Abu Ghraib: More

Seymour Hersh has more details on the Abu Ghraib torture scandal, drawing on a 53-page report by Major General Antonio M. Taguba:

Taguba's report listed some of the wrongdoing:

Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees; pouring cold water on naked detainees; beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair; threatening male detainees with rape; allowing a military police guard to stitch the wound of a detainee who was injured after being slammed against the wall in his cell; sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick, and using military working dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees with threats of attack, and in one instance actually biting a detainee.

But the most disturbing information that Taguba uncovered and Hersh has brought to light is the extent to which the moral rot at Abu Ghraib infected officers and indeed the very culture of the place, not just the six grunts on the dock. In Hersh's words, this "abuse of prisoners seemed almost routine -- a fact of Army life that the soldiers felt no need to hide."

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  • ||

    Wood-chippers? It was a plastic shredder, and it was bullshit*, anyway. But good to see what this liberation has come to: so long as we murder and torture less than Saddam did, hoo-fucking-ray for us. Jesus, what a pack of moral vermin this war has drawn out.

    *http://www.antiwar.com/spectator/spec36.html

  • ||

    Hey so they can work for the NYPD when they get back. Awesome. I figured that was a likely scenario.

    Just thing when all these folks go back. A few are going to go to law enforcement. That is going to be fun.

  • Gimme Back My Dog||

    Our purpose for being there is to show the Muslim world that freedom and democracy would greatly improve their life. Saying that our brand of torture is less unpleasant than Saddam's brand of torture is not enough to accomplish that goal.

  • ||

    I think the real problem here is the rabid anti-Muslim sentiment that's been manufactured here in the US for the past 2 and a half years. People've become convinced that they are all "evil doers" that must be "punished". The American propaganda machine has dehumanized them to the point that our own people have become inhuman.

    I doubt seriously that many of the soldiers involved would have ever done anything like this if not for the character of US propagandizing.

  • ||

    I've heard stories from a former cop friend of mine that lead me to believe that all of this except for the sodomy and beatings are the norm in the states, and there is a known about subculture of turnkeys that engage in those activities as well. It wouldn't surprise me at all if some of these folks came from corrections in the states.

    As a side note, I really wish they would separate intimidation (guess what, prisoners should be intimidated) from acts of violence. Trying to scare a prisoner into behaving is even in the same galaxy as sodomizing him. For anyone involved, I hope they enjoy being on the other side in Leavenworth. There is something Hammurabically appealing about that thought.

  • ||

    ... is NOT even in the same galaxy ...

  • ||

    "I understand that all these guards, and their commanding General, are Democrats"

    What kind of stupid shit is that?

    I have no appreciable love for democrats or liberals (any more than I have for republicans & conservatives).

    But that statement is so moronic it blows my mind. Just where did you hear THAT? If it was that juicy, why didn't you post a link to the source?

    Is it some stupid hyperbole from Ann Coulter or Hannity that you're posting as truth?

    I come to this site because most people who post here are driven by facts, logic, sense, commitment to freedom and intellectual honesty about what they believe.

    But that statement has to be one of the most idiotic I've seen in a while.

  • ||

    The "American propaganda machine" has been trying to convince us that all Muslims are evildoers? WHAT!? How many billion times now have we heard the president and other government officials talk about how Islam is a religion of peace and we should not paint all Muslims with the same brush as Bin Laden and company? Sorry but I have yet to hear one government official, one news report, one commercial, one song, one book, or one television show try to make the case that all Muslims are our enemies. I've heard the opposite repeated countless times. Well I take it back, there was the one Anne Coulter comment about conversion to Christianity, and she was universally criticized for it.
    The guards at this prison should and will be punished for what they did, but to paint this as "the US government wants us to hate all Muslims" is bullshit.

  • ||

    Our government is discrediting the many good traits of America that the Iraqis would do well to emulate. This is more disgusting evidence that the US government is perpetuating Sadam's legacy of, "might makes right".

    Those who are sanguine about this disgrace should reconsider, out of self interest if not ethical compulsion, since history is replete with examples of abuse that is suffered by foreign enemies of the state later being visited upon dissent at home.

    "Liberating" one of the many nations of the world that has a brutal regime wasn't sufficient pretext for our government's undertaking of this mission.
    Our government actually gives big money to some of the nations with brutal regimes.

    Bring our military home from this disgrace now before any more die without just cause.

  • ||

    OK, can I stop pretending that the country I live in, the good ole US of A, stands for Liberty and Justice for all? Or do I need to keep pretending that 2 plus 2 equals 5. Please whatever you do, don't read Orwell. Nevernding war, War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery. Can I stop acting surprised now?

    (PS, "Frederick, at thirty-seven, was far older than his colleagues, and was a natural leader; he had also worked for six years as a guard for the Virginia Department of Corrections." I suppose I am supposed to pretend that we don't torture our inmates in this country either?)

  • ||

    Well I guess that answers my question about the broomstick.

  • Phil||

    I doubt seriously that many of the soldiers involved would have ever done anything like this if not for the character of US propagandizing.

    Nonsense. Characterization of Muslims both by the government and in the culture hasn't even begun to approach the way we treated the Japanese during WWII (watch some old Bugs Bunny cartoons for cues), and yet me managed to torture neither interned Japanese-Americans in the U.S. nor Japanese POWs in the Pacific theater. (For fun, compare and contrast how they treated American POWs.) Whatever has happened here, you can't chalk it up to "rabid anti-Muslim propaganda."

  • ||

    madpad, I understand your cursing me for my revelation that the prison guards were all democrats - now prove me wrong or shut up.

  • ||

    What was hypocritical was for Muslims not to complain when Saddam was torturing folks.

    Are you suggesting that if they had just spoken up and denounced Saddam themselves, the torturing would have stopped?! Gee, I wonder why they didn't think of that.

    I doubt seriously that many of the soldiers involved would have ever done anything like this if not for the character of US propagandizing.

    LOL.

    Tell that to Abner Louima or any of the other victims of those who hold absolute power over them while they're imprisoned. It's part of the culture; no surprises here.

  • ||

    Whatever has happened here, you can't chalk it up to "rabid anti-Muslim propaganda."


    They're scared kids. Reconstruction is not what the army was made for. The Pentagon and whatnot have certainly tried to add that to its skill set over the last 15 years, but they're not yet all that good at it.

    It's part of the culture; no surprises here.

    It's part of culture. Now, we've pictures to show everyone.

  • ||

    You got it wrong, Wallis.

    It's up to YOU to prove that it's true.

    You don't back it up with any source. If you got one, let's see it.

    I'll be happy to apologize once you've established that it's either the truth OR that someone with at least a shred of credibility has reported this somewhere before, even as an anecdote.

    And I don't curse you...I curse your statement, which without qualification IS stupid.

    Your statement may be a revelation to you, but without some context, proof or reasonable establishment of fact it's just a rant to me.

