April 30, 2004


Margo Kingston’s brain is starved of vital oxygen:

I'm still trying to breathe after seeing on Lateline the photos of American soldiers smiling as they pose with tortured Iraqi prisoners, if torture is the word for the horror. The images are out of a Caligula movie. The world has gone to hell. George Bush's war on Iraq will haunt all our lives. I recant my objections to Latham's policy. Out now! There must be a better way, there must be. We must find leaders fast, real fast.

If those images are causing Margo some respiratory problems, these must have turned her lungs inside out. In the same Webdiary screed, highly-strung Webdiarist Jack Robertson seeks to expose the source of a report obtained by the Herald Sun’s Andrew Bolt:

Bolt declined to comment about his source for the report. Asked if he was prepared to exclude the Prime Minister’s and the Foreign Minister’s offices as his source, he responded:

"Don’t insult my intelligence and yours. If you claim to be a journalist, these questions are just so preposterous...they’re an insult. You would not put them to anyone else that had revealed documents that supported a thesis with which you whole-heartedly agreed. The only reason you’re asking me is that you want to elevate Andrew Wilkie against the evidence."

There’s an ethical issue here. Margo writes that she is “bound by the code of ethics of the Media Alliance union, of which I am a member.” And here is part of that code, linked to by Webdiary:

Aim to attribute information to its source. Where a source seeks anonymity, do not agree without first considering the sources motives and any alternative attributable source. Where confidences are accepted, respect them in all circumstances.

Bolt is respecting the confidence of his source. Webdiary -- casting aside the MEAA code -- wants him to identify that source, and presumably would have published the source had Bolt named whoever it was. It’s like something out of a Caligula movie!

Posted by Tim Blair at April 30, 2004 01:24 PM

Not just fast, real fast! Real real real fast!


Posted by: gaz at April 30, 2004 at 01:38 PM

Maybe Margo “writes” but she’s no writer. Margo shmargo. A true writer died a few days ago—I didn’t know till I saw the “Goodbye, friend” item at MerdeInFrance.blogspot.com—Hubert Selby, Jr., whom I stooopidly forgot to mention on the “New Blogs” thread that turned to American literature a week or so ago. I don’t advocate that high school shelves be stocked with Selby’s novels, but he was a writer’s writer, with Twain’s ear & a clarity that could turn on a dime from one voice to another in mid-sentence & you never lost track.

Posted by: ForNow at April 30, 2004 at 01:40 PM

This Margo broad sounds like she'd be a perfect fit on CNN, or MSNBC -- she's probably smart enough to know that nobody watches that crap and will stick with her present gig.

More's the pity for you poor bastards, eh?

Posted by: geezer at April 30, 2004 at 01:59 PM

Perhaps she can be sold off tot he harem of one of those good guys, an Arab Wahhabist.

Posted by: d at April 30, 2004 at 02:04 PM

The behavior of the prison guards is sickening, though. We shouldn't be in the position of saying, well, yeah, we're bad, but at least we're not as bad as Saddam Hussein! You know, agreed, but it would be better to be able to say, no, we're good and we don't treat prisoners badly because that is wrong.

And yes, it may be just a few bad soldiers, but PR is a big part of this effort and I'm guessing this will be shown more than the school-rebuilding ones on Al-Jazeera.

I hope it is made clear that this is unacceptable, because I support this effort and want it to succeed.

Posted by: k at April 30, 2004 at 02:12 PM

I agree with k, these actions are morally wrong and those who participated must be kicked out of the army and punished.

But lets not get too carried away Lefties. The Leftoscum never get too excited about much worse (and regular, not once off) torture committed by their buddies Saddam, Fidel, Kim Jong-Il. When such indcidents are committed by western soldiers there is a massive outcry in the west and those people are punished. when it happens in the arab world, you dont exactly see a swell of arab public anger.

