July 26, 2003


Peaceniks howl about “sanitized war” when they don’t see all the bloody gore and bitch about “human dignity” when they do. (Jim Treacher is particularly outraged.) Maybe the images of U-Haul and Queersy should’ve been photoshopped first. You know, with all flowers sticking out of the bullet holes and cartoon elves sewing up Udag’s chest cavity.

We now join Mark Steyn in a live cross to the scene of another dictator’s demise:

Good evening. Reports that the former Italian leader Benito Mussolini is "dead" and "hanging" "upside down" at a petrol station were received with scepticism in Rome today. Our "reporter" - whoops, scrub the inverted commas round "reporter", the scare-quotes key on the typewriter's jammed again. Anyway our reporter Andrew "Gilligan" is "on" the scene "in" Milan. Andrew...

Posted by Tim Blair at July 26, 2003 11:27 PM

Personally, I would have prefered X's photoshopped over their eyes. But that's just me.

Posted by: Charles at July 26, 2003 at 11:54 PM

I say stick the bodies in Red Square next to Lenin. Beside them put some empty coffins marked "Saddam Hussein", "Osama bin Laden", "Fidel Castro", "Kim Jong-Il", "Robert Fisk", "Greg Dyke" etc. Make it all a tourist attraction. Once all the coffins are filled, bobby trap them - make these scum useful at least in death.

Posted by: Clem Snide at July 27, 2003 at 01:44 AM

Where was all the outrage when bodies of dead civilians were being broadcast on a continuous loop on Al-Jazeera? I can't believe the same people who thought it was right to show dead civilians are now claiming that the showing of Uday's and Qusay's corpses is un-Islamic and an insult to Muslim sensibilities. The pictures have been printed in newspapers and shown on television stations throughout the region, so shouldn't those media outlets come in for special condemnation since they know the Koran tells them that corpses are to be treated with respect, not shown to the public, and buried before nightfall?

And yet at the same time, we hear of Iraqis demanding that the bodies be dragged through the streets of Baghdad. We couldn't win on this one: don't show the bodies and no one will believe the men are dead or show them and be condemned for failing to respect the dignity of corpses.

Posted by: Moira at July 27, 2003 at 02:41 AM

You're failing to understand the house rules.

The United States always loses in the casino of Middle Eastern opinion.

Fortunately, we don't invest too heavily in't.

Posted by: Brian J. at July 27, 2003 at 04:33 AM

Moira, it's as old as the Vietnam war. Show only bodies of Americans and Vietnamese civilians.

Posted by: Ken Summers at July 27, 2003 at 06:48 AM

Treach hat joestein! JELIS

Posted by: Puce at July 27, 2003 at 07:43 AM

That's funny, considering your use of scare quotes in the previous post.

Posted by: Robert at July 27, 2003 at 07:20 PM

Peaceniks howl about “sanitized war” when they don’t see all the bloody gore and bitch about “human dignity” when they do.

What they want to see is American bodies.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 27, 2003 at 08:50 PM

The only problem I have is the double standard we seem to be showing. When the bodies of our troops were shown on Al-Jazeera, we were outraged. I guess I just don't see the distinction here. There may be a difference that I'm just missing. I guess my point is that I don't think turn about is fair play should be the way we do things. If we don't want our troops to be broadcast dead on television, then we need to adhere to that rule ourselves even if others don't. That's my opinion, and it has nothing to do with any respect for the sensitivities of the people in the middle east or questions about whether Saddam's boys got what they deserved. The world is a better place with them gone. There's no doubt in my mind about that.

Posted by: Rob at July 28, 2003 at 08:20 AM

The reason the picures were released is that the Iraqis demanded proof that they were dead. Our word wasn't good enough.

Posted by: kevin at July 28, 2003 at 08:43 AM

Why is the US being so mealy-mouthed about this? If it had been the British in colonial times they would have hung the bodies from the city walls as an example to others. This is the language Arabs understand and expect from victors.

Posted by: Rob (No.1) at July 28, 2003 at 10:05 AM

How did football start again?

Posted by: pooh at July 28, 2003 at 01:03 PM

Just a couple of quick thoughts: When are South Park going to add the dead duo to the show, I'm sure you all remember the movie and Saddam.

Also, it's a purely flippant and not at all original idea (I'm stealing it from IMAO, In My World, go read, very funny). Lets tie both up like marionettes and make them dance and do tricks. It'd be the first laugh they ever gave their people.

Posted by: Jake D at July 28, 2003 at 05:14 PM

As the token lefty pinko lesbian etc on this site I'll wade in and say I think showing the images was good, and given the need to convince iraqis that these sadistic pieces of sh*t are dead is fine with me.
I see it like the old vegetarian argument- if you eat it you should be able to watch it killed. I eat meat, I can kill it. So I believe that if the population endorse (even if this takes place at the hands of a democratically elected government, without overwhelming support) making war, then fine- they should sit through images of that war.
I would have liked to have seen, for example, close up images of the bride and groom, blown to bits, at the wedding where they were inexplicably (even by american stadards of 'intelligence' this was incredible) mistaken for terrorists. Interviews with the screaming survivors and orphaned kids, bloodied stumps wrapped in bandages instead of sporting limbs, supplanting prime time viewing space.
Sure, most of you tossers wouldn't care less, but I personally have faith that at least some of the general public would feel just a twinge of empathy.
Show it all! I'm with you bogans, censore nothing!

