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Old 06-20-2004, 08:59 AM   #16
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Don't twist my words.
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Old 06-20-2004, 09:13 AM   #17
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer


Really? Does the "west" sudenly become as evil as men who behead their enemies for the sadistic pleasure of it. Is the west guilty of treating its women worse than animals? Are we now as bad as men who shell schools and blow up busloads of children in Iraq for want of chaos?

I never said that. Reread my post.

I strongly believe that some values we have in the west are superior to those that came before and that still exist around the world, I also believe that this abuse scandal has shown how we deal with these things makes our systems and morals better, you show me one instance in the arab world where an deed like this brings about such widespread self-condemnation and strong internal reflection.

Exactly. That's why Abu Ghraib are inexcusable and unforgivable and West can't preach to others about democracy anymore, particularly US with its foreign policy past.

There are many in the muslim world that applaud mass murder and yet the majority here remain silent or give them support in the name of political correctness but will leap up and down for months when we have a minor infraction of human rights (masturbation, nudity and demeening behaviour- sounds like a hazing ceremony: amputations, electrocution, execution - sounds like torture).

You have to differ between something like Al Kaida and something like a nation's fight for freedom, such as Palestine, Checnia, N. Ireland. I do not support car bombs any more than you do, but I also don't support years and decades of opression. To me, things in Abu Ghraib WERE torture.

The way we deal with these problems shows the world that we are better and the reason is because we will fix the problems, the west is not inherently better because we are white or built on jedeo-christian values, we are better because for the better part of 500 years we have allowed progression in our values and knowledge.

How did we deal with it? We still don't know who approved and who knew of the scandal prior the photos came out.
We are better? Yep, the white race really can be proud of what it did to native inhabitants of both Americas, Australia and Africa and how it robbed them of wealth, goods and their future.


I know that there is a difference between abuse at a prison and the honour killing of a woman in Jordan and saying that they are equally as bad does not make it so. We must spread the values that allowed the west to suceed around the world things like secularism, individual rights, freedom of ownership. It is these simple concepts that make the difference between an open progressive society and a dystopian theocratic dictatorship

Fundamentally both of those are wrong. Semantics-dancing around it won't make it better, and Western actions like Abu Ghraib certainly won't help us convicing other to embrace our values.

If I had a choice between abuse (that is what it is, it is NOT torture) at the hands of US guards and torture at the hands of Sadaams thugs I can uneqevically say I would rather be abused, No matter how demeaning it is for a muslim man to be seen nude seen nude by a woman it does not make it anywhere near the level of having your hand sliced open with a scalpal slowly while you are strapped to a chair or having your fingers crudely cut off with a butchers knife (the thing is that sometimes one hit isn't enough, they have to take another whack at it).

Well that's your opinion, but consider psychological pains are often far worse than phisycal ones.

I think that if you sit and watch that video then your postmodern moral relativist opinion about the west having no moral superiority when compared with the likes of Baathist thugs would be profoundly shaken and you may be able to distinguish between torture and abuse.
No, I don't think I will and again, we can not claim moral superiority if we do the very things that were supposed to never happen AGAIN. It was torture even if you don't want to call it that.

Last but not least, if the West treated POWs (70-90% of them innocent if we recall the Red Cross report) like that, what do you think will happen to Western soldiers/mercenaries that will get caught?
"They're animals but we're human" logic doesn't fly anymore.
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Old 06-20-2004, 09:17 AM   #18
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we can not claim moral superiority if we do the very things that were supposed to never happen AGAIN. It was torture even if you don't want to call it that.
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Old 06-20-2004, 09:24 AM   #19
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You reminded me why I stopped coming here - because some can't stand the slightest critisicm of US policies.
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Old 06-20-2004, 09:46 AM   #20
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I don't mind criticism of US policy at all, frankly I think that quite a bit of it has been a cock up but I implore you to distinguish between abuse and torture, there is a definite difference and it does a disservice to victims of torture to have their suffering placed on the same level as the abuse by US prison guards in Iraq.

We are NOT doing the same stuff that was commited by Saddams thugs what was done was a lot more minor and those responsible are getting punished for what they did and the investigations will only continue. I think it is a very ugly position to think that because of the abuse at the hands of a few individuals the entire cause of freedom and peace around the world should loose its importance.

