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Abu Ghraib: Do Its Walls Differentiate Between America and Saddam Hussein?

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G’day there.

May I preface what I am about to write, and you read, with my observation that true friendship is best shown when your best mate tells you things you may not like but which are intented to assist, not destroy.

Such is what I am now writing, for tonight, having watched the graphic, shocking and simply destroying newly released photos taken of prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq being beaten, humiliated and killed by the US military broadcast on the Australian SBS televsion network, I am a stunned man.

American readers of this will not have seen them as apparently US papers and TV will not run them – and therein lies the real rub.

In the nation of the United States of America, and one of Australia’s greatest allies (and vice versa), where free speech is enshrined in the Consitution, it seemingly does not, in fact, exist.

Watching them in horror, I was struck by the thought that not only have these people given Bin Laden and all others who hate America (and us with you) an almighty free kick but they also beg the question “are we really any better than Saddam Hussein?”

If I was an Iraqi watching them, I would emphatically say “no” – in fact probably worse, for we came there holding out the promise of better things for them and here we are repeating history.

My late father always told me that you never lowered yourself to other peoples standards- they came up to yours. Well, tonight Uncle Sam got right down there with the dirtiest and lowest of them and I am sure if the late Johnny Cash, one of my real life heroes, had seen them, he also would not have been singing about raising Old Glory!

Many Americans are puzzled why they are so much on the nose around the globe. To answer that, you need look no further than these pictures; George Bush, Sr.’s promise, and then reneging to the marsh Arabs of southern Iraq his support if they overthrew Saddam (a handly little aside that cost many thousands of lives) and duplicity in their handling of the whole Middle Eastern picture.

Having said that, I think there is an enormous amount of decency and goodwill in the bulk of Americans. They just have to awaken from their torpor and start not only asking questions of their leaders but also themselves about where they are heading and why?

As John Kennedy said, “..if you are not part of the answer, you are part of the problem.”

Also it might help if you lobbied your local TV station to have the courage to run those pictures – maybe it might awaken that decency factor again!

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About Anthony Fountain

  • RedTard

    I don’t think our news should run those videos unless they also run those of our enemies chanting praises to Allah while slicing off the heads of our compatriots or tearing apart soldiers bodies while dancing in the streets.

  • Bing

    No shit huh Redtard. The ACLU and others on the far left get their panties in a bunch everytime a terrorist suspect is put in a cell without air conditioning or isn’t served a second pice of pie with dinner while they are being detained but they don’t say anything about muslim terrorists kidnapping and killing American civilians or muslims rioting and threatening to kill people over cartoons.

    All you need to know about the ACLU is that they are more upset by Abu Gharib than the beheading of innocent civilians from different nations by muslim terrorists.

    They are public enemy number one and must be stopped at all costs.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com Michael J. West

    Bing, you’re so cute. :-)

  • Teutates

    grab some popcorn and watch it unfurl…

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    In the nation of the United States of America, and one of Australia’s greatest allies (and vice versa), where free speech is enshrined in the Consitution, it seemingly does not, in fact, exist.

    Free Speech includes the right not to speak, and if the media here in America chooses not to show those pictures, then that’s their right. They have also refused to broadcast terrorist beheadings and even to show the offensive anti-Mohammed cartoons which were recently controversial.

    What surprises me is that if you’re so concerned about Americans seeing these Abu Ghraib pictures, why did you write this article without posting a link to the pictures, which are easily available on the web from a number of sources, including our good friends at Al Jazeera among others. BTW, a small gallery of selected pictures from this new release is here.

    What you also don’t make sufficiently clear is that these are NOT new pictures. They are pictures which have been in US Government hands since 2004 and were part of the evidence used to convict the Abu Ghraib abuses but they were just not released to the public at that time. They do not represent new or additional abuse, and while they slightly have different images – often the same scene from a different angle – they are not substantially different in content from the sampling of pictures previously released and are available now because of a US court ruling in November that all of the photos in evidence should be released to the ACLU who presumably then leaked them.

