May 11, 2004


Gerard Henderson writes that the cause remains just. And from Andrew Bolt:

The abuse of Iraq prisoners by American soldiers was disgusting.

But also disgusting is that this abuse seems to delight anti-war activists -- and particularly many journalists.

For them, it seems "proof" that the democratic United States is as bad as the genocidal regime of Saddam Hussein. Or worse.

ABC AM's Fran Kelly even found a former British prisoner of Saddam, Andy McNab of the SAS, to ask: "Were you tortured and humiliated in similar ways by the Iraqis?"

McNab, of course, pointed out that making prisoners pose naked in sexual poses was awful, but nothing as bad as what he'd suffered -- whipping, a tooth yanked out and hot spoons held to his legs.

Posted by Tim Blair at May 11, 2004 01:49 PM

Read McNab's book, Brave Two Zero (but not his fiction its crap) and tell me that we are the same as Saddam. Get some perspective people.

Posted by: attila at May 11, 2004 at 01:58 PM

A very good article by Charles Moore “I was grimly amused to see this confirmed by the letter from a British serving officer in Saturday's paper, who said the people of Basra were constantly urging torture upon him, in order to deal with the gangsters who make their lives a misery. "

Posted by: Giles at May 11, 2004 at 02:13 PM

What U.S. guards did at the prison was disgusting and criminal -- and I hope they and others get the harshest punishment allowed. But if this is the worst thing that happens during the 21st century, it will be rememberd as the greatest hundred years for human rights in the history of the world.

Posted by: Ed Jordan at May 11, 2004 at 02:22 PM

In the U.S. I suspect most of the Democrat zeal for identifying a high level target to blame is based on the election year. There's no chance of impeaching Bush so they're targetting the person they dislike most next to him and there've already been calls for just such an action.

It's unfortunate that politics supersede the wellfare of the country but that's the way of politicians - even the ones I like.

Posted by: Keith at May 11, 2004 at 02:22 PM

What I would really like someone to explain to me is this:

These people know that any equivalency between the US and the old Iraqi regime is nonsense. I mean they know it, right?

So, even allowing for the fact that they are doing their job in analysing and discussing something that is, after all, news, why do they persist with the equivalency insinuation?

Many of the non-American journalists who do this actually live in America, have lived in America, are even America-philes.

Many of them don't hate America, per se. They want to live there. They're not anti-capitalists - most of them love money.

I just don't get it.

Posted by: CurrencyLad at May 11, 2004 at 02:37 PM

Note the subtle additions in this article from today's Tehran Times on the fundamentals of genuine jihad:

...if they do not embrace Islam and do not decide to become non-Muslims who are not enemies of Islam but decide to make war against the Muslims, then, under such circumstances, we are allowed to wage war against them, as long as we observe all the other rules of jihad, such as treating prisoners fairly and not attacking civilians. And Islam teaches that genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and terrorism are always haram (forbidden).

Shameless. Nobody should imagine for a moment that the enemy's propagandists are stupid.

Posted by: CurrencyLad at May 11, 2004 at 02:57 PM

I'd say that we civilians in the U.S. who have to listen to the righteous indignation of Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and the rest of the usual bloviators of the left are suffering as much or more than those prisoners did.

If this is all it takes to "stain America's honor forever," as a lot of editorials are saying, maybe we ought to all just drink some Jonestown kool-aid and hunker down to wait for al Qaeda; we're too delicate to play in the big wide world.

Posted by: AST at May 11, 2004 at 03:01 PM

The "stain to America's honor" is not something that will wash out easily. But wash out it will. It'll take hard word, sweat, and blood, but it will come out.

And that's why the left loves this. Cleaning the stain is too hard for them, and thus gives those pukes the perfect excuse to roll and play dead for that part of the world that hates America. Including themselves.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at May 11, 2004 at 03:16 PM

This is where we have got to people who can't bring themselves to say they were wrong about the Iraq war now say it wasn't as bad as Hussein.

What a benchmark.

Posted by: Homer Paxton at May 11, 2004 at 03:35 PM

But also disgusting is that this abuse seems to delight anti-war activists -- and particularly many journalists.

For them, it seems "proof" that the democratic United States is as bad as the genocidal regime of Saddam Hussein. Or worse.


Posted by: Sortelli at May 11, 2004 at 03:48 PM

Andy McNab was forced to eat his own excrement.