I also think there is some hypocracy here when they say "the arab street will explode in anger when they see these pictures". Will they also explode in anger at their own leaders who commit much worse crimes on a daily basis? I guess not.

Posted by: Raffi at April 30, 2004 at 02:23 PM

I was wondering how blh blah blair would try to comment on the US torturing of prisoners. How to do it without actually criticising the americans and john howard. It would have been conspicious if he just left it, so......

He chose to misdirect attention on this crime (sorry if you don't agree it's a crime), into a bash of Kingston. Wow! how efficient of you.

US war crime issue dealt with (tick off checklist), Margo smacked (tick, tick). Oh how delicious. Two things dealt in one or two paragraphs.

Just parsing that bit of his comment, no doubt that Kingston would have 'turned her lungs out' at the link he provided.....I'd hope she did in fact. Both are nasty crimes. It'd be a human response.

I'm wondering though blah, how comfortable are you feeling with trying to imply that this latest crime is somehow OK, because Saddam did it before? (schoolyard reasoning I believe) Or are you comfortable with using the image of that unfortunate guy who got blown up for a cheap dig at Kingston? Would it somehow be wrong for Kingston to 'turn her lungs out' at Saddams crime. Perhaps you are really comfortable at making fun, using for your cheap digs, someones reasonable and rational disgust at this sort of thing.

Even your lord john howard (sorry I don't think he deserves capital letters) said he deplored the crime.....can you manage that blah blah blair?

(ps: yes I'm aware of the irony on having a blah blah blair bash. This is only a rant blog anyway, ahhh spleen vented.)

Posted by: bemused spectator at April 30, 2004 at 02:31 PM

arab street does its exploding in bombs, not anger

but they'll be bursting into laughter at the fearful west's overreaction to these tame antics

Posted by: ilibcc at April 30, 2004 at 02:43 PM

Not many of us are fooled by the established fact that Lefties' interest in things military begins and ends with "bad stuff."

Kerry was a war hero; Kerry was anti-war. Hands up around here who thinks he'd be the "presumptive (more like pre-dumptive) nominee" if you left out the anti-war part?

What kind of mental gymnastics are required to hail one guy's willingness to engage in war, but condemn anyone else who engages in same?

Wotta crock 'o' sheep shit.

Crimes in the military are punished with a swiftness and severity unknown in the civilian world. Lefties, please don't pretend you care as much about the mistakes as you do about the successes. We're all on to you by now.

Posted by: geezer at April 30, 2004 at 02:50 PM

Let's have some perspective here. This crime came to light, and was punished by the U.S. military. Not the U.N., not Amnesty International. Internal policing found the problem, and presumably will punish the perps involved.
Can you say the same thing about Saddam's army? About ANY Arab army?
That's just one reason why we're better than Saddam.

Posted by: Geoff Matthews at April 30, 2004 at 02:58 PM

"According to the U.S. Army, one Iraqi prisoner was told to stand on a box with his head covered, wires attached to his hands. He was told that if he fell off the box, he would be electrocuted."

If this were done to a U.S. prisoner, I don't think it would be seen as a tame antic. It is cruel and should be taken seriously.

I completely agree that it is ridiculous when those on the left condemn the West for relatively minor infractions while real atrocities are ignored. But I also think that it is wrong to use real atrocities as comparisons to excuse or minimize real wrongdoing.

The West's strict moral code is one of the coolest things we have and it should not be relaxed just because there are worse examples out there of wrongdoing. No, the guard's behavior was wrong and should be stated so clearly.

Posted by: k at April 30, 2004 at 03:00 PM

Well said Geoff.

as poor as the behaviour was, the left conveniently leave out the fact that the US army is in the process of punishing those responsible.

Watching the BBC news this morning was an anti US rave. Seriously, the whole broadcast was peppered with as many unflattering stories as could be found.

Posted by: nic at April 30, 2004 at 03:02 PM

how many of the tortured iraqis died and how many were wounded?