    And here’s the key point. This was an isolated case of abuse which took place when an officer of questionable judgement decided to put control of prisoners in the hands of a bunch of minimally trained hillbillys with almost no supervision. It was an aberration, and it was dealt with swiftly and harshly. The abusers are now in prison themselves.

    Dave

  • ss

    AF:
    Although you do make a very good point about our own ‘sacred cows’, and how we voluntarily censor ourselves where they are concerned, I think it might actually do more harm than good to air the photos in question in America right now.

    I’m in the paradoxical position of having opposed the war at its onset (one reason being that I knew Abu Gharib, or something as bad, was bound to happen), but being of the opinion, now, that we shouldn’t leave to soon. Not because I’m worried about victory, or honor, or American credibility, or any of that idiotic crap, but because I think we owe it to the Iraqis to make this thing work.
    One thing you have to understand about the American people is that we’re not bad, but we are used to starting in a position of great advantage, getting instant gratification, and then patting ourselves on the back for our ‘resolve’ and ‘tenacity’.
    We now find ourselves in a situation that our military can’t resolve on it’s own, Period, let alone resolve in one year or less.
    People are disgusted, not (unfortunately) by the careless use of power that leads to these kinds of abuses, but by the fact that affecting positive change in the Muslim world may take longer than two years.
    At some point the whole truth must be told, and America has to deal with the fact that the kind of power we have is not a toy to be played with for instant gratification, and if we use it that way, horrible things will happen.
    At this particular point in time, I’m afraid we’d just use it as an excuse to abandon secular Muslims. And in Iraq, that’ll just mean someone else takes over the torture chambers.

  • ss

    Well, Dave, I just said I’m against releasing the photos at this time in the U.S, and said why, but I do feel the need to make some possible corrections to your post:

    The article put out on the AP wire that I read this morning claimed that the administration is appealling that decision and has not yet been released the pictures, to the ACLU or anyone else.
    The article also said that there appeared to be dead bodies (plural), pools of blood, and prisoners performing sexual acts on one another.
    Lastly, and this is important, the article also pointed out that none of the photos has been authenticated in anyway.

    I still don’t know how to post a link, but the adress is given below:

    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20060215/D8FPKM5G0.html

  • Teutates

    WASHINGTON – Cindy Sheehan finally got her invitation to see President Bush again, but before she set eyes on him at the State of the Union address, Capitol Police removed her from the gallery overlooking the House chamber.

    The offense: her shirt, bearing an anti-war message and other “unlawful conduct,” police said.

    Sheehan, the mother of a fallen soldier in Iraq who reinvigorated the anti-war movement, was handcuffed and charged with unlawful conduct, according to Capitol Police Sgt. Kimberly Schneider. The charge was a misdemeanor and Sheehan was being released on her own recognizance, Schneider said.

    Schneider said Sheehan had worn a T-shirt with an anti-war slogan to Tuesday night’s speech and covered it up until she took her seat. Police warned her that such displays were not allowed in the House chamber, but she did not respond, the spokeswoman said.

    Note: NEITHER GOOGLE NEWS NOR YAHOO SAID
    What’s the friggin shirt say!

    I looged on to them frenches…it said 2249 dead, how many more~

  • Setatuet
  • zingzing

    the difference between a terrorist killing an american and the us torturing prisoners is that the us is a country, while the terrorists are just individuals. our army or marines or whoever is in charge at abu ghraib cannot continue to torture, and if they do, they better make damn sure they aren’t caught doing so. plus, what about the numbers? how many american prisoners have been tortured? how many “enemy combatants?”

    if you, redtard and bing, want them to show the beheadings, you better be ready for a long, nasty video of the us torturing their suspects. i’m sure there is plenty more footage of our wrongdoings than theirs. neither is better than the other, but what a few terrorists do does not reflect on all muslim people. what our armed forces do does reflect back on us.