What was done was wrong.

It constitutes abuse and not torture, it is very dificult to distinguish between the two because there is no straitforward definitions, the geneva conventions do not explicitly state what degrees of "torture" there are but when dealt with in most cases it is clear cut.

Responsibility rests with the CO's at the prison itself, the buck stops there and they are responsible for what goes on in the prison. What you see there is a failure of leadership and discipline more than anything else.

I am not personally responsible for abuse nor is "the west" therefore there should be no problem encouraging the concept of liberty around the world even though it may be an outdated ethnocentric concept that is incompatible with others way of life to some.

Western civilization has given more to the peoples of the world than anything else in the history of mankind.

Aboriginal peoples were not all good and the British Empire was not all bad

Everybody in the world deserves to have peace and freedom however they are not a given, they must be fought for and protected, what our soldiers are doing in Iraq is something I am proud of and the crimes of the few do not smear the good of the many.
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Old 06-20-2004, 10:42 AM   #21
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I give up

Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
I don't mind criticism of US policy at all, frankly I think that quite a bit of it has been a cock up but I implore you to distinguish between abuse and torture, there is a definite difference and it does a disservice to victims of torture to have their suffering placed on the same level as the abuse by US prison guards in Iraq.

So you're saying Abu Ghraib scandal was nothing? I'd say both of the things discussed constitute as torture, and how can you measure suffering or say anyone's suffering is worth less than other's? Do not equal average joe Iraquis to terrorists either.

We are NOT doing the same stuff that was commited by Saddams thugs what was done was a lot more minor and those responsible are getting punished for what they did and the investigations will only continue. I think it is a very ugly position to think that because of the abuse at the hands of a few individuals the entire cause of freedom and peace around the world should loose its importance.

Ah, the "few rotten apples" argument. Nope, I don't think so, there were military intelligence members (maybe even CIA) in the prison INSTRUCTING the guards what to do to Iraquis. I bet White house knew of it, Rumsfeld if no one else

What was done was wrong.

It constitutes abuse and not torture, it is very dificult to distinguish between the two because there is no straitforward definitions, the geneva conventions do not explicitly state what degrees of "torture" there are but when dealt with in most cases it is clear cut.

True, but IMO torture is not just cutting arms, beheading, electrocuting, it can also be much more subtle and psychological.

Responsibility rests with the CO's at the prison itself, the buck stops there and they are responsible for what goes on in the prison. What you see there is a failure of leadership and discipline more than anything else.

See my "rotten" apples paragraph.

I am not personally responsible for abuse nor is "the west" therefore there should be no problem encouraging the concept of liberty around the world even though it may be an outdated ethnocentric concept that is incompatible with others way of life to some.

Well, not personally but as a civilization we shouldn't let it happen in the first place. I have no clue how to implement liberty in the many harsh regimes in Middle East, Africa, Asia...

Western civilization has given more to the peoples of the world than anything else in the history of mankind.

Aboriginal peoples were not all good and the British Empire was not all bad

There were good things and also bad things. Mankind- especially the developed world - has also done more things to pollute the environment/along with animal species extinction and the gap between the rich and the poor than anything else.

Everybody in the world deserves to have peace and freedom however they are not a given, they must be fought for and protected, what our soldiers are doing in Iraq is something I am proud of and the crimes of the few do not smear the good of the many.
But I thought Iraq was attacked because of the masive amounts of WMDs?
Interestingly how Saddam was in power for 20+ years yet was not removed, and I bet western governments (did you know US gave Iraq info against Iran in the Iraq/Iran war? And weapons, and gasses, and rockets?) and secret services knew what was going on. Instead they put up UN sanctions that only helped starve out the nation.
Knowing about something and not doing anything about it is just as bad as cooperating IMO.
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Old 06-20-2004, 11:40 AM   #22
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Iraq was invaded because the Baathist regime was in defiance of its UN resolutions by not verifiably disarming its WMD and missile programs. The resolution made clear that failure to comply would result in serious concequinces and they were taken. Since the end of the war we have discovered that he had ongoing weapons programs that could produce high grade WMD, A 4 litre Binary Sarin Agent shell which is a banned weapon (where there is one there are bound to be others, we just have to know where to look), Al Samoud II Missiles which exeeded restrictions on range and hence were outlawed. The fact is that legally he did not comply and it was about time that action was taken. I personally have allways supported the war on the basis of humanitarian grounds, just because we fucked the Iraqi people over time and time again in the past should not prevent taking action when the oppertunity arises in the present, what we did was right and the Iraqi people and world is better off because of it.