  • ||

    Nope madpad, I made an assertion, you attacked that assertion. I am happy right where I am, but I will bow in reverence to you just as soon as you prove me wrong. You don't get to write the rules for both directions here sweetie. This ain't no campus. You ain't payin' my wages. Get over it.
    Incidently, just where were you the summer of 1962, and prove it.

  • ||

    Walter,
    I can assert that there's a unicorn in my back yard, and you'd have a very difficult (arguably impossible) time proving me wrong. But if I make such an assertion and refuse to provide any evidence, claiming instead that the burden is on anyone who disagrees to prove the negative, then I'm not participating in a reasonable argument. Then I'm just being a jackass.

  • ||

    Madpad and pals-
    Did you ever take Psych 101 in college, or read about it on your own? If so, you are familiar with the phenomenon known as "projection." The philandering husband accuses his wife of having adulterous thoughts. The problem drinker thinks that everyone he sees sipping a beer is an alcoholic. Et cetera.

    Why do I bring this up here? To point out that Walter "the torturers are all Democrats" Wallis is usually among the first to scream "partisanship!" whenever someone like me, Joe or Thoreau complains that the current administration is perhaps less than angelic in its behavior.

    Incidentally, in the summer of 1962, I was negative eight years old, and I can prove it with a birth certificate showing that I was born on the day Jimi Hendrix died.

  • ||

    No need to bow.

    Let's see, according to www.dictionary.com:

    as�ser�tion (-s�rshn) n.
    1. The act of asserting.
    2. Something declared or stated positively, often with no support or attempt at proof

    I'm attacking your 'assertion' because your statement apeared to be one of a fact your were reporting.

    I'm not asking you to prove that all of the guards and their commander were Democrats.

    I'm asking you to show me where you heard it, saw it or read it. That way I could verify it for myself whether it's news reported from a credible source rather than trust your unsupported assertion.

    If it were true, I (and I'm sure others) would love to read more about it.

    Unfortunately, as you've made clear, it's simply an 'assertion'.

  • ||

    Walter,

    I thought you were joking about all of them being Democrats. I laughed, even! C'mon, you were joking, weren't you? If you weren't, I'd appreciate a source (but I hope you were, because if you were, it was really funny!)

  • Phil||

    Walter Wallis is, like, a C++ program designed to emulate a retarded person, right? Surely Reason doesn't attract any readers that dumb. And even if it does, humor me.

    Incidentally, in the summer of 1962, I was negative eight years old, and I can prove it with a birth certificate showing that I was born on the day Jimi Hendrix died.

    And in another coincidence, Jimi and I share a birthday (11/27), although he was some 27 years older.

  • ||

    I keep a unicorn in my back yard. It is great for sodomizing both lefties and righties. Please keep off the grass.

  • ||

    Skeptikos:

    "OK, can I stop pretending that the country I live in, the good ole US of A, stands for Liberty and Justice for all?"

    Please don't confuse our decent people with the government. Power corrupts.

    Jennifer:

    "...whenever someone like me, Joe or Thoreau complains that the current administration is perhaps less than angelic in its behavior."

    Count me in too. The Bush administration is devoid of principle.

  • ||

    Rick-
    Oh, yes, I have often enjoyed your postings. The reason I did not mention you is that I don't recall your being one of those dubbed "partisan" by Walter.

  • ||

    "As a side note, I really wish they would separate intimidation (guess what, prisoners should be intimidated) from acts of violence."

    Which is a hard line to draw, I imagine, when you're actually in the situation, with the extreme peer pressure and glorification of strength and commonality of violence that is part and parcel of military culture.

    "They're scared kids..."

    Of course they are. Poor bastards, I'm surprised they aren't shooting everyone with a beard, given the impossible situation they're stuck in.

    Both of which raise the question: WHERE THE HELL WERE THE OFFICERS?

  • ||

    What's the study they did, where they took two groups of college kids. They made one group prisoners and the others guards. The guards started beating the crap out of the prisoners in under a week. And these were college kids who knew it was just an experiment that was going to last for a couple of weeks.

    Even with that little bit of temporary power, they engaged in dreadful abuse.

    Point is--- there is something in human nature. A lot of people, when they gain near absolute power over someone, become monsters.

    Even if they know it's not for real.

    http://www.stanford.edu/dept/news/relaged/970108prisonexp.html

  • ||

    Jennifer,

    Thank you, yeah "partisan" wouldn't apply to me in this context since I'm a Republican.
    Bush is mostly in the RINO category; "Republican In Name Only".

  • ||

    Rick Barton,

    "Skeptikos:

    "OK, can I stop pretending that the country I live in, the good ole US of A, stands for Liberty and Justice for all?"

    Please don't confuse our decent people with the government. Power corrupts."

    In a democracy, the people are the government. I am sorry but we knew this would happen. My government, my (and yours) responsibility. One of the reasons this makes me so sick, is in a democracy (E Pluribus Unum) these people work for me and you. This is us. Not someone else. US. I, and all of us, are responsible for their actions.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/02/international/middleeast/02ABUS.html

    Please don't con yourselves into believing this was isolated, or accidental. This is who we are now. Neo-facists. Not the german kind, but the spainish kind, the italian kind, the classic kind. It's who we are now. Who will we be tomorrow?

  • ||

    I was not talking about Bush. While Bush is far smarter than all the Democrat candidates added together [try landing a supersonic fighter in zero-zero conditions using influence] I was talking about reservists who were prison guards in civilian life. Prison Guards = Civil Service = democrats.
    Very few things we come to in life have absolute fact tags attached, and so we have to sift the data for something we can believe. I still stand ready to appologize [something the dems are big on this year] as soon as you can demonstrate that any significant number of those guards were NOT democrats. [Incidently, I was a Republilcan only long enough to vote for Shirley Temple in the primary against Commie Pete McCloskey.]
    God, I love it when Liberal Arts fungos try to argue with Engineers.

  • ||

    Incidently, when did I ever call anyone "partisan"?
    Everybody is partisan.
    Or dead stupid.

  • ||

    Or dead.

  • ||

    MB,

    Your longing for a perfect world is admirable.

    News flash: it ain't going to happen.

    Unfortunately the choice you usually get is better or worse.

    Choose better. At least you start moving in the right direction. The choice of perfection leaves current evils in place. (A common Libertarian failing).

  • ||

    Phil,

    In America evil doers are criminals.

    Same rules apply.

    See California prison system for noted examples.

  • ||

    Many here are forgetting the difference between the Arab world and America.

    Do both have their evil doers? Yes. No difference here.

    Does the Arab world generally promote its evil doers? Yes.

    Does America generally punish its evil doers? Yes.

    So there you have it. One side works to correct its mistakes. The other side prefers cover up and promotion of evil doers.

    This whole thread is ample evidence of the Libertarian perfection theory of politics: if it ain't perfect it ain't no good.

    So lets start the betting; will the libs in Nov. get more or less than .25%? I'm betting less.

  • garym||

    Amazing. An "engineer" who thinks he can just make up assertions and then demand that people prove him wrong. I hope I never get stuck with a product he designed.

    Walter Wallis, of course, killed JFK at the behest of little green men in UFO's.