  • lumpy

    last I checked, the terrorists were organized and claimed to represent the people of islam, plus they are funded and supplied by rogue states like iran. the terrorists and their backers should all be held accountable for their actiions.

  • zingzing

    sure they are organized, but the people of islam do not claim they are represented by terrorists. we represent these rogue states as engaging in illegal activity by funding terrorism. so, if our military tortures victims, then we are engaging in illegal activities as well, and supposedly these illegal activities are done, quite openly, in the name of the american people.

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    If your military tortures, it is terrorist and terrorism is being committed in your name.

    Mr. Nalle is correct, media outlets have the right to choose not to show the photos, which indeed come from the same batch as the ones previously published. However, they can choose to do their job and show the truth. Some of the pics are available through All Facts and Opinions; just scroll downward. Just because those atrocities are the work of agents of your government doesn’t make them any less vile, unforgivable or terrorist.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    But remember, these actions at Abu Ghraib were actions of rogue government employees whose actions didn’t represent the intent of our government any more than the actions of terrorists beheading hostages represent the will of the general Muslim population. Plus they were punished for their crimes. Can the same be said of major terrorist groups? Perhaps of Hamas who just got voted into power?

    Think about it. The election of Hamas in Palestine would be the equivalent of electing Lyndie England president. But in fact, with a felony on her rap sheet she can’t even run for office in most states. That’s the key difference here.

    Dave

  • http://www.rainbowchaser.com.au Anthony Fountain

    Dave,

    You wrote-
    __Think about it. The election of Hamas in Palestine would be the equivalent of electing Lyndie England president. But in fact, with a felony on her rap sheet she can’t even run for office in most states. That’s the key difference here.__

    If we are ever top break the cycle in the Middle East of attack,revenge,attack etc etc there has to be some “big men” attitude shown on both sides.

    The reality is, as much as Israeli and American governents have thrown up their hands in horror over the Hamas win (and by all accounts it was above board), that they were , by all accounts,elected fair and square by the people- one of the hallmarks of democracy surely.

    Now comes the tricky bits because just as a bolter of a team that has been carping for years about NFL Super Bowl suddenly finds themselves in “the big game” and with the football, their outlook suddeny changes and I tend to think that the people within Hamas with logic (and they are there), whilst still blustering about a lot of prior issues, will actually sit down and negotiate.

    PROVIDED

    They are not boxed in by Israel/US and whomever cutting off the money and simply creating even more mayhem.

    To be honest, I think their “deal” that they will drop arms for a truce if Israel goes back to the 1972 (that the right date?) borders is not unreasonable (whoa Anthony, brace yourself for emails on THAT point!!) and just as the bloodshed in Northern Ireland came to a halt by both sides giving something, I’m willing to punt that Israel and Hamas, if the right people are negotiating without others sticking their noses in, might just cut a deal.

    If that happens a lot of the heat goes out of the whole Middle Eastern conundrum, much of the reason for angst is removed from moderate Muslims (and they are in the majority, even if they don’t capture the headlines) and the radicals are exposed for what they are.

    Carpe diem

    Tony

  • Bing

    If the American military is torturing known AL Queda and other terrorists in an attempt to gain information that could save the lives of American civilians it is not terrorism, it’s just good strategy. Unlike Natalie and zingzing I have absolutely no regard for the terrorists that they American military may capture and interrogate. Thier lives are worth less than nothing in my eyes and I say have at em. You delusional, peaceniks can go on and on about your “we should be better than them” bullshit ideals but here in the real world sometimes you have to get ugly to protect yourself.

    I don’t believe that our military should be torturing civilians. I also believe that they don’t. I don’t think the US military would waste it’s time with foreign civilians who don’t have any information that could help protect us. I believe that when our troops capture and interrogate someone it is because that person is in fact a terrorist.

    Lastly, if a person doesn’t want to become a detainee of thee US military and all that that entails there is one simple thing they can do. Don’t become a terrorist. Not too hard is it.

