Perspective on Torture

The photos of the goings on in the Abu Ghraib prison are making the rounds of the internet.  This morning, it appears as if the British have not been left out the controversy either.

President Bush is “deeply disgusted.”  As well he should be.  British General Sir Mike Jackson, had this to say about British troops involved.

“If proven the perpetrators are not fit to wear the queen’s uniform. They have besmirched the good name of the army and its honour.”

My friend, Billy Beck, notes this also, in a post at No Treason, where he expresses a couple of thoughts that bear consideration.

“At the very least, nobody so lacking in a moral center as to stand around smiling in photographs like that can be permitted anywhere near those responsibilities for a single hour.”

“And I should think it might go without saying. If anyone can find someone who approves of it, I’ll go out of my way to give them hell, too.”

But it is this thought, from Billy’s post, that I’m thinking about this morning.

“I didn’t hit on this at my place, either. The main reason has to do with the density and frequency of “outrage” these days. It’s bloody everywhere, in every form, and impossible to keep up with, piece by piece. That is no reason to presume, however, that anyone sanctions this sort of thing.”

Too true.  And the outrage will blow over like a summer afternoon thunderstorm.

But, when I first read the story and viewed the photos yesterday, the first thought that popped into my mind was, the assholes who were involved in this are no better than terrorist dogs who blow themselves up killing innocents, whether it be in the streets of the Mideast, or buildings in Manhattan.  The soldiers involved, both American and British, should immediately be stripped of their ranks, court-martialed if need be, dishonorably discharged, and sent packing.  They are scum.

The second thought that passed through my mind was a question.  The question is, why is the level of outrage being displayed in regards to these few disgusting military individuals, at such a pitch, as to make the stories of torture under Saddam appear to be non news?  Is it because there are not any photos which chronicle Saddam’s minions torture work?  Tsk, tsk, you know we expect torture stories from Saddam, and mass graves, and such, but the Americans, well the Americans deserve to be humilitated so lets wind this story up for maximum effect.

Think about that, but get your perspective glasses on.  The American and British involved in these incidents are scum.  They are no better than schoolyard bullies.  But don’t get so worked up that you can’t see the big picture.  And remember this.  As disgusting as the scenes depicted in the photographs are, they are scenes of humiliation, not death and torture of likes that occurred in the dungeons of Saddam Hussein.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 05/01 at 06:46 AM
  1. But don’t get so worked up that you can’t see the big picture.  And remember this.  As disgusting as the scenes depicted in the photographs are, they are scenes of humiliation, not death and torture of likes that occurred in the dungeons of Saddam Hussein.

    Unfortunately I believe that the big picture is already been torn up and thrown in the fire. This event, coupled with the turning over of Fallujah to a Saddam general, could very well be looked back on as the moment it all changed.

    Posted by Daniel Medley  on  05/01  at  08:39 AM
  2. You could be correct, Daniel.  I still rue the fact that individuals don’t turn these matters over in their mind, rather than swallowing whole what is printed in blurbs and fed through sound bites, before the next feeding frenzy occurs.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/01  at  08:46 AM
  3. The whole world is “outraged” at these images, where was all this outrage and anger when Saddam did these things?  Or better yet, where was the anger in the Arab world when civialian americans were killed and mutilated in Fallujah?  I re-call cheering on thier part, and dancing and celebration…Maybe those potrayed in the recently posted images were some of the “evil thugs” of Saddam who tortured, mutilated and killed for him…then maybe, just maybe, they are getting thier just rewards?  None were killed were they?  Just humilated.  I believe it would be interesting to know the more complete story behind the pictures instead of having a knee-jerk reaction to them.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/01  at  09:23 AM
  4. “The whole world is “outraged” at these images, where was all this outrage and anger when Saddam did these things?  Or better yet, where was the anger in the Arab world when civialian americans were killed and mutilated in Fallujah?”

    “Better yet”? How can you possibly imply that the killing of those four men was worse than what occurred under Saddam’s rule? Get this: those four contractors volunteered, knowing quite well the risk. They were apparently shot to death, then their corpses were mutilated. I don’t think anyone volunteered to get ruled by Hussein - those people who were tortured to death and then shoveled into mass graves like so much trash were pure victims. I really want to know what makes the one so much worse than the other, in your mind.

    “Maybe those potrayed in the recently posted images were some of the “evil thugs” of Saddam who tortured, mutilated and killed for him…then maybe, just maybe, they are getting thier just rewards?”

    Yeah, keep telling yourself that, as often as necessary. “They hate us for our freedoms”.

    Posted by John Lopez  on  05/01  at  10:45 AM
  5. Wiz,

    What were your feelings when you saw the Iraqui pictures of American POWs in bad shape during the war?

    I think what these American solidiers just did to their fellow soliders and to American civilians might turn out to be worse than what they did to their prisoners.

    Posted by John T. Kennedy  on  05/01  at  04:40 PM
  6. John V.

    “Too true.  And the outrage will blow over like a summer afternoon thunderstorm.”

    Not in the muslim world.

    In Henry V during the war in France, Bardolph (one of the King’s old drinking buddies) gets caught pilfering some items from a French church. It’s petty theft which might have been no big deal in other circumstances, but Henry hangs him without hesititation knowing he must demonstrate to the French that they will be treated farily, or else the country will be impossible to pacify.

    The perps here must get swift and severe punishment if you want to have any hope at all of convincing Iraqis and others that this will not be tolerated. I was quite serious about not ruling out public executions, that’s just what I’d be considering if I were trying to sort out Iraq.

    But I don’t think Bush or the American public have the stomach for that, so this will just fester.

    Posted by John T. Kennedy  on  05/01  at  05:00 PM
  7. John - Your right about the storm lingering in the Muslim world.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/02  at  06:36 AM
  8. I find Seymour Hersh at the New Yorker to be pretty credible: http://www.newyorker.com/printable/?fact/040510fa_fact

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/02  at  10:52 AM
  9. No one seem to remember these photos…

    http://www.twin-towers.net/iraq_pow’s.htm

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/04  at  08:59 AM
  10. While I agree that the American guards must be tried; I disagree that “they should be made examples of.”  That is just as illegal as torture. I am not angered because some criminal [not POW]Iraqis were tortured; I am angered because it was done by Americans.  Let the Iraqis do the torturing of these criminal Baathists.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/10  at  04:54 PM

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