When the Great Western Civil War breaks out, we'll merely force Paxton and Sortelli to wear women's underwear on their heads while tied to a bed...In other words, just a typical evening for them in mom's basement.

They'd better pray their Sunni allies come to rescue them.

Posted by: JDB at May 11, 2004 at 04:18 PM

Does it bother anyone else that the media sat on this story until the May Sweeps?

Posted by: nofxedabode at May 11, 2004 at 04:42 PM

PDB: Whoa there Mr. Friendly Fire. If there's a great civil war, I sure hope no one depends on you to tell friend from foe. :P

Posted by: Sortelli at May 11, 2004 at 05:08 PM

Of the many fine writers I've discovered via this site, I think I'll take Michael Totten's point of view as most salient at present.

He has been white hot the past few days, at his very best. Greg Sheridan in The Australian has also written tellingly about just how hard things are becoming as result of the unimaginably moronic efforts of the military and/or contractors at Abu Ghraib.

Bolt's appearance on The Insiders this Sunday past showed him obsessing with firing spit-balls at groups of people variously labelled as "peaceniks" or "anti-war protestors" rather than look at even some of the reality. Amazingly, a handful of blogs are playing the same games.

It is not a matter of moral equivalence at all. It's so far and away past that issue now that it's frightening. There is no joy whatsoever in the likely by-products that will most likely be unleashed as a direct result of those images.

Time for someone to take charge, wouldn't you have thought?

Posted by: chico o'farrill at May 11, 2004 at 05:32 PM

I am a supporter of the coalition and agree that the left are using anything they can, but with regards to Andy McNab there are several members of his own regiment who have disputed his work of non-fiction. Even his RSM disagreed with large portions of his book. Why?

Because at the official debrief back in England to the other members of the SAS large portions of what was in the book was never mentioned, large firefights, torture etc. This information is in various books by these members of the regiment.

Basically the ABC is using a person, who at best has dubious stories to tell. I am not for a minute suggesting the regime of Saddam's did not torture people, especially his own, but in this case I think it is a bit of a furphy.

PS i did send this info to Andrew Bolt as well after I read it on his website.

Posted by: David at May 11, 2004 at 05:45 PM

[Irrelevant post deleted. -- The Management.]

Posted by: FakeName at May 11, 2004 at 05:48 PM

Blocked? I don't think so.

[Blocked? Oh yes I do think so. Get your own blog to play with. -- The Management.]

Posted by: Tester at May 11, 2004 at 05:49 PM

I think Gerard Henderson has jumped out of the starting gates a bit too soon, if the latest reports about rape and murder turn out to be true. Unless he can find a way to argue that being killed in a Syrian jail somehow makes you more dead than if you're killed in an Iraqi one.

In any event, isn't this missing the point in a gigantic way? So the Coalition forces in Iraq aren't as bad as Saddam or Assad or other deranged despots? The obvious response is surely "I should damn well hope not!" Aren't they supposed to be several thousand light years better? After all, what is it that we're supposedly trying to achieve in Iraq and the wider region? Ask yourself how many hearts and minds you are winning over to the cause of western liberal democracy if you find yourself having to argue that being attacked by a wild dog is not quite as bad as having your eyes gouged out. Surely that's the real "bigger picture".

Posted by: tim g at May 11, 2004 at 06:27 PM

tim g,
don't discourage them. This is a sign that they are becoming nuanced, or perhaps Clintonesqe. "Torture? It depends on what your definition of torture is."

Posted by: carlos at May 11, 2004 at 06:36 PM

Suddenly the boot is on the other foot and the lefties are arguing there is no moral equivalence.

They're right, of course.

There is no defending the indefensible. And most on the right are aghast at the damage these revelations will cause. To everything.

Having said that, there is clearly a vast difference in the reactions of many to the obscene actions on both sides; and that difference is too often, hypocritically, in inverse proportion to the seriousness of the crime (and to re-emphasise: there is no defending the indefensible).

Once again, Neil Cavuto says it best (no link - via The Federalist):

'Funny, but I don't remember hearing anyone say the deviants who strung up those four American contractors in Fallujah should apologize. Or for that U.S. military convoy that was blown to bits checking out a supposedly sacred mosque. No one's apologizing to them. Or to the families of those earliest American prisoners of the war, two of whom were butchered and hacked in captivity. No apologies there.

'Or to all those Palestinians I remember dancing in the streets on September 11, after 3,000 innocents were senselessly slaughtered here. No apologies asked for. No apologies given.