Posted by: roscoe at April 30, 2004 at 03:32 PM

k, who's excusing or minimizing wrongdoing? UK, Australian, American /and other militaries have very stringent and swift military justice systems to deal with our screwups.

What you MAY be reacting to is the predicatble and nausea-producing pontifications of the worldly Left when someone in the military does something wrong.

For example: if you're a cop, you know how hard the organization comes down on it's own miscreants. But does the public really appreciate the thousand acts of humanity done every day by the police? Of course not.

Say you're a doctor. Go ahead, say it. If one screws up, who gets on TV: the one shithead, or the 1000 who saved/helped lives that day? Which of those 1001 stories will get 5 minutes on the news, with tear-drenched testimonials from deeply-effected family members?

Our cultures have been so deeply conditioned to expect sterotypical madmen in uniform that it's a wonder ANYONE ever joins the fucking military. Kind of like the problem we have getting anyone decent to get into politics, I guess...

Thank God I believe in my country's decency, and it's military, and am confident in the goals set for protecting us. How sad and dark it must be for those otherwise.

Posted by: geezer at April 30, 2004 at 03:37 PM

Yes Nic, that's the tactics of the cowardly left for you. Unfortunately for them, they are becoming too strident and irrational in their hatred of Bush and Howard. Most of us can see through the media's arrant hypocrisy so easily it isn't funny. None of them really care about anything but bashing their political enemies on the Right. If it wasn't Iraq, it would be something else. The fact that these evil islamofacists commit unspeakable crimes doesn't matter one jot to the idiotarian like bemused spectator (who by the way has no idea of parse means).

Everything is always the West's fault with twits like that. It's even easier for them when right wing leaders are in power in the Western democracies. It's sad to see how much energy the lefties waste on their anti-Bush and anti-Howard stance. And all the poor old lefties end up doing is show how inane and irrational they have become. I was actually thinking of making a bundle of cash in the last anti-war march by setting up a stall selling tinfoil hats to "keep out the evil rays that Bush and Howard were sending out to corrupt people's minds".

The stupidity and hypocrisy of the left would be funny if we weren't engaged in a war for the survival of our civilisation.

Posted by: Toryhere at April 30, 2004 at 03:48 PM

I agree with geezer and Geoff. In western militaries, the good soldiers far outnumber the bad or stupid troops. And punishment can be swifter than for civilians. The lefties clearly don't understand (or ignore, more likely) the Unified Code of Military Justice.

Tim's comparison is valid. Under Saddam, this sort of thing would have been a training exercise for recruits. We deal with it as a crime. The difference is obvious, if you don't have your head up your arse.

And whatshisname, confused speculator, is amongst those most clueless in the left wing of Moonbat Control.

Posted by: JeffS at April 30, 2004 at 03:50 PM

Dear Bemused Spectator (and all Margos) :

As nic and geezer have pointed out, we (the right wing lunatic fringe) don't support, applaud or try and condone torture of prisoners, although to be fair if you have seen your colleagues and friends killed and mutilated by these people it must be difficult not to exact reprisals.

Which is actually the whole point - the fact that the western military not only do not (despite what Margo thinks) regularly do this sort of thing is the important point.

As is the fact that when these things are found out, they are bought out into the public, and the perpetrators dealt with, by the military themselves.

It is this culture of punishing wrong-doing, of stating what is acceptable behaviour and what is not, and debating things in the open, that Western culture is about - and hopefully Iraq, with the help of the Western forces out there, now have a chance of getting to.

As to Tim's use of a picture to illustrate what used to be official Iraqi policy (and be very glad Mr. Bemused Spectator that you weren't a father with a duaghter who caught Uday's eye), it is an example of what you left-wing types ought to get worked up about - except there are no cosy feelings of superiority in trying to turn world attention against African or Asian despots, are there ?