    I have to go order my ‘Guantanamo, Come for the Sun, Stay for the Interrogation” t shirt now.

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    “But remember, these actions at Abu Ghraib were actions of rogue government employees whose actions didn’t represent the intent of our government”

    Says who? Dubya? Rummy? Rice? Sorry, I can’t and don’t take them at their worthless word. I see no difference between the invading Bush Gang and the violent Iraqi insurgents, who, like the Bushites, insist they are using violence merely to defend their own interests. They’re all terrorists. A pox on all their houses.

    Mr. Bing, you are delusional if you believe only terrorists reside within the walls of Abu Ghraib and Gitmo. New US Army records show that a majority of detainees are “of no intelligence value” and/or “innocent” of terrorism – and that the DoD and the CIA struck an agreement to keep the existence and tragic fates of these poor souls — known as “ghost detainees” — under wraps. Of course, you likely will write them off as necessary collateral damage and I will hold that view in contempt.

    NR Davis

  • ss

    How do you know exactly who is being captured and tortured?
    I’d agree that it’s probably terrorists in the overwhelming majority of cases, but there was an article posted on Desicritics about an Indian businessman being detained at the State of the Union because someone thought he fit a desription. He was released an hour later, but if he’d been put on a plane and flown to Syria, what legal channels could his family use to get him out?
    This is especially touchy in Iraq, where the situation is more chaotic.
    Again, I think the bad part about releasing the photos, right now, is they will probably just be used as an exuse to bail out on a situation we created. Also it’s a bad time for publication because Iraq is trying to form a new government and they probably don’t need gas poured on the fire right now.
    But the attitude I’m seeing on this thread:
    ‘It’s okay if it’s us and if anyone’s wrong here, it’s the ACLU’
    If you seriously believe that maybe they do have to publish the pictures.

  • troll

    NRD – that report is a year old (3-10-05) so your use of ‘new’ is questionable

    lack of outrage in the US is amazing

    troll

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    Actually, it was a mistake. Good catch, Mr. Troll, and thanks for pointing out my error. I have had the link in my bookmarks for quite a while – I found it pretty memorable – but tend to consider anything less than a year old “new.”

  • zingzing

    you don’t believe that we’re torturing detainees, bing? what the fuck do you need? pictures!?

  • zingzing

    oh… you said civilians. okay. so torturing terrorists is fine, then… i don’t really believe that’s true, but forgive my knee-jerk reaction.

  • zingzing

    i think that torture is wrong, just because i also believe that what we do to them, they will do to us. (also, it’s just plain nasty). it’s a cycle of violence that will continue as long as we let it.

    don’t you see that this is how the middle east got the way it is today? that it’s the way it’s always been? violence is obviously not the answer there.

    how many times can we hit our head against a brick wall? do you really think the wall will break before the skull does?

    the election has passed and a government has been formed. things are still not under control in iraq. one of the main things that is causing this is our presence. we need to slowly back out, keeping things balanced as we do. after we are out, we need to let them try to run their own lives. in the interest of lasting peace, we should not, and cannot try to intervene in the middle east again. it’s not our place. hell, even the resident israeli here says that we need to back off.

  • Scott Butki
  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    i think that torture is wrong, just because i also believe that what we do to them, they will do to us.

    This may be the most naive thing I’ve ever read. The kidnapping, torture and murder of western civilians in the middle east has been going on since long before the Iraq War and the War on Terror when no one was being tortured or even harassed by our side. The idea that if we started being nice to our prisoners a pattern of terror that dates back 30 years would suddenly stop is utterly ridiculous.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    dave–yer full of [Deleted] it. we’ve been sticking our fucking nose where it doesn’t belong for so long now, we don’t even remember what the damn thing looks like. i don’t think that, should we stop torturing, they are going to stop kidnapping and murdering immediately, but it is a step in the right direction. the whole goddamn world needs to stop, back off, and figure out a new way that doesn’t involve attaching electric shit to people’s nethers or chopping their fucking heads off. violence begets violence. it’s been said before, and it’s obviously true.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Zing, you live in an utter fantasy world. Not only do your comments display a complete lack of understanding of political reality, but it’s as if the long history of terrorism never happened in your world. Your take on the situation is so through-the-looking-glass that it can’t even be responded to meaningfully.