'Or to those scores of United Nations workers injured and killed in a Baghdad terrorist attack for simply trying to keep the peace. No apologies from those who couldn't keep the slightest hint of humanity.

' ... Why should it be surprising that the world would prefer to trump pictures of American soldiers abusing prisoners over American soldiers helping kids and curing the sick? ... There is much we do wrong in this country. But at least we have the guts to admit it. We deal with it and correct it.'

When America has dealt with this problem, will the cries about torture, war crime, murder, maltreatment - other than by Americans - remain as shrill? Or once again, predictably, die away?

Posted by: ilibcc at May 11, 2004 at 06:44 PM

Some people here have a little problem playing nicely in other peoples' houses. Expect to find more of your irrelevant posts deleted and your IPs banned.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at May 11, 2004 at 08:13 PM

carlos, tim g, second-rate JeffS, et alia:

Enjoy the exceedingly brief moment of moral indignation and mirth. Prediction: in one year's time Iraq will have achieved a remarkable functionality and will be well on the road to an impressive prosperity. As the economy and polity of a reinvigorated Iraq begin to grow, Iraqis themselves will start making their own pitch for a say in how the nation is governed and how redistributive and fiscal matters are settled.

That is, they will have become adept at the business of politics and the politics of business: they'll take sides, argue, make their points through a free (and already diverse) press and build strategic alliances with neighbours in the Arab and non-Arab world.

As you sit red-faced with rage while the Bush victory is announced by networks throughout the United States, you'll come to this realisation: you shouldn't have played the race card and assumed that those primordial Arabs were so unsophisticated as to believe for a moment that the illegal behaviour of the few spoke anything of the majesty of democracy and liberty.

So the greatest example of nation-building since Japan in 1945 has involved some horrendous mistakes and disappointments? Yes. And this renders pointless any further striving for liberty and modernity in Iaq? No.

To paraphrase George Orwell, "there are some propositions that are so absurd that only a leftist troll would believe them."

Sometimes I feel sorry for leftists and worry about their intellectual self-esteem. Tell you what, you can have this one - you win!

Just tossing them a bone folks.

Posted by: CurrencyLad at May 11, 2004 at 08:16 PM

And to the person who said that Americans should just sit there and take it up the ass from the hypocrites on the Left because we are held to a higher standard than our enemies or anyone else in the Middle East, I say that's racist, tendentious bullshit. Everyone should be held to a higher standard. We may be ankle-deep in the shit now, but that's because we are standing on the shoulders of the likes of Hussein's henchmen and his apologists, the Falluja killers, and the Palestinian child-slaughterers, who are buried in it.

Here's a suggestion: stop treating Arabs and other "Brown People" like helpless widdle children who would behave nicely if only we gave them more hugs and candy. We aren't their fucking parents, it's time they grew up and joined the rest of the goddamn world. Of course I say this to people who think that it's perfectly fine for the "poor" to parasite off the "rich" (ie, the lazy to parasite off the hardworking) while they themselves amass nice homes and send their kiddies to private schools, so I guess I'm just spitting in the wind.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at May 11, 2004 at 08:19 PM

We aren't their fucking parents, it's time they grew up and joined the rest of the goddamn world.

God, amen to that.

Posted by: CurrencyLad at May 11, 2004 at 08:46 PM

I am not the one morally indignant. This is an invasion. Such things happen in an invasion. It is expected, in fact it is planned. It is no accident, it is not isolated, it is not just a few "bad apples" that did it(what is chilling is the participants are obviously enjoying themselves). The Arabs know this and are probably perplexed as to why Bush apologised. Either he's an idiot (His Dad was the director of the CIA, surely some information on CIA workings would have filtered through to him) or he's posturing.
While I admire your vision and share your hope for a good end for the Iraqis, I am however, anti-this war and very suspicious of the intentions of those who waged it.

Posted by: carlos at May 11, 2004 at 08:49 PM

HAve we become powerless to defend ourselves.
we are far more indignat at the abuses that our troops commit than about the abuses committed against them.
we hurl stones at our own soldiers backs whilst they try to defend us.
Is'nt that what the Romans did at the end of the empire ?
We expect killers of our troups to be given the same treatment as shoplifters awaiting trial in some police station.
What is Torture ? To the Caffe latte drinkers of the liberal left it obviously starts at shouting at the captured terrorist.
But what is it to a serviceman who has seen his mates torn to shreds by these fanatics ?
Soon we will see comparisons of the US forces to Klaus Barbie and the other Nazi torture experts.
If torture reveals plots to plant bombs in say Sidney and leads to the arrests of terrorists and capture of explosives, should we arrest the police officers ?
Is it better to be PC and let hundreds of people get killed ?
Its time to get real.

