Friday, February 17, 2006

Militant Madness

America has been poking a big stick into the hornets' nest a lot lately. Though to be fair, the militant elements of Islam are actively looking for a fight, and we're not the only country with a stick.

The
anger over cartoon depictions of Mohammad has spread, and so has the corresponding death and destruction. Anger is often irrational, but this is completely beyond reason. The issue is being milked by protesters to the point that blood is coming from the teats.

A Danish newspaper published blasphemous cartoons, and a few other European papers followed suit. It’s the perfect excuse to vent that long-held anger at all things Western. Burn every embassy and fast-food restaurant you can find. Protest at American airbases, even though we’re not a party to the cartoon affair.

That said, I am disillusioned with the way my country has been exerting its influence in recent years. We’re not living up to our own democratic ideals by a long shot.

The
newly released Abu Ghraib photos shocked me more than the original set did. This abuse is widespread, not just some fraternity pranks by a handful of untrained recruits. But even as we see and hear more evidence, our president insists we don’t torture.

Instead of sticking to generalized talking points, Bush needs to unambiguously renounce the torture that has happened, and that may indeed still be happening covertly, before the world. We lost our moral superiority cherry long ago, folks.

There are those who condemn the leak of such photos as endangering our troops, but it’s the acts they depict that stir hatred. Those in charge should think about acts that may take place under their watch; if they are inflammatory in nature, they’re endangering their own people by committing and/or encouraging them.

If the Abu Ghraib photos were never released our leaders could still deny any such deeds have ever taken place. Critics should consider how the people at the top have essentially forced the hand of the press here. First there were rumors of torture, which were denied. Then came the photos: “See, we told you so.”

My point is, if there’s no torture, there are no credible photos of torture to foment fanaticism and give ammunition to our foes. I hate to think of any American doing that, or of any American suffering retribution as a result of what someone else may have done.

Of course it's not just Americans taking ill-advised actions, it’s our friends, too.


A few days back news outlets aired video footage of British soldiers beating up Iraqi adolescents. The kids were being punks, throwing rocks at the soldiers, who then seemed to blow off steam with blows to the kids’ chests, faces and balls. If you haven’t seen it, the boot-to-groin kick is particularly nasty.

But where few Americans have been convicted of mistreating Iraqis, some British officials have loudly called for the conviction of those involved in this incident. Several arrests have already been made.


We'll still see a backlash from guilt by association, though.

Let’s lay blame where it belongs, whether it is with ourselves, our friends or our enemies. And let’s see that our responses are measured in proportion to the initial offenses. All sides could stand to be reminded of that.

I know, I’m an idealist – shoot me. It wouldn’t be the most extreme overreaction the world has seen lately.

20 comments:

rusty shakelford said...

check your facts

"if the Abu Ghraib photos were never released our leaders could still deny any such deeds have ever taken place"

the photos were leaked from a DOD investigation of guards and the prision.

Pete Bogs said...

I know about the leaks... my point was, officials are criticizing the leakers more than the torturers! and if someone hadn't leaked the pics, officials would still be denying this stuff happens... now they can't... in essence, we have PROVEN to our enemies that their worst suspicions were true... shame on us...

Pete Bogs said...

if you're objecting to the use of the word "released" instead of "leaked," that's a semantic difference to me... they got out there...

infinitesimal said...

No Boggsy, I agree, released connotates the approval of the subject. Leaked is much much jucier and clandestine.

If you hang out with people who SHOOT THEIR FRIENDS IN THE FACE!!!

Then torture seems pithy in comparison...
"torture, no we do not torture, I did shoot my friend in the face last week, but we were just relaxing together, no you have never seen my version of torture...."

haha?

Pete Bogs said...

now the question is, which is worse, stabbing a friend in the back, or shooting them in the face?

seriously, I need to know... LOL

I'm not so concerned with how the pics got out as I am that they prove we've been torturing people... however, you're right about the connotation of released versus leaked...

sitting at your feet...

presidentbobo said...

Yup, Bogs, it doesn't matter how the pics appeared. What matters is that members of the US Armed Forces tortured Iraqi prisoners. That is the only important point. We tortured. And our morally bankrupt leadership would like to continue to torture...and spy and anything else they want to keep us "safe" even if that reduces us to the level of our enemies. I'll say it again just so it is clear - we tortured prisoners!!!!

Mr Q said...

Nasty stuff will always be cooked and served to those that don't look at the menus, they know is there in the back.
The casual customer will come and order from the menu not knowing what else can be cooked. Reality is that all items in the menu as well as those that are not, is waht keeps this establishment open for business, the only way to change it is by going to eat somewhere else, because asking to see the manager is possible but it wont change anything. We all love to eat there because there are places that are really well below the standards of our favorite restaurant.

rusty shakelford said...

