... (none / 2) (#168)
    by kpaul on Sat May 01, 2004 at 01:01:19 PM EST

    the New Yorker: Captain Robert Shuck, Frederick's military attorney, closed his defense at the Article 32 hearing last month by saying that the Army was "attempting to have these six soldiers atone for its sins." Similarly, Gary Myers, Frederick's civilian attorney, told me that he would argue at the court-martial that culpability in the case extended far beyond his client. "I'm going to drag every involved intelligence officer and civilian contractor I can find into court," he said. "Do you really believe the Army relieved a general officer because of six soldiers? Not a chance."
    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]
    All empires eventually fall [nt] (none / 1) (#170)
    by Lord Snott on Sat May 01, 2004 at 01:32:13 PM EST


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    This sig in violation of U.S. trademark
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    Bummer :-(

    [ Parent ]
    Teh US isn't falling (none / 0) (#326)
    by RandomLiegh on Sun May 02, 2004 at 05:10:37 PM EST

    and if it ever did, it would take the world down with it.

    ---
    Thought of the week: There is no thought this week.
    ---
    [ Parent ]
    I didn't say... (none / 0) (#381)
    by Lord Snott on Mon May 03, 2004 at 08:43:51 AM EST

    it was falling (though I do believe it's already started its descent), I said it will fall.

    And though I don't think it would take the rest of the world with it, I do think it'll do a hell of a lot of damage in its death throws.

    But on the positive side, just like the Roman, Greek, Egyptian, and British Empires, it's gonna leave a permanent mark on the world. No one is ever gonna forget what it's done. Good and Bad.
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    [ Parent ]

    Make that desert hellhole into glass (none / 0) (#198)
    by Hide The Hamster on Sat May 01, 2004 at 04:04:52 PM EST

    And for the past few days I actually thought they tortured some guys. Now, if I were batshit insane too and ran a blog, I would probably feel the same kind of nerd schoolyard sympathy that you do to poor bastards that have their "cultural standards" violated by a righteous occupying force (that's right, you read correctly, weakling). I'm actually physically ill that I bestowed a bit of sympathy for the same people as a blogger did. How undeserved. I want to retch. God help me if I'm ever infected with The Blog.


    Free spirits are a liability.

    August 8, 2004: "it certainly is" and I had engaged in a homosexual tryst.

    [ Parent ]
    aren't trolls supposed to be less transparent? (none / 2) (#201)
    by kpaul on Sat May 01, 2004 at 04:11:29 PM EST

    i mean, seriously, go get some tutoring by turmeric or someone. i saw this one before i even read it.

    YAAT. YHL. HAND.


    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]

    No seriously. (none / 1) (#202)
    by Hide The Hamster on Sat May 01, 2004 at 04:14:06 PM EST

    I would send all bloggers to extermination camps if I could. Ex-ter-mi-na-tion camp.


    Free spirits are a liability.

    August 8, 2004: "it certainly is" and I had engaged in a homosexual tryst.

    [ Parent ]
    A liberal's defense of the American military (2.22 / 9) (#173)
    by jolly st nick on Sat May 01, 2004 at 01:50:00 PM EST

    We shouldn't fool ourselves into thinking we're better than we are.

    Look, in war we have people do things which are much worse than this -- kill people, including people who are completely innocent but happen to be in the way. There are good, honorable people right now who are caring for and maintaining weapons that, if they were ever use, would unleash horror and suffering on innocent people unparalleled in human history. I once talked to a WW2 vet who fought in France after D Day about Vietname and My Lai. He said it happens in every war, that he saw American troops commit atrocities with his own eyes. This in the last "good" war to save civilization.

    The point here is not to sanction the depravities heaped on these prisoners, nor is it a diatribe against the American military, whose professionalism many of us feel a great deal of pride in. I just think it's very important not to kid ourselves by denying that war itself is anything but a massive, large scale atrocity. In the course of this atrocity, there are lesser atrocities that are sanctioned by necessity, some that are sanctioned as being the lesser of two atrocities, and others, like these, that are simply pointless depravity.

    We should not be shocked when Americans commit atrocties in war. It is inevitable that when a large number of people are put into a situation where some terrible actions are considered honorable and others are labelled atrocities, that some of them will not grasp the fine or even the not-so-fine distinctions. It's one of the compelling reasons to keep war a course of last resort. We can try to minimize these by professional training, but it will not work 100%. Blurring the roles of military and civilian contractors probably makes things quite a bit worse.

    Let us suppose for a moment that the war in Iraq is a "just" war, which is to say one that was unavoidable. I personally don't believe this, but this is outside the control of the military. The military must engage in war if the civilian authorities tell it too; and it has to be granted that despite their best efforts, soldiers will step over the line. What I'm getting at is that I don't think the military can be held morally accountable for not preventing every atrocity. Indeed if a war is avoidable then the civilian authorities must bear blame for all atrocities that occur. In some cases the military may be accountable if training and discipline was inadequate.

    The big question in my mind is how the military responds to this incident. If they don't respond quickly and vigorously, then they will bear responsibility for future events like this due to their lax discipline and lack of professionalism. If they do respond effectively, then they'll have done the best they can in circumstances out of their control.

    That does not excuse them (3.00 / 4) (#178)
    by Bossk on Sat May 01, 2004 at 02:16:53 PM EST

    It's true that the military was forced to carry out a job given to them by a "civilian authority", but that doesn't excuse them from doing a bad job at it.

    Statistically, it is inevitable that these acts will occur if you consider that military operations are not an ideal system.  However, the inevitability does not make them unaccountable.

    The people who made the mistake, whether it's the private contractors or the executing officers should be punished according to the system that dictates their punishment.


    [ Parent ]

    Bastard (none / 0) (#183)
    by Lord Snott on Sat May 01, 2004 at 02:40:23 PM EST

    I want to rate you 0 for that comment, because that's what you rated me for mine. But I agree with you here, dammit, so "encourage" it is.

    Just because you don't like what others say, doesn't mean they're wrong.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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    Bummer :-(

    [ Parent ]

    Sorry bout that (none / 0) (#186)
    by Bossk on Sat May 01, 2004 at 02:58:36 PM EST

    It's only because I thought you missed the point of the person you replied to.

    His point is that is we are calling this appalling what do we call worse things?

    Psycological torture can be worse than physical as you say, but I would question the severity of that impact in this case in comparison to physical mutilation.

    If its any consolation, I bumped it to 1 :)


    [ Parent ]

    Thanks. Didn't mean to snap :- / [nt] (none / 0) (#383)
    by Lord Snott on Mon May 03, 2004 at 09:01:50 AM EST


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    This sig in violation of U.S. trademark
    registration number 2,347,676.
    Bummer :-(

    [ Parent ]
    Uaccountable? (none / 0) (#187)
    by jolly st nick on Sat May 01, 2004 at 03:16:16 PM EST

    Statistically, it is inevitable that these acts will occur if you consider that military operations are not an ideal system. However, the inevitability does not make them unaccountable.

    Who said they should be unaccountable? Who said anything about excusing?

    How can you extract from what I wrote that the military should be held "unaccountable"? What I said amounted to this: we should hold the military accountable for how they respond to this incident, and if they don't respond appropriately, they will be responsible for any future incidents.

    So far as the current incident is concerned, I hold the political leadership of the US is responsible; I also hold their partisans who believed that Americans could do no wrong responsible.

    [ Parent ]

    You did say that (none / 0) (#190)
    by Bossk on Sat May 01, 2004 at 03:27:08 PM EST

    You did right here.

    What I'm getting at is that I don't think the military can be held morally accountable for not preventing every atrocity. Indeed if a war is avoidable then the civilian authorities must bear blame for all atrocities that occur.

    You are also implying it by:

    So far as the current incident is concerned, I hold the political leadership of the US is responsible;

    You are placing blame on the authority who requested the operation to be carried out when you should be placing blame on the actual particpants who failed to carry out that operation successfully.

    [ Parent ]

    You guys have a sugar coated view of war. (none / 0) (#433)
    by jolly st nick on Tue May 04, 2004 at 09:03:41 AM EST

    You did right here.

    What I'm getting at is that I don't think the military can be held morally accountable for not preventing every atrocity. Indeed if a war is avoidable then the civilian authorities must bear blame for all atrocities that occur.

    Note the word preventing, which I have emphasized here.

    The point I'm trying to make is that people on both sides of the Iraq war issue seem to think we live in a fairy-land fantasy where thigns like this don't happen "good" wars undertaken by "good" countries; the hawks use our goodness as evidence that these things don't happen (or are an "aberration", whatever that means); the doves use the fact that these things do happen as evidence of our badness. Both sides are bullshit. War itself is an atrocity. Once you go down that path, this stuff will happen.

    Since we must have a military, and the military's function is to fight wars, then we must face the fact we are recruiting and training people, a few of who are going to be war criminals. The military as an institution can't be held to a standard of preventing this kind of thing, only minimizing it and reacting to it appropriately. Individuals within the military have to be held responsible: the people who did this; their commanders; the people who trained them.



    [ Parent ]

    not quite what I meant (none / 0) (#481)
    by Bossk on Sat May 15, 2004 at 06:56:56 PM EST

    The military as an institution can't be held to a standard of preventing this kind of thing, only minimizing it and reacting to it appropriately. Individuals within the military have to be held responsible: the people who did this; their commanders; the people who trained them.

    I think we are in agreement, but our wording isn't reconciled. I agree on these points: they should me trying to minimize this outcome, this outcome is inevitable, the military is responsible. It follows from this that they are accountable.

    However your earlier statement:

    What I'm getting at is that I don't think the military can be held morally accountable for not preventing every atrocity.

    It doesn't matter how you stress "preventing". The military is morally accountable. Even though I disagree with the logic of this statement, I agree with your main theme.

    [ Parent ]

    yeah (none / 1) (#226)
    by kurioszyn on Sat May 01, 2004 at 07:26:30 PM EST

    "So far as the current incident is concerned, I hold the political leadership of the US is responsible"

    Current ?
    Why only current ?
    Where were you when Clinton goons were running around the country and killing people for being "weird" (Waco, Ruby Ridge) ?


