What, In TarNation?

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49 Comments

DOH! The unavailability of comments to our other commenters is a problem here! I need some backup!

I will say the treatment of suspected terrorists in custody should be the LEAST of our problems and it is pretty much a joke that we even feel the need to self flagelate over it.

War is war.

kevin said:

So then it would have been ok for the Iraqi army, or now the insurgents, to "handled [the] genitals" of our female soldiers who were taken as prisoners of war? Oh, I know, I know. They're not POWs. Or is war "war"?

Anyways, it's a stain. What happened to the pride in the US to do the right thing simply because it was the right thing?

zimzo said:

Someone is accused of a particular crime like terrorism, so that gives us license to treat them any way we want? I guess it doesn't matter to you that half of the people detained at Gunatanamo were released, including children, because they weren't guilty of anything. And you can't say it's just foreigners who have been tortured because Jose Padilla, an American citizen, was tortured as well. So under the Budzinski Doctrine, if I understand correctly, the U.S. government can accuse anyone, including American citizens, of being guilty of terrorism and then without any due process, torture them. And this doesn't trouble you at all? You think we shouldn't bother our pretty little heads worrying about such trivialities? I wonder what Jesus would do. I'm sure he would be on the side of the torturers.

I think I may run for President and apply the Budzinski Doctrine to people I accuse of being blind right-wing Kool-Aid drinkers. Let's see how you feel about having your face wrapped in duct tape and your genitals handled.

Kevin, A) are they talking about female prisoners in the news story? I don't think they are - but I see why you bring it up: Because what is going on at G-Bay really isn't so bad at all. B) 'Doing the right thing' when trying to extract information is different than doing the right thing while shopping at the supermarket. In the latter case, we hold doors open for little old ladies. In the former, we play the same Barry Manilow CD over and over.

Jack said:

We're not talking about female prisoners here, Kevin. And, yes, it DOES make a difference.

Zimzo, we released more than half, but that is irrelevant. We released them because they were not a threat. The ones we have kept ARE a threat, or they would have been released, too. Now, about "having [my] face wrapped in duct tape and [my] genitals handled," were you peeking into my bedroom last night?

kevin said:

Jack, both you and Joe are cracking me up, seriously. First of all, while you might entertain the idea of being detained and digitally manipulated, that is beside the point. Last I checked, the last female officer who was a part of stripping inmates or humiliating them in a sexual manner, got in a whole heap of trouble. That said, regardless of the gender, that type of behavior here in the states would get you charged with a sex offense, your picture would be taken and your address would be posted for all to see so that anyone who actually DIDN'T want to run the risk of being similarly "handled" could make sure they didn't live near you. At any rate, if all you can think of to pick at is that the genders are reversed in my example then that's not much of an argument. I don't think sexual assault is ok for anyone. And yes, Jack, if someone (even a female) was sexually assaulting you against your will I would come to your defense, even. Even here in Bmore its illegal to use that as an interrogation technique.

For my second point, let me tell you that I would say just about anything to keep from having someone's menstrual blood smeared on my face. I won't even go into the duct tape. Firstly, the thought is abhorrent, though I don't religiously bother with the old testament treatment of the subject. These tactics weren't used because they were hoping to coax information out through pleasurement. And while YOU may just shrug and say, "Where's the harm? I don't mind a little blood every now and then," those who are taught that blood transmits diseases, infection, etc. . . .Oh, wait, I was taught that. I knew there was a reason I don't go around smearing strangers' menstrual blood on my face. At any rate, I think you understand the cultural reasons anyways about why this could be particularly upsetting and hence used.

Regardless, these tactics are what got us into trouble in soliciting information that was part of what led us to the war in Iraq from, what I understand. Correct me where I'm wrong please. Rendition, all of that stuff, is useless if people are just saying crap because they have no more hair on their head to rip out.

What a shop of horrors.

Also soon to come, a link to an interesting site documenting the release of detainees, as recent as a few weeks ago, who were found capable of returning home. After enduring some pretty awful stuff, no doubt.

zimzo said:

The fact that we even need to explain why torturing people, let along torturing people who have not been convicted of any crimes, is wrong says a lot about how low some people in this country have descended. It's especially ironic that all of this happened under the most "Christian" administration we have ever had. Then again, maybe it's not so ironic after all. Have you all completely lost your humanity? Say it ain't so, Joe.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

Conservatives invoking the Jesus in one thread and condoning torture in the next. Welcome to the New World Order!! My thoughts on this subject are best expressed in haiku:

the right likes torture

yet we're swinging left again

Allahu akbar!

jacob said:

Marshmallow,
your poetry is about as good as your ascii art. Don't quit your day job.