Posted by: inbredredneck at July 28, 2003 at 06:46 PM

Ah yes the old Me = humane, educated, peaceful, decent, educated and intelligent, bourgoise and you = stupid, poor, uneducated, brutal, violent, manual labourer peasant with genetic disorder arguement. We get really embarrassed when they bring that one out. Curses, just as Ithought we were winning they alays have to make fun of my neck colour.

And yes the CIA is populated by really really stupid people. They employ the really stupid ones deliberately. And the Pentagon too, must get the prime dickheads on the payroll. Clearly. I mean the whole idea is to make as many mistakes as possible. As is well known, any green haired undergraduate protester, journo, letter writer knows how to do foreign policy and plan an airstrike. We know this these truths to be self evident.

Nope like the bear says, we ain't here for the hunting. We just lurrve bombing weddings.

Posted by: James Hamilton at July 28, 2003 at 08:04 PM

James, her very nickname contains an insult to the poor and working classes in America. Hard working people who work long hours under the sun get burned necks. Ever read Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath? My father was an "Okie" and he was the one who taught me that all people have dignity. These people don't deserve to be insulted by privileged brats from Australia who have the time and luxury to cultivate their cynicism and contempt for people who really aren't even in a position to defend themselves.

Posted by: S.A. Smith at July 29, 2003 at 07:36 AM

Hey SA I agree ALL PEOPLE HAVE DIGNITY. Your okies would be affronted by my choice of nickname, yet afghans can't hold a wedding without having the sh*t blown out of them?

The reason the likes of yourself believe America has the right to wage war on anyone if it is in their perceived interests, is precisely because you DON'T believe that we all have dignity. Or rather, may I steal from Orwell, because you believe that some have more dignity than others.

And I think surely some of you right wingers must see my point- both the left and right wings gain advantage at times from manipulating the media, or from a passive pathetic media failing to go in hard and pursue the truth, whatever that may be and whomever it might assist.

And if people can't watch footage of their taxpayer dollar purchased bullets blowing the faces of a family of peasants in Iraq or Afghanistan, then they should let the f*cking government know. But maybe they will support the war regardless; none of us have forgotten the explicit images of people having to leap to their deaths from the WTC towers.

James it comes down to this; either the intelligence was lousy in each case, or someone deliberately or recklessly:
(1)slaughtered civiies
(2)lied about WMDs
(3)ignored the proliferation of al qaeda
etc etc.
Actually you are right, it is more likely to be the latter....

Posted by: inbredredredneck at July 29, 2003 at 12:48 PM

Inbred, I think you have it, number 3 is quite plausible - that's what you get for being peace loving. I think you must find it worrying that the biggest regret US policy makers have now, in their eyes at least, is listening to the UN, appeasing countries like Saudi Arabia, attempting to stop Iraq by santions etc. Me, I don't mind at all and have a very clear view which side my bread is buttered on.

The hypocrisy of the west is that we only seem to kick the crap out of those dictators who can and seem willing to do us real harm. Not only morally dubious, but pragmatically dubious. WMDs are like PCs, pretty soon there will be one of every desk. Let's hope that Zimbabwe gets sorted, one way or another, real soon.

Posted by: James Hamilton at July 29, 2003 at 02:41 PM

Well James we agree on number 3 then. But I don't think the appeasal of Saudi Arabia has much to do with the left, peaceniks, et al. Not the way it has to do with oil, oil, the way the brutal and venal Saudi royal family from time to time take a moderate and semi pro-western stance, oil etc.

Post afghanistan, which although I think it was badly run I agree required some firm action, the priorities of the so called alliance against terror (if they were true to their words) should have been Saudi (and in particular a head on tackle to the aggresive Wahabi clerics increasingly dominating islamic hermeneutics in that country), Yemen, Sudan, and on a slightly lower key, co-operate with the governments level, Philippines and Indonesia.

As a pure question of fact Iraq had stuff all to do with Al Qaeda. Sure they may have co-operated here and there, but as I'm sure you know the Wahabs and Al Qaeda are devoted to destroying big corrupt monolithic dictatorships (and replacing them with their own monolithic theistic dictatorships). Saddam would know he was playing with his enemy there- a powerful saudi arabia controlled by al qaeda inspired forces would be likely to wage covert and eventually explicit war on the likes of Sadam. And Iran, bizarrely enough, because their Shiite status renders them all apostates!

Don't assume that because people are left of centre, and against the use of war as a first resort, that they are incapable of thinking strategically or sanctioning military action where needed.

Posted by: inbredredneck at July 29, 2003 at 05:37 PM

I don't think they give too much of a stuff about the oil per se. They(we) don't mind buying it. Oil becomes a factor when they(we) wonder what theyre gonna do with all that money theyre getting for it.

Your final point is a good one. The issue is not about right/left and is all too often mistaken for one. Indeed some lefty commentators are furious with their fellow travellers for not joining them on the march into Iraq. This whole new found desire of some of the Right to idealistically march in and overthrow a dictator ship to liberate the People, and some of the Left saying that the ends do not justify the means has a certain dark irony, certainly it does.

Posted by: James Hamilton at July 29, 2003 at 08:06 PM