    [ Parent ]

    Why only current ? (none / 0) (#434)
    by jolly st nick on Tue May 04, 2004 at 09:05:05 AM EST

    Because that's what we're talking about today. Start an article about Waco and Ruby Ridge and you'll get my opinion on those ;-)

    [ Parent ]
    Quick Response? (none / 3) (#220)
    by bobzibub on Sat May 01, 2004 at 06:43:12 PM EST

    There have been many accusations (including Amnesty Int'l) of torture of US held prisoners in Iraq since the beginning of the war.  Back in Afganistan too.  So because there are now vids & pics we require a swift response to restore the honor of the military?

    The only difference is that the pics get sent all over the 'net, foreign news services and the domestic media finally capitulates.  This public refutation of our boys embarrasses the administration in what is otherwise a very managed situation.

    If the humiliation of prisoners is so shocking, it distracts from the fact that the war going on outide is much worse:  The civilian death toll is enough to make Bin Laden blush.  Snipers are shooting at ambulances, cluster bombs used in cities, hospitals occupied, and medical treatment prevented...

    Yet the soldiers pictured are the shameful acts of this unprofessional few.   Humiliating POWs?  These acts are a shocking aberration by an unprofessional few and they won't go un-punished!  Ahhhh.. Feel better already.

    Of course, if I was Iraqi, I'd worry about the professionalism of the rest of that bunch long before these amateurs.

    -b

    [ Parent ]

    The greater doesn't excuse the lesser. (none / 2) (#437)
    by jolly st nick on Tue May 04, 2004 at 10:04:54 AM EST

    There have been many accusations (including Amnesty Int'l) of torture of US held prisoners in Iraq since the beginning of the war. Back in Afganistan too. So because there are now vids & pics we require a swift response to restore the honor of the military?

    Well, yes.

    The alternative is to allow this kind of thing to become "business as usual", which is especially a danger given the kind of self-righteous, xenophobic, manichean world view that has siezed so many people post 9/11. Fortunately, I don't think we've gone that far yet. As evidence, somebody thought it was important enough to blow the whistle by leaking these pictures.

    So standards of conduct, even when they are imperfect and often violated, still matter. I suggest reading Macaulay's essay on Machiavelli.

    Yet the soldiers pictured are the shameful acts of this unprofessional few. Humiliating POWs? These acts are a shocking aberration by an unprofessional few and they won't go un-punished! Ahhhh.. Feel better already.

    Of course, if I was Iraqi, I'd worry about the professionalism of the rest of that bunch long before these amateurs.

    This bit of vile rhetoric simply proves what I've always said about the loudest and most obnoxious of my fellow liberals: some us love humanity and hate people. I assure you that the treatment of these men matters greatly to Iraqis, particularly those who have family members in detention. It would matter if these people had nobody outside who cared about them. It would matter if nobody had a political axe to grind over the larger situation there.

    You are absolutely right that these things aren't the worst things that are happening over there. You are dead wrong to throw them on the scales against the worse and dismiss them as not mattering.

    [ Parent ]

    why defend them? (none / 0) (#349)
    by martingale on Sun May 02, 2004 at 11:18:33 PM EST

    Look, in war we have people do things which are much worse than this
    That's true, and of course with the media blackout organized by the US military, we just don't know much about those worse things. So it's reasonable to inflate the importance of the atrocities we *do* know about to compensate.

    I guess I don't see what you're trying to defend. We all know wars are terrible calamities, and they have terrible costs. Among those costs of particular relevance for American voters, part of the costs are monetary, and part of the cost is in the standing of the participating powers.

    Clearly, the president of the United States has weighed the pros and cons, and decided he finds the cost in monetary terms and international standing of the US acceptable. The decision has been taken, now it's time to do the accounting.

    So given this, what is it you're trying to defend? You can't defend the honour of the troops. They are performing dishonorable acts, and will continue to do so for a long time. This was all preordained from the president's decision. When Americans are hated and attacked, it is simply part of the inevitable cost.

    The big question in my mind is how the military responds to this incident. If they don't respond quickly and vigorously, then they will bear responsibility for future events like this due to their lax discipline and lack of professionalism. If they do respond effectively, then they'll have done the best they can in circumstances out of their control.
    This is irrelevant, I think. The right way to deal with abuses is to stop doing them, not adjust the rules and do abuse accounting differently. The biggest abuse by far is the fact that the US is directly responsible for the current misery of Iraqis. More Iraqis have died in one year due to Bush's liberation war than died when Saddam gassed them to liberate them. If you want to stop the abuse, get the fuck out of the country. Given that is not a seriously contemplated option, it is clear that the military isn't doing what is needed to stop the abuse. So how they respond is rather irrelevant to first order.

    The US will be hated for a long time for this, and will suffer attacks abroad and on the homeland. The dice have been cast. Don't try to defend the inevitable, it's a waste of your time (but fun for flame wars).

    [ Parent ]

    I like that logic (none / 0) (#407)
    by mmsmatt on Mon May 03, 2004 at 05:44:13 PM EST

    So it's reasonable to inflate the importance of the atrocities we *do* know about to compensate.

    I'm a cop, and I see you speeding by 5-10mph home on an empty road (except for you and I). Since I don't know what other moving violations or war crimes you might have comitted, I'll search your home and office to compensate for whatever else you've done.

    Reasonable?

    [ Parent ]

    yes (none / 0) (#419)
    by martingale on Mon May 03, 2004 at 11:06:52 PM EST

    I'm a cop, and I see you speeding by 5-10mph home on an empty road (except for you and I). Since I don't know what other moving violations or war crimes you might have comitted, I'll search your home and office to compensate for whatever else you've done.

    Reasonable?

    Yes. In the absence of other relevant information, that is entirely the appropriate thing to do.

    What your example fails to account for is the extra information, which in this case includes knowing that speeding is uncorrelated to other crimes. That knowledge is commonly available, and therefore relevant. It implies that searching the home and office won't turn up other crimes on average.

    In the case of Iraq, what other relevant information do you base your assumption on that such abuse of the population doesn't just happen in those prisons?

    [ Parent ]

    That wasn't my assumption (none / 0) (#480)
    by mmsmatt on Wed May 12, 2004 at 04:29:15 PM EST

    And my comment was poorly worded. My beef with inflating atrocities is each uncovered incident should stand on its own, (i.e., don't "inflate" the crime of speeding to include the old lady you hit).

    Yes, abuses are widespread as they are in all wars by all forces. But it's not fair to victims, or defendants under court-martial, when we make crimes comitted at Abu Ghabi cover crimes comitted in Basra.

    [ Parent ]

    Try to be a bit more practical. (none / 0) (#436)
    by jolly st nick on Tue May 04, 2004 at 09:35:13 AM EST

    This is irrelevant, I think. The right way to deal with abuses is to stop doing them, not adjust the rules and do abuse accounting differently.

    You've hit on the exact point I'm trying to make.

    I'd agree with you 100%, if there were something like an atrocity switch you could turn on and off in the military. Then by all means it should be switched to "off". But so far as I can see the closest thing to such as switch is the decision to go to war or not.

    Unless you've ever had a leadership position, even in a small organization, you probably don't appreciate that controlling an organization is not anything at all like self-control (and that itself is not so easy either). You can't simply say "do X" or "don't do Y". You have to train, communicate, reinforce. But even then unless all the incentives and goals are clear and consistent, which they never are in the real world, then there will be times where X doesn't happen and Y does.

    The problem is conflicting priorities.

    Examples: deliver the highest quality product; deliver it on time. Keep the highest standards of honesty; show a profit. Treat prisoners humanely; get information out of them so we can stop the attacks on our guys. Corners will be cut.

    In real world organizations, it is absolutely inevitable that people make the wrong decisions. If you think you can prevent this by training or fiat, you are totally naive. Unethical behavior in an organization is like friction in a machine or weeds in a garden. It is something that you want to minimize and to manage, but what you can't do is wish it away.

    If you want to stop the abuse, get the fuck out of the country.

    I think you are making my point here. I opposed the war at its outset because exactly this kind of thing was bound to happen. My wife went so far as to go to Sen. Kerry's office the day he was considering voting to support the president in this war (I was out of town). People are having this kind of cognitive dissonance thing going because they've bought into some kind of romantic fantasy about what war is like. The fact is, even though these acts were atrocities (I like that word much better than the wish washy "abuse"), they aren't even the worst thing that happened in the war by a long shot. Maimed and orphan children; families torn apart, young men coming back disfigured and permanent handicapped. All these things are actually worse.

    [ Parent ]

    Milgram's "Obedience to Authority" (2.87 / 8) (#176)
    by cpghost on Sat May 01, 2004 at 02:03:41 PM EST

    How is it possible that atrocities are tolerated by so many silent bystanders for so long, before they hit the press? How comes that they are so few whistle blowers?

    Anyone familiar with Stanley Milgram's "Obedience to Authority" experiment would tell you, that it's human nature to obey persons of authority, even if it means torturing innocent (or not so innocent) people, if ordered to do so. It doesn't even take a direct order by a commanding officer for a soldier (or any other person btw.) to commit such acts or to watch as a passive bystander while others are committing crimes.

    I'm not surprised by what happened in that prison complex. Such things happen in every war, and as deplorable and disgusting as they are, they're not so uncommon. What I'm really concerned about, is that the esprit de corps and this obedience stuff can coerce witnesses of such abuses to passivity.


    cpghost at Cordula's Web
    See Zombardo's experiments too (3.00 / 5) (#195)
    by skim123 on Sat May 01, 2004 at 03:59:17 PM EST

    In addition to Milgram, read up on Zimbardo's Prison experiment. Zombardo setup a two week study, where he took Standford students, many of who knew one another, and randomly assigned them to roles: either a guard or a prisoner. He then had each group don respective uniforms, and had the guards lock up the prisoners. The guards became increasingly sadistic toward these prisoners.
    Guards applied total control on each prisoner's life, including going to the toilet. Prisoners were often not allowed to use the toilet and forced to urinate or defecate in a bucket in their cell, but not allowed to empty the buckets. Repeatedly, guards also punished prisoners by forcing them to do push-ups, jumping jacks, cleaning out toilet bowls with their bare hands, and acting out other degrading scenarios. Often, they also coerced prisoners to become snitches in exchange for reduced abuse. Especially when they were bored or thought that the experimenters were not watching, their treatment to the prisoners would escalate and became more pornographic. The humiliation and dehumanization got so severe, that the experimenters had to frequently remind the guards to refrain from such tactics.
    There was a riot in the jail by the second day. Zombardo had the shut down the experiment after 6 days for fear of the phsycial safety of the prisoners.