    They have been kidnapping and torturing for 30 years as part of the current conflict, and we only started hitting back in the last 4 years. We sat and took it for decades and their behavior only got worse. The idea that they’d EVER stop until they destroyed us is demonstrably false since they have only escalated their activities in times when we were friendly towards them.

    Dave

  • ss

    Dave:
    The Israelis have won plenty of wars and tortured plenty of prisoners, and the only reason school busses aren’t blowing up in Israel anymore is because they stopped using school buses.
    Hawks and doves have a similiar record when it comes to ending terrorism.
    You can try everything that hasn’t worked for anybody else and call anyone who points it out naive all you want, but your methods HAVEN’T WORKED EITHER, and your reliance on history, in this case, just means you are absolutely doomed to repeat it.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    SS, last I checked we weren’t the Israelis. And whether more aggressive methods work or not certainly remains to be seen. If nothing else theyve resulted in devastating losses for Al Qaeda.

    Dave

  • ss

    Dave,
    One thing I do have to give Bush credit for is that he is at least TRYING to create a situation where groups like al-Qaeda can’t immediately take in new volunteers to make up for the losses inflicted. He’s not just using aggressive tactics as some sort of collective punishment and thinking that’s the way to go. The home grown security forces, the ballot, and rebuilding the economy in Iraq sounds similiar to what Blair did in Northern Ireland. I’m not sure if it’s going to work here, they’ve been trying that tack on the West Bank too, and, well…
    I’d go so far as to say it definitely won’t work in the Middle East unless homegrown secular elements can find a political foothold without our military backing it up. And the catch-22 is our military backing makes it even harder for secular Muslims to gain any political ground in thier own community.
    But at least Bush is trying to accomplish something a litle more subtle than many of his supporters (and, granted, detractors) seem to be aware of.
    Bush and Blair both (tacitly, at least) acknowledge that Abu Gharib and British soldiers beating Arab kids and taping it, these sorts of things aren’t helping them reach the real goal.
    But when these things do happen, the ‘shoot the messenger’ attitude, and some of your conservative brethren who doggedly defend actions that Bush and Blair condemn…
    It just pisses me off.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I’d go so far as to say it definitely won’t work in the Middle East unless homegrown secular elements can find a political foothold without our military backing it up. And the catch-22 is our military backing makes it even harder for secular Muslims to gain any political ground in thier own community.

    This is why it’s so important for us to win over the Sunnis by some reasonable negotiation. They’re the most secular group in Iraq and also the source of the only terrorists with any legitimacy. Get them to cooperate and everyone turns against Al Qaeda in a heartbeat.

    But at least Bush is trying to accomplish something a litle more subtle than many of his supporters (and, granted, detractors) seem to be aware of.

    Not paying attention to and/or taking Bush seriously is a chronic problem in some quarters.

    Bush and Blair both (tacitly, at least) acknowledge that Abu Gharib and British soldiers beating Arab kids and taping it, these sorts of things aren’t helping them reach the real goal.
    But when these things do happen, the ‘shoot the messenger’ attitude, and some of your conservative brethren who doggedly defend actions that Bush and Blair condemn…

    The reason this attitude exists is that every time there’s a minor incident where a few troops go off the reservation it is immediately blown up and treated as if it was some sort of policy. Abu Ghraib was one prison of dozens the US is operating in the region. People behaved badly there, they were punished and the practices were stopped. The same sort of thing was not going on region-wide and it was not authorized by the administration, but many people act as if it was merely a representative example of a larger policy. The same thing is true of the British soldiers and the Iraqi teens. It was the exception rather than the rule, but the media and the endlessly carping critics are acting as if it’s standard practice or official policy to beat people in the streets – when nothing could be farther from the truth.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    maybe it’s (kidnappings, etc) only gotten progressivly worse in the last 30 years, but don’t you think that has something to do with the fact that we stuck our nose in, and we kept it stuck there, year after year after year? they don’t care if we are or aren’t “friendly,” they want us out.