  • ||

    Walter,

    As much as I would like to believe that the guards and the commanding general were Democrats (a certain poetic justice there), you can't just toss that out here into the forum without any sort of source. The burden of proof is upon you, I'm afraid. I would expect an engineer to understand that.

  • ||

    Skepticos,

    We will be the fascists of your dreams when incidents like this are covered up or promoted as the right thing to do.

    The Armay has put a General in charge of the investigation. He seems to be getting results.

    Your cries of fascism are in fact premature.

    BTW this being a libertarian site and all: how come no mention of the drug war expansion of prisons in America. The Army has lifted the rock. Do we put it back down or take the opportunity to clean up the source of the mess? The rotten criminal justice system in America.

    It is really disgusting to see the libs join in with the leftist moon batery. I went to a meeting of my local lib club a week ago and I must say I have seen very little more pathetic in my life. The disconnect from reality was astounding to behold.

    My guess is that the libertarians are going the way of the technocrats. An amusing foot note in history.

  • tommy stubbins||

    Hi, Walter, I understand that you like to have sexual relations with 300 pound transvestites while eating buckets of dog poop.

    If you are willing to prove me wrong by posting a video on the internet of yourself doing so and not enjoying it, I will retract my accusation. Until then the charge stands and I will humiliate you with it every way I can think of. I wonder what your neighbors in Palo Alto will think when I tell them about your deviant sexual proclivities, you sick cretin.

  • ||

    > But the most disturbing information that Taguba uncovered and Hersh has brought to light is the extent to which the moral rot at Abu Ghraib infected officers and indeed the very culture of the place, not just the six grunts on the dock. In Hersh's words, this "abuse of prisoners seemed almost routine -- a fact of Army life that the soldiers felt no need to hide."

    Like working at _The New Yorker_.

  • ||

    I'm still scratching my head over
    "Prison Guards = Civil Service = democrats"

    Doesn't that same logic mean that all police officers and firefighters are democrats as well?

    I know a large number of those who would vehemently disagree with your 'assertion'.

    Does your assertion further apply to ANY individual that receives their paycheck at the government tit? Like, say, soldiers and republican senators.

    Also, your original statement was an absolute: "ALL these guards, and their commanding General, are Democrats". Therefore I would need to prove that only ONE is not a democrat.

    I don't really want, need or expect an apology from you but I don't think you sifted this data very well.

  • ||

    MB

    You said "Wood-chippers? It was a plastic shredder, and it was bullshit*, anyway." Oh well, I guess the hundreds of thousands of people in the mass graves, those Kurds and Iranians dead from chemical munitions were no big deal. Concentrate on that one plastic shredder tree and you can then have the moral cover to ignore the forest of decades of human destruction Hussein caused.

  • ||

    Invading Iraq and attempting to give democracy a foothold in the Middle East is the humane approach after the events of September 11. For those who were paying attention that day it was made crystal clear how much damage could be done in the United States by foreign terrorists. The damage was not just in lives lost, and property destroyed but in the expansion of government and the loss of civil liberties.

    The first thought after 911 was just how much worse things would be if an atomic bomb or genetically engineered bio weapon were used within the US. There are two approaches to preventing this from happening. First, try to seal the borders and prevent anything from coming in and then harden targets within the US borders. The tonnage of drugs entering the US and the physical impossibility of hardening all of the targets within the US makes it clear this approach will inevitably fail. The final thought would be that state sponsorship makes the development of usable bio and atomic weapons much more likely. State sponsorship gives terrorist organizations the time, money and cover to develop the weapons and set up their operations. The solution to this problem and the only realistic way of surviving the next 20 years without massive casualties in the US and overseas is to make sure that supporting terrorist infrastructure results in the destruction of your government.

  • ||

    Rick Barton, MB, et al

    It would be possible to take the critics of the current approach seriously if they would come to the table with some new ideas and proposals for dealing with the problem. Unfortunately, the opposition's strategy appears to consist mostly of delivering platitudes while pulling out of the Middle East. They are happy to allow the region to continue its destructive downward spiral, providing terrorists plenty of time, space and money to develop weapons. They don't realize geography is no longer a defense against foreign attacks. Nor do they appreciate the continual erosion of civil liberties a purely defensive policy within the US borders will cause. The best, most consistent policy they come up with appears to be limited to crossing their fingers and hoping for the best.

  • ||

    US Soldiers treating war prisoners cruelly is as wrong in this war as it was in WWII, and fighting this war is as right as it was in WWII. The rest of sophistry.

  • ||

    Some of these folks were jailers in civilian life. Obviously the expertise they brought with them needs to be checked at their civilian jobsite, too.

    I was handing some prisoners over to MPs once when an MP whacked a prisoner just turned over by another soldier with the butt of his carbine. The soldier clicked his rifle off safe, pointed it at the MP and told him that if he wanted to beat up on prisoners, to go get one himself.

    I understand that all these guards, and their commanding General, are Democrats.

  • ||

    It would be possible to take the critics of the current approach seriously if they would come to the table with some new ideas and proposals for dealing with the problem. Unfortunately, the opposition's strategy appears to consist mostly of delivering platitudes while pulling out of the Middle East.

    There are so many critical proposals from across the spectrum that I can't even begin to address the ignorance of this statement. The Bush administration has made it clear that it's not going to hear any of it, therefore putting foreign policy insiders in the same boat as anti-globalization protesters.

  • bruce||

    So when Muslims torture Muslims that is just fine and dandy, praise be allah. But when Americans torture Muslims (and it's not like they were shoving them alive into wood chippers a la Saddam) it's a crime against humanity? Whatever happened to cultural estoppel? I'm not saying what went on is right, but for Muslims to suddenly start compaining about torture only when it's Americans running the prisons is damn hypocritical in my humble opinion.

  • ||

    Bruce, You have it exactly backwards. What was hypocritical was for Muslims not to complain when Saddam was torturing folks. They absolutely should be complaining now.

  • Jesse Walker||

    As far as I know, Bruce, neither Taguba nor Hersh is a Muslim.

  • ||

    Accused guards = prison guards in civilian life = civil service = democrats.
    Engineers often have to make assumptions based on the evidence available, subject to correction when more information is made available.
    Tommy and Stubby, where is the available evidence upon whch your hypotheses about my charactor and sexual practices are constructed?
    Garym, if you ever drank water, flushed a toilet or turned on a light in Northern California you probably used my product. Professional Engineers have to pay to correct their mistakes. In 50 years, I have paid out $550.00. That comes to $11 a year of wrong. What's your record, Bucky?

  • ||

    TJIT:
    "...then have the moral cover to ignore the forest of decades of human destruction Hussein caused."

    A good portion of it was financed by the US government.

    "Invading Iraq and attempting to give democracy a foothold in the Middle East is the humane approach"

    It's not democracy that's important. It's limited government and individual liberty that counts. An elective war such as this can never be a "humane" alternative. To call this war "humane" is Orwellian.

    "The damage was (also) in the expansion of government and the loss of civil liberties."