    The point being, while the actions of these soldiers is inexscusable, they are not innately evil people. In fact, the majority of people, put in the same situation, would do the same thing...

    Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
    PT Barnum


    [ Parent ]
    "Das Experiment," a movie... (none / 1) (#277)
    by nr1 on Sun May 02, 2004 at 04:54:57 AM EST

    based on the stanford study.

    [ Parent ]
    no (none / 0) (#329)
    by Wah on Sun May 02, 2004 at 05:24:48 PM EST

    In fact, the majority of people, put in the same situation, would do the same thing...

    Which is why there is heirarchy and discipline in the Armed Services to keep such college student psyches in check (has this experiment been done with mature people?).  But hey, with an AWOL CINC, well, you get what you get.
    --
    'The Matrix' is a better interpretation of quantum mechanics than Copenhagen.
    [ Parent ]

    Urm... (none / 0) (#465)
    by skim123 on Thu May 06, 2004 at 12:42:55 PM EST

    Which is why there is heirarchy and discipline in the Armed Services to keep such college student psyches in check (has this experiment been done with mature people?).

    Call me elitist, but I'd wager that the average Stanford student is more mature than your average 20 year old Army grunt.

    You should also read up on Milgram's Obedience studies. There he showed that middle class, 40 something year olds would electrocute someone to supposed death if instructed to do so. If you can, try to take an upper-level or grad-level social psychology class at a local college - you might just get to see videos documenting these experiments. (A freshman level psych class might show videos explaining these procedures, but I doubt they'd show the actual tapes made during the experiment...)

    Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
    PT Barnum


    [ Parent ]
    Where's the profit? (3.00 / 5) (#182)
    by dipipanone on Sat May 01, 2004 at 02:33:08 PM EST

    According to an article in the Guardian, the jail in question was run by private contractors, and the accused soldiers claim they were acting under the instruction of private interrogators



    The accused soldiers may well claim this, but I rather think you'd have to be something of a halfwit to take such a claim seriously.

    Do you really believe that the US military take orders from civilians suggesting that they might like to commit war crimes and breach the Geneva convention?

    What possible reason could this privatized business have for posing prisoners naked in simulated sex positions while US soldiers (male and female) pose in the background, grinning and waving to their buddies?

    And are we to also suppose that this business then ordered these soldiers to mail these images to their friends?

    The truth is, they did it, they got caught and now they're looking for someone else to lay the blame on.

    Bullies are often whining pussies as well. Here's a perfect example.

    --
    Suck my .sig

    Where's the profit? It's fairly simple (none / 0) (#311)
    by greenrd on Sun May 02, 2004 at 03:49:35 PM EST

    The profit comes from keeping the contract.

    Keeping the contract comes from keeping the US happy.

    Keeping the US happy comes from, in part, keeping the interrogators happy.

    Quote:

    "Good job, they're breaking down real fast. They answer every question. They're giving out good information."
    So keeping the interrogators happy comes from torturing suspects so that they will be more prepared to say something (anything) even if it's not exactly true. The private company couldn't give a shit if it's true or not, and even the interrogators probably don't always care, because as long as they keep providing "intelligence" on "insurgents" they will look good to their superiours. (Or so they thought.)

    See how it works now?


    "Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
    [ Parent ]

    Disturbing responses from the public (2.87 / 8) (#189)
    by handslikesnakes on Sat May 01, 2004 at 03:17:12 PM EST

    From a bunch of responses to some TV show that aired the photos:

    Why in God's name would you choose to air such a story at this time? This is something our country didn't need to know now. Everyone in this country is hanging on for dear life to support the troops, and you have taken all our faith in goodness away. How many more reports can we watch like this before support fades?

    We are losing our fight with other countries to support us, and now you have just sealed it. ... We've just lost the goal of helping anyone over there because of this show, and God help us. You are no better then those who did these horrible acts. Your reports are bringing down this country.
    --Betsy Berra

    I love the way "supporting the troops" is more important than "not ignoring torture".



    Oi! Copycat! :-) <nt> (none / 0) (#196)
    by GenerationY on Sat May 01, 2004 at 03:59:23 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    The responsibility lies squarely at the top ... (2.66 / 9) (#205)
    by tilly on Sat May 01, 2004 at 05:05:29 PM EST

    Looking at those pictures, consider the question who you would like to be ... the torturer or the tortured?

    The sane answer, of course, is "Neither!"

    I remember seeing an interview with a South African priest talking about his torture sessions with the Apartheid Police. He said, as he was being tortured, he remembered Christ's words, "Forgive them, O Lord, for they know not what they do!" He thought to himself then "Well, these guys do know what they are doing ... They want to destroy me physically and psychologically. But do they know what they are doing to themselves?"

    How many suicides have been amongst coalition soldiers in Iraq? The number should be up to several dozens by now.

    When you put eighteen-year olds under conditions of intolerable stress, weird things start to happen. Some turn on themselves; other freak out and become sadists. The mind becomes sick just as the body does when it succumbs to infections under extreme stress.

    Military experts testified in congress that 300,000 troops would be required to hold down that country. Instead, we have about a 100,000 over there. In the particular prison where these acts were taking place, 7 untrained guards were responsible for 800 prisoners

    This catastrophic, unnecessary and illegal war is George W. Bush's war. It was his decision to go in and it was again his decision to try and do it on the cheap to miminize the political and financial cost. A volunteer army made up mostly of poor and/or minority youths is paying the price because a snot-nose rich kid who - I dont know how - became President, decided to play at swashbuckling. For God's sake, for humanity's sake, please do not re-elect this man!



    The censors have struck! (1.15 / 20) (#208)
    by sellison on Sat May 01, 2004 at 05:35:59 PM EST

    But I'll say it again anyway, the Liberals can't shut ME up! This War isn't about who's nicer, it's about who's stronger, tougher, more determined, and mainly, who is more FAITHFUL that they are RIGHT.

    In short Who has the most Faith that God is on their side.

    The people being 'tortured' would do far worse, or are keeping secrets which will enable other Iraqis to do far worse things, mainly to non-combatent Iraqis.

    We'll have to break a few eggs to bring the omelette of Democracy and Freedom to Iraq (and they will be even harder eggs when we get to work on Syria, Iran, and Palestine!)

    So the main thing to do now is stay the course, and keep our eyes on the prize at the end of the day: a Middle East where the smart ones are happy and peaceful and thinking about converting to Christianity and the islamic fanatics are fearful and pacified.

    There is no "loyal opposition", no middle ground, in this Clash of Civilizations, you are either with us or with the terrorists.

    You liberal censors can attack me with 0s for my opinion all you like, it just shows what the world would come to if the liberals got control, all opposing opinions would be censored, and no doubt the liberals would come up with far worse totures than the minorly severe interogation techniques practices by our boys in defense of our (America's) security and freedom.

    "No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush

    I'll tell you what ... (none / 1) (#215)
    by pyramid termite on Sat May 01, 2004 at 06:19:45 PM EST

    ... I gave you 3s for your last few comments, just so you don't feel so abused. It's kind of like throwing a snack to a puppy; you make a very good pet for a liberal. Now, bark! Froth at the mouth! Good boy!

    On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
    [ Parent ]
    irony (none / 3) (#221)
    by davros4269 on Sat May 01, 2004 at 06:54:20 PM EST

    I like your technique! Irony, sarcasm, feigned fanaticism in the extreme!

    Carry on, fellow liberal, you have my respect!


    Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
    [ Parent ]

    You won't get any zeroes (none / 0) (#328)
    by kmcrober on Sun May 02, 2004 at 05:13:13 PM EST

    from this liberal censor.  You are an underappreciated artist.  

    [ Parent ]
    he'll receive no threes either, will he? (none / 0) (#345)
    by rmg on Sun May 02, 2004 at 10:07:04 PM EST

    support the arts. put your ratings where your mouth is.

    ----

    dave dean
    [ Parent ]

    The sad thing: (none / 0) (#369)
    by handslikesnakes on Mon May 03, 2004 at 02:00:02 AM EST

    You can never be certain that sellison is a troll. There are actually people that say this stuff in earnest.



    [ Parent ]
    Hot dang! (none / 0) (#411)
    by ghosty on Mon May 03, 2004 at 09:27:02 PM EST

    This War isn't about who's nicer, it's about who's stronger, tougher, more determined, and mainly, who is more FAITHFUL that they are RIGHT.

    Woo hoo! A spiritual pissing match!! I'se gonna soak them damn Erakies wit mah fire hose of spireetuality! That'll learn em from attackin Amerka ageen!



    [ Parent ]

    This is how a Real America thinks: (1.30 / 10) (#209)
    by sellison on Sat May 01, 2004 at 05:37:41 PM EST

    Why in God's name would you choose to air such a story at this time? This is something our country didn't need to know now. Everyone in this country is hanging on for dear life to support the troops, and you have taken all our faith in goodness away. How many more reports can we watch like this before support fades?

    We are losing our fight with other countries to support us, and now you have just sealed it. ... We've just lost the goal of helping anyone over there because of this show, and God help us. You are no better then those who did these horrible acts. Your reports are bringing down this country.
    --Betsy Berra

    You go girl!

    "No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush

    And the funny thing is.. (none / 2) (#222)
    by redrum on Sat May 01, 2004 at 06:58:49 PM EST

    You're the same sort of person who would shite on about how terrible Communist and Socialist regimes are and support invasions of countries of such governments to make them more pleasing to your tastes in the name of things like free speech and liberation of the people against such horrible things as censorship. Yet what you're in favour of is censoring the press to stop them showing what a cock-up America has made of the whole Iraq situation and the fact that it really, really, really wasn't a good idea in the first place. I'd just hate to be living in America right now. All I know for sure is that I don't think I'll be ever visiting your land in my life, even considering the fact that i'm only 18: there's nothing of interest nor attraction over there - and certainly not considering the inevitable surge in terrorist attacks and attempts of terrorist attacks that are going to ensue.