Another typical example of Left-wing racism - its OK if the Arabs/blacks/Asians do it, because they don't know any better ( which is even more inexcusable when it comes from Western-eductated members of these groups who try and excuse it).

"I would much rather go after the mote in the West's eye than the beam in the Third World's ..." is the thought patterns of the Margos/Pilgers of this world. And 'Bemused Spectator' accuses us of double standards ...

Posted by: Andrew at April 30, 2004 at 03:58 PM

JeffS: I guess we shouldn't be too hard on the anti-military left, if all they know of military justice is "A Few Good Men" or those lame-o B movies Travolta and Sam Jackson did in the last few years. Most lefties aren't allowed to stay up late enough to catch "The Caine Mutiny."

Then again, it may be a sign of progress that we even have THOSE movies, since I don't recall a single 'Nam movie making it's way into a court room. All through the 70s and 80s, the crazed vet usually wasted everyone and himself before a lawyer could get his/her slimy hooks into him.

We count our victories/blessings as best we can.

Posted by: geezer at April 30, 2004 at 04:08 PM

Dear Andrew,

Part of the point massaged in your post:

These pictures don't depict the torture of Iraqi prisoners. They depict the humiliation of Iraqi prisoners by their 'liberators', who appear to be having quite a party whilst doing so.

Merely saying "well, we're still not as bad as Saddam was" isn't going to convince your average Mohammed in the street that you have the Iraqi people's best interests at heart.

I, for one, am glad that the powers that be have jumped on these people so swiftly, but am disappointed that internal controls weren't in place to prevent it from happening.

Posted by: Swade at April 30, 2004 at 04:13 PM


There was no intention on my part to 'massage' anything. I condemn the 'humiliation'of these prisoners, although perhaps it may be informative to know what sort of actions these people have been up to.

My point was rather that these things are picked up by internal controls and are actually very rare.

My emphasis remains unchanged - we should condemn these actions, whilst applauding the system that acts to punish those who do so. What we should not do is rant and rave that the West is entirely evil whilst ignoring the far, far worse crimes that are committed daily elsewhere simply out of fear of being branded 'racist'.

Posted by: Andrew at April 30, 2004 at 04:29 PM


One step at a time. I agree.

But I doubt the lefties would watch "The Caine Mutiny" anyway, it being in black and white. They'd just turn the boob tube off, and check to see if their warranty has expired.

Posted by: JeffS at April 30, 2004 at 04:46 PM

I try not to feed the trolls, but Befuddled Dickfiddler needs some schooling in logical thought.

OK, Befuddled...check out K's contribution. Calm, rational, and makes his/her point.

Your contribution is simply a rant.

Tim's post was not an attempt to dismiss the crime committed, it was a comment on the hypocrisy of a particularly virulent syndicated commentator. Her selective outrage over human rights abuses has become particularly egregious, and is fair game for those that support the mission and the troops.

Take off your blinkers and take a couple of deep breaths. There, feel better? Now try penning an intelligent comment that might challenge people to debate your argument, rather than your childish style.


Posted by: Al Bundy at April 30, 2004 at 04:46 PM

Bemused speculator writes: "how comfortable are you feeling [Tim] with trying to imply that this latest crime is somehow OK, because Saddam did it before"?

Saddam Hussein personally visited jails to give inmates the dreaded nyer-nyer-nyer-nyer-nyer treatment? Next you'll be making the astonishingly disturbing claim of Saddam-inflicted wedgies, cruel use of water bombs and Mengele-like employment of spit-balls. Please, say you've got no proof of nipple-twisting.

So this is Osama's 'tough horse'? Precious Pony more like.

Punish the foolish soldiers involved, in accordance with the American rule of law, and let's move on.

Posted by: CurrencyLad at April 30, 2004 at 04:47 PM

Clueless Manichean twits, the lot of you making your pathetic excuses and snivelling rationalisations.

"We Good, They Bad".