    And, these we must oppose as well as we oppose any foreign enemy in order to keep this nation worth defending.

    The "War on Terror" is a threat here. Terror is not an enemy it's a tactic. A war on a tactic is by nature, an open ended war and one with out cessation. The war on terror is nebulous enough to give the government a sort of carte blanche excuse for infringing on all manner of individual rights.

    "the only realistic way of surviving the next 20 years without massive casualties...

    That statement is not realistic. What evidence is there that an attack on this nation is likely in the next 20 years outside of our government provoking an attack?

    "...is to make sure that supporting terrorist infrastructure results in the destruction of your government..."

    With that silly criteria our government would be trying to destroy many governments, including those that now receive US tax dollars. That suicidal criteria sounds like a retroactive attempt to justify the needless Iraq war.

    " the opposition's strategy appears to consist mostly of delivering platitudes while pulling out of the Middle East."

    The best strategy is for our government to pull out of the Middle East and instaed, hunt down and kill those who committed the 9/11 attacks so they can't do it again. Libertarians and conservatives have asked, why in the Hell is so little of this silly "War on Terror" budget ear marked for this end? Iraq was a needless diversion that could breed more terror attacks.

    Also, the government should reign in their hyper-interventionist foreign policy so that the risk of attacks like 9/11 would be reduced.

    "Nor do they appreciate the continual erosion of civil liberties a purely defensive policy within the US borders will cause."

    Continual conflict and provocative foreign entanglements is what leads to pressure to erode civil liberties. Now, we must help defend civil liberties by making sure that the provisions of the Patriot Act set to expire, do so.

    "The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home"
    James Madison

  • ||

    Somehow, somewhere, some right-wing blogger/pundit is scheming about how they can figure out to blame Clinton for this.

    Somewhere, somehow, some left-wing blogger is trying to figure out how they can aruge that this points to the need to create a giant department of lets make sure nobody gets tortured with 500 employees all with full dental coverage.

    Instapundit has already decided that it's all somehow a deep message reality is sending us all on how John Kerry is evil.

    Bush is sure to announce to no one in particular, in response to no specific question or known position, that he strongly disagrees with those people who claim that black people are too stupid to oppose stem cell research.

    Just another day in the American news cycle. :)

  • ||

    Leta:

    "...fighting this war is as right as it was in WWII. The rest of sophistry."

    Japan attacked us and Germany declared war on us.
    Iraq posed no threat to us at all. Trying to Equate WWII and the Iraq war is where the sophistry is here.

  • ||

    TJIT wrote:

    'You said "Wood-chippers? It was a plastic shredder, and it was bullshit*, anyway." Oh well, I guess the hundreds of thousands of people in the mass graves, those Kurds and Iranians dead from chemical munitions were no big deal. Concentrate on that one plastic shredder tree and you can then have the moral cover to ignore the forest of decades of human destruction Hussein caused.'

    The point is, as Brendan O'Neill pointed out in the article I provided a link for, that this particular accusation is a lie, a big, colorful lie that certain people use as an argument-ender. We should ask why people do that, and what it says about their knowledge of the situation and their motives.

    M. Simon:

    What the fuck did I ever say about a perfect world? Learn to read. But I will say that choosing between Iraqi psychos and American psychos is a phony dilemma.

  • ||

    Skeptikos at May 1, 06:38 PM,

    It doesn't follow that because in a democracy the people determine the composition of the government that they are the government.

    The government alone has the right to initiate force. Most people don't enjoy the government doing it on behalf of many of their desires, let alone all of them.

    People disagree on what they want government to force on others and themselves so how can all the people possibly, "be the government"? At best, some are and some are not to varying extents.

  • ||

    TJIT:

    "The war lifted millions of people from oppression and was in that sense very humane. I'm sure the Iraqis are happy that they no longer have to worry about having their tongues cut out if they say the wrong thing."

    And it killed and maimed tens of thousands. Are you so sure that millions of Iraqis who have had a relative or friend killed or maimed are happy? All this for a phony pretext. What of the hundreds of Americans who have died?...The thousands of Americans who have been injured?

    Our government is financing oppressive governments in, Uzbekistan, Occupied Palestine, Egypt, and Jordan. Each of these increase the risk of attack against US. The US government's financing of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land was one of the specific reasons for the 9/11 attack.

    If our government closes down more news papers the Iraqi people will have to worry less about "saying the wrong things", won't they?

    "I agree that it (the war on terror) is a potential threat."

    Only a potential threat?? And just how bad would the Patriot Act have to be before you would consider it a real threat?

    "The real enemy is religions and governments who produce a domestic situation so horrible that for the people who live their participating in terrorism is the only real chance for improving their lives."

    That is a good reason for the Israeli government to end the occupation of Palestinian land, and for our government to quit paying for it. It is not a good reason for the US to attack other countries.

    "Twenty people with not much money and very rudimentary training killed thousands of US citizens and caused billions of dollars of economic losses."

    So then, what makes you think that taking out a bunch of nations would alleviate the threat and could ever possibly be worth the cost in lives and money?

    "(Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia) have considerable terrorist infrastructure."

    Terror is a weapon...a tactic. A lot of nations that do not like us have real WMD. And Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia pose no threat to us.

    "Our new bases in Iraq ...will produce .... an enormous military pressure on these governments from outside."

    This might benefit the deigns of the current regime in Israel but it would increase the risk to the US at an enormous cost.

    "If we continue to ignore the societal problem terrorists will continue to be created. And at some point the terrorist will get a WMD into the US and the destruction will be massive."

    So our government should quit the support of repressive regimes which engender these societal problems and more importantly, makes us the target of terrorist grief.

    "terrorism today is mostly caused by failed nation states not US foreign policy."

    That statement is disproved by two facts. 1) There are many failed nation states. 2) Terror against us has emanated from regions that have seen the brunt of US government intervention.

    More importantly; The overwhelming evidence is that then 9/11 happened as a direct result of our governments hyper-interventionist foreign policy, Visa a vie the Mid-East:

    In his 9/11 Fatwa Bin Laden told us the three reason for the 9/11 attack:

    1. The American military in the Arabian Peninsula too close to Mecca. (This idiocy is at last ended)

    2.The blockade if Iraq.

    3. American government support for the Israeli government's occupation of Palestinian land.

    http://www.ict.org.il/articles/fatwah.htm

    "Limited government and individual liberty are my guiding principles" "it is essential that we stop the failed nation states in the Middle East from producing more terrorists to defend against. It may take 20 years, it may take 50 years but not changing them will produce disastrous results for them and us."

    If limited government and individual liberty are really your guiding principles, you should have compunctions about having the government force Americans to participate in wars and a crusade that are not in their interest to fulfill your vision that you believe may take 20 or 50 years to come to fruition!

    There are fairer and less costly ways to change the world than by war and other government interventions...ways that are more effective as well.

  • ||

    Rick Barton,

    You said "There are fairer and less costly ways to change the world than by war and other government interventions...ways that are more effective as well."

    Care to share some of those ways? I'm always open to new ideas unfortunately the opposition to the war has always been long on assertions and short on usable ideas.