    [ Parent ]
    No, you are that sort of person (none / 3) (#269)
    by sellison on Sun May 02, 2004 at 02:00:54 AM EST

    who would submerge the voices of Real Americans like Betsy Berra beneath the pretty faced slime of high paid liberal shills like Koppel.

    The American press has become unbalenced as the socialists and communists who would undermine our God given Christian Capitalist way of life have hidden out in the media and in the unversities. They try to censor the honest voices of real Americans just like the censors do here by piling 0s on my posts!

    If most of the news was really balanced, it would be more like Fox, where one hears the real voices of the Conservative and Patriotic American Public. Fox is the only middle of the road, balanced news source, the rest of the major networks are all very left leaning and CNN is pretty much just the rebirth of the American Socialist Party (aptly acronymed as a poisonous snake) in disguise!

    But you do have one thing right: there's nothing of interest nor attraction over there , yes, good, we have more than enough socialists working undercover here, you would do better to waste your life getting high in Ibiza than coming here dressing in black and trying to shut down San Francisco.

    (The funny thing about the leftists, their 'protests' do the most harm to our most socialist city, SF, because the people there are so tied up in their liberal hand wringing they don't have the guts to take back the night from the socialists terrorists. Other American cities are less forgiving, and the leftists black shirts either are afraid to come or are swiftly marched into the ghettos to be relieved of their expensive equipment and their euros!)

    "No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
    [ Parent ]

    Gold! (none / 0) (#426)
    by Cackmobile on Tue May 04, 2004 at 05:45:15 AM EST

    CNN is pretty much just the rebirth of the American Socialist Party

    Dude, u kill me. How do u keep coming up withthis stuff. Keep up the good work.

    [ Parent ]
    Betsy Berra is the new Adequacy (none / 0) (#250)
    by GenerationY on Sat May 01, 2004 at 10:42:16 PM EST

    I think, as the sun sets on this day, Ms. Berra is the envy of every troll on the internet (this is the third time shes been cut and pasted, verbatim, into this thread).

    [ Parent ]
    Incidentally: (none / 0) (#364)
    by handslikesnakes on Mon May 03, 2004 at 01:57:07 AM EST

    I was responsible for quote #2, but where was #1?



    [ Parent ]
    Further down and nested (none / 0) (#396)
    by GenerationY on Mon May 03, 2004 at 12:24:54 PM EST

    http://www.kuro5hin.org/comments/2004/4/30/85930/4002?pid=39#45

    (Autoformat, damn your inconsistent ways!)

    [ Parent ]

    3 guys in the millitary tourcher, and are going to (1.37 / 8) (#210)
    by modmans2ndcoming on Sat May 01, 2004 at 05:42:07 PM EST

    Military prison for a LOOOONG time and some how that is not good enough and liberals hang onto that one instance and use it as an excuse to paint all military members as equally evil and vicious?

    get a clue. are all black men killers because we see so many black murderers in urban areas?

    are all Jews Rich?

    are all white people trailer trash?

    get the picture?

    A few peons will go to jail (none / 2) (#245)
    by ShadowNode on Sat May 01, 2004 at 09:59:19 PM EST

    The people who ordered it won't. They may even end up head of the state department one day.

    [ Parent ]
    the officers involved are going to be tried too (none / 0) (#257)
    by modmans2ndcoming on Sun May 02, 2004 at 12:56:47 AM EST

    so I doubt those that ordered it will get off.

    now, if you are claiming that this was ordered from high up like abizaid or something, I take exception to that. I believe that this was ordered at no higher than the company level, so a captain at the most was the top of the chain in this disgusting incident.

    apparently the US is not alone in this, some brit soldiers have been caught committing the same crimes

    [ Parent ]

    It seems fairly widespread (none / 1) (#262)
    by ShadowNode on Sun May 02, 2004 at 01:41:26 AM EST

    It's hardly the first time the US has been accused of torture. There's a fairly high profile case in the news lately, reporting how the US kidnapped a Canadian citizen and sent him to Syria for two years of torture. If he wheren't a Canadian, he'd likely still be there.

    [ Parent ]
    how about the non spun version of that (none / 3) (#272)
    by modmans2ndcoming on Sun May 02, 2004 at 02:34:54 AM EST

    what was the context of this "kidnapping"

    was he home in bed with his wife in ottawa?

    also, Syria is not our friend, we do not send people there for questioning.

    I think I heard about this. the way the story was reported was in a highly partisan out of context manor ASAIR.

    [ Parent ]

    I don't know about Syria... (none / 0) (#327)
    by kmcrober on Sun May 02, 2004 at 05:11:57 PM EST

    But it's not uncommon at all to render suspects to Saudi Arabia or other states for questioning.  And I think it's naive to pretend that the point is anything other than the application of methods American interrogators are forbidden to use.

    Alan Dershowitz has some interesting things to say about this.  I think his solution (legalize torture for American law enforcement) is bizarre, immoral, and stupid, but he builds his conclusion on solid argumentation and a fairly reliable picture of the status quo.

    [ Parent ]

    yes (none / 0) (#413)
    by modmans2ndcoming on Mon May 03, 2004 at 10:07:32 PM EST

    that I am not disputing. we do send some people to Jordan and saudi arabia.

    knowing what they do to elicit information does it make it wrong? probably. do we actually do it> no.

    are we complicit? yes.

    but being complicit in international politics is not illegal or even considered wrong now a days. look at the entire oil for food program. does anyone care in the international scene or even here or in the UK that France and Russia were stealing money from the program? not at all.

    [ Parent ]

    And? (none / 0) (#422)
    by kmcrober on Tue May 04, 2004 at 01:59:50 AM EST

    Yes, the fund was abused.  Tragic.  How does that ameliorate, or even relate to, the ethical problems inherent in giving a person to torturers?  Whether we actually do the torturing is almost irrelevant; I'm actually more concerned about the way we do it, because the secrecy involved makes it hard for people to care here in the states.

    [ Parent ]
    by abusing the fund, France helped Saddam stay (none / 0) (#448)
    by modmans2ndcoming on Tue May 04, 2004 at 09:04:47 PM EST

    in power which subjected 25 million people to torture. France knew that, as did Russia.

    [ Parent ]
    Once again... (none / 0) (#456)
    by kmcrober on Wed May 05, 2004 at 12:53:30 AM EST

    Tragic.  How does that ameliorate, or even relate to, the ethical problems inherent in the United States giving a person to torturers?

    [ Parent ]
    He was on his way home (none / 2) (#337)
    by JohnnyCannuk on Sun May 02, 2004 at 08:27:01 PM EST

    ..from vacation. He had been called home by his company. He was passing through JFK. He was, in fact, sent to Syria where he was questioned at the behest of the US as Syrian officials have admitted they didn't care about Arar, but took him into custody to keep the US happy.

    No spin. Just the simple truth

    Please explain to me how when the US forcibly sends a Canadian Citizen to Syria and not tell the Canadian embassy until after the person is already in custody in Syria, that its NOT kidnapping?
    We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
    [ Parent ]

    because Canada did not want him (none / 0) (#414)
    by modmans2ndcoming on Mon May 03, 2004 at 10:10:58 PM EST

     and he was still a Syrian national. so US Policy is to deport him to his country of origin.

    since canada did not want him we had to hand him over to Syria.

    blame canada as much as the US for this whole thing. if they had accepted him, he would not have been sent to Syria.

    [ Parent ]

    back up please... (none / 0) (#428)
    by bobzibub on Tue May 04, 2004 at 07:51:50 AM EST

    The "Canada did not want him" part..

    Also, I believe that his case was accepted policy...
    http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0726/p01s03-usju.html

    Cheers,
    -b


    [ Parent ]

    ot says so in the stupid reports on ABC!!! (none / 0) (#449)
    by modmans2ndcoming on Tue May 04, 2004 at 09:05:39 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    What ABC story? (none / 0) (#452)
    by DominantParadigm on Tue May 04, 2004 at 09:43:19 PM EST

    Where?

    Caller:So you're advocating bombing innocent children? Howard Stern:Yes, of course!


    [ Parent ]
    Uhm no... (none / 0) (#432)
    by JohnnyCannuk on Tue May 04, 2004 at 08:50:01 AM EST

    ..I'm afraid you are wrong. He was a Canadian Citizen who hadn't lived in Syria for nearly half his life. He asked to be sent back to his country of Citizenship - Canada. He had a Canadian passport. The Canadian consulate was not informed of his detention until he was already in Syria. Why, the US immagration officials even told him he was going to Montreal when they hustled him into a plane and flew him to Jordan and then to Syria - against his will and against international law.

    You sir, are a liar and a troll. At no time did the Canadian government say they did not want him. They never had the chance as they were not informed.

    Now tell me again how this is not kidnapping?

    BTW, you overlooked one obvious point - Mahar Arar was an innocent man! He committed no crime and was denied all due process to defend himself. He was grabbed out of an airport lineup, detained, beaten and deported to a country where he was tortured at the behest of the US for over a year, all because he was an Arab and a Muslim.

    Now tell me again how this is not kidnapping?
    We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
    [ Parent ]

    try reading the fucking reports that were linked!! (none / 0) (#450)
    by modmans2ndcoming on Tue May 04, 2004 at 09:06:49 PM EST

    right there at the top is a story about the canadians being COMPLICIT in the entire thing!!!!!!

    [ Parent ]
    Hey, I'm the Canadian here (none / 0) (#462)
    by JohnnyCannuk on Wed May 05, 2004 at 09:58:29 AM EST

    ..and I live in Ottawa. I have followed this VERY closely for 18 months. The only mentioned complicity by any Canadian officials is the possibility that some RCMP officers assisted the US "obtaining" information on Arar and turning it over to them (like a lease agreement co-signed by Arar that niether the rental company nor Arar gave to anyone, yet it shows up in an interrogation room in New York City...hmmm). This does not reflect the policy of the Canadian government and certainly does not excuse the US from doing what it did - deport and innocent man to a country where he would be tortured, that was not his country of citizenship, without due process of law.