Posted by: DAVO at May 11, 2004 at 09:03 PM

What I am more worried about is that due to this extremely stupid expose of prisoner mistreatment we will no longer be able to 'stress and duress' captives that need a very good measure of that treatment to stop future carnage.

The AlQ terr can just sit there and grin and say 'you cant touch me now' when he should be having his effing tonsils tickled with the barrell of an M16 and then hung upside down for a couple of days.

So we have effectively neutered ourselves and further weaken our position in a brutal and nasty game with an enemy that would happily slaughter us all one by one.

Posted by: Dog at May 11, 2004 at 09:08 PM


If I've misconstrued your sincerity, I unreservedly apologise. But I do think it's a case of a 'few bad apples.' And I really do believe the Arab peoples will understand the truth of the big picture.

As for whether or not Bush should have apologised, there are two schools of thought. 1) It was a mistake because it may have been seen as squeamishness amongst Arabs; 2) It was prudent because Bush's audience was not just the Middle East but the Western world, the latter of which has assumed in modern times a confessional culture. (Alas). I think, on balance, it was wise because it showed that the most powerful man in the world is accountable. They should be able to draw useful conclusions about what that means for securing a safer future for themselves acoording to democratic norms.

The Japanese are said to have been awe-struck by the idea that General MacAuthur, vanquisher of both Tojo and Hirohito-worship, had to answer to someone above him - namely, Truman. I think Bush and his advisers thought such an apology sent the message to Iraq that in a democracy, the boss answers to someone - namely, everyone.

The restless youth of Iran and elsewhere will know full well that their leaders would never dream of being answerable to anyone.

That's got to resound positively.

Posted by: CurrencyLad at May 11, 2004 at 09:20 PM

Its not about the oil, Its not about American imperialism, its not about the vast right-wing conspiracy to take over the world, its not about the oil, and no, its not about the oil.
You think that the images of the troops humiliating the prisoners was planned? Seriously?

I can see it now, Bush/Cheney/Rumsfield and co got together in their evil republican castle in transylvania on some stormy winter's night
Lightning strikes the one of the towers of the castle as we zoom in...
GWB: "Now look, what were gonna do, is were gonna undermine our position to the world by using these here pictures... YeeHaw!"
DR: "Dang dubya, that there be the dandiest thang you said all year"
DC: "aye, I hear that rummy boy"

You think that what took place in those pics was as bad/worse than all that had happend there previously? Wheres your proof? (and i mean from reliable sources not

And davo, its spelt Sydney, not sidney

Posted by: RhikoR at May 11, 2004 at 09:31 PM

Hey, leave me out of this or with one phone call I'll send super-silent black helicopters to where you live and whisp you away to the dungeon of that castle!


Posted by: at May 11, 2004 at 09:39 PM

Noooooooooo. I didn't mean the photographs were planned........I mean't the method (torture) for interrogation was planned. (and) and it shouldn't be a surprise. Of course far worse stuff has/is/will be happening! Do you think I'm stoopid? - no I can't be bothered getting you proof - call the Red Cross, and yes, it's about the oil. Yes it's about George's buddies getting rich, and it will be nice if Iraq becomes a great democracy...but if you think Dick Chenney gives a fuck either way ......

Posted by: carlos at May 11, 2004 at 09:51 PM

Stripping you naked and humiliating you (and taking pictures) is not really a horrifying torture technique. In comparison, to say, raping female relatives, cutting off earlobes, killing children etc it doesnt even rank.

Do you think US interrogation personel take pictures of their (alleged) torturing? Do you think they tie people up naked and say cheese for the camera? From their behavior in the pics its easy to tell that they were a couple of stoopid soldiers who abused their position in a (i hope) session of complete idiocy. You suggest its widespread, show us your evidence that such "torture" is widespread.

I do not condone what happened at all, but you need to get some perspective.