    At this point we will have to agree to disagree on one primary point.

    You believe if we isolate ourselves within the US border the Middle East will become a self sustaining, stable region that will no longer export terror around the globe. I believe that is an utterly foolish notion destined to fail in a spectacular fashion.

    Middle Eastern society has to become more open, free, and provide a decent life to their citizens. If this can be achieved internally, within those countries fine. If it takes some external pressure that is fine too but it has to happen. If we allow the stagnation in that region to continue the consequences around the world will be horrible.

  • garym||

    Walter Wallis: You obviously don't understand the meaning of the word "evidence." It doesn't mean, "I say so, prove me wrong." Please look it up before continuing this discussion.

  • ||

    "I am now glad I don't live in northern California--I would forever be wondering if my drinking water and toilet water were commingled.

    Posted by Chuck at May 2, 2004 11:32 AM"

    Northern California is grateful for your absence. Actually, there is no place in the world where drinking water and toilet water, after appropriately engineered treatment has been accomplished, is not commingled.


    "Now if Bush were to provide proof that he we wasn't AWOL he could:

    1. Defend the assertion that he wasn't
    2. Challenge the assertion that he was

    It's precisely because Bush's has done neither that has given fuel to his opposition."

    So when every available record disproves the AWOL charge it still has not been proved that Bush was NOT AWOL? You democrat sluts amuse me. Thank you, mousepad, for proving my case that the prison guards and their lady general were all democrats far better than could I have unassisted.

  • ||

    Wallis,

    "Where is the available evidence upon which your hypotheses" is contructed that the guards are all democrats?

    It appears to be solely based on your 'logic diagram' (accused guards = prison guards in civilian life = civil service = democrats) which continues to make no sense.

    Yes, "engineers often have to make assumptions based on the evidence available."

    We get that. NEWSFLASH: We ALL do that.

    Your assertion is still on the same rational footing as Tommy and Stubby's - i.e. "Prove me wrong"

    To quote you, "You don't get to write the rules for both directions here sweetie."

    In this case the rules are simple (don't worry, I didn't write them - the marketplace did):

    1. Make all the assertions you wish.

    2. People will tend to challenge the validity of your 'assertions'. That is your opportunity to turn your 'assertion' into a 'persuasive argument'

    3. If you can't (or won't) defend the validity, your assertion will tend to fall flat.

    4. Defending your assertion by demanding I prove your you wrong tends to make your assertion weaker and make you look silly.

  • ||

    Prove that Bush was AWOL.

  • ||

    Wallis,

    Thanks for an interesting weekend. Have a good week.

  • ||

    Rick Barton says: "There are fairer and less costly ways to change the world than by war and other government interventions...ways that are more effective as well."

    Well France despite being a small country ought to be capable of making the necessary changes it the world. Especially if they are less costly.

    Here is France's great chance to defeat the Americans and their plan for world dominance. Let us see France make the required changes before America gets involved.

    BTW how is the French plan for reforming Iran coming? I'd say France ought to get cracking because time is wasting. I don't see how making nice with the opressors of the Iranian people is going to help with the changes required but I'm looking forward to excellent French results. The time window for French results appear to be from 6 to 18 months before America acts. No time to waste.

    Or perhaps the French can turn Syria into a real democratic republic. Wasn't Syria once dominated by France? You France ought to have the expertise to fix that one pronto.

  • ||

    Pavel,

    If there are so many ideas please address my ignorance and briefly present some of them, I am always willing to learn. But I will not take the following as serious proposals.

    1. Put the UN in charge. The UN is a failed institution that will produce a disaster if put in charge democratizing Iraq. Their lack of success or even effort in Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, Sudan and Iraq's oil for food program should make that painfully obvious. For bonus points Google Srebrenica and then explain to me why I should consider the UN a viable institution up to handling the situation in Iraq.

    2. Put a Middle Eastern force in charge of democratizing Iraq. There is not a democratic Middle Eastern state with enough of a military to do the job. The ones with sufficient military forces are corrupt kleptocracies with horrendous human rights problems within their own borders. The Iraqis don't need that kind of help.

  • ||

    Mr. Simon,

    I'm curious as to your opinion regarding our (the U.S.'s) highly lucrative financial relationships with oppresive regimes like China and Saudi Arabia, among others. If our relationships with these totalitarian states (one of which with elements that helped the 9/11 attackers do their job) differ fundamentally from France's relations with the totalitarian states you mentioned above, please explain how.

    I ask in the spirit of genuine ignorance and sincere curiosity. Thanks.

  • ||

    Wallis,

    Glad to see you're coming around. By bringing up the current "Bush was AWOL" situation, you've demonstrated that you're starting to see what we're all talking about by giving us a fresh topic that underscores my point.

    Now if Bush were to provide proof that he we wasn't AWOL he could:

    1. Defend the assertion that he wasn't
    2. Challenge the assertion that he was

    It's precisely because Bush's has done neither that has given fuel to his opposition.

    In the marketplace, his supporters are comfortable with his stance and his opposition continues to challenge it.

    How much the majority cares about this in the balance of all the other issues come November will dictate it's impact on his election.

    My guess is that now it's just small potatos.

    But whatever the election outcome, this is still an issue that Bush has not answered to everyone's satisfaction.

  • ||

    Just to bring evey one back to reality. If you had been in a prison under Saddam Hussein
    for five years and then were transferred to American custody....which do you think you would choose/prefer??

    If all the prisoners had their wish....a jail in
    Iran, or Syria, or even Saudi Arabia, Yemen...or a jail in the United States....which would they choose.

    These people would rather talk then be turned over to their own governments.
    Those accused would have been promoted under a Middle eastern regime...instead of being prosecuted.

  • ||

    This morning the Islamic terrorists murdered a women and 4 children......This story will get no play and no outrage from the Middle East and so-called Human Rights Groups.

  • ||

    I just went to: english.aljazeera.net

    Here's what they report:

    "Five settlers killed in resistance strike
    Sunday 02 May 2004, 15:26 Makka Time, 12:26 GMT

    Palestinian resistance fighters have killed five Jewish settlers in the Gaza Strip before being shot dead by Israeli occupation troops."

    I bet if they called them "terrorist" they'd get a lot of play and outrage.

    I understand we're dealing with a different mentality amongst the Arab cultures (sincerely, I don't mean that negatively) but it constantly mystifies me that the deaths of innocent children - regardles of which side their parents are on - doesn't bring some outrage against the methods of the Terrorists/Resistance Fighters by their own side.

    This prison story had generated a lot of outrage from all ranks of OUR side -hawk and dove alike.

    We are disgusted that anyone in our ranks would treat anyone that way.

    The Palestinians and Arabs who despise us (aside from myraid cultural differences) know no such limits of outrage for their own behavior.

    They have established a baseline of doing anything, no matter how vile and repulsive to anyone's sensibilities, to acheive their ends. Their leaders have convinced them that this approach is an effective one. The less redical elements excuse the radical behavior for a number of reasons.

    We, on the other hand, still believe in fair play for everyone.