    Let me inform you as to the laws of my country: Our Immagration department and our Department of Foriegn Affairs are not allowed to "refuse" entry by a citizen. Try looking up the Kadr case. The whole damn family admitted being mixed up with Al Queda and Osama bin Laden in Pakistan and Afghanistan (one kid is still in Gitmo), yet we had to let them in because they were Canadian Citizens (mind you they are being watched like hawks by CSIS right now). If we would let them in, why would we refuse Arar? We didn't because our Consular staff did not have the chance. They were not notified as per international law and treaty that one of their citizens was being detain. Ironically, if the US immagration had left him in line, he would have been out of your sorry country in about an hour, saving you the cost of a flight to Jordan.

    There is going to be a judicial inquiry into this up here and I'm sure we'll get to the bottom of it then. Until then, imagine we grabbed an American citizen of Chinese decent off a flight in Vancouver and sent him back to China, where he was tortured for 2 years. How do you think your government would react?

    BTW, I must be stupid, because I don't see these 'links' to the 'proof of Canadian complicity' that you keep yammering on about. Maybe you could provide them?

    Oh and tell me again how the this is NOT kidnapping?


    We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
    [ Parent ]

    Yes you do (none / 1) (#339)
    by ShadowNode on Sun May 02, 2004 at 09:16:53 PM EST

    Here's the CBC's coverage

    [ Parent ]
    yeah I remember now (none / 1) (#416)
    by modmans2ndcoming on Mon May 03, 2004 at 10:12:29 PM EST

    Canada did not want him, he was a Citizen of Syria still so the US deported him there.

    plenty of blame to go around for this but the US is not alone here, in fact, we were following procedure.

    [ Parent ]

    Liar...See below (n/t) (none / 0) (#443)
    by JohnnyCannuk on Tue May 04, 2004 at 03:07:10 PM EST


    We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
    [ Parent ]
    moron, see below. (none / 0) (#451)
    by modmans2ndcoming on Tue May 04, 2004 at 09:07:11 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    Of course... (none / 1) (#360)
    by handslikesnakes on Mon May 03, 2004 at 01:47:59 AM EST

    ...most blacks/Jews/whites have little in common besides their ancestry, which is totally unrelated to killingness/richness/trashiness.

    What I'm trying to say is that I'm a little suspicious of people who are paid to kill people.



    [ Parent ]
    The ultimate poetic justice is yet to come. (2.71 / 7) (#219)
    by expro on Sat May 01, 2004 at 06:35:17 PM EST

    We can't keep all these miscreants in Iraq forever, nor will charges be brought against those who didn't slip into the newspapers against the best Bush censorship efforts. They will be coming home, to roost, so to speak.

    There will be far more miscreants return home than were sent there, due to Bush's moral relativism that it is OK to do whatever you feel like as long as it is to Muslim populations that you can claim were threatening you, no facts required.

    These soldiers will, to a very great extent, continue to act out the new set of values that were given to them by Bush in Iraq.

    Ultimately, the destructive effect will be at least as great on the USA as it has been on Iraqi civilization, because they will live out the rest of their lives here.



    CIA (none / 2) (#244)
    by emmons on Sat May 01, 2004 at 09:58:48 PM EST

    And according to an article in the New York Times, the abuse was likely at the behest of the CIA.

    But we'll just ignore that because corporations are evil.

    ---
    In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
    -Douglas Adams

    Well (none / 2) (#253)
    by baseball on Sat May 01, 2004 at 11:53:07 PM EST

    if the CIA and military intelligence are doing that in Iraq, they're also almost certainly doing it in Cuba as well. Really deplorable. A few years ago, I would have said it was unAmerican. Now, I'll just say its not like me or anyone I've ever known. It does seem to be an awful lot like the Bush Administration though.

    * * *
    Bush is a liar, Rumsfeld a war criminal.
    [ Parent ]

    Don't get me wrong (none / 1) (#254)
    by emmons on Sun May 02, 2004 at 12:22:52 AM EST

    By no means am I defending what happened; it is completely reprehensible.

    Let me make my position clear: Freedom from such actions of the government is the foundation of our system of government and is at the core of the values that we work to protect and bring to other peoples. It is preposterous to think that we can further and protect rights and freedom for all by simultaneously removing those same rights and freedoms. The permanent protection of rights is more important than temporary security.

    That being said, my point about this article is  that using such a henious crime to further one's generally unrelated agenda is deplorable. There is a time and a place for everything.

    ---
    In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
    -Douglas Adams

    [ Parent ]

    Unrelated issue? (none / 0) (#310)
    by greenrd on Sun May 02, 2004 at 03:41:13 PM EST

    Please explain why Guatamano Bay is an unrelated topic.

    Or did you not get the reference when Cuba was mentioned?


    "Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
    [ Parent ]

    huh? (none / 0) (#374)
    by emmons on Mon May 03, 2004 at 03:07:03 AM EST

    When did I ever say anything about Guantanamo Bay?

    ---
    In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
    -Douglas Adams

    [ Parent ]
    He (1.25 / 4) (#301)
    by kurioszyn on Sun May 02, 2004 at 01:12:43 PM EST

    "Bush is a liar, Rumsfeld a war criminal."

    For many people Clinton was a liar and William Cohen was a war criminal as well.
    There are a lot of Serbs who would agree with that statement.

    I bet Castro considered Kennedy war criminal of the first degree..
    Hell, Herr Hitler publicly referred to Roosevelt as a Jewish lobby driven war criminal.

    Kind of like a lot of papers do in Europe these days.
    Looks like we have come full circle, doesn't it ?


    [ Parent ]

    You must be a troll (none / 3) (#306)
    by baseball on Sun May 02, 2004 at 02:37:04 PM EST

    but I'll play.

    "Bush is a liar." You'd have to agree that Bush has said a great many things that are simply untrue. There are two possibilities. Either he's a liar or he's so unbearably stupid that he just keeps getting it wrong. I think he's stupid, but I don't think he's that stupid. Therefore, I conclude he's a liar. If you have factual support to the contrary, then I'll change my sig to "Bush is stupid, Rumsfeld's a war criminal."

    The "Rumsfeld is a war criminal" part of my sig is based on this and similar reports elsewhere. I think that deliberately killing hundreds of civilians is a war crime. If you can convince me otherwise, I'll change this part of my sig to read "Rumsfeld orders the deaths of innocent Iraqi civilians but it's ok; its not a war crime."

    The arguments you offer are silly. What Clinton and Cohen did or did not do, and what you think Castro and Hitler might have thought about Kennedy and Roosevelt, have nothing to do with the conduct of Bush and Rumsfeld.

    * * *
    Bush is a liar, Rumsfeld a war criminal.
    [ Parent ]

    Silly ? (none / 1) (#307)
    by kurioszyn on Sun May 02, 2004 at 02:55:50 PM EST

    "I think that deliberately killing hundreds of civilians is a war crime."

    There are plenty of people who thought Kosovo excursion was completely unnecessary and since quite few civilians died there as well as a result of our bombings, one could just as easily argue that Clinton was a war criminal.

    "What Clinton and Cohen did or did not do, and what you think Castro and Hitler might have thought about Kennedy and Roosevelt, have nothing to do with the conduct of Bush and Rumsfeld."

    No, it simply illustrates that for some people what constitutes a war crime depends entirely on who is committing the alleged act.


    [ Parent ]

    I agree with (none / 0) (#353)
    by baseball on Mon May 03, 2004 at 01:07:23 AM EST

    the last sentence in your post.

    So tell me, is Bush a liar or stupid? Is Rumsfeld a war criminal or just a guy who has approved 50 missions expected to kill 30 civilians each?

    * * *
    Bush is a liar, Rumsfeld a war criminal.
    [ Parent ]

    we cannot convince you (none / 0) (#375)
    by emmons on Mon May 03, 2004 at 03:23:05 AM EST

    I imagine that you have never liked Bush or his administration and are unwilling to give it the benefit of the doubt. You were likely against the war from the beginning and I doubt that you could give a convincing explaination of why some believe the war to be a noble and just cuase.

    Am I right?

    If so, it is nearly impossible to convince you that any of your ideas about the administration or this war may be wrong or incomplete. To do so, you would have to have to make an honest and open-minded effort to understand why other people believe what they do. That's something you have to do on your own, we can't do it for you.

    I believe that kurioszyn's point is not so much that you're wrong in regards to Bush and Rumsfeld, but that you seem to hold a double standard simply because you don't understand this president and thus don't trust him. Every president that we've had has been a liar and every defense secretary has been a war criminal.

    ---
    In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
    -Douglas Adams

    [ Parent ]

    You cannot convince me (none / 0) (#417)
    by baseball on Mon May 03, 2004 at 10:54:26 PM EST

    if you don't offer any substantive support for your position. Your incorrect speculation about my beliefs is not persuasive. I've explained why I believe Bush is a liar and Rumsfeld is a war criminal. Tell me why I'm wrong or admit, even if just to yourself, that you cannot.

    BTW, your post is an excellent example of what's wrong with political discourse in the US. Instead of offering substantive arguments, people just accuse those with whom they disagree of being mindless party drones. Why can't I, for example, honestly hold the belief that it was wrong for Rumsfeld to order at least 50 strikes that were expected to kill at least 30 innocent Iraqi civilians each?

    * * *
    Bush is a liar, Rumsfeld a war criminal.
    [ Parent ]

    I cannot convince you (none / 0) (#421)
    by emmons on Tue May 04, 2004 at 12:35:23 AM EST

    You're right, I cannot convince you that you're wrong if I don't try. I'm not going to try because I don't disagree with you. Reread my post, I said that every president is a liar and every defense secretary could be considered a war criminal, didn't I? That kinda includes Bush and Rumsfeld. I beleive that was kurioszyn's point as well.

    What I meant in my most recent post is that even if I did disagree with you, I wouldn't be able to convince you of anything because you probably wouldn't be open-minded enough to try to understand my point of view. Most people aren't, on either side of any issue.

    What is wrong with political discourse in the US today is that neither side of any issue respects the other side enough to make an attempt at understanding why they believe what they do, or to even give them the benefit of the doubt. Neither side trusts that the other just might be at least a little bit right and hence neither is willing to comprime on anything or even get try to get along. It turns into a fight, not a discussion.

