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Old 05-16-2005, 01:53 PM   #31
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^ no, but they endorse a rethinking and loosening of the rules of traditional "interrogation" techniques, which lead to Abu Ghraib. you're right in a literal sense, but that's a legalistic Cover Your Ass technique.

officially, the president ordered - like a monarch - that, although prisoners did not deserve Geneva protection, they should have it. however, we have memos telling Bush that he has the right to order torture, regardless of any domestic law or international treaty; we have memos defining torture in the most minimal sense; under Rumsfeld's instructions we had torture restrictions loosened at Guantanamo Bay for a few weeks; and, to my mind most telling, an outbreak of torture across all the theaters of war.

the debate, i think, is not about Newsweek but about how this administration has willfully enabled widespread torture, abuse, rape and murder of inmates in American custody. it has done this, in my view deliberately, through intentional mixed messages, and what this has done is destroy America's reputation. can we not call Abu Ghraib evil? isn't Bush "Mr. Moral Clarity"? where's that politically convenient Manichean worldview now?

perhaps some simply trust the administration to be good guys. no fucking way. Bush has evaded and ignored any responsibility and has rewarded all those who presided over this catastrophe. this is shameful record, and will haunt us for years to come.
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Old 05-16-2005, 02:21 PM   #32
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Horseshit...

It is not a legalistic cover your ass technique.

The Gonsalves memos do not come close to approval of the things that were being done.

Those that have broken the law are being prosecuted.


As a former MP, I am EMBARRASED beyond explination about what those soldiers did. I totally disagree with you that it came from the top. I know what I was trained to do and not do. I know what was drilled into our heads about the detainment of prisoners. I do not believe there is a smoking gun trail to the White House.

I have debated the memos in here. I have posted links to them, and read virtually every one more than one time. I am not sure this is the thread to do that again.

I still think that there are those that would gladly promote the bad, without care or concern for the facts, to paint the USA and its citizens in a shitty light. No matter what consequences or actions we take to show that what those people did is wrong.
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Old 05-16-2005, 05:17 PM   #33
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Originally posted by Irvine511
^ i don't understand the question.

the people who are hurt -- more like offended -- by the Koran in the toilet aren't US soldiers but detainees, and muslims "everywhere" (not all Muslims, but enough to riot in Afghanistan).

at the end of the day, i think the people who will be most hurt are those already dead in Afghanistan, and the American soldier (or troops from other nations, though they dont' seem to have the same issues with interrogation "techniques" as we do ... with the exception of a few UK soldiers, i think) who is now more at risk as a result of administration-approved interrogation tactics that are not limited to the flushing of the Koran (whether true or not) and include the torturing of over two dozen detainees to death, wrapping one in an Israeli flag, smearing naked detainees with fake menstrual blood, telling one detainee to "Fuck Allah," and ordering detainees to pray to Allah in order to kick them from behind in the head. all this was detailed in a NYT article and comes from eyewitness testimony.

we have a big problem here, and it isn't Newsweek's reporting.
The people who are hurt are the ones who engage in violence as an expression of "outrage" from the Newsweek report.
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Old 05-16-2005, 06:58 PM   #34
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^ don't you mean the "people are hurt by" those who engage in violence?

this is, to me, one of those situations where we, as the aggressor in this region, have to bend over backwards not to offend. do i personally care if a Koran is flushed down a toilet? no. do i think such an action merits riots? no. do i think that people who killed others in the Afghan riots were justified? no.

however, as the aggressor, we need to do a better job understanding the particular sensitivities of those we liberate/conquor/occupy. it simply doesn't matter whether or not riots are understandable or justified (they're not). we need to understand that this irrational response is what is going to happen, so we'd best do a better job keeping our military in line and swiftly and severely punishing those who, you know, torture to death over 30 inmates in prisons across Iraq.

the WH doesn't seem to care much, though.

because, of course, what matters is Newsweek, not the tacit endorsement of torture by the Bush administration.
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Old 05-16-2005, 09:37 PM   #35
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This situation reminds me of some of those pieces of "art" with the Virgin Mary covered in dung and the crucifix in urine. IIRC, many people on the left chastised Christians who were outraged by the exhibits. I wonder how many of these people are chastising the mobs in Pakistan and Afghanistan? Personally, I feel that flushing the Koran down the toilet is uncalled for, but people need to show balance in their stances.
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Old 05-17-2005, 05:39 AM   #36
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and while i agree, on one level, and that art is art and religion should be up for abuse by art just like anything else in society and that the riots in Afghanistan are irrational, it simply doesn't make a piece of difference. we know that this is how this part of the world operates, if we wish to be liberators and not occupiers/conquorers, we'd do best not to do things like flush Korans down toilets or wipe fake menstrual blood on the faces of prisoners or tell them to "fuck Allah" or put dog collars around people's necks and march them naked through a hallway.

all of which, btw, are tantamount to torture, as opposed to the Virgin Mary exhibit which people paid to go see -- no one kept you in a room and pissed on a statue of the virgin mary in front of you while you were stripped naked and someone kept chanting "fuck jesus, fuck jesus, fuck jesus."

completely and totally different.
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Old 05-17-2005, 06:53 AM   #37
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I agree Irvine, no one is forcing people to go to art exhibits they don't approve of. People were forced to watch their religious scriptures pitched in toilets! That's so insulting!
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Old 05-17-2005, 08:33 AM   #38
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Newsweek has retracted the story. No Korans were flushed.