    Remember Kevin Spacey in "The Usual Suspect" when he tells the story about Kaiser Soze killing his own family to get to his enemies. He related it to Vietnam and said the winner was the guy willing to do what the other guy wouldn't.

    It's kind of like "Fear Factor" with lives in the balance.

    Will we only win when we become worse than they and can react to this prison story with a "So what? It's war. What do you expect. What's happened to them is a damn sight better than what happens in prisons across 57 non-democratic Arab countries every single day. You want miserable prisons? Check out China, Russia, Indonesia. I'll put Abu Ghraib up against the Hanoi Hilton any day of the week."

    I don't defend the prison abuses in any way and I for one, don't subsribe to this line of thinking. And I hope we do emerge as a shining beacon of democracy that changes the tide.

    But it sure seems that if we're going to accomplish that end, this has dimmed that beacon more than a little.

  • ||

    Rick Barton,

    It's not democracy that's important. It's limited government and individual liberty that counts. An elective war such as this can never be a "humane" alternative. To call this war "humane" is Orwellian.

    The war lifted millions of people from oppression and was in that sense very humane. Limited government and individual liberty are my guiding principles, I'm sure the Iraqis are happy that they no longer have to worry about having their tongues cut out if they say the wrong thing.

    The "War on Terror" is a threat here. Terror is not an enemy it's a tactic. A war on a tactic is by nature, an open ended war and one with out cessation. The war on terror is nebulous enough to give the government a sort of carte blanche excuse for infringing on all manner of individual rights.

    I agree that it is a potential threat. However, I think it works as a shorthand description for the real enemy. The real enemy is religions and governments who produce a domestic situation so horrible that for the people who live their participating in terrorism is the only real chance for improving their lives.

    That statement is not realistic. What evidence is there that an attack on this nation is likely in the next 20 years outside of our government provoking an attack?

    The only evidence needed was presented on 9/11. Twenty people with not much money and very rudimentary training killed thousands of US citizens and caused billions of dollars of economic losses. You may be willing to risk waiting around to see what they come up with next I am not.

    With that silly criteria our government would be trying to destroy many governments, including those that now receive US tax dollars. That suicidal criteria sounds like a retroactive attempt to justify the needless Iraq war.

    It was not retroactive it was spelled out before the invasion of Afghanistan that terrorists and governments that house and support them are considered the same, and they will be destroyed. Other nations (Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia) have considerable terrorist infrastructure. Our new bases in Iraq and a functioning democratic Iraqi society will produce two things. An enormous military pressure on these governments from outside their borders and an enormous social pressure for a free functioning society from their own citizens within their borders.

    The best strategy is for our government to pull out of the Middle East and instaed, hunt down and kill those who committed the 9/11 attacks so they can't do it again. Libertarians and conservatives have asked, why in the Hell is so little of this silly "War on Terror" budget ear marked for this end? Iraq was a needless diversion that could breed more terror attacks.

    That is not a strategy it is a suicide pact. 9/11 showed how dangerous reacting to events is. You are content to let the societal conditions that create terrorists continue. You are willing to let new terrorists be created and then respond to whatever atrocity they manage to cause by chasing down the perpetrators after the fact. . If we continue to ignore the societal problem terrorists will continue to be created. And at some point the terrorist will get a WMD into the US and the destruction will be massive. I prefer to terminate the societal conditions that lead to the creation of terrorists in the first place.

    Also, the government should reign in their hyper-interventionist foreign policy so that the risk of attacks like 9/11 would be reduced .

    When we were at our peak of hyper-interventionist foreign policy a geopolitical struggle against the Soviet Union was ongoing. If our hyper-interventionist policy was the only cause of terrorism we would have seen massive terrorist attacks from Latin America but we did not. Why, because terrorism today is mostly caused by failed nation states not US foreign policy.

    "The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home"
    James Madison

    Agreed that is why it is essential that we stop the failed nation states in the Middle East from producing more terrorists to defend against. It may take 20 years, it may take 50 years but not changing them will produce disastrous results for them and us.

  • ||

    Walter Wallis wrote:

    "Accused guards = prison guards in civilian life = civil service = democrats.
    Engineers often have to make assumptions based on the evidence available, subject to correction when more information is made available."

    Two comments:
    1) Yes, engineers often make assumptions. GOOD engineers state those assumptions clearly in their initial reports.

    2) Your improper and invalid use of the equals sign reminds me of all those pre-engineers who can never write up any coherent arguments in my Calculus and DE courses. I greatly prefer the liberal arts majors--at least they can write, and they still believe they have something left to learn.

    I am now glad I don't live in northern California--I would forever be wondering if my drinking water and toilet water were commingled.

  • ||

    Keiser,

    I don't really care how the actions in that prison relate to conditions in other countries. It was a US run prison, staffed with US soldiers, the guards behavior needs to meet US standards.

  • s.m. koppelman||

    Actually, Americans' conduct in operating POW detention facilities doesn't need to adhere to US standards. Vegan and low-carb meal options are not required, nor are TV privileges and allowances for the vending machines. It just needs to adhere to the Geneva Convention so that we can reasonably expect that our own captured troops won't be routinely tortured, raped and summarily executed. The Geneva Convention isn't always adhered to, but it's adhered to enough that pissing all over it should be regarded as a very, very bad idea.

  • ||

    "But whatever the election outcome, this is still an issue that Bush has not answered to everyone's satisfaction."

    Heck, turns out he was lying when he claimed to have released all documents. Turns out he could have simply signed a full release, like Kerry and McCain did. But nope, he gave it out piecemeal, and held back the key documents like pay stubs, w2s, mandatory evaluation write-ups, the mandatory final write-up on his grounding, etc.

    Bush: I have nothing to hide.
    People: Then release the documents, especially X
    Bush: I've released them all already, I did so in 2000
    Bush: No wait, I plan to release them all now
    Bush: Here's the documents. Now you've seen them all
    People: Er, no, what about X
    Bush: Look, I already released all the doocuments that there are, and that's that
    Bush: Also, here are more documents, Y,Z, and W
    People: Ok.... but still, what about X?
    McClelan: The President has released all his documents, and he will not be commenting further

  • ||

    Koppelman,

    Good point. I'm surprised that the current administration doesn't understand something that's pretty basic in the "fair play" dept.

    If you want leverage, the best way is to establish a rule base that you can use to your advantage.

    Our own unwillingness to stand by something that has been considered by most of western society to be a standard of conduct, has taken away our ability to leverage western world opinion.

    The administration might think it takes the shackles off of our own ability to act.

    But I can't help but think that if we were consistently and publicly operating by a well-respected and established code of conduct, it would be a lot easier to drag the Arab and middle-eastern cultures toward it. It might have also made it less likely for these prison abuses to have happened in the first place.

  • ||

    TJIT,

    I'm not sure if the demographics of the 9/11 hijackers fit the hypothesis of " a domestic situation so horrible that for the people who live their participating in terrorism is the only real chance for improving their lives." Weren't a lot of them from Middle or upper-middle class circumstance in Saudi Arabia?