I have strong doubts about a CIA instigated action at the prison, it seems to be very crude tactics for professionals. I read a transcript of an interview with Bob Woodward about a rumoured CIA operation that involves information gathering in the war on terror and it did not sound like the basic psyops that were tried at Abu Ghraib. I need tangiable evidence for such things, dates and real information, the thing is that all the accusations have come from those who commited it. They wan't to run a "trial by media" in which they become victims who were just following orders from mysterious spooks who cannot be traced or held accountable. I also have very strong doubts that Rumsfeld would have authorised those particular measures to have been taken, the chain of command has systems and checks and in the case of prisoner abuse they worked, the pentagon was alerted to the problem and they launched an investigation into it, they announced that there were allegations of abuse and that they were being investigated but did not release the evidence. When it hit the media it becomes a political football and a shitstorm stirs around it in which disinformation and politiking take precidence over fact.

In order to bring peace and freedom to the repressive regimes we must put real pressure on them, bring their crimes out into the open and force accountability to the regimes, if diplomatic pressure fails then targeted sanctions are a legitimate means to depose them, should that fail then war is a solution. War is a means to an end and it can bring about freedom and eventually lay the seeds of liberal democracy. It takes a lot of work and a lot of strength to build a democratic system but in todays world of terrorism and islamic fascism we simply cannot afford to waiver, while some men are slaves all are not free.

In regards to the dealing we did with Saddam in the 1980's I know exactly what is on the record in regards to transactions between the US and Saddams Iraq, we gave him minor support against a common enemy (Iran) by giving him satelite information about Iranian troop movements, Removed Iraq from the list of terrorist sponsering states which allowed him to purchase some duel use equipment from american companies in that period, that stuff is not inherently meant to be used in weapons programs but it probably was. It is interesting when you look at the figures the ammount of sheer aid and diplomatic support the US is a small fish when compared to both Soviet Union (the real backer, they gave Saddam tenfold what we gave and even more in terms of expertise in C/B weapons), China and France (Hello nuclear see Osirak).

UN sanctions themselves did not starve the nation, the food for oil program gave Iraq enough food to feed itself however it was abused by the regime who gave cash payoffs to foreign politicians and UN beurocrats. It has emerged after the war the sheer size of this scam and investigations about it are continuing today (The UN has ensured that it will stop leaking information and has essentially told its workers not to cooperate with an inquiry into it). The disaster that was Oil for Food was created by Saddam Hussein, the responsibility lays on his hands as well as the hands of those that accepted bribes (reminds me, George Galloway was on a list of those payed off, he was an anti-war MP, does anybody know how the investigation went).

*Note I consider myself liberal in that I believe in the free market, equal and indivisible human rights, democracy and
I think that intervening all around the world to spread these institutions is the only way we will guarantee peace on earth. To quote a little piece of JFK's american university speech, Not peace in our time, but for peace in all time.
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Old 06-20-2004, 08:15 PM   #23
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Originally posted by U2girl
You reminded me why I stopped coming here - because some can't stand the slightest critisicm of US policies.
That's not fair. I don't agree with every US policy and neither does anyone else. But what happened to those Iraqi prisoners was not US policy, it was the individual acts of a few. Don't blame the entire US, its government, or 'the west' for that. And I still say they have a long way to go before they are comparable to internet beheadings and other such tactics which have been used against westerners and Israelis by some in the middle east long before we were in Iraq and long before anyone ever heard of Bush.

Oh, and it's not just westerners anymore, now they're after a guy from the far east too! He's still an 'infidel' to them!