Even if Korans had been put in the toilet, muslims rioting and killing 16 people is completely inexcusable!

Here's an excerpt from an article by Dennis Prager....
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/Com..._17_05_DP.html

And now a word about the rioters. They have desecrated their religion and their holy text far more than the alleged flushers of Koranic pages.

Did any Buddhists riot and murder when the Taliban Muslims blew up the irreplaceable giant Buddhist statues in Afghanistan?
Did any Christians riot and murder when an "artist" produced "Piss Christ" -- a crucifix immersed in a jar of the "artist's" urine?

When all Christian services and even the wearing of a cross were banned in Saudi Arabia? When Christians are murdered while at prayer in churches by Muslims in Pakistan?

Have any Jews rioted in all the years since it was revealed that Jordanian Muslims used Jewish tombstones in Old Jerusalem as latrines? Or after Palestinians destroyed Joseph's Tomb in 2000 and set fire to the rebuilt tomb in 2003?

It is quite remarkable that many Muslims believe that an American interrogator flushing pages of the Koran is worthy of rioting, but all the torture, slaughter, terror and mass murder done by Muslims in the name of the Koran are unworthy of even a peaceful protest.

Nevertheless, one will have to search extensively for any editorials condemning these primitives in the Western press, let alone in the Muslim press. This is because moral expectations of Muslims are lower than those of other religious groups. Behavior that would be held in contempt if engaged in by Christians or Jews is not only not condemned, it is frequently "understood" when done by Muslims.
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Old 05-17-2005, 09:36 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
and while i agree, on one level, and that art is art and religion should be up for abuse by art just like anything else in society and that the riots in Afghanistan are irrational, it simply doesn't make a piece of difference. we know that this is how this part of the world operates, if we wish to be liberators and not occupiers/conquorers, we'd do best not to do things like flush Korans down toilets or wipe fake menstrual blood on the faces of prisoners or tell them to "fuck Allah" or put dog collars around people's necks and march them naked through a hallway.

all of which, btw, are tantamount to torture, as opposed to the Virgin Mary exhibit which people paid to go see -- no one kept you in a room and pissed on a statue of the virgin mary in front of you while you were stripped naked and someone kept chanting "fuck jesus, fuck jesus, fuck jesus."

completely and totally different.
No, not different. The rioting is done by people hearing of the alleged acts. Christians rioting when they "hear about" the work known as "Piss Christ" would be no different than Muslims rioting when they "hear about" the Koran in the toilet.

The riots were not about treatment of prisoners or, as you say, "tacit approval of torture". Rioting was based on a lack of respect for their religion.
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Old 05-17-2005, 11:21 AM   #40
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I think it's important to realize that this is also a propoganda war. The Moslem fundatmentalists/fanatics don't actually need a specific factual incident to incite anti-American sentiment. The Newsweek article or Abu Gharib reports obviously don't help, but in the end, it's a small thing in a world where many radical Islamic leaders are hell bent to fight their own country's governments by linking them to the "evil Americans." Remember, this is more of a fight between radical Islam vs the moderate forces of Islam (or radical Islam vs entrenched authorotarian governments) than between Islam and the West. The West and Israel are just propoganda tool to use to incite the masses.

How easy was it for millions in the Arab/Islamic world to believe that 9/11 was a CIA plot? "There were no Jews in the WTC towers." blah blah blah. All this "fact" required was some radical Imams preaching it in Mosques.

I'm from Pakistan. I'm an ex-Moslem. I'm opposed to the Iraq war, but I'm also sick of Moslem countries and their religious leaders continuing to put forward one solution for their problems -- destroy America. There's no bigger desecration of the Koran than not following its teachings...it's teachings that say that you have to take care of your poor, your communities, and lead just lives. Where is the leadership, political or religious, that is calling for better education, better social policies, better lives for their people? No, it's mostly the same old "be good Muslims, hate the Jews and the Americans."

Sorry, I can't be mortified by the desecration of a holy book on behalf of a religion whose leaders willingly want their followers to wallow in self-pity, victimization and ignorance.
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Old 05-17-2005, 11:31 AM   #41
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Sorry, I can't be mortified by the desecration of a holy book on behalf of a religion whose leaders willingly want their followers to wallow in self-pity, victimization and ignorance.
That could be said about any religion, though, couldn't it? There's fundamentalists in all religions that can get their followers to do insane stuff.

I definitely agree with you that the fundamentalists using the idea of destroying America as a solution to their problems is utterly dumb, but at the same time, stereotyping the religion doesn't exactly put out the fundamentalists' fire, now, does it?

Angela
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Old 05-17-2005, 11:39 AM   #42
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That could be said about any religion, though, couldn't it? There's fundamentalists in all religions that can get their followers to do insane stuff.

