Because Our Values So Clearly Distinguish Us From Saddam Hussein

Lindsay at Majikthise asks an interesting question: How many US-held prisoners are there in Iraq?

In his memoir Fear Up Harsh former army interrogator Tony Lagouranis explains that American forces routinely detain Iraqis indefinitely on the mere suspicion that they have information that might be useful to American forces. That is, not everyone who gets detained is even a suspected insurgent, or a suspected accessory. It’s enough to be suspected of knowing anything useful.

Some of these people are arrested during raids or on the basis of tips (often from tipsters whose own credibility is suspect). Others just happen to be in the vicinity of an insurgent attack. According to Lagouranis, many Iraqis are hauled in just because they are family members of known or suspected insurgents. It’s one thing to question the family of a suspect, it’s quite another to detain them with out charge in the hopes of extracting intel.

49 Responses to “Because Our Values So Clearly Distinguish Us From Saddam Hussein”

  1. knarlyknight Says:

    yea, but Americans are the good guys so it doesn’t matter how many Iraqis get locked up for future “questioning” (sarcasm.)

  2. Aaron Says:

    What did the Founding Fathers think of tactics of this sort, as employed by the British? I know, I know… “it’s different” because this time “we’re the good guys”.

  3. knarlyknight Says:

    Yes Aaron, it is truly a DARK age:

    Los Angeles Times July 27, 2007 Op-Ed follows:

    Dark powers, the sequel
    The president’s recent executive order allows the CIA to detain anyone the agency thinks is a terrorist — or a terrorist’s kid.
    By Rosa Brooks
    July 27, 2007

    ‘We … have to work

    the dark side, if you will,” Vice President Dick