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...d=540&ncid=716
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Old 06-20-2004, 08:48 PM   #24
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Originally posted by U2Kitten
But what happened to those Iraqi prisoners was not US policy, it was the individual acts of a few.
There is no way you can say that with any kind of certainty. It's questionable how far up this thing went, and God only knows if we'll ever find out.
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Old 06-20-2004, 09:43 PM   #25
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I really think it was just hicks like Lindy England and those guys. I REALLY don't believe anyone high up would be stupid enough to risk their hides ordering that stuff. Of course as with everything we'll never know, for all we know the Saudi gov't could be behind the beheadings. You never know who is covering who's ass with fall guys or whatever.
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Old 06-21-2004, 12:11 AM   #26
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Have you read the memos...
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Old 06-21-2004, 12:31 AM   #27
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It was a pre-panned tactic. As stated above, "read the memos."
That US General that was sacked said she ordered to treat them
the prisoner as "dogs."
The whole purpose was to treat those prisoners as animals.
hoping this would make them break and talk.
The US servicepeople in those pics sure do look like they loved their work! I tend to believe they were given their orders and
the "brass" never showed up again to see what was going on.
Pics hits the media. The higher-ups in command claim no responsibilty. It was just some renegade bad soldiers idea.
Yeah...................right.
Anyways, reason I believe this wasn't just some soldier's idea
of "fun and games," is because stuff similar to this was going
on in that prison in Cuba. Not sure exactly what went on there,
but it had to be bad for Amnesty Intl. to complain.
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Old 06-21-2004, 01:10 AM   #28
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Amnesty International will complain about any infringement by coalition forces (as they should, see holding to higher standards). Where is your evidence for what goes on in Gitmo, I have heard allegations of abuse from former prisoners but these guys would really have an axe to grind, there is so much oversight of Guantanamo that it is unlikely real torture occurs there and it is more likely to occur in the underwatched and undisciplined prisons where there isn't as much oversight. Brigadir General Karpinsky is trying to use the media to defend herself and influence the inevitable court martial by claiming that she is a victim of the system and that she was just following orders, that is no defense. What she did is not how the US Army operates and it will costs the lives of many soldiers and civilians, She and her entire chain of command deserves to burn.

In regards to a high level order to interrogate the prisoners this way and cover it up I have not yet seen any factual evidence that this is any more than a failure of leadership and oversight at the prison and until there is an investigation that proves otherwise or a shocking piece of evidence then I won't. Remember Occam's Razor, the simplest explaination is usually the right one, there is no need to make up a paranoid high level conspiracy against these low level soldiers if you look at the evidence and come to a logical conclusion.
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Old 06-21-2004, 09:24 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by RockNRollDawgie
It was a pre-panned tactic. As stated above, "read the memos."
That US General that was sacked said she ordered to treat them
the prisoner as "dogs."
The whole purpose was to treat those prisoners as animals.
hoping this would make them break and talk.
I'm not condoning it, but if that's true, it was an interesting idea. When most people are interrogated to make them talk, what do you do, you threaten them, scare them with harm, even their lives? But with many in this culture you are dealing with people who believe that if they suffer, if they die for their cause, it is the greatest glory they could recieve. So the military wasn't about to make martyrs of them because that's what they wanted. So if you can't threaten them with harm, what is valuable to them? Their honor, their Muslim manhood! So by making them act like dogs, by insulting their manhood, that was a way of breaking them down. Again, not justifying it, but I do understand where they must have been coming from with that idea. The Geneva convention was written for a different kind of people. New game, new rules.

However, I still think it went too far and it was individuals to blame for that, not leadership. What about the guy who beat the Iraqi soldier to death? He was an asshole anyway. I saw his ex-wife interviewed on TV and she said she totally believed he did it and enjoyed it. She said he had a long history of violence and cruelty. He had beaten and threatened to kill her and the kids and that was why she left him. But you can't blame the entire US or US Military for a jerk like that.
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Old 06-21-2004, 10:06 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Amnesty International will complain about any infringement by coalition forces (as they should, see holding to higher standards). Where is your evidence for what goes on in Gitmo, I have heard allegations of abuse from former prisoners but these guys would really have an axe to grind, there is so much oversight of Guantanamo that it is unlikely real torture occurs there and it is more likely to occur in the underwatched and undisciplined prisons where there isn't as much oversight.
Here's an article from the New York Times which I quoted in the Prisoner Abuse thread. It's about an Army National Guard specialist at Guantanamo who was ordered to play an "uncooperative detainee" in an interrogation-training exercise and was so badly beaten by the trainees that he had to leave the service with permanent brain injuries.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstrac...AF0894DC404482
Quote:
Beating Specialist Baker
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF


Published: June 5, 2004
The prison abuse scandal refuses to die because soothing White House explanations keep colliding with revelations about dead prisoners and further connivance by senior military officers — and newly discovered victims, like Sean Baker.