I definitely agree with you that the fundamentalists using the idea of destroying America as a solution to their problems is utterly dumb, but at the same time, stereotyping the religion doesn't exactly put out the fundamentalists' fire, now, does it?

Angela
Good point, Angela.

I think, without trying to stereotype, I was trying to make the perhaps-too-simplified-point that most of the Arab or Moslem countries should show leadership in tackling their real problems. Most of these countries have some of worst quality of life indeces in the world. And things aren't getting any better. We just don't see the leadership from this world to make changes, whether cultural, political or social. One of the ways to take out the fundamentalists is for moderate religious leaders and political leaders to work together to find progressive solutions, while openly denouncing the radicals on the world stage. The people want solutions and lacking any real alternatives, they will go for the solutions offered by fanatics.
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Old 05-17-2005, 11:59 AM   #43
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Originally posted by Judah
Good point, Angela.

I think, without trying to stereotype, I was trying to make the perhaps-too-simplified-point that most of the Arab or Moslem countries should show leadership in tackling their real problems. Most of these countries have some of worst quality of life indeces in the world. And things aren't getting any better. We just don't see the leadership from this world to make changes, whether cultural, political or social. One of the ways to take out the fundamentalists is for moderate religious leaders and political leaders to work together to find progressive solutions, while openly denouncing the radicals on the world stage. The people want solutions and lacking any real alternatives, they will go for the solutions offered by fanatics.
Thanks, and you're certainly right about that. Very true.

Angela
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Old 05-17-2005, 04:39 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally posted by MaxFisher
Newsweek has retracted the story. No Korans were flushed.

Even if Korans had been put in the toilet, muslims rioting and killing 16 people is completely inexcusable!

Here's an excerpt from an article by Dennis Prager....
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/Com..._17_05_DP.html

And now a word about the rioters. They have desecrated their religion and their holy text far more than the alleged flushers of Koranic pages.

Did any Buddhists riot and murder when the Taliban Muslims blew up the irreplaceable giant Buddhist statues in Afghanistan?
Did any Christians riot and murder when an "artist" produced "Piss Christ" -- a crucifix immersed in a jar of the "artist's" urine?

When all Christian services and even the wearing of a cross were banned in Saudi Arabia? When Christians are murdered while at prayer in churches by Muslims in Pakistan?

Have any Jews rioted in all the years since it was revealed that Jordanian Muslims used Jewish tombstones in Old Jerusalem as latrines? Or after Palestinians destroyed Joseph's Tomb in 2000 and set fire to the rebuilt tomb in 2003?

It is quite remarkable that many Muslims believe that an American interrogator flushing pages of the Koran is worthy of rioting, but all the torture, slaughter, terror and mass murder done by Muslims in the name of the Koran are unworthy of even a peaceful protest.

Nevertheless, one will have to search extensively for any editorials condemning these primitives in the Western press, let alone in the Muslim press. This is because moral expectations of Muslims are lower than those of other religious groups. Behavior that would be held in contempt if engaged in by Christians or Jews is not only not condemned, it is frequently "understood" when done by Muslims.


while i agree with everything you say (except for putting the Piss Christ on the same list as a series of atrocities), it simply doesn't matter. there's a war to win, we are told, and using such techniques in interrogation -- and the Koran down the toilet thing is incidental ... what i think we're all missing is that previous eyewitness reports of US "interrogation" techniques have substantiated the possibility of flushing the Koran. and we haven't seen riots up until just now ... it's a cumulative thing. i find it shocking that we find more problems with the riots than we do with the interrogation techniques -- even if we are curdely to compare death tolls, we have over 30 dead in US jails from "interrogation" and a few more than aa dozen dead from riots.

i simply don't care if the rioters were justified or not. it's incidental to the real problem -- the consequences of the Bush administration's new, half-baked policies on interrogation. this self-inflicted wound is only beginning to be felt. we need to be better than the enemy that is, not the enemy we wish they would be.

it also shocks me that those who are quickest to defend, equivocate, and excuse the abohorrant actions Abu Ghraib and Gitmo are those who are the strongest supporters of the GWOT. it seems to me that is a war of ideas as much as anything else, and this war will be won in the minds of moderate Muslims. let's stop the kind of insanity that prevailed at Gitmo, Abu Ghraib and many other military facilities across the globe. whether fair or not, justified or not, many Muslims already believe the Koran-flushing story and are being accused (with reason, i do agree) of paranoia -- and let's not equivocate between the insanity of the riots in Afghanistan with, say, the intelligentsia of Cairo who are *deeply* suspicious (with reason) of American motives. as the scandal deepends, as we see what the Bush WH has wrought with their interrogation liberties, a whole new set of problems is just beginning to unfold.
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Old 05-17-2005, 04:39 PM   #45
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No, not different. The rioting is done by people hearing of the alleged acts. Christians rioting when they "hear about" the work known as "Piss Christ" would be no different than Muslims rioting when they "hear about" the Koran in the toilet.

The riots were not about treatment of prisoners or, as you say, "tacit approval of torture". Rioting was based on a lack of respect for their religion.


i disagree.

i think you're missing the forest for the trees.
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