Bullshit. Yet in the face of all the evidence, you cling to your sad prejudices. The simple world you yearn for just doesn't exist. And until you get that, you are part of the problem.

Posted by: Nemesis at April 30, 2004 at 05:05 PM

PS Bemused speculator:

Notice how Margo cynically used this indiscretion to rehabilitate herself with the left? She had, you may recall, argued against Latham's policy of bringing Australian troops home before Christmas. Her position on this was that having participated in the war, we now had to participate in the rebuilding of Iraq.

"I recant my objections to Latham's policy. Out now! There must be a better way, there must be."

Was someone torturing her when she said that?

My guess is this was the chief motivation for the concocted hysteria. It's not 'all about oil', it's not 'all about wheat.'

It's all about Margo.

Posted by: CurrencyLad at April 30, 2004 at 05:10 PM

Life Immitates Art

Kimmitt says the Army will not let what happened at Abu Ghraib just pass. What does he think is the most important thing for Americans to know about what has happened?
"I think two things. No. 1, this is a small minority of the military, and No. 2, they need to understand that is not the Army,” says Kimmitt.

CBS News
Abuse Of Iraqi POWs By GIs Probed
April 29, 2003

Sir John: May I take this opportunity of emphasizing that there is no cannibalism in the Royal Navy. Absolutely none, and when I say none, I mean there is a certain amount, more than we are prepared to admit, but all new ratings are warned that if they wake up in the morning and find toothmarks at all anywhere on their bodies, they're to tell me immediately so that I can immediately take every measure to hush the whole thing up. And finally, necrophilia is right out.

Monty Python's Flying Circus
Episode 32
November 23, 1972

Posted by: Sincerity Slips at April 30, 2004 at 05:14 PM

Thanks, Al!

I ultimately agree with what I think was Tim Blair's point - the media and the left will exaggerate and re-iterate this ad nauseum. My first reaction to hearing about it was to assume that it was in fact being exaggerated and the milder version will come out later. And that may still be true. But the article indicated that the U.S. Army was acknowledging some of these things, so I don't think it can be dismissed out of hand.

But the situation I quoted earlier does not sound like a fraternity prank. Particularly to an Iraqi, who would probably not get the joke, since he would expect that sort of thing from Hussein.

I just think there is a danger to reacting to 'This means everything!!!' by answering it with 'This means nothing and does not even need to be acknowledged.' I think the Coalition governments are responding to this correctly, acknowledging the problem frankly and fixing it.

Posted by: k at April 30, 2004 at 05:19 PM

If it's proven that our soldiers were mistreating, not just torturing, but mistreating prisoners under their care, the soldiers should be disciplined, along with any command staff that looked the other way.

The BIG Difference between the coalition countries and those we fight, is that we will not blame anyone else if it turns out our soldiers were at fault. Most people I know want to ensure we don't mistreat the Iraqis in any way, even Iraqi prisoners.

The same thing can't be said for those we fight against. They blame everyone but themselves for anything that happens. They certainly would not care if any coalition members were mistreated. There would be no investigation to punish the guilty. Hell, they'd make sure Al-Jazeera was getting it all on tape.

We are not perfect people fighting a perfect war. We'll make mistakes fighting the war, keeping the peace, and some of our soldiers WILL behave badly. Innocent people will be harmed. Prisoners will be mistreated. This happens in a conflict fought by imperfect human beings.

We will punish our soldiers, if it can be proven they are guilty. This is all you can ask of flawed human beings. Don't everyone faint and 'have the vapors' because soldiers have behaved badly. Correct the situation and continue on.

Is it really such a shock to anyone that our soldiers are not perfect? When we create the perfect human, then we can fight perfectly without any flaws. Until that time comes, we identify and punish those who can't seem to control themselves when they need to.