    ---
    In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
    -Douglas Adams

    [ Parent ]

    That prison is like The Shining hotel. (none / 1) (#247)
    by waxmop on Sat May 01, 2004 at 10:01:14 PM EST

    There's a bad H.P. Lovecraft short story to be written here. Perhaps that prison had become psychically polluted by all the horrible tortures and killings that have happened there. The US soldiers went in as normal decent people, but were driven to sadism and madness by the accumulated negative energy trapped there, just like how the hotel in The Shining drove Jack Nicholson mad.

    Then, once the rest of the Army closes the place down and empties it, the invisible evil Cthulhu monsters that have been feeding off all the pain and suffering generated in the prison will then start searching for new sources.
    --
    Long-term consequences of Bush deficits

    Lovecraft? (none / 1) (#357)
    by handslikesnakes on Mon May 03, 2004 at 01:23:41 AM EST

    I can't think of anything about this that is even remotely Lovecraftian.

    The Shining, OK. However, I would like to use this opportunity to point out that Stephen King is a shitty writer.



    [ Parent ]
    C'mon... (none / 1) (#420)
    by waxmop on Mon May 03, 2004 at 11:18:31 PM EST

    What is it about this site that makes everyone so argumentative? There's several H.P. Lovecraft stories that cover similiar ground; for example, that story where the Nazi submarine captain notices his crew slowly going insane, or the one about the American returning to the abandoned family estate and he discovers a cavern underneath full of the ruins of some evil society and he eventually goes mad. Call of Cthulhu starts with a skeptic trying to investigate some mysteries with a scientific approach and then discovers the truth.

    Just to be specific, here's the similarities I see:

    • Morally upright people are corrupted and slowly became violent and insane;
    • Agnostic westerners witness ancient supernatural evils;
    • Elder gods are appeased with sacrifice;
    Happy now?
    --
    Long-term consequences of Bush deficits

    [ Parent ]
    OK, I'm down with those 3 examples (none / 2) (#425)
    by handslikesnakes on Tue May 04, 2004 at 05:32:27 AM EST

    But your original post wasn't very Lovecraft. He'd smack people upside the head for writing about things like psychic pollution and "negative energies".

    Hmmm, now that I think of it I can't really think of any examples where people are corrupted without it being their fault somehow. For example. the submarine (WWI IIRC, so no Nazis) killed a bunch of people it shouldn't have, Charles Dexter Ward was up to some pretty nasty stuff before he got possessed and Captain Obed Marsh made love to the fishes.

    Everybody ends up insane, of course.

    (as for argumentativeness, I just like to be confrontational because I can't in the real world. nothing personal.)



    [ Parent ]
    If it was only a joke, I approve (nt) (none / 0) (#478)
    by Kuranes on Sun May 09, 2004 at 04:27:07 AM EST




    Gentlemen, Chicolini here may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you: he really is an idiot.
    [ Parent ]
    i hope that (none / 1) (#288)
    by vivelame on Sun May 02, 2004 at 06:48:21 AM EST

    all the soldiers names will be released.
    Lots of Iraqis will be very happy to erect monuments to them, with warm thanks for "the morons who lost the war".

    --
    Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
    How about this for a start (none / 0) (#385)
    by emwi on Mon May 03, 2004 at 09:14:17 AM EST

    According to this story, the woman's name on those picture is Lynndie England, the man's name is Charles A. Graner. The other 5 suspects are:
    Ivan L. Frederick II, Javal Davis, Megan Ambuhl, Sabrina Harman and Jeremy Sivits.
    Spread the names, let anyone know that they are suspected torturers and murderers with a quick google search.

    [ Parent ]
    George Bush Should... (2.75 / 4) (#289)
    by OldCoder on Sun May 02, 2004 at 07:38:11 AM EST

    President Bush should send Secretary Rumsfeld and A/G Ashcroft to Iraq to kick some butt. On the plane, they should write some kick-ass Fire and Brimstone speeches for delivery to the US forces in Iraq, and especially to the prison system.

    Heads have to roll. Soldiers must be sentenced, and that includes officers.

    One problem I have with the story is my initial suspicion that the whole thing is a fake. All the pictures I've seen have the faces hidden, so I suspect the people in the pictures are drunken US soldiers, not Iraqis. Some enlisted men would just love to piss off their officers that way. I only wish. Nevertheless, several officers, including General Karpinsksi, have been relieved of duty.

    This story has serious policy implications. For example, how do US troops get Iraqis in Fallujah to surrender? And if they can't, that means more combat and more human death.

    The New Yorker has a Seymour Hersh article, which I found extremely upsetting. A couple of points

    1. The crimes happened in October to December 2003. They've kept it quiet a few months.
    2. Both military and US government civilians had authority in the prison, plus a few contractors.
    3. Much of the day-to-day management of the prisoners was abdicated to Army military-intelligence units and civilian contract employees.
    4. The Military Police have humane and safe ways of managing prisoners but were overruled by others.
    5. One of the accused soldiers, Chip Frederick had also worked for six years as a guard for the Virginia Department of Corrections.
    6. The Army has had time to write several in-depth reports on the problem and one culprit is the widespread under-training and ineptitude of the soldiers on duty.
    7. The photographic evidence is very graphic and emotive, but is not really informative, and doesn't even prove a crime. If you had just shown me the photos and asked me to guess what it was, I'd have said gay US soldiers hiding their faces under the "Don't ask don't tell" policy.
    8. Why were the faces of the Iraqis hidden and the Americans shown? If you want to humiliate somebody, why not show their face in the photo?
    9. The report by General Taguba is more important than the photos, and more damning, because it takes in other evidence, including testimony. It may also include photos not made public.


    --
    By reading this signature, you have agreed.
    Copyright © 2003 OldCoder
    Seymour Hersh on Wulf Blitzer's Late Edition (3.00 / 7) (#303)
    by mami on Sun May 02, 2004 at 02:00:36 PM EST

    says he has more information, which he still is investigating on. The story is by no means over.

    This article shows that the main question is in how far those "interogation methods" were ordered or at least encouraged by the Army Military Intelligence officers.

    I doubt that sending A/G Ashcroft and Rumsfeld to Iraq to "kick ass" would convince anybody. Contrary, I am pretty sure, it would backfire.

    They were the ones, who wanted "results", when it came to questions of endless, secretive interogations of prisoners in Guantanomo Bay.

    They were never shy in the past to show "a strong and resolved hand" when it comes to "bring the prisoners to justice". May be you can't read the language your administration uses, but people with more sensitive ears can.

    Guantanamo Bay is certainly not a shining example to prove the administration's intentions to defend human rights of their prisoners.

    So, the last thing I would do, is to send Rumsfeld and Ashcroft to put up a show "to convince the world" that "they had never in mind to losen up their prisoners with questionable interogation procedures". Nobody will believe them anymore, you can rest assured.

    What is for one person an "acceptable interogation method" is for another a violation of the Geneva Conventions. Fact is that the methods used, were clearly meant to deeply humiliate and scare Arab prisoners. Apparently one prisoner died during interrogations and his body was secretely smuggled out of the prison on a stretcher with an IV to simulate a wounded or sick person, just to be dumped outside the prison. I can't believe that Seymour would make such a claim on CNN without having proof.

    [ Parent ]

    Hersh' article (none / 0) (#321)
    by Norwegian Blue on Sun May 02, 2004 at 04:55:47 PM EST

    The new article of Seymour Hersh  is published on this week's edition of the NewYorker .

    It's thorough, and that's the way I like it.

    [ Parent ]

    my mistake (none / 0) (#322)
    by Norwegian Blue on Sun May 02, 2004 at 05:00:59 PM EST

    the link was already mentioned.

    [ Parent ]
    Convince Anybody? (none / 0) (#377)
    by OldCoder on Mon May 03, 2004 at 04:44:52 AM EST

    It is most important to convince US intelligence officers and military police that they have to obey the rules. Direct command from high officials is absolutely required. Hierarchical organizations like the government and especially the military can by turned in new directions very quickly but only if the orders come from the top. Strong corrective action by the top leadership would not backfire, it would result in immediate obedience.

    A strong and resolved hand to bring perpetrators to justice does not mean the sort of abuse described in the Times or the New Yorker. I don't know who ever did use the phrase "A strong and resolved hand" to "bring the prisoners to justice". What are you quoting here?

    I never used the other phrases you quoted, especially "convince the world" or "they had never in mind...".

    There are still some unanswered questions raised by the photos. Why were the prisoners hooded and the guards shown? Why does it look more like some kinky sort of get together than punishment? How does it ever happen that women are assigned to guard or supervise male prisoners? Do they have males guarding female prisoners? Why in hell is the female soldier in the photos smiling? Why is she pointing to the genital area of the hooded man?

    I don't doubt Hersh's story of the dead Iraqi being snuck out. The story fails to tell us how the man died other than as the result of "Stress". It also fails to tell us why in hell did they photograph the body?

    I agree that it is obvious that "The methods used were clearly meant to deeply humiliate and scare Arab prisoners", as you say. But sometimes what is obvious isn't true. It also seems highly likely that the MP guards or the MI interrogators were evil, stupid, or crazy.

    --
    By reading this signature, you have agreed.
    Copyright © 2003 OldCoder
    [ Parent ]

    Chain of command (none / 0) (#380)
    by mami on Mon May 03, 2004 at 08:28:03 AM EST

    I assume you refer to the chain of command and, of course, I agree with you that the chain of command has to function properly and according to the rules of the Geneva conventions. That's the chain of command within the military. It should be a given that the civilians in the Pentagon and the administration would have to support international law, when it comes to issues like acceptable interogation methods and psychological torture in context with the Geneva Conventions.

    But the problem is that psychological abuse in context with interogation methods of alledged terrorists (and we don't know, if the prisoners abused were mainly civilians or mainly "insurgents" - whatever this stupid word is supposed to mean - )are not clearly defined.

    There is room for interpretation, obviously. What one country considers "acceptable softening up methods during interogations of POW" is a violation of human rights and dignity according to the Geneva Conventions for another country. Wasn't that the whole reason why the status of "enemy combatant" was invented by the adminstration. Mess up some definitions and, bingo, we are in a lawless space, where a lot of things go that shouldn't go.

    You don't seem to remember the discussions in the US media a couple of months ago. Amazingly it was absolutely alright for such respected lawyers as Alan Dershowitz to promote openly the idea in the media that torture for suspected terroris prisoners might be permissible. The whole issue has been discussed here and some government officials, according to this, had no problems in saying: "If you don't violate someone's human rights some of the time, you probably aren't doing your job ...".