    But, I think wanting a more free, open and prosperous life for the people in the Mid-east is a very laudable desire.

    I want our government to take a much more hands (and money) off approach to the Mid-east and but that does not mean isolating ourselves from the region at all. The government and ourselves are separate entities.

    In ending our governments financing of oppressive governments in Occupied Palestine, Egypt, and Jordan we would decrease the chance for terrorist reprisals but we also would likely help to open up those societies. This is especially true for Palestine. We should encourage trade with the nations of the region of the by zeroing out any tariffs or duties. The free market oriented Dubai of the UAE is an illustrative example. Dubai is known as "Hong Kong of the Mid-east". They keep their religious fundamentalists distanced from government power and the pursuit of profit is the order of the day.

    If you do business try to do some with concerns in Arab countries. The bill that imposed trade restrictions on Syria that past at the behest of the Israeli government lobby was a definite move in the wrong direction. BTW, part of the Israeli right was very critical of it, albeit a much more pro-free market right than Sharon represents. When I have occasion to speak with students and others from the Mid-east; I am openly critical of US foreign policy but I am also openly proud of American liberty and our capitalistic culture. Most Arabs I've spoken with know that we have something special here and are curious about, and appreciative of our freedom.

    Iran is an interesting case. Calling Iran a member of the "axis of evil" set back the reformers. They are a society in flux. Change in a libertarian direction is possible there. They have a strong entrepreneurial element. There are Iranian chat rooms where freedom is definitely in the air (or cyber space). Talk with them; tell them of the wonders of liberty. There are many Iranian immigrants in this country who are making it in this land of relative freedom of enterprise and they tell the folks back home, This probably helps fuel the reform movement.

    Along that line, I think that a more open immigration policy would help open up the Region. Also, the government should make student and business visas much more abundant for people from the Mid-east. BTW, I know Castro is scared to death of this type of approach toward Cuba. He knows that freedom is infectious.

    In leaving Iraq the US government should try to encourage a constitution that severely restricts what voting majorities can do to minorities (any good constitution must do this). The government should definitely not leave any bases there, as they would provoke hostility in the region, which we do not want. Here is a site that is in itself a very hopeful development. I found out about it on this blog.

    MINARET OF FREEDOM INSTITUTE : Calling the Faithful to Freedom

    http://www.minaret.org/

  • ||

    "Along that line, I think that a more open immigration policy would help open up the Region."

    Just to be clear; I am advocating here that the US have a more open immigration policy for people from the Mid-east. No immediate eligibility for welfare though, for any immigrant. Oops off topic. Abolish all government welfare! Oh oh, way off topic. I better crash

  • ||

    Anybody catch that lady general this morning?

    I rest my case.

  • ||

    "Japan attacked us and Germany declared war on us.
    Iraq posed no threat to us at all. Trying to Equate WWII and the Iraq war is where the sophistry is here."

    Germany declared war on us because they knew they were going to war with us in any case, in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor.

    Economically, we were already at war with Germany, and the USN was already harrassing and engaging U-boats.

    .

  • ||

    The sloppy logic that I observed here from last week is a particularly telling example of why issues debates have fallen on such hard times. The contention that an assertion is true unless proven otherwise has been carried to its full extension by "journalist" Matt Drudge who has stated that he publishes rumors because "sometimes rumors turn out to be true." It is the kind of fallacious thinking that couldn't be allowed to stand at any school above the elementary level.

    As for the logical chain of MPs to prison guards to civil servants to democrats ... Does it hold that since CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency employees are civil servants, they are also democrats?

    I am glad I no longer teach logic. Trying to clean up such arguments is too demoralizing.

  • ||

    Response to skeptikos (May 1, 2004)

    You hit the nail right on the head. What happened here is a reflection of what happens in our prisons in the states by corrections slobs and kill-hungry cops on the street. Thanks for your insight.

    ___________________________
    skeptikos said:

    (PS, "Frederick, at thirty-seven, was far older than his colleagues, and was a natural leader; he had also worked for six years as a guard for the Virginia Department of Corrections." I suppose I am supposed to pretend that we don't torture our inmates in this country either?)

  • ||

    Response to skeptikos (May 1, 2004)

    You hit the nail right on the head. What happened here is a reflection of what happens in our prisons in the states by corrections slobs and kill-hungry cops on the street. Thanks for your insight.

    ___________________________
    skeptikos said:

    (PS, "Frederick, at thirty-seven, was far older than his colleagues, and was a natural leader; he had also worked for six years as a guard for the Virginia Department of Corrections." I suppose I am supposed to pretend that we don't torture our inmates in this country either?)

  • ||

    Response to skeptikos (May 1, 2004)

    You hit the nail right on the head. What happened here is a reflection of what happens in our prisons in the states by corrections slobs and kill-hungry cops on the street. Thanks for your insight.

    ___________________________
    skeptikos said:

    (PS, "Frederick, at thirty-seven, was far older than his colleagues, and was a natural leader; he had also worked for six years as a guard for the Virginia Department of Corrections." I suppose I am supposed to pretend that we don't torture our inmates in this country either?)

  • ||

    Response to skeptikos (May 1, 2004)

    You hit the nail right on the head. What happened here is a reflection of what happens in our prisons in the states by corrections slobs and kill-hungry cops on the street. Thanks for your insight.

    ___________________________
    skeptikos said:

    (PS, "Frederick, at thirty-seven, was far older than his colleagues, and was a natural leader; he had also worked for six years as a guard for the Virginia Department of Corrections." I suppose I am supposed to pretend that we don't torture our inmates in this country either?)

  • ||

    Response to skeptikos (May 1, 2004)

    You hit the nail right on the head. What happened here is a reflecion of what happens in our prisons in the states by corrections slobs and kill-hungry cops on the street. thanks for your insight.

    ___________________________
    skeptikos said:

    (PS, "Frederick, at thirty-seven, was far older than his colleagues, and was a natural leader; he had also worked for six years as a guard for the Virginia Department of Corrections." I suppose I am supposed to pretend that we don't torture our inmates in this country either?)

  • ||

    First of all, I�d like to say that I don�t approve of what our soldiers did at the prison. But come on, we are making a much bigger deal out of this than it really is, and we are politicizing it when we should all stand together and say it was wrong. We should let the soldiers have their day in a military court, and read about it in the morning paper.

    Sodomy is nothing new to the Iraqi's. Many Muslim men engage is sodomy and homosexual behavior with young boys before they are married to avoid being killed for having sex with a woman prior to being married.

    I think the one thing that pissed off the Iraqi's and the Muslim world was that a female soldier was humiliating them in the photos. In their world, she would be stoned to death just for wearing a uniform. Let�s not forget that many of these prisoners were killing Americans just days before, and that with this stupid act, they may be set free to go back out and kill more or our Sons and daughters.

  • ||

    Sam, I am so bewildered by the utter stupidity of your statements, I don't even know where to begin. That is the most idiotic and irrelevant thing I've heard about an American atrocity since some Ohio redneck responded to the Kent State massacre by saying that the students killed didn't even bathe. I suspect you may be in the process of being sodomized right now . . . by your own head.