We don't STOP A WAR because soldiers have been found mistreating people. In the real world, this is something that happens. Don't run and hide from it .. or stop a war because of it. Deal with it and continue on.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at April 30, 2004 at 05:21 PM

It is estimated that around 5% of the male population are actual or borderline psychopaths. Thus, in America's volunteer army, a similar proportion should be expected on statistical grounds alone. Therefore it is unsurprising that a few American soldiers are caught acting this way. They will be punished like any other criminal.

Posted by: jean-luc bidet at April 30, 2004 at 05:25 PM

Your post was absolutely brilliant Chris.

Posted by: CurrencyLad at April 30, 2004 at 05:32 PM

flick, clatter, clatter, plop.......bite and catch.
What a suprise on the responses. Here goes for a reply:
- I made no comment on left/right politics. FYI I actually regard myself as a conservative, however relative to the wallys in Canberra and Washington I can understand the misconception that I'm on the left. Well, believe what you like.
- what the post was acutally about, nothing more than a dig at blairs using a terrible thing to take a dig at someone. No comment about loony right wing policies, no comment about double standards....just that.
- Most posters here have noted that the US army is prosecuting those reponsible....sorry didn't think I needed to re-iterate the obvious stuff being reported, but fair enough. Those posting about our western military are right admiring them. I have nothing but utter respect for them and fully recognise the best far outnumber the scumbags, and believe it or not, think they are needed. Their civilian bosses though, I think I have the right to have contempt for mis-using their dignity and loyalty.

One of the amusing (bemusing?) things come out of the re-actionary knee-jerkers responding to points not actually raised is demonstrating the wacky logic of those who have an opinion and use whatever means necessary to defend it. As blair did to take a dig at his current target Kingston.(remember what I said above about the purpose to the original post...it was only about blair using these crimes for a cheap dig.....it's dis-honourable). Lets see:
- geezer - something about being on to how 'we're onto to you'...maybe you can borrow one of ToryHeres' tin foil hats to protect you from the evil left wing mind control rays, and prepare you for his end of civilisation.
- Andrew - hi, the voices in your head are telling you things that I didn't post, but nice post. Please calm down, read the original again. No attack or comment on anything else other than the dis-honourable actions of blair to take a cheap dig at Kingston. (sorry about the voices in the head comment, it sounded good after the tin foil hat sentence)....besides I presume you mean me by Befuddled Dickfiddler...rather clever.. really
- Jeffs - Moonbat Control? mmm...maybe more tin foil hats please.
k, swade - good posts, very calm and reasonable as Al Bundy says.
Al Bundy - very good, bravo, best of all. You're right in identifying a troll for one and a good wrap for the posts above (don't know what'll come next of course)...I am having a rant, but this is a blog, not ancient greek ampitheatre where logic and reason are discussed rationally, it's expected. I didn't pick the implication of blairs take of Margos bias, it'd be nice if he said it straight..oh well. But then I wasn't looking at that. As noted...it was the was blairs method...some dignity would be appropriate. Incidentally I'm happy to duel logic at you in some later blair posts. You'll notice the difference between a trolling rant and a logical dissertation then...guarantee it. It's not really a challenge aka glove slapping style, as a student of logic yourself (though a bit inattentive to the actual original post I note), you're sure to remember that use of logic reveals objective truth. Together, via our logical interactions we can reveal truth.....without agenda or bias. But lets work on blairs posts, after all the majority of posting on this blog would be too easy targets.

now, I've posted enough. Must get out of the sun before turning to stone aka The Hobbit style.


Posted by: bemused spectator at April 30, 2004 at 05:41 PM

Good people -- GOOOOOOOOD!

Bad people -- BAAAAAAAAAD!

Some of us don't have the time to wait for God to sort them out, so until then, there's our military forces, and national, THEN international law.

If only our common enemy gave as much of a fuck about rights and law as we did, eh?

Posted by: geezer at April 30, 2004 at 05:43 PM

"I am having a rant, but this is a blog, not ancient greek ampitheatre where logic and reason are discussed rationally, it's expected."