    And like any other average low rank enlisted soldier, "not doing your job" is out of the question for them, because it's life threatening to them. They can't mess up their career. So, they do, what they think is expected of them. Apparently they thought that those kind of methods to break the prisoners were expected of them.

    It doesn't take much to bring a bunch of soldiers to the point where they think "they are doing their job" when in fact they are abusing laws and their prisoners.

    The quotes I gave were no "one time quotes". They were fragments of phrases, President Bush, A/G Ashcrof and Rumsfeld have used over and over in the past in several of their speeches. The same way it is acceptable for the administration to use words like "thugs, killers, evildoers and other vocabulary you would normally NOT expect from highest government officials", it has become acceptable to think loudly about some sorts of torture to be potentially an acceptable tool.

    Many people in the world have observed this change in official language from the administration and silently wondered where that would lead to. To turn that around and change it now from people, who have promoted this language before, is quite difficult and not convincing.

    I remember how upset I was when I followed the discussions in the media month ago. I am sure I was not alone. It's not forgotten easily.

    With regards to the actual story. If it really should turn out that those images were doctored, the testimony of the witnesses not reliable, then you can just say that the media have sunken so deep into shit, we can stop the conversation right now.

    If the New Yorker magazine writes about allegations that are completely doctored, then we better all go home. It would be the same as if Bob Woodward would write for the purpose of getting into the limelight. I don't have any trust in British tabloid newspapers - but so far - I thought that the New Yorker would write just things they can prove.

    Anyhow, the damage is done, whatever the investigations will reveal, craziness and stupidity of the few or not.

    [ Parent ]

    Dershowitz's torture warrants (none / 0) (#400)
    by geoswan on Mon May 03, 2004 at 01:09:17 PM EST

    You don't seem to remember the discussions in the US media a couple of months ago. Amazingly it was absolutely alright for such respected lawyers as Alan Dershowitz to promote openly the idea in the media that torture for suspected terroris prisoners might be permissible. The whole issue has been discussed here and some government officials, according to this, had no problems in saying: "If you don't violate someone's human rights some of the time, you probably aren't doing your job ...".

    I heard Dershowitz interviewed about his controversial idea of instituting a procedure for issuing "torture warrants", that would have been similar to search warrants and wiretap warrants.

    I didn't like the idea at the time. I still don't like it. But I must admit it seems more foresightful now.

    I also think you misunderstood him. Dershowitz is a lawyer. And if I understood him correctly he thought it was necessary to institute a formal, controlled procedure for regulating torture, so that there was some kind of oversight, and audit trail.

    If I understood the Dershowitz proposal then there would have been none of this "Oh, good thing we never entered this guy into the logbook, because now that we beat him to death we can just dump the body without an autopsy."

    You seem to be suggesting that since Dershowitz openly suggested a procedure for using torture that implied the idea was generally acceptable. Let me repeat -- Dershowitz knew the idea was very controversial. And he suggested it be reserved as a last resort. The ticking time bomb cliche used in the movies was the example he gave.

    Seymour Hersh's New Yorker article says General Taguba's report was blunt about the failures of some senior officers. But I was shocked at the lightness of the actions Tagube proposed against these officers. Administrative reprimands -- not jail time -- not even a dishonourable discharge.

    The actions of these prison guards, now that they are known, may mean that the deaths of all the occupiers and all the Iraqis who have died were wasted. It may mean that Iraq will remain ungovernable by the Americans. Your average Iraqi may now distrust America more now than they did under Saddam.

    It seems to me that the only hope the USA has of saving face is a truly visible and open house cleaning of the MI personnel, in addition to the MPs. It sounds as if the MI personnel were the ones who were doing the real tortures that left rooms with walls coated in blood. If the USA is wants to be taken seriously these guys should receive the maximum sentence the UCMJ allows.

    Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, that whole crowd who let their ideology trump the intelligence reports of cooler heads, they have to go. Will Rumsfeld plead that he had nothing to do with this? Who would believe him?

    Who authorized the hiring of civilian interrogation specialists in the first place?

    [ Parent ]

    You are right (none / 0) (#403)
    by mami on Mon May 03, 2004 at 03:35:56 PM EST

    I missed to understand that Dershowitz' concern might have been to develop a controlled interogation procedure of highly dangerous terrorists via "torture warrants". I don't recall that in detail, but I certainly am willing to believe your claim.

    I remember Dershowitz being thoughtful and don't believe he by himself was careless or reckless in discussing his controversial idea in public. But I thought that he had definitely engaged in a very dangerous media spectacle.

    I remember that all of the sudden it was ok for other persons to discuss the option of torture in certain interogation cases of terrorists, as if it were nothing at all. Those persons didn't have the same moral and legal restraints I am sure Dershowitz puts on himself.

    So you can say that he acted as a catalyst to bring the idea of torture in terrorist interogations into the mainstream thinking of other media talking heads and the public, of which parts are always willing to accept the harshest violations of human rights for some self-righteous reasons.

    I am not sure if I would have risked such a public discussion, if I were Dershowitz, but anyhow the abuses could have happened in any case, with or without Dershowitz' thinking out loud the option of torture for terrorist interogations.

    [ Parent ]

    Send them over! (none / 0) (#387)
    by crunchycookies on Mon May 03, 2004 at 10:12:20 AM EST

    I am all for sending Chaney, Rumsfeld, Perle, Wolfowitz, and the rest of the NeoCons over there. They could explain to the Iraqi people that we are only there to help. With their superior powers of persuasion they would soon bring this war to an end. They would, no doubt, be showered with flowers for their effort. Bush could go over for the parade to see the millions of enthusiastic Iraqis. It would be glorious!

    Also, there would be no need for body guards of bullet proof vests. Those just show you up to be a sissy.



    [ Parent ]

    Investigation? Ya, Israeli Investigation (none / 2) (#388)
    by crunchycookies on Mon May 03, 2004 at 10:19:51 AM EST

    Investigator: Who did the killing?

    Answer: Our guys.

    Investigator: Who did the dying?

    Answer: Arabs.

    Conclusion: Nothing wrong, end of investigation.

    [ Parent ]

    What does he mean, "if"? (2.80 / 5) (#361)
    by slaida1 on Mon May 03, 2004 at 01:51:12 AM EST

    "If we can't hold ourselves up as an example of how to treat people with dignity and respect, we can't ask that other nations do that to our soldiers", says Brigadier General Mark Kimmett, deputy director of operations for the US military in Iraq

    What's that "if" doing there? They can't hold themselves as example. Not before, not now and I believe not in the future either. When wardogs with substandard morals go fight, there's no ifs there about dignity and respect because there is none.

    There's only PR.

    And now for the Real Story. . . (1.05 / 18) (#376)
    by Fantastic Lad on Mon May 03, 2004 at 04:43:14 AM EST

    Gee? Torture and Abuse at the Hands of the Occupying Force?

    Say it isn't so!

    Give me a damned break. How many people SERIOUSLY thought this wasn't going to happen? This is ALWAYS how it goes. ALWAYS. When you send boys off to kill, terrorize and traumatize each other, you are forcing them to Jacob's Ladder down to the core savage within. I defy any one of you to go into Iraq's boiler of hate and fear and not be seriously, SERIOUSLY messed up within a few short weeks. To think that the killing and brutality will remain within the 'acceptable' boundaries of nationally sanctioned violence is completely insane.

    The question which should be asked is why the Zionist controlled media, (and yes, the media is without any doubt controled by Jewish interests), chose now to release these stories. The answer is pretty obvious, I think. But then, I've been looking at this whole thing from a perspective most people shy the hell away from; namely that this conflict is a very deliberate and planned engine through which the population of the world is hoped to be reduced by several BILLION people before the comets come and blow the shit out of us.

    Basically, there wasn't enough force of will or general insanity within the U.S. to extend the conflict into the rest of the Middle East via opening fronts on Syria and Iran. So the Zionists released these images into the public domain so that the rest of the Arab world is goaded further toward a suicidal rage. Keep the hate flame burning, right? Maybe get some more terrorist attacks happening, (possibly even a few which are perpetrated by actual angry Muslims and not the fricking secret government). Who knows? It seems to work in Israel.

    This conflict will broaden and the whole of the Middle East will be engulfed. Or at least, that's the plan. You never know how things will really go. Spain was a cool little reversal. The good guys can still surprise you!

    We can only watch and learn.

    -FL

    to all the evil capitalist pigs modding this down (none / 0) (#440)
    by rmg on Tue May 04, 2004 at 01:50:29 PM EST

    you're nothing but dupe account shills for the media elite. you have no place here.

    ----

    dave dean
    [ Parent ]

    More pictures (none / 0) (#378)
    by Argon on Mon May 03, 2004 at 06:25:51 AM EST

    Don't realy know if this ones are fake. Take them with a grain of salt.

    Be warned that the link includes pictures of alleged rapes and are a bit graphic.

    Link

    probably fake (none / 1) (#431)
    by mulligan on Tue May 04, 2004 at 08:20:19 AM EST

    According to an article in the German online magazine telepolis the female rape pictures came from a pr0n site (no link or other proof though).

    [ Parent ]
    We are becoming just like Israel! (1.16 / 6) (#386)
    by crunchycookies on Mon May 03, 2004 at 10:01:43 AM EST

    Torture, humiliation, wholesale murder, and worse; we are becoming just like Israel.

    They always promise to "investigate". Unfortunately, it is always an "Israeli Investigation". Was it our guys that did the killing? Was it Arabs that did the dying? Then everything was OK, end of investigation.

    We are rapidly joining Israel as the most despised nation on earth. Let us end this war and get this monkey (Israel) off our back.



    Oh no! (none / 1) (#404)
    by lordDogma on Mon May 03, 2004 at 04:33:09 PM EST

    We're becoming just like Israel! Oh no! We all know that Israel is the most evil country on the planet!