For the record I am against torture.

For the record your comment is reaching in a big way. But that's OK.

Now, I have a two part question for you.

1. During WWII we conducted interogations of Germans that were 'aggresive'. This involved sleep deprivation, some slapping about, yelling, screaming, cigarette smoke in the face, cold water etc. Given this, did we conduct torture during WWII?

2. What coercive interrogation techiques do you find to be non-objectionable? Please note asking someone and saying pretty please does not count.

Jack said:

"What are we supposed to use, harsh language?"

-Pvt Frost, "Aliens"

Jack said:

"Regardless, these tactics are what got us into trouble in soliciting information that was part of what led us to the war in Iraq from, what I understand."

Kevin, did we torture the British intel officers to give us the data on the Nigerian yellowcake? Did we torture the U.N. inspectors that told us there were chemical weapons in Iraq? Did we torture the Russians into corroborating the stories?

Jack said:

"Jack, if someone (even a female) was sexually assaulting you against your will I would come to your defense."

I appreciate the sentiment, but, assuming no damage, I cannot really envision being sexually assaulted by a female AGAINST MY WILL, unless she were Coyote Ugly. But, since we're talking being blindfolded by Duct Tape, I wouldn't know she was ugly, would I? Maybe the torture is when they take off the blindfold!

Who's 'invoking Jesus' here?

Jack said:

I probably would be in the above-mentioned scenario. :-)

kevin said:

I like Jacob's question and I would like to come back to that when the cold/flu stops "handling" me. And yes, Jack, but I was talking more about Curveball and I would like you, specifically, to tell me what happened there. I'm not too bright on history.

kevin said:

BTW, is anyone watching the "Millgram Experiment" on ABC tonight? Y'all should watch/read up.

charles said:

No, all of us real men are watching the Sugar Bowl.

I was watching South Park last night, and was reminded of the tactic the CIA used against the boys to force them to reveal where Starvin Marvin was --


Balloon squeaking. Don't laugh. As Cartman said explaining why he gave up Marvin's home country == "A couple more hours of that and I would have been seriously pissed off".

I bet squeaky balloons and fingernails on the chalkboard would be frowned upon by the left.

I, for one, am glad to see LSU kicking butt. New Orleans needs a shot in the arm - in fact if the 'Boys continue their sucking ways I will be a serious Saints fan throughout the post season.

Jack, that was one funny comment.

Kevin, I hope you feel better. A couple Benedryl, I've found, may do nothing for your ailment but will knock you out cold for a solid 8 hours.

Charles, I don't think Zimzo and his ilk will rest until every terrorist has a house in the Hamptons, guaranteed welfare and a lifetime supply of explosives. So no, the balloon-squeaking would be completely unacceptable.

zimzo said:

Joe, I know for a fact you're not as stupid as you act sometimes. There is a middle ground between wanting to torture everyone you think might possibly be a terrorist and giving terrorists homes in the Hamptons. I'm pretty tired of this kind of idiotic rhetoric.

Under the Budzinski Doctrine there will be a national day of celebration when Zimzo actually tires of idiotic rhetoric.

Jack said:

So what's the middle ground, zimzo? Do you condone ANY interrogation methods at all?

Hey, it's never too late to purchase the Gitmo Cookbook for the Mrs. Zimzo or significant Zimzo other in one's life.

Here's something I didn't know, which I garnered from their site (http://www.gitmocookbook.com/details.html) -

"Abdullah Mahsud [Massood] was a detainee who was released in 2004 after claiming to be forcibly conscripted by the Taliban military to be an office clerk and truck driver. During his stay at Gitmo, his medical treatment included receiving a prosthetic leg. After his release, press reports from the Washington Post and Fox News indicate that al Queda linked militants, ordered by Mahsud, kidnapped two Chinese engineers in Afghanistan. "

Kind of makes me want to buy a case of duct tape and enlist!

zimzo said:

And so your argument is that because the military stupidly released one person who their amazing interrogation procedures failed to reveal was a member of al Qaeda, or who joined al Qaeda after receiving such great treatment, proves that all of the people detained are guilty?

Well, no: it is not about the military's 'stupid' practices but the real fact that the majority of the detainees are legitimately detained.