And you think its all about the oil? You think its all part of the vast right-wing conspiracy? Give me a watertight arguement, with reliable evidence to back it up, and i'll happily change my mind. Until then I choose to believe in "innocent until proven guilty", just because you want to believe it, because you want to find any excuse to hate GWB and co. doesn't make it true. If you come up with a half-arsed arguement full of circumstantial evidence, I, and everyone else here will happily tear it apart.
Grow up

Posted by: RhikoR at May 11, 2004 at 10:16 PM

Surely you jest. You want truth? As Jack Nicholson said: "Truth? You can't handle the truth!"
I'm to give you proof that ..what? There is systematic torture carried on in Iraq? You'll find evidence of this on any mainstream media site - try
As for the "reasons" for war and my extreme dislike for Bush and cronies; Basically they're liars, and I'm not impressed that he speaks to God. What a piece of shit - are we to be awed by this? I do not believe the US intelligence service misled the government at all. They new full well there was no WMD's. Would they send in the troops if there was any risk that hundreds/thousands would be killed??
"Grow up".??? you say to me?

Posted by: carlos at May 11, 2004 at 10:52 PM

Once more, when pressed for evidence, we get a vague handwave and a "find it yersef!"

Posted by: Robert Crawford at May 11, 2004 at 11:25 PM

>>But also disgusting is that this abuse seems to delight anti-war activists -- and particularly many journalists.

YES! Exactly. I'm sure others have been saying this but it's so good to see. I was listening to talk radio this morning and although people were expressing how they were frustrated with how huge this is in the media, they never nailed why.

The left LOVE this, they are reveling in it. THAT'S why it's so disgusting. The actions by the soldiers is wrong, needs to be addressed and it is being addressed. This was not exposed by some super sleuth journalist, the Army was investigating this from day one.

That people want to politicize this and roll in it like a pig in shit is the real disgrace here. Ted Kennedy being the head shit roller.

Posted by: Dash at May 11, 2004 at 11:29 PM


In words of one syllable - the troops in the jail did wrong and they'll have to pay the price. If their boss helped, then she or he will pay the price too. Let the law take its course. The deed was told to the three star boss some months back, and was told to the world then too.

I don't like the BBC, like you do. They have lied in the past. They don't like Bush or Blair. Why not? Gilligan (oops) lied. Why?

What lies did Bush and his mates say (your post)? You seem not to be a Bush fan? Why? You say the CIA and FBI knew there were no WMDs. Where's your proof?

Count to ten a few more times, with your mouth closed, and you'll see how good it feels.

Posted by: Tony at May 11, 2004 at 11:50 PM

It's reassuring to hear from "ilibcc" that the "the right are aghast at the damage these revelations will cause. To everything."

However, judging by the contributions on this site, you'd never know it. I would have thought the genuine supporters of the Iraq enterprise would be directing most of their anger and invective at the betrayal perpetrated by the moronic sadists who carried out this abuse, and the people whose negligence allowed it to happen. After all, they have wrought more damage to the broader Coalition cause than any propaganda their enemies could contrive for themselves. I thought it might also be possible that those commentators demented enough to try to "defend the indefensible", such as Rush Limbaugh, might rate a passing mention.

But no, the main targets are the usual ones - Margo Kingston, Robert Fisk, Ted Kennedy, the ABC, BBC, liberal-lefties in general. (Say what you will about Margo, but the only torturing she's done is to the English language.)

I guess it's predictable, but a little sad nonetheless.

Posted by: tim g at May 11, 2004 at 11:57 PM

"In the meantime, it is important to remember that the overwhelming majority of Coalition troops in Iraq, whose lives are in constant danger, have performed professionally and lawfully."

Our media don't care to report that the overwhelming majority of soldiers have done their jobs with honor. This type of reporting is dangerous. Our media must constantly hammer home the idea that we are BAD. Anything that detracts from this message is unwanted because it leads to incorrect thoughts.

"This has long been the way of the intolerant Left. How it despises the imperfections of a free, capitalist democracy, chasing instead the promised Eden of the totalitarians -- Red, Brown or Green."

Amen. I'm sure for reporters the 'Iraqi POW Mistreatment' story has been a dream come true. It has to be one of their wet dreams come to life.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at May 12, 2004 at 12:07 AM

tim g:

All the facts are not out yet, that's first. Second, everyone has said, multiple times and in great detail and sincerity, that this is a terrible thing and must be dealt with.

No matter how badly you want to paint it as nobody caring what these soldiers did, it's just not true. The fact is, and as a seperate but related issue, there are many who are using this for political gain.

File this with the "questioning my patriotism" strawman.

Posted by: Dash at May 12, 2004 at 12:16 AM


True, not all the facts are out. But a lot of the photos are back from the lab.