    (And as far as the Palestinian dissidents who keep disappearing - ssshhhhhh! Don't tell anyone about the torture being carried out by the PA! We must make the PA out to be angels!)

    http://web.amnesty.org/pages/ua-30years-eng

    [ Parent ]

    Oh yeah (none / 0) (#469)
    by milican on Thu May 06, 2004 at 05:47:53 PM EST

    Well we hate the terrorists for sending in kids to their graves. Strapped with dynamite these people sacrifice themselves for some brainwashed power hungry cleric who distorts religion as a means to an end. If the cause was so important and noble you would think a cleric would blow his own ass up. Anyway, then they sail their planes into our buildings, blow up people in Madrid and Israel... yeah... lets just sit back and take it in the ass.

    If someone comes up to you and hits you in the face what are you gonna do? Maybe take a few hits, but eventually you should hit back, or at least regroup and come back... When people are threatening a war with your nation and will do anything to destabilize it and kill innocent civilians you cannot pretend it will go away. I applaud Bush's efforts and courage to say enough is enough.

    JOhn

    [ Parent ]

    Don't pick either evil (none / 0) (#475)
    by cgenman on Sat May 08, 2004 at 09:57:47 PM EST

    If country A is a militant radical religious organization engaging in the unofficial assassination of members of country B, you don't necessarily go run and support the militant radical religious country B engaging in official assassinations of country A.

    Remember, the Palestinian TERRORISTS!!! don't care about us.  What do they have against Europe and the US?  It's Israel's fight.  Israel has chosen to fight it far outside of the boundaries of acceptable behavior.  If both sides are going to venture into the realm of warcrimes, then neither side deserves our help.

     
    - This Sig is a mnemonic device designed to allow you to recognize this author in the future. This is only a device.
    [ Parent ]

    No, really? (none / 3) (#406)
    by megid on Mon May 03, 2004 at 05:44:09 PM EST

    Soldiers torture? How unusual, if they are just western. Fuck, those are people whose fucking JOB it is to KILL other people. But hey, if they are our boys they wont dare doing something so devilish as torture, wont they?

    Oh and those "commercial contractors" who to a big part consist of former soldiers and mercenaries, they are different, of course, arent they?

    --
    "think first, write second, speak third."

    From an ex-U.S. Marine (3.00 / 7) (#424)
    by Fantastic Lad on Tue May 04, 2004 at 03:24:45 AM EST

    I ran just across this article by an ex U.S. Marine, and I thought it was worth re-posting here, as it addresses well the manner in which most of America seems to be reacting to the torture stories coming from Iraq. . .
    All the talk in the media about the treatment of Iraqi prisoners and the rape of Iraqi women has me remembering my days in the U.S. Marine Corps.

    A couple things in particular struck me. Number one, the idea that the U.S. military is a "value-based organization". And the second thing being that the people who did what has been reported and photographed to the Iraqi prisoners were only a small deviant minority and in no way are representative of the majority of the military.

    Back during my first year in the USMC, one thing stuck out in my mind that relates directly to the above topics. In all of our training, be it Boot Camp, Infantry School, or on-going regular unit training, we were taught two things in particular. Number one, we were taught to be extremely aggressive on command. The level of aggression taught is unprecedented in "civil" society where only the most violent criminals display the level expected from U.S. Marines. And second, we were taught to be smart while we were being aggressive. This latter teaching involved overcoming our own normal fears and instinctive reactions so that we could more efficiently channel our aggresion towards killing the enemy while sustaining minimal casualties ourselves. These two things combined make a truly deadly combination, even without "modern" weapons.

    Sometime during our initial training, we were schooled in how to behave generally. We were told morals. We were told how to be "honorable" and "just". But what stuck out was that I could see that what we were being told about these things did not fit well at all with the aggression and the killing smarts that we were being taught elsewhere in our training. And probably you can guess where the emphasis lay. On one hand we should be deadly and savage killing machines, and on the other hand we should be polite, honorable, and reserved. Clearly these two worlds do not match. And the one that was tied to survival and "winning" would surely be the one that would "win out" over the other.

    This was particularly clear to me when I spent about a year on a USMC base in Okinawa, Japan. You've probably all heard about the problems they've had with rapes and assaults on Japanese Nationals in Okinawa from U.S. servicemen. I watched myself and the other men in my unit as we trained hard on how to best kill the enemy, and then in the evenings we went out into town and were expected to behave like civil gentleman and treat others as human beings. Often I was shocked at the irony of the situation. The ONLY thing that deterred us from being MORE aggressive in town was the fact that the Japanese Police were as tough as we were and they had weapons and were allowed by law to use any amount of force they wanted to.

    In Boot Camp, we were subjected to a great many humiliating experiences, including doing things in the nude. These things were a part of the brainwashing techniques applied to the recruits and also included things like sleep deprivation and severe stress. Please note, THESE THINGS WERE DONE TO RECRUITS! It is only natural that some of us would go on to use some of those same techniques on others, including on other Marines. To say that members of the military who do these things to others only represents a small number of deviants is hogwash. We were all TAUGHT these things by having them done to us!

    And not only were we taught to do these kinds of things, in many cases we were encouraged, sometimes even by tradition. For instance, when an enlisted man gained rank, all other enlisted men of the same rank or higher in the unit were expected to abuse the newly promoted man in a certain way. For E-3 and E-2, we were to be punched in each shoulder. I became a Lance Corporal (E-3) while in Okinawa in a unit of about forty enlisted men with all but about a half dozen of them E- 3 or above. More than thirty Marines literally lined up in a double row while I walked down the middle and stood still while two of them punched me in the shoulder at the same time, one on each side. I have pictures of the bruises that literally wrapped around the top of my arms 360 degrees! And most men considered these bruises marks of honor! I couldn't move my arms for a week. When a Marine was promoted to Corporal (E-4), then not only was the shoulder punched, but the sides of the knees were kicked, too. It was normal for many newly promoted corporals to spend a week or two in the hospital right after being promoted. When I gained the rank of Corporal three months before leaving the USMC, I was willing to fight to keep from getting hit or kicked and so they mostly left me alone.

    To further demonstrate the point, I would like to relate something graphic that was a weekly ritual for awhile in my last unit. Every week we went to the armory and checked out our weapons and cleaned them. During my first several months in this particular unit, there was a group of Marines in the unit who had been with each other for quite some time. I was a part of an influx of newer members to the unit and most all of us "newbies" were of less rank than the other guys and we had not formed a close bond with anyone else like the "older" ones had with each other. We would all take our weapons outside into a fenced-in area around the armory and disassemble them on wooden tables and clean them for an hour or more. During this time, the "older" guys decided it would be fun to humiliate the "newbies". Two of them would sneak up to one of us and hold the person bent over and prone across the table. A third Marine would run up and pretend to have sex with the held down Marine. After witnessing this behavior, I was mortified, to say the least. I did NOT want it to happen to me for obvious reasons. But there wasn't much we could do about it. Our leaders didn't care and considered it just "play" among the troops. I managed to avoid being targeted because I pretended to the perpetrators that I might actually enjoy it and for some reason that bothered them so they avoided me.

    To make a long story longer, what I have said above is only the tip of the ice berg. I could go on for pages and pages and I was only a Marine for four years. Now consider that these were things that we did to EACH OTHER! And on a regular, EVERYDAY basis! These were not "isolated incidents" among a few deviants. These are the "values" that we put into practice on an organization-wide scale. This is the "inside story" behind all the flag waving and heroic tales of courage and valor. This is the real military man behind the red, white, and blue embroidered curtain. THESE are the people who are now handing out "freedom" and "liberation" and "democracy".

    Now taking this all into account, just imagine for a minute what would happen with servicemen who had almost absolute power over a group of prisoners, people who are "foreigners" and considered enemies. Remember, military members are taught to kill enemies which means that enemies must be faceless lumps of flesh to be shot at, they are not real human beings. If the servicemen were trained to abuse each other who they saw as "brothers-in-arms", just imagine how they would treat those who were seen as foreigners and enemies and who they had real power over. It is truly chilling to consider. And with all the new reports, we don't even have to imagine anymore.

    -FL

    What website ? (none / 0) (#439)
    by spartaqus on Tue May 04, 2004 at 12:36:02 PM EST

    Where did this article come from ?

    [ Parent ]
    Originated here. . . (none / 0) (#447)
    by Fantastic Lad on Tue May 04, 2004 at 07:46:41 PM EST

    Looks like a letter sent in from a reader of this site

    -FL

    [ Parent ]

    Read Jarhead if you don't believe this guy. (none / 1) (#445)
    by waxmop on Tue May 04, 2004 at 04:57:12 PM EST

    Anyway, I don't really think the abuse happened because bored soldiers didn't get enough supervision. I think it's more likely that it was part of the interrogation process.
    --
    Long-term consequences of Bush deficits

    [ Parent ]
    Had Me Going Until... (none / 0) (#468)
    by milican on Thu May 06, 2004 at 05:37:53 PM EST

    Kicked in the knees... people routinely in the hospital for weeks? Yeah right. All this from a post  with no names on where it originated? Sounds fishy.

    JOhn

    [ Parent ]

    Reenactment of how quickly we forget the reason (2.25 / 12) (#438)
    by K5 ASCII reenactment players on Tue May 04, 2004 at 10:48:33 AM EST

           /     _/
          /     //#\
           *  /(/##|
          \__/ /##/ 
           |--/###
           |###### 
         
    Paw! A big floppy   God DAMN it, now
    booby! It burns     I have to ass rape
    paw, oh, it burns!  me an Iraqi boy.     
      /                         \


    CACI says he is doing a "damn fine job" (none / 0) (#466)
    by geoswan on Thu May 06, 2004 at 05:13:50 PM EST

    The Washington Post has an article about CACI's response to the allegations the interogators they supplied to help interrogate the detainees caused the death of one of his subjects. The CEO says that they have not received a copy of the Taguba report, and so far as they know, the guy in question is doing a damn fine job.

    The article says that CACI has four interrogators at that prison.

    Rumsfeld's excuse (none / 0) (#482)
    by plutronic on Sun May 16, 2004 at 04:56:08 PM EST

    Rumsfeld excused the torture, in part, by forcefully arguing that it does not represent american culture. He forgets that the torture under Hussain was not representative of iraqi culture. What he said is not a defence, it is a truism. It does mitigate the scale of the crime or the guilt of the guilty.

    -------sig----
    DeCSS
    A Privatisation Too Far: Mercenaries and Torture in Iraq | 484 comments (466 topical, 18 editorial, 4 hidden)
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