Jack said:

The majority have been released.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

you've got to be able to interrogate people, but if things get out of hand, there's going to be repercussions. These tactics make us look the same as Saddam. At it's heart, the GWOT is a PR campaign, and torture is bad PR.

has anyone ever heard of Sayyid Qutb? He was an Egyptian activist who led a secular reform movement in the 1950s. He was arrested in 1954 and repeatedly tortured by his captures over the next ten years. During this decade in prison, his political ideas became increasingly radical, and he began advocating jihad against all non-muslims. Today Qutb is seen as the father of the Islamist movement. So, careful what you wish for...

kevin said:

I know I had a comment waiting in the queue somewhere around here. . .

Jack said:

What tactics, Puffy? What torture have these men in Gitmo suffered? Having their doo-dads fondled by a woman? "Thank you, ma'am, may I have another?"

A guard sqatted over a Q'ran? The horror!! Sounds like the ragheads are worshipping a book instead of a God.

zimzo said:

Jack, for the most part I try to ignore your stupidity, which usually needs no comment and makes our side look better, but I have to say that your use of the offensive, racist term "ragheads" is really beyond the pale. I hope that Joe will dissassociate himself from such language.

Jack said:

I really do not care what you think. I will not cowtow to adherents to that barbarous religion.

I've never actually disassociated myself from anything. How does that work, and can you operate heavy machinery while doing so?

If "going too far" is what we're talking about, then I think this is the best possible example:

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=18793

Jack said:

'one organizer called the restaurant’s “insensitivity to culinary diversity.”'

Hilarious!! Is culinary diversity what they call Islamic Dietary Laws?

zimzo said:

Indeed you have, Joe. You went so far as to delete a repugnant comment from your blog and then went on to blame the entire gay community for it. I'm not asking you to delete Jack's comment. In fact, I think it should stay as an example of the kind of person he is. I am not going to ask Jack to apologize because I know that he won't and that those represent his real views so he would be lying if he did. That's why I prefer not to reply directly to him. But Jack is not just a commenter, he also posts here and I think you should make it clear that you do not approve of racist remarks. And to point out something stupid some Muslims have done does not cut it. If you do approve of racist remarks, then there really is no point to my being here.

Jack said:

I never really saw any point to your being here, either, since you have nothing useful to contribute.

Jack said:

I stand corrected, zimzo. You do provide comic relief.

kevin said:

Wow, just when things were getting boring. I came home to find my inbox full yet again. "Ragheads"? Could you be more blatant about your pejorativeness (yes I know that's not a word)? However, you have the right to act like an idiot, Jack. I'm positive you don't care what anyone thinks about you anyway.

You guys have sure worked Zim into a frenzy here.

One point. . .Zimzo, they're trying to make you lose your cool, bro.

One time I was in Ocean City and there were these people with signs proclaiming the end of the world was nigh (no joke) and (this was over 15 years ago) and a buddy of mine and I were talking to them. We were there on a youth group trip with our church and these guys were stonefaced telling us we were going to hell, didn't matter that we agreed on all the right points. My buddy got so infuriated he pulled me aside and said, "I'm gonna grab their signs and throw them over the boardwalk". This. . .was not a good idea. Or the way to win an argument. Later an elder grabbed us and said, "No use talking to them. Talking to them is like talking to the wind".

Don't throw their signs Zimzo.

kevin said:

Points I think we all agree on:

1. The US rawks!: we enjoy liberties, wealth, healthcare, living conditions, etc. unlike anywhere else.

2. The US should be protected from people looking to harm us: I don't think that has ever been in question and anyone who suggests differently is obfuscating the issues.

3. The US HAS had a reputation for upholding life, liberty, and such.

4. There is no question that there are people in the world who will hate us for many reasons.

Just because someone doesn't agree with the current methods. . .ah screw it, Zim, grab that sign. . .

zimzo said:

I'm not throwing anyone's signs, Kevin. Jack, I know is not worth talking to, as I've made clear many times. My beef is with Joe. It's one thing to have the political views he has. I have a lot of friends who are conservative or who differ with me on certain issues. What I don't get is why he feels the need to defend some of the clowns he has allied himself with even when they clearly have said something wrong or stupid, but even that I can tolerate. But when someone says something racist that crosses a line for me. When Joe and I were both very young blacks in Virginia could not eat at the same lunch counters with whites in some parts of the state and it was against the law for blacks and whites to marry. So I take this issue very seriously. I think Jack really crossed a line here and if Joe doesn't see it, then I have to conclude he's one of those sign carriers who are not worth talking to.