And yes, many people here have expressed their disgust multiple times. Except that most of them have typically done so discursively in the first paragraph, and then gone on in far greater detail to slam the liberal-lefties in a manner that reveals where their true passion lies.

I know that there are people on the left using this for political gain, and I have contempt for them too. There are people on both left and right who don't get out of bed except to seek political gain. I'm not involved in politics, and I find it frustrating that there seems to be no issue, however momentous, that is immune from the left-right tribalism that infects so much political debate. Rare is the commentator prepared to cross the lines.

So there's a challenge for you, Dash. Write a post that criticises Limbaugh or Coulter or some of the other nutty blowhards on the right-wing side. Restore my faith in human nature.

And as for "questioning your patriotism"? I must have missed something here. I think I can plausibly declare my innocence on this charge; I don't even know what country you're from.

Posted by: tim g at May 12, 2004 at 12:49 AM

I have this mental picture of carlos and tim g covering their ears with their hands, and shouting, "LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA......"

Posted by: The Real JeffS at May 12, 2004 at 12:54 AM

Surely you jest. You want truth? As Jack Nicholson said: "Truth? You can't handle the truth!"

I'm to give you proof that ..what? There is systematic torture carried on in Iraq? You'll find evidence of this on any mainstream media site - try
As for the "reasons" for war and my extreme dislike for Bush and cronies; Basically they're liars, and I'm not impressed that he speaks to God. What a piece of shit - are we to be awed by this? I do not believe the US intelligence service misled the government at all. They new full well there was no WMD's. Would they send in the troops if there was any risk that hundreds/thousands would be killed??
"Grow up".??? you say to me?

Oh No, he brought out 'The NICHOLSON' line, well gee carlos i never thought you could cut through my arguement so effectively.
Quick, help me my fellow right-wing warriors, assist me in defending against this scholar who uses hollywood to debunk my arguement with such devastating effect.
Then, as evidence of the rightness of his comment, he points me to that upstanding model of unbiased and properly researched journalism, the BBC!, and not just a particular pertinant article no, but the front page!!!!
And lo! He calls Bush a liar! Well, that did it folks, that completely unsubstantiated claim with out any evidence at all just completely blew away my arguement.
But wait, I CAN make a comeback, carlos, I hereby declare that Osama bin Laden is a liar liar AND his pants are on fire.
And then you mention GWB's devotion to the church. Remember people, its only ok to be religeous in carlos land if you strap people to explosives and send them into crowded places screaming "For Allah!!"
And, erm, once again, got any evidence that they knew there were no WMD's?
Here's another line for ya
"Show me the Money!!!"

Posted by: RhikoR at May 12, 2004 at 12:56 AM

To help you complete your mental picture, I'm a dead ringer for Hugh Jackman.

Posted by: tim g at May 12, 2004 at 12:59 AM

Henderson writes:
For them, it seems "proof" that the democratic United States is as bad as the genocidal regime of Saddam Hussein. Or worse.

Where's Henderson's evidence of this? Fran Kelly's question about what the other side do, something Pilger said (like anybody had heard it before Henderson mentioned it)? There's disingenuous people on both sides of politics trying to get some political mileage out of this.

One fact I think has been glossed over is that at least half of the inmates in Abu Gharib were completely innocent Iraqi's caught up in mass sweeps, in a desperate search for intelligence to stem the rising death toll in Iraq. In fact I saw an estimate of 80% today, I'll find the links tomorrow if anybody cares.

Posted by: bleh at May 12, 2004 at 01:08 AM

We aren't their fucking parents, it's time they grew up and joined the rest of the goddamn world.

God, amen to that.

And let me add my amen to it also. If I were an Arab living in the West, and I saw all the crap that is coming out of the Middle East today, I would be too humiliated and ashamed to show my face outside my house. It says something that most of the Arabs living in the West don't seem to be.

Posted by: Rebecca at May 12, 2004 at 01:23 AM

BTW, I want to apologize in advance. You think what you're hearing out of the US now is nonsensical? Well, wait till November (Ok, February or March after all the lawsuits), when Kerry conceded the election and joins Carter and Clinton on the international Amurrika-spankin' lecture tour...

Posted by: Richard McEnroe at May 12, 2004 at 01:50 AM

bleh -- Read the Taguba report. BG Karpinski said 60% of those held were being held for attacks against the Coalition but were judged to no longer be a threat or an intelligence source. Those were eligible for release, but the procedure for releasing them was too slow, and people entered that category faster than they could be released.