If Sean Baker doesn't sound like an Iraqi name, it isn't. Specialist Baker, 37, is an American, and he was a proud U.S. soldier. An Air Force veteran and member of the Kentucky National Guard, he served in the first gulf war and more recently was a military policeman in Guantánamo Bay.

...

But Mr. Baker began suffering seizures, so the military sent him to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center for treatment of a traumatic brain injury. He stayed at the hospital for 48 days, was transferred to light duty in an honor burial detail at Fort Dix, N.J., and was finally given a medical discharge two months ago.

Meanwhile, a military investigation concluded that there had been no misconduct involved in Mr. Baker's injury. Hmm. The military also says it can't find a videotape that is believed to have been made of the incident.

Most appalling, when Mr. Baker told his story to a Kentucky reporter, the military lied in a disgraceful effort to undermine his credibility. Maj. Laurie Arellano, a spokeswoman for the Southern Command, questioned the extent of Mr. Baker's injuries and told reporters that his medical discharge was unrelated to the injuries he had suffered in the training drill.

In fact, however, the Physical Evaluation Board of the Army stated in a document dated Sept. 29, 2003: "The TBI [traumatic brain injury] was due to soldier playing role of detainee who was non-cooperative and was being extracted from detention cell in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, during a training exercise."
Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
In regards to a high level order to interrogate the prisoners this way and cover it up I have not yet seen any factual evidence that this is any more than a failure of leadership and oversight at the prison and until there is an investigation that proves otherwise or a shocking piece of evidence then I won't.
From the same thread, but this time originally posted by Scarletwine:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main...13/wguan13.xml
Quote:
Interrogation abuses were 'approved at highest levels'
By Julian Coman in Washington
(Filed: 13/06/2004)

New evidence that the physical abuse of detainees in Iraq and at Guantanamo Bay was authorised at the top of the Bush administration will emerge in Washington this week, adding further to pressure on the White House.

The Telegraph understands that four confidential Red Cross documents implicating senior Pentagon civilians in the Abu Ghraib scandal have been passed to an American television network, which is preparing to make them public shortly.

...

As the growing scandal threatens to undermine President Bush's re-election campaign, senior aides have acknowledged for the first time that the abuse of detainees can no longer be presented as the isolated acts of a handful of soldiers at the Abu Ghraib.

"It's now clear to everyone that there was a debate in the administration about how far interrogators could go," said a legal adviser to the Pentagon. "And the answer they came up with was 'pretty far'. Now that it's in the open, the administration is having to change that answer somewhat."

In the latest revelation, yesterday's Washington Post published leaked documents revealing that Gen Ricardo Sanchez, the senior US officer in Iraq, approved the use of dogs, temperature extremes, reversed sleep patterns and sensory deprivation for prisoners whenever senior officials at the Abu Ghraib jail wished. A memo dated October 9, 2003 on "Interrogation Rules of Engagement", which each military intelligence officer was obliged to sign, set out in detail the wide range of pressure tactics they could use - including stress positions and solitary confinement for more than 30 days.
I think this is some of the information that article hints at:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/i...on-cover_x.htm
Quote:
Pressure at Iraqi prison detailed
By Blake Morrison and John Diamond, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — The officer who oversaw interrogations at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad testified that he was under intense "pressure" from the White House, Pentagon and CIA last fall to get better information from detainees, pressure that he said included a visit to the prison by an aide to national security adviser Condoleezza Rice.

Army Lt. Col. Steven Jordan, in a sworn statement to Army investigators obtained by USA TODAY, said he was told last September that White House staffers wanted to "pull the intelligence out" of the interrogations being conducted at Abu Ghraib.

...

Examination of Jordan's statement and other internal Army documents provides new insights into the intensity of the demands on commanders at Abu Ghraib to deliver useful intelligence, and the relative lack of emphasis on treating prisoners in accord with international standards. While the documents obtained by USA TODAY do not answer questions about how high approval of the abuses went, they show there was intense interest in the Abu Ghraib operations at the highest levels of the Pentagon and the White House staff.
So I don't think you can speak of acts by 'trigger happy individuals'. Not when it's going on on this scale.



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