Zimzo, please do inform me of all the "clowns" I defend, so I have a sense of the scale of this task.

In the meantime I'm watching the NFL Network show on the 1971 Cowboys, which is likely as close as I get to a big game this year. Back in two hours.

zimzo said:

It's a very simple question, Joe. Do you approve of your co-bloggers using racial epithets?

Jack said:

It has nothing to do with race, zimzo, only their barbaric religion.

kevin said:

Jack, you know perfectly well there are plenty of barbaric things done in the name of religion across the board. Blowing up people who are getting abortions is not a friendly thing to do. Or, a recent story in September about slaughterings by both Christian and Muslim groups in Somalia. Or the crusades. If it's about religion, why are main stream Muslims calling for peace and moderation. Aren't the extremists in Christianity and Islam both sort of the ones you want to watch out for?

Regardless, you calling a group of people "ragheads" has nothing to do with any barbaric religion either and it isn't a good enough explanation.

That said, I'm quite curious, are you also a member of Help Save Loudoun or only just a poster here? I know this isn't the Help Save Loudoun blog/website, but I'm just curious.

My views are only my own and do not necessarily represent the views of Help Save Loudoun/Herndon/Virginia. How about yours?

Jack said:

Where are the main-stream muslims decrying terrorism? Where are the muslim clerics issuing fatwas against the terrorists?

The Fisrt Crusade, BTW, was in response to the Muslims' earlier conquest of Jerusalem.

I do not live in Loudoun, nor do I get involved in Loudoun politics.

Jack's not a racist and it was not a racist remark: It was a cultural pejorative, focused on the religious element. Jack used it in the same manner as Ann Coulter famously did in her address at CPAC last year, and since we have all agreed Ann Coulter can do no wrong, I believe this lets Jack off the hook.

If any further explanation is needed, I will say the following: It is not a term I have used or expect to use, but I understand the anger that underlies it. Reading through the stuff Kevin linked by first reaction was to say "boo friggin' hoo." I can see why someone might have uncharitable feelings toward the practitioners of a certain religion which seems to be causing so much trouble in the world, and whose practitioners seem to make quite a spectacle of being aggrieved.

In my better moments, which granted are few, I am intrigued by the notion of "moderate" Muslims and I tend to read everything I find about this phenomenon. From what I have read - which is not a lot I admit - the most "moderate" seem to be either secular, Muslims in culture only, or "ex -"

But I assume they are out there, and are simply too scared of the extremists to ever say anything about the latter.

If there is ever to be hope for Islam, it needs a Reformation of some type. The "moderates" or some species of reformers need to take a larger role.

Assuming I ever do get to meet and/or communicate with such people, I expect we'd have more common ground if I did not criticize their attire.

When and if that day ever comes, I will explain my friend Jack's hostile tone when he wrote that sentence, and assuming they are relatively enlightened, I hope they shall understand.

Jack said:

I have been told I need to apologize to the Sikhs, whom I have inadvertantly lumped in with with Muslims, since the Sikhs, too, wear turbans.

kevin said:

There isn't a whole lot out there, I've found. I haven't quite landed on a decision as to why. Certainly welcome any info anyone is able to find.

What I have found is a lot of calling for peace between Muslims and to present themselves as a united group. It was interesting to read, in my search, some of the conversations between Muslims on blogs. It was a lot like reading commentary between any other oppressed group (my point is not to say that Muslims are necessarily oppressed, though I do think they are in many ways) but similar in a sense to commentary on black on black violence or how to bring a group of people together. Very interesting. I read one commenter saying, "It's not the Americans who are killing us. We are killing far more of each other." It's a very interesting topic indeed.

However, the US has the obligation to hold ourselves with dignity and continue to do the right thing. Trying to redefine the moral right thing so that we can behave immorally is, well, immoral.

zimzo said:

Kevin is right. Don't argue with the sign carriers.

A few parting words of advice from my favorite politician:

Always give your best, never get discouraged, never be petty; always remember, others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself.

And so, we leave with high hopes, in good spirit, and with deep humility, and with very much gratefulness in our hearts. I can only say to each and every one of you, we come from many faiths, we pray perhaps to different gods -- but really the same God in a sense -- but I want to say for each and every one of you, not only will we always remember you, not only will we always be grateful to you but always you will be in our hearts and you will be in our prayers.

We don't have a good word for it in English. The best is au revoir. We will see you again.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=gX0B38IgYK8

I'm sure we'll still be marching whenever you come back this way. Adios, sir.

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