That's probably what you heard, or mis-heard, or saw someone distort.

Posted by: Robert Crawford at May 12, 2004 at 02:25 AM

Perhaps Fran Kelly requires a demonstration.
Imagine what choice these "journalists" would make if they were seriously given the option of being a prisoner of the former Ba'athist Regime or the U.S. Armed Forces??? I'm pretty sure this would expose their ridiculous comparisons.

Posted by: Brian. at May 12, 2004 at 02:30 AM

tim g, thanks for the clarification, but I prefer my fantasies to be about attractive women.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at May 12, 2004 at 02:44 AM

I overestimated your capabilities - open the main page, look for pertinent news, point and "click".
Or try:
Or try "General Antonio Taguba" on Google - he'll be testifying to Congress on prisoner abuse.

I love this "give us the facts" shit you guys play. But I'll play your silly game, on Bush's lies and WMD's:
From the White House web site May 29th 2003, an interview with Bush by Polish news TVP:
“Q But, still, those countries who didn't support the Iraqi Freedom operation use the same argument, weapons of mass destruction haven't been found. So what argument will you use now to justify this war?
THE PRESIDENT: We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories. You remember when Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said, Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons. They're illegal. They're against the United Nations resolutions, and we've so far discovered two. And we'll find more weapons as time goes on. But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them. “
And yet from his own Weapons Inspector David Kay, 2 ½ months prior to this on 10th Feb 2003:
“We have not yet been able to corroborate the existence of a mobile biological weapons production effort…Technical limitations would prevent any of these processes from being ideally suited to these trailers.”

Lest I be accused of plagiarism, this and the following information can be seen at:
"Date: 7/14/2003

Quote/Claim (by Bush):
"And we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in." [Source: White House Web site]

"UN weapons inspectors worked in Iraq from November 27, 2002 until March 18, 2003. During that time, inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations Monitoring, Verification, and Inspections Commission (UNMOVIC) conducted more than 900 inspections at more than 500 sites. The inspectors did not find that Iraq possessed chemical or biological weapons or that it had reconstituted its nuclear weapons program."
- Arms Control Association Web site

Date: 1/28/2003

Quote/Claim(by Bush):
"From three Iraqi defectors we know that Iraq, in the late 1990s, had several mobile biological weapons labs. These are designed to produce germ warfare agents, and can be moved from place to a place to evade inspectors." [Source: White House Web site]

The key defector "failed a second polygraph test and in May 2002, intelligence agencies were warned that the information was unreliable." - Telegraph, 2/19/04

"The Bush administration's prewar assertion that Saddam Hussein had a fleet of mobile labs that could produce bioweapons rested largely on information from an Iraqi defector...who was never interviewed by U.S. intelligence officers." - Washington Post, 3/5/04

Speaker: Bush, George - President

Date: 1/28/2003

Quote/Claim(by Bush):
“The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” [Source: White House Web site]

On 7/8/03, the Washington Post reported the Administration admitted the Iraq-Nuclear allegation was false. “Revelations by officials at the CIA, the State Department, the UN, in Congress and elsewhere” made clear that the White House knew the claim was false before making the allegation (7/20/03). In fact, “CIA Director George Tenet successfully intervened with White House officials to have the reference” removed from a Bush speech in Oct. of 2002. - Washington Post, 7/13/03" - unquote.

The Jack Nicholson quote I thought quite a' propos (that's French) for the topic discussed, as many refuse to believe that "we" are capable of sinister behaviour like torture - (except for the handful of degenerates who will be righteously punished)Your rebuttal on my comments that Bush is a liar and uses "God" as a political tool would be more effective if you stamp your feet while you say it.

Posted by: carlos at May 12, 2004 at 09:47 AM

Carlos, you asshead, quit telling people to read reports on the BBC. We've read and listened to and watched the BB fucking C for over two years now and it is clear that the entire organization has become controlled by Leftover anti-American shills for the various moribund socialist/pacifist groups that infest Great Britain. Every time you tell us go read some article on "because it contains the truth you can't handle the truuuuth!" we laugh until we shit. Thanks for the comedy but quit trying to get taken seriously here. It's just pathetic, like Jerry Lewis trying to play Hamlet.

tim g: you're going to be one sad man, because no one here is interested in "restoring your faith in humanity" whatever the flying fuck that is supposed to mean. Despite the fact that you and Tim Blair happen to share the same first name, this ain't your blog, and it isn't centered around "make tim g not tim b feel all better about the world." Frankly I think some feeling bad about humanity, or at least one member of it named "tim g", would do you good.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at May 12, 2004 at 10:38 AM

On the page you directed me too:

The Center for American Progress has launched this new database project to chart conservatives' dishonesty – and compare it with the truth. In this database, each conservative quote will be matched against well-documented facts, so that users can get a more accurate picture of the issues. And we need your help. If we're missing a lie or distortion you know of, please submit an entry. If it checks out, we will gladly add it to the database.