    imagine a school bully (usa) who is constantly bothering you (middle east), day after day… even if he doesn’t beat you up every day, the constant nagging is going to get on your nerves… one day you fight back, and he beats the crap out of you, then he keeps on beating you, day after day. what are you going to do? sit there and take it because he keeps on hitting you, or are you going to knife the fucker? we are baiting them. your way doesn’t work.

    the problem with the middle east: western intervention. if you want to evoke history, look at the last time the middle east was a peaceful, progressive (as it was) place. think about what put a stop to that. mmhmm.

  • ss

    Dave:
    The Sunnis- I agree, but… Sadam’s brutal ‘two-tier’ society also extended to education. Although they have a alot of college graduates, the CIA claims up to 60% of the adult population in Iraq is illiterate. They should probably give us the bad news- the mosque will exert alot of influence for a while because of this; and the good news- in the Middle East you have a legitimate shot at changing this in one generation through education (if the mosque doesn’t use it’s political leverage to highjack education)
    In fact, due to the demographics in the Middle East, the school systems of countries all over the region are overwhelmed. Aid for primary education, with conditions attached, may be an avenue for change in countries like Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, maybe Pakistan. Maybe not, they might not be interested, but it’s something we should pursue.

  • http://www.rainbowchaser.com.au Anthony Fountain

    SS,

    You wrote-

    “In fact, due to the demographics in the Middle East, the school systems of countries all over the region are overwhelmed. Aid for primary education, with conditions attached, may be an avenue for change in countries like Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, maybe Pakistan. Maybe not, they might not be interested, but it’s something we should pursue.”

    At last the light may be coming on in that some are now starting to look at the cause of the terrorism, not the end result.

    If you were dirt poor, saw biased news coverage about “the other side i.e the West) and you werre offered a way to better your lot (ie become an al-Queida follopwer or believer), many would, and are, doing that.

    I have just posted a Blog around George Clooney’s movie “Syriana” and scenes in that movie graphically illustrate my point.

    To attack the core of the problem we must look at both education (lack thereof) and poverty.

    In the Middle east, poverty exists amongst the masses, not the elite ( the oil industries mates) and here lies the conundrum- the redistribution of wealth.

    Dubya and his mates have a problem- if they can flick the House of Saud, will the Wahibi fundamentalists take over or will “the people”?

    If it is the former, then a whack of the worlds oil is in the hands of “them” and “them”,as the rejection of the Hamas democratic win all too graphically shows, are very much “on the nose” in Washington.

    Will the people take over? Seems to me they have been tribally based for eons and the concept of democracy as we know it will take some generations to bed down.

    However, we are in with a chance if we can offer, with no strings attached, education and through trade, a chance a better life, for once people taste that, they don’t want to go back to the so called “good old days of yore”.

    Nowhere is this better shown that China, where the US policy of seemingly trying to isolate them is, as the Australian Ambassador has been trying to point out, well on nigh fruitless.

    With some 100 million now on the internat and heading towards 130 million plus by 2010, the Chinese people are getting a taste of the goodies and given their penchant for education (over 1 BILLION are now learning English), they are an apparently immovable force.

    They are creating both a resources boom through their devouring of the worlds oil and fossil fuels such as coal (mainly from Australia) and a glut of cheaply produced items that are exported world wide and in the process, creating a masdsive cash flow business.

    Problem here for America is that if in the future some charismatic Asian leader arrives on the scene, and can get China and other Asian countries such as Japan (who with China have an emormolus amount invested and growing in America), Singapore, Malaysia etc, along with some Middle Eastern nations, to pull out their money at the same time, ta ta Uncle Sam.