Paragraphs are expected, however.

Regards, Döbeln

-Stabil som fan!

Posted by: Döbeln at April 30, 2004 at 05:55 PM

Do the hysterical school ma'ams on BBC actually know any military history? Genuine mistreatment of prisoners up to and including execution was common in WW2, particularly in the case of SS troopers, concentration camp guards and similar, of whom these Iraqis are the Baathist equivalent. Futhermore, such acts, even when discovered, usually went unpunished.

And what did these boys do - they mocked some fascists. Is that really breaking world news?!

I don't think it warrants a punishment any more severe than a "please don't do it again, boys" (if that). The fact that the US military believes otherwise proves once again that it operates on a higher moral plane than any military force in all of world history.

Posted by: Kip Watson at April 30, 2004 at 05:56 PM

"We Good, They Bad"."

And you Nemesis, you would never fall into this trap, I assume? After all, your worldview is pretty easy to sum up:

US = Bad

"Anyone fighting the US" = Good

Manichean indeed. At least us sniveling US partisans have something to cheer for. Must be pretty sad waking up each day hoping for the success of "The Sadr Brigades", "The Whoopin' Moohlas", etc. Especially as they always lose.

Regards, Döbeln

-Stabil som fan!

Posted by: Döbeln at April 30, 2004 at 06:05 PM

It's pretty dismaying.

It's a relief that the military has already taken action about it.

Posted by: Andjam at April 30, 2004 at 07:02 PM

Oh my god. They made him stand on a box.

A box.

I mean, didn't they have a crate, or a barrel?

A box. Oh, the torture.

Seriously -- I think I know why Leftovers are so showily "horrified" at these alleged actions against Iraqi prisoners by Americans. 1) They resemble frat-party hijinks, raising guilty memories in some of the Leftovers of memories of freshman abuse in their less "enlightened" days, and 2) they seemed more designed to cause humiliation than pain, and humiliation is feared by Leftovers more than anything else, actual physical torture included.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at April 30, 2004 at 08:32 PM

"The world has gone to hell. George Bush's war on Iraq will haunt all our lives. I recant my objections to Latham's policy. Out now!"

Is Kingston now willing to sacrifice the lives of the thousands - possibly hundreds of thousands - of Iraqi's, as well as the obvious reality of leaving the country in ruins, to pull the coalition out now, just because 6 or 7 soldiers have mistreated some prisoners?
Honestly, she is a sickingly heartless and horrible woman.

"There must be a better way, there must be"

Well for christ sake find it and tell us what it is you dozey cow!!! if you can't find it then have the decency to admit that there ISN'T a better way.

Bemused Spectator, can you please quote where Tim implies this mistreatment is O.K (I don't believe you can, I believe that you are just fabricating the implication, but I wanted to be fair, to give you a chance to justify what appears to be a baseless accusation)

To me the thread looks to be about Kingstons hideous hypocrisy.

Posted by: Michael at April 30, 2004 at 09:16 PM

Andrea is spot on. One of the many favorite buzzwords of the left (eg. "hegemony," "racism", "marginalized") is "dignity." The "dignity" of these prisoners was surely compromised. But as many anthropological researchers point out, "dignity" is emphasized in so-called "cultures of honor" where extreme violence is mandatory in response to any perceived affront, however trivial. Gang-bangers in the U.S. inner cities and Arab culture alike subscribe to such a "dignity" based violence. This in my opinion is perhaps the lowest level of human egoistic delusion and represents an extremely low level of consciousness.

Jean-Luc Bidet

Posted by: jean-luc BIDET at April 30, 2004 at 09:19 PM

Bit tiresome really all this mock outrage in
the West.

Bout time we started getting a bit outraged about someone other than ourselves and really cleaning house.