I ask for evidence, so you sent me to 2 blatently biased websites, the BBC and Center for American progress, Ok fine, I'll accept what they say there, but take with a Mars sized grain of salt given the sources.
I'll note the comments, do some research, and reply after

Posted by: RhikoR at May 12, 2004 at 11:58 AM

apologies for citing the BBC. I didn't know they were trash.
Here's some from Fox - surely not a left wing rag like the BBC? -or is there any other reputable news site you recommend?,2933,119224,00.html,2933,119421,00.html,2933,119463,00.html,2933,119551,00.html

Posted by: carlos at May 12, 2004 at 12:46 PM


I checked your links. Just what is your point? Earlier, you said this abuse was planned as part of the invasion. Just which link says that?

Which link says Bush lied?

Which link says the intelligence agencies lied about WMDs in Iraq?

The first link is a timeline for the prison abuse. Another has the headline, "BUSH DISGUSTED BY PHOTOS". One article may be relevant to your view, it's about the Red Cross stating they approached the Pentagon on the abuse months ago.

Is this another one of your "Go and find it!" tricks? If so, I'll be blunt -- nothing here answers those questions, unless you assume that Bush lies whenever he speaks. I don't assume that, so this is tripe.

Or do you have specially written software that decrypts the super-secret messages sent by the Illuminati through FoxNews web site to their evil minions in the US Government? Enquiring minds want to know.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at May 12, 2004 at 01:27 PM

I think that this thread illustrates one of the fault lines between the modern Right and Left.

The Left response is outrage which should be expressed and expressed and expressed seemingly ad infinitum. The endless outrage then seems to be a cover for supporting their original position on the isssue ie its all about oil, jews, space aliens etc.

The Right response (in more ways than one) is to express disapproval and then propose that the guilty be punished which we then note that the process seems to be under way and express our hope that the system will work. What then gets up the collective noses of the Left is that we don't then collapse in a sobbing heap confessing our sins and regret that Iraq was invaded and Saddam overthrown. The point of observing that most of what has come to light (with the obvious exception of the allegations of rape and fatal beatings) barely reaches the level of torture (as opposed to serious mistreatment of prisoners) and is far and away less serious than the treatment handed out under the former regime not to mention other Arab countries or Cuba or Communist China, is that the Right does not consider that what has happened invalidates the Coalition actions.

The most important thing for the Left seems to be feelings, that it is more important to say sorry than to fix the thing that you are supposed to be sorry for, particularly if you didn't do it, wouldn't have done it and would have tried to stop it if you had.

Posted by: Just Another Bloody Lawyer at May 12, 2004 at 02:21 PM

In all of those reports, please point me to the place where it states that prisoners were raped.

In all of those reports, please point me to the place where it states that prisoners toungues were cut out.

In all of those reports, please point me to the place where it states that prisoners children were killed as an interrorgation technique.

It states that the reason behind the fact that up to 90% of arrests were bogus was because of bogus claims by personal enemies, misunderstandings or mistaken identity. Tell me, how is this GWB's fault?

Troll, troll, troll your post, gently down the feed, merrily merrily troll along, a life is what you need.

Posted by: RhikoR at May 12, 2004 at 04:42 PM

I think I get the Leftovers' tactics now: bring up reports of what happened in Iraqi prisons when Saddam was in charge (rapes, tongues cut out, etc.), but don't mention when these happened or under whose regime. Wait until people start saying "the Americans raped prisoners and cut out their tongues!" Because obviously they don't really believe that humiliation rises to the level of real torture, especially as many of them advocate the same tactics used on the humiliated prisoners (wearing dog collars & hoods, being tugged around by coarse females etc.) as marital aids or ideas for fun parties -- probably as we speak pamphlets to teach such "alternative lifestyle" techniques in the schools are being printed up.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at May 12, 2004 at 08:15 PM