    That really will be the legacy left behind through the Bush deficit running and illogicle war waging.

    So my line of thought is that the faster the US gets out there and starts unwinding much of the shenanigans carried out and starts contributing positively, the faster the world will become a safer, and better, place.

    I now await the incoming barrage!!!

    Carpe diem

    Tony

  • Dave Nalle

    ZZ: maybe it’s (kidnappings, etc) only gotten progressivly worse in the last 30 years, but don’t you think that has something to do with the fact that we stuck our nose in, and we kept it stuck there, year after year after year? they don’t care if we are or aren’t “friendly,” they want us out.

    We weren’t ‘in’ when all this terrorism started, and we aren’t by any means the only targets. The target is not the US, it’s the west, and the reasons are basically two fold – support for Israel and a general resentment of western civilization and its relative success. When you belong to what you consider to be the ‘chosen’ religion and yet are demonstrably less well off than everyone you view as your more corrupt competition, that tends to make you pretty damned frustrated.

    ZZ: imagine a school bully (usa) who is constantly bothering you (middle east), day after day… even if he doesn’t beat you up every day, the constant nagging is going to get on your nerves… one day you fight back, and he beats the crap out of you, then he keeps on beating you, day after day. what are you going to do? sit there and take it because he keeps on hitting you, or are you going to knife the fucker? we are baiting them. your way doesn’t work.

    Oh indeed, the school bully. Riiiight. We’re the single largest source of economic aid in the middle east (even without including Israel), we provide technological, educational and business support. We’re the main trading partner of most of the middle east countries. We take little or no interest in their internal affairs, and have only recently become concerned with developments in the area because they have begun to effect us. We’re the bully who give the ‘victim’ his lunch money.

    ZZ: the problem with the middle east: western intervention. if you want to evoke history, look at the last time the middle east was a peaceful, progressive (as it was) place. think about what put a stop to that. mmhmm.

    And when, exactly, do you think that was? By my reckoning the only times the middle east has been peaceful have been when they were thoroughly conquered and subdued, and those were brief periods at best. Even the Turks and the Persians are outsiders who’ve come in and imposed peace for as long as their empires lasted. I can’t even think of a time of peaceful self-government in the region in the last 3000 years.

    SS:The Sunnis- I agree, but… Sadam’s brutal ‘two-tier’ society also extended to education. Although they have a alot of college graduates, the CIA claims up to 60% of the adult population in Iraq is illiterate.

    This is because Saddam concentrated all of his resources on the priveleged classes of a limited area of the country. The big cities and his home territory. The same places he provided electricity and water while leaving the small towns and rural areas living the same primitive existence they have since the time of Muhammed.

    But I agree that education is vitally important there. The US has always been a leading force in encouraging the development of schools in the region, and that effort ought to continue and be expanded on.

    Dave

  • http://www.rainbowchaser.com.au Anthony Fountain

    Dave,

    You wrote:-

    __We’re the main trading partner of most of the middle east countries. We take little or no interest in their internal affairs, and have only recently become concerned with developments in the area because they have begun to effect us.__

    May I suggest that is a most erroneous statement, particularly about “we take little or no interest in their internal affairs”.

    Therein lies much of the problem for the CIA and other spooks have had their arms that far up Middle Eastern arses manipulating “internal affairs” it has come back to bite them and nowhere more obviously than in Iraq.

    What about ole “shock and awe” Rumsfeld’s pictures of him with his buddy Saddam when they needed Iraq to do the dirty work on Iran way back when.

    They may well yet rue the day the Colonel or Major who found Saddam hadn’t simply just lobbed a grenade into the foxhole and eliminated any chance of him blabbing about what “the boys” had been up to in the past.

    No Dave, it is a case of “as ye sow so ye shall reap” and there’s sadly more reaping to come yet before the grain is in the silo.

    Tony