  • ||

    I believe that for someone to say that the prison guards were Democrats does not have to do anything in the whole issue. If you think about it, who is the selfish bastard who invaded a country ILLEGALY may i say, for the oil. Who is the man behind the machine of GENOCIDE which is the U.S led Coalition, well his name is George Bush and if am not confused... you know what party he belongs to... so come to think about it, this would have never happened under Al Gore and it will certainly NEVER happen under KERRY.

  • ||

    First let me say that these crimes must be punished. Everyone is shocked and disgusted by this psychological torture and humiliation, which will effect the victims for the rest of their lives.
    But the International Community's reaction is riddled with hypocrisy:

    1. Bad treatment for US troops?
    It is conventional wisdom among pundits that ill-treatment by a few US troops will result in worse treatment against American POWs. Really?
    In the past, US POWS and even civilians have hardly been treated according to the Geneva Conventions. Daniel Pearl beheaded, the Fallujah four mutilated and burned, Jessica Lynch raped come to mind. Tiger cages and torture in Vietnam, forced death marches and executions during WWII. Perhaps the pundits could tell me of a conflict where American POWs were protected?
    The threat of bad treatment for POWs might have more effect if it hadn't already happened.

    2. Torture=bad, Torture-Killing=Good?
    How did the world respond when 4 civilians were tortured, mutilated, burned, shot, executed, their bodies parts burned, stepped on, dragged and hung from bridges? In much of the press, it was hardly denounced, and actually used as more evidence of either American failure or blame was cast on the non-combatant civilian workers as being "spieds" or "mercenaries".
    Clearly a few humiliating sexual poses would be preferable to mutilation-death-desecration. Apparently rape, torture, mutilation and execution of Americans POWs and even civilians is okay....

    3. Demand for apologies
    Here's the game:
    -If you only apologize, Iraqis will forgive you
    -Bush and others apologize
    -Declare these apologies invalid for some reason -- they were too indirect, they were personal statements, etc.
    -The apology provokes no forgiveness, only shrill denunciations about trying to sneak out of responsibility. A Saudi paper screamed "Killers should apologize!"

    4. War=Bad, Terror=Good?
    This is a part of a larger pattern of hypocrisy: War is "evil", terror is good. War by nations against nations is wrong. Civil war and insurgency are "heroic". Thus, nations which fight wars must be harangued for real and imagined war-crimes, while their insurgent, terrorist counterparts can extermination civilians, rape, torture and mutilate with impunity---after all, they are not governments, so how can they be held responsible.

    Thus, the rape of Jessica Lynch and female soldiers in the first Gulf War are laughed off. Thus, executions of American civilians like Daniel Pearl and an elderly wheel-chair bound Achille Lauro passenger is never called a war crime--the terrorists act with impunity. Only wars are protested; Terrorist atrocities and war crimes are laughed off, ignored, or worse, secretly sympathized and justified.

    5. Get ready for more hypocrisy
    Some Iraqis despite official apologies and even compensation ,and despite experts from the Arab media who claimed that �if only Bush would apologize� the Iraqis will forgive you, radicals in Iraq and elsewhere will no doubt seek to get �Revenge�. When American POWS are tortured and executed what can we expect? Loud, shrill denunciations by the world�s press?? I doubt it. More likely are apologetics, excuse-making, justifications, and even glee. Such is the craven nature of the �World Community�.

  • ||

    hypocrisyalert:

    You have completely missed the point of why any thinking American might be upset over Abu Ghraib. Abu Ghraib undermined beyond belief an already half-bungled war effort. The Iraq war is dependent upon good PR. Bush himself insists that the American military seek to win the minds and hearts of the Iraqi people. If it can't do that, then the war is lost, even on it's own terms (the military didnt find any WMDs, so we certainly havent won THAT war either).

    The Abu Ghraib scandal has been a PR catastrophe. Preventing an Abu Ghraib from happening should have been on the very top of Bush's list of wartime priorities. Instead, Bush allowed Rumseld to staff Abu Ghraib with one thousand soldiers who had no training in guarding POWs, and no understanding of the Geneva Convention.

    That American POWs have been tortued before is totally irrelevant. Our object in this war is not to become brutal like Al-qaeda or like Saddam--it is to distance ourselves from Al-qaeda and from Saddam. If we can't do that, then we shouldn't have gone to war in the first place.

    Stubborn warhawks here in the US can whine about the "hypocrisy" of the Arab media all they want--but I don't see the point. The whims of the Arab media are beyond our control. If we don't have the ability or willingness to deal with those whims as wartime realities, then, again, we should not have gone to war in the first place.

  • ||

    "Accused guards = prison guards in civilian life = civil service = democrats."

    Wallis, I'm glad youre around; comments like these are so fun to mull over!

    Civil service = democrats.

    Hmmmm...that means all police officers are democrats; it means all firefighters are democrats; it means all soldiers are democrats; it means all elected representatives are democrats. It means Bush is a democrat.

    Huh.

    Oh, I see, by "democrat" you just meant "one who lives in a democracy," didnt you? Well, that DOES make some sense, I suppose. Good for you. You must be one heck of an engineer.

    Ahem--by the way, though, you STILL haven't cited your source.

  • ||

    The right-wing blame game regarding the Abu Ghraib disaster is sickening. Were the soldiers democrats? Then blame the democratic party! Was their commander a woman? Then blame feminism!

    It could go on, couldn't it?...were the soldiers black? Then blame the black race! Were they Catholic? Blame the Pope! Were they all left-handed? Only allow right-handed people in the military...

    What sickening and bigoted hogwash this reaction is. What's more, it's totally contrary to how the military works. When something goes wrong, the superior officer bears the responsibility. The commanding officer of Abu Ghraib--who happened to be a woman--was given soldiers with no experience guarding POWs. THAT's what went wrong. Who gave her those soldiers, I'd like to know? Who OK-ed that policy? It seems to me the blame must go all the way up to Rumsfeld, perhaps even to Bush himself.

  • ||

    Is it possible that the unstated effect of the Iraq War has been to divert terrorist violence away from the United States and towards American, European, and Israeli targets?...that by invading Iraq, Bush carved out a non-American battlefield on which the war on terror might take place?

    Because so long as I keep hearing from both the liberal and conservative medias that Iraq is becoming a magnet for Al-Qaeda, and so long as I hear of bombings all over the world, but none in the US, I for one am willing to entertain this strange though not exactly optimistic possibility.

  • MAURO||

    che schifo........

  • ||

    The person who looks for trouble finds trouble. This is exactly what the americans went to search for. They went into a country that was not theirs, they tortured the people who by the way did not want a democracy, and they still said that they were doing good for that country. Let me tell you, he that plays with fire gets burned. The americans offended the people of Iraq and Nicholas Berg payed the price. By the way i do not live in the united states yet i live ina country that the united states destroyed for its ties to the Soviet Union. Nicaragua. I did see Imperialism at its maximum hight.

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