Get your war on.

I like it, the images and all of the bright red hurts my eyes though. Pretty funny nonetheless.

It’s not your fault; SK and I get into these little things everytime something like this comes up.

That’s good to know. Have your political/philosophical slugfest then…I’ll watch from the sidelines.

In lieu of the amount of property we destroyed, the amount of American and Iraqi lives we wiped out, and the utter failure to restore even a semblance of civil society, not to mention a democracy, “getting Saddam” is a victory devoid of substance. It’s like curing the disease by killing the patient.

Yes, they did; there were pictures among the evidence that got released that showed at least one body of a prisoner who were beaten to death. And I’d call rape and electrocution pretty fucking sadistic, regardless of how “frequently” it may or may not occur. And we don’t really know how long this has been going on for and how many people are really involved. We’ve only seen a few of the photographs CBS has (and it even concealed those for about a month after it got them).

This is irrelevant, since the claims of “liberation” were supposed to be about ending the cruelty of Hussein’s regime altogether, not replacing it with a “less bad” form of cruelty. Also, in some respects the evidence of humiliation is even worse than the evidence of torture, since it shows not only cruelty but bigoted cruelty, coming from a foreign occupier.

This is more my point. The difference between what Saddam did and these soldiers is that these soldiers are not the ones in control and they are being held accountable for their actions. Saddam was able to do it without any punishment.

Also, I was wrong about the killing, I hadn’t read that yet. However, the abd is relevant since it is still better than what was in place, besides this isn’t instituitonalized, Saddam’s was. I’m not saying the war was good or that we should have gone. I’m just saying that it isn’t all bad. We won’t leave until things get better. Besides, we have been plannign on down-sizing our involvement over there, but the increase in attacks has made it so that we have to stay longer and increase involvement.

It’s great that they’ll have to pay for what they did, but the problem just is not limited to them. Those 15 guys aren’t just inherent psychopaths - rather, the situation they’ve been placed in and the authority they’ve been given has turned them into such. Contrary to what you’re saying, this practice <i>is</i> institutionalized, as one of the torturers points out:

"Frederick says Americans came into the prison: ‘We had military intelligence, we had all kinds of other government agencies, FBI, CIA … All those that I didn’t even know or recognize.’ Frederick’s letters and email messages home also offer clues to problems at the prison. He wrote that he was helping the interrogators:

“‘Military intelligence has encouraged and told us ‘Great job.’ They usually don’t allow others to watch them interrogate. But since they like the way I run the prison, they have made an exception. We help getting them to talk with the way we handle them. … We’ve had a very high rate with our style of getting them to break. They usually end up breaking within hours.’”

I’m sure the CIA didn’t explicitly order anyone to torture prisoners, but I’m also sure that a clear understanding was given that if anything like that should happen, the CIA would look the other way. And the CIA did look the other way as it was going on. If CBS hadn’t released a handful of the photographs in its possession, after covering them up for a <i>month</i>, we’d never have heard about this, because the people in charge care more about averting scandal than about actual human rights. So now, those 15 guys are going to take the fall (as well they deserve), but the people who allowed this, not only in this prison but in others, are just going to keep on doing the same thing as before. But in addition to that, this torture incident is but an extreme case - in reality, the property we’ve destroyed and lives we’ve taken are just another form of the exact same thing, and that’s not just “institutionalized,” that’s standard policy.

Yeah, they’re currently looking into at least 25 other such murders.

In the sense that Dante’s third circle of hell is “better” than his ninth. This really is not relevant at all. The fact that you’re even phrasing it in these terms already drags us down to Hussein’s level to a degree. A war of “liberation” was supposed, not to replace a cruel despotism by a less cruel one, but to impose Western civilised democracy and human rights.

If that’s true, then we’ll never leave, because our presence isn’t making anything better. As long as we stay over there, problems will arise, even aside from things like the torture incident, just through sheer ignorance and lack of planning. Most Iraqis now think that Americans either don’t care about their interests, or want to actively harm them, or generally do more harm than good (and the poll in question was taken before the torture incident came up, too). It’s too late to blame Hussein for the attacks now. They’re being committed by members of the Iraqi population at large who especially resent being occupied by foreigners who don’t appear to really practice the values they constantly and arrogantly preach. Every single time we fuck up in Iraq, with “accidental shootings” and “collective punishment” and making newspapers and posters “illegal” and breaking into people’s houses and holding them without trial in prisons like Abu Ghraib, and surrounding towns with barbed wire, and so forth, we make ourselves more enemies.

Hey, SK- would you mind citing your source for your quote from the torturer? I want to read the whole article.

The quote from the torturer is given in the original CBS report:

Thank you very much.