Posted by: fred at April 30, 2004 at 11:46 PM

..."Yet in the face of all the evidence, you cling to your sad prejudices. The simple world you yearn for just doesn't exist. And until you get that, you are part of the problem."

That's a great quote Nemesis. It fits you exactly.

Being humiliated by standing on a box and being told they would be electrocuted if they jumped off. That's nothing compared to some initiation rites in the military.

Posted by: BC at May 1, 2004 at 01:18 AM

You all are totally sucked in by the liberal media's promotion of those pictures as "torture". A simple explanation can be invented, such as:

Man standing on box with electric wires - the guards attempt to recreate the Christmas scene in "Scrooged", where the young Calvin is made into a human Christmas tree complete with lights. OK, they didn't have any mini Christmas lights there, and wouldn't use them in sensitivity to their non-Christian prisoners.

Stacked bodies - the prisoners have been requesting more physical activity. You've never seen a Rugby scrum before? OK, the nudity is unconventional but they are only allowed one uniform and think of the howls if they were forced to wear dirty uniforms.

/satire off

Posted by: Patrick at May 1, 2004 at 01:39 AM

I liked the one of our latter day Bitch of Buchenwald standing in front of some Iraqi prisoners, hooded and nude, with a cigarette hanging from her mouth and pointing at the genitals of one captive.

What could she have been saying?

Posted by: Theodopoulos Pherecydes at May 1, 2004 at 01:55 AM

Theodopoulos: WMD?

Posted by: CurrencyLad at May 1, 2004 at 02:40 AM

We are going to do great things, once we are perfect.

It seems to me from reading through these posts, that you folks are missing the point of Tim's story.

Margo watches Caligula! If you sneak in and pop her copy of the movie in the VCR you will find out the particular perversion that does it for her. ( Im betting Margo's climactic scene doesn't correspond with the ending of the film;)

Bob Guccione will be much pleased. He could use some cheering up now a days. You brits sure treat your pornographers shabbily. No might call it torture!

Posted by: Papertiger at May 1, 2004 at 03:09 AM


I'm completely with k on this. These are serious and repugnant violations of military ethics and law, and in no way to be laughed off, made light of, or minimized by comparisons.

"Therefore it is unsurprising that a few American soldiers are caught acting this way."

If I didn't find this vile and illegal behaviour surprising, I would have contempt for the American military. The opposite is the case.

When a U.S. Marine said recently in a thread: this alleged atrocity never happened, I know because I am a Marine and we don't do that, I believed him. I still do. But actions like this undermine that sort of respect and trust.

"And what did these boys do - they mocked some fascists. Is that really breaking world news?!"

Yes it is. And "boys" doesn't cut it.

" ... they seemed more designed to cause humiliation than pain ..."

Which is unacceptable. That's not how prisoners are to be treated.

The bastards that did this have dome immense harm to the war effort for which hundreds of their countrymen have died and many more been wounded.

I hope they are punished with great severity. But that still won't put things right. The damage is done.

Posted by: David Blue at May 1, 2004 at 03:35 AM

Usually, Nemesis' cowardly jab-and-run trolling is amusing, even though he hardly ever comes back to see his freshman attempts at moral relativism ripped to pieces. But sometimes, like now, he's just kinda sad. I feel badly for him.

I sure hope he never has to live in a world that acts the way he wants it to.

Posted by: Sortelli at May 1, 2004 at 05:00 PM

I think these soldiers should be severely dealt with, only because they bring the good men and women of the U.S. armed forces into disrepute.
Not-to-mention provide the shrieking Left with something to get hysterical over, ie. Kingston's over-the-top reaction, not that anyone takes the idiot seriously. Where were Kingston and others of her ilk when REAL torture took place in Iraq? What have they said lately about the torture which takes place daily in countries like Tibet, North Korea and Zimbabwe, just to name a few. I guess the tortured associated with less trendy causes literally are fashion victims!

Posted by: Brian. at May 1, 2004 at 08:36 PM