My point is that the defense department was handling the matter. As i recall the individuals involved where thrown in jail. They would have been thrown in jail even if the photos never got out. Also to make the story better the opposition to the President had to redefine torture. Torture used to be pulling out fingernails, beating, electrocuting etc. Now torture is making someone feel humiliated. I think POW s in Vietnam would have chosen to be stacked up naked like some kind of sick frat boy initiation then the hell they went though.

Pete Bogs said...

"frat boy initiation?" I think we've been listening to too much Rush radio...

individuals such as Graner and England have faced disciplinary action, but the people in charge are still mostly in charge... this may have come all the way from Rummy... he's still got his freedom and a job... Gonzo basically greenlighted it for Bush... he's still on the job, too...

low-level offenders (the ones actually seen in the pics) may have gone to jail without release of the pics, but the lie of the "we don't torture" mantra would not have been proven... I'm glad it was exposed, though I expect that makes me an unpatriotic liberal, because it's WRONG... I don't always side with those closest to me, I try to side with the truth... that's what the penultimate paragraph in the post was referring to... I'm not going to defend wrong people just because they're Americans...

btw, what frat were the Abu Ghraib prisoners pledging?

Hellpig said...

Torture PLEASE,those worthless prisoners of war are treated better than any prisoners in the world,and I think the UN is the last group who should be telling the US how to run anything,next they will want to allow the UAE to join the UN, oh wait they do can we all say "dhimmitude" and if the photos do exsist I believe AL(socialist)Franken photoshopped them.

Pete Bogs said...

actually, I have to disagree with ya, heckswine... not only do the liberal Europeans you're slamming not have death penalties, they run some of the most humane penal facilities in the world (the Polish and Romania ones are ours)... those Continentals also are watching carefully over Turkey's admittance to the EU, due to their human rights record... as for the UAE, I'm quite sure this administration hasn't objected to them buying up six US seaports! check it out:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,185107,00.html

I think you just got served, Rusty In Disguise...

peace

Hellpig said...

alright not the world but better then the US prisons...yeah the Ports thing won't fly......FOX NEWS I thought Libs watched CNN or MSNBC nice to know you watch the only Fair and Balance News channel

Pete Bogs said...

blogger, please... I don't watch Fox News, CNN or MSNBC... I read their Web sites, cause it's free!

Reverend X said...

Odd point... It is getting more and more difficult to compare US prisoners to non US Prisoners due to our having all of the prisoners. Latest count we had 25% of all the prisoners in the world in our prisons. That does not take into account the secret prisons, military prisons, and any other prisons we probably have. I did an article a while back on this.
Honestly, if this is the way we are trying to solve the homeless problem... we need a rethink.

Fair and balance? So they thesaurused their reality, Pale and Scaled!

Hellpig said...

No... If we deported the Illegal Aliens(MEXICANS)who occupy 40% of the population of our prisons 80% in California.and as for the Homeless we could accomidate them if our FREE health care to the Illegals hasn't bankrupt our health care system (hat tip to AZ,CO)they voted to stop the free care to ILLEGAL ALIENS.Here in Seattle the Liberal/Socialist Capitol of the US will be voting on this topic soon.

Blue said...

Hellpig,

DO you have any humanist principles? Or statistics to back up your thoroughly racist comments?

Reverend X said...

Hellpig,
They are keeping Social Security funded. In your defense, Seattle is pretty damn irritating. So move! You see the people around you? You know what they are? You know what they'll be after your 5th heart attack? Move to a red state! And maybe get yourself a hooker or something. You need to relax! And quit listening to right wing shock jocks. They are Stern without the libido and wit. Note- the wit statement is in comparison to...

Hellpig said...

here you go bluebolt too many to list google this

"illegal aliens prisoners"

and this

"illegal alien health care"

I am not a racist I am a realist

theres over 5 million hits on these 2 topics DO THE MATH

Rev I have no time for AM radio,and I can't move because the commercial crab fisheries are based here,I only work 8 months a year I will retire before I am 50 then I will move after my fifth Heart attack

ffff said...

I just saw an interview with a lawyer for the American Civil Liberty's Union who was saying they have been trying to get these photos released through the FOI request and it has been stalled and held up for months and months. The reason she said they wanted them to be released was to not 'catch' the little people but to bring to account the upper echelons as it could only happen under a directive from on high.
She said since Americans were proud of their freedom of speech and information that it was imperative for this to be seen through.
I thought all that pretty important.

t said...

hmm...maybe I misjudged ya Pete. I agree with ya on the wiretapping, and heck on this too. Just because other people act like asses doesn't mean you get too. If the cops took this stance ("they were mean to us, that's why we took shots at them"), well, obviously it'd be nothing but rioting everywhere. Right is right is right. Just coz people treat you right don'[t mean you gotta kick the crap out of ya. That's what Rummy should have send some of the good armor over for. Oh well. And as for the cartoon riots, yeah, they're dopes, but again, it's a minority of Muslims, sort of like Pat Robertson and Benny Hinn and Jerry Falwell are a minority (very small one) of Christians....