Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Well, if Nico can go the political route today, I guess I can too. I wasn't foolish enough to believe that this and worse wouldn't occur during the build up to war. It's gone on since the dawn of time, and even though I believe our cause is right and just and all that good stuff, I know that war is a dirty and inhuman thing and actions take place that are best not to think about. As Nico is correct in saying, our enemy is driven by a fervent belief in an ideology that isn't going to be broken by routine lock up and interrogation. These aren't a couple of neighborhood thugs that robbed some old lady. These are zealots, some that have traveled great distances, who's only goal is to fight and die in the name of their religion against the forces of a different idealogy. The good cop/bad cop routine isn't going to do a whole hell of a lot of good. It's uncomfortable to think about, but if we must torture a terrorist to get information that will save many more innocent lives, then I'm okay with that cause given the choice of torturing some asshole caught planting IEDs by a busy roadside and reading about some other asshole blowing up a bunch of children on the way to school, I'll sign up to throw the hood and handcuffs on and take the pictures myself.

Now, about those pictures. I think it's important to note that these aren't new images but previously unpublished ones, which begs the question "Why publish them now?" Everyone knows what happened. People were tortured, pictures were taken, Lyndie England is kind of crazy. It's all been covered. It's all been done. Thought we had moved on. But I guess not. So why is the media stirring up "the Arab street" again? Because "the Arab street" really isn't doing itself a lot of favors with the whole rioting and issuing of fatwas over the political cartoons in a Danish newspaper? Because it's uncomfortable to think that there's a pretty sizable chunk of the everyday muslim world that's suicide bombing crazy enough to get their shorts in a bunch over a POLITICAL CARTOON, not just a fringe element that isn't "really muslim?" Because the media felt the need to refresh our collective memory on a real reason to be pissed (though, really, the beheadings and videos shouldn't leave them a whole lot of room to riot)? Cause I really have to say the timing is interesting to me.

And before anyone feels the need to tell me that creating images of the prophet is a terrible crime under Muslim law, let me remind you that it wasn't Muslims who made the images and last I heard people who don't practice a particular religion aren't required to follow it's commands, especially when there's ample evidence that it's own practicioners haven't done the most stellar job themselves.

So, that's my political soapbox rant for today. Tomorrow I'll go back to crazy dreams about faded pop stars and making fun of Nicole, I promise.

It's a good thing Bryant wasn't for real holy or Daniel Moore would be screwed...


Anonymous nico said...

Despite what I said on my blog which I suppose is a kind of "noble idealism," my pragmatism often knows that side of me is a bit of a dreamer.

And before anyone feels the need to tell me that creating images of the prophet is a terrible crime under Muslim law, let me remind you that it wasn't Muslims who made the images and last I heard people who don't practice a particular religion aren't required to follow it's commands, especially when there's ample evidence that it's own practicioners haven't done the most stellar job themselves.

That's my take on things too. The most obvious and sadly ironic thing to point out to them would be, "Well guess what? Suicide is one of the ultimate taboos in Christianity, even if it's for 'a cause,' so please kindly respect our religious taboos and stop blowing yourselves up to get at us."

Maybe I should write a post elaborating on that.

Oh, and yeah, I suppose I should've put "unpublished" not "new." Fargin' BBC.

12:24 PM  
Blogger Todd Jones said...

yes, farg the bbc! except for the office and are you being served? cause those shows are hilarious.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Thanks for the day off!

1:39 PM  
Blogger Newspaper Hack said...

I think it's crazy about the cartoon thing -- Arab papers have disgusting caricatures of Jews all the time. The whole deal with the torture thing is that we're a part of the Geneva Convention, and it outlaws that sort of mess. If the Administration wants to beat the hell out of some dude in Iraq as a part of policy, it should go all-out and withdraw from the GC.

And I don't think the media is doing anything but reporting news, and pictures of torture by our people in Iraq is news. Maybe not "Dick Cheney shoots hunting pal" news, but news. As for me, I'm going to go out and put together a story to stir up "the Tuscaloosa street."
Those people are fanatics.

1:44 PM  
Blogger Todd Jones said...

Hack - The Geneva Convention only applies to soldiers in the uniform of their country. We aren't at war with a country, we're at war with an undefined network of terrorists. I get your point, but at the same time I really don't think we are legally obligated to follow the standards of the GC in regards to insurgents in Iraq (or elsewhere).

My problem with the media is that it seems like they are re-reporting news that's already been reported for no real reason other than to stop reporting on the "cartoon violence." Everyone knows about what went on in Abu Ghraib. Suddenly dropping fresh pictures that are going to further inflame and already angry muslim world on the front page seems convenient considering that what they are already pissed over makes them look crazy.

If you wanna inflame the tuscaloosa street, check back tonight. I've got an awesome idea for when I get home and can flesh it out. I'll give you a hint: hopefully the end result is rioting in Knoxville and wherever the NCAA heaquarters is.

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well does that mean that if new pictures from the Holocaust were discovered those shouldn't be reported since that would only inflame Israel?

7:30 AM  
Blogger Todd Jones said...

First, if new pictures of the Holocaust were found and published now it wouldn't be suspicious timing since there aren't any Jews rioting in the streets and storming German embassies over pictures in a newspaper.

Second, you really want to compare Abu Ghraib to the Holocaust? Really? Cause I'm pretty sure the people in Abu Ghraib did something to deserve their visit. You know, like attempting to, or actually, blowing up innocent people. Last I read the Jews in the concentration camp ovens were there because they were Jews and nothing more. So you know what, if the Israelis do want to get pissed and protest over the Holocaust, they have a damn good reason to.

7:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, I'll agree with you that the timing is a little suspicous, but the announcement of a major terror attack on Los Angelos being averted the other day had equally suspicious timging

I am not an anyone saying the Abu Gharaib and the Holocaust are in anyway equal in scope, they aren't...however I am quite sure that some of those people that were tortured were innocent and even if they weren't I don't feel they should be tortured. I don't understand the picking and choosing on when its ok to torture, its either always wrong or its ok for everyone to do-you can't have it both ways.

Also you said that the pictures shouldn't have been released because the issues had been dealt with and its over-I was just pointing out that the Holocaust was over and has been dealth with, but you wouldn't expect people to withhold new pictures/information from it.

Last point-earlier you said the Geneva Conventation only applied to soldiers in the uniform of their country-many of the Iraqis that were tortured were in the uniform of their country.

You don't know that those people were tortured weren't innocent...

11:20 AM  
Blogger Todd Jones said...

When was I picking and choosing when torture is okay? Did you mean when I was pointing out the difference between the holocaust and abu ghraib? Cause I'm not seeing a problem there. The people in Abu Ghraib are there for either being caught committing or planning terrorist acts or on suspicion of committing or planning terrorist acts. I'm sure there are some innocents in the bunch, I'm not naive enough to think that someone in the wrong place at the wrong time got roped in. But the jews in the concentration camps were there because they were jews, and that's it. If an innocent person got tortured in abu ghraib then it's a terrible mistake. But 6 million jews were systematically MURDERED in addition to any torture or forced labor they went through. So yeah, if you want me to say that genocide is always wrong and you can't pick and choose then I'm with you. But I'm not going to condemn our CIA and military intelligence for using torture as an interrogation method, especially considering the nature of our enemy. It's distasteful and unpleasant to think about, and in normal society it would be wrong(i.e. if in the county lock up the deputies torture a punk teenager to find out where he gets his weed), but I'm not seeing the problem when it comes to terrorists.

I didn't say that the pictures "shouldn't" have been released, I just questioned the timing and the motives behind their release especially since it's old news. yeah, the holocaust is old news too, but it's such a significant event in human history that new discoveries concerning it would be news. Abu Ghraib isn't. Terrorists being tortured and genocide aren't exaclty on the same footing, you know?

If by "in the uniform of their country" you are referring to pre-invasion iraqi soldiers then that doesn't wash. Once the gov't of Hussein was toppled and the army was ordered to surrender and disband, any soldiers continuing to fight become illegal combatants. They might still have their uniform on, but their army and it's gov't no longer exist so that uniform is worthless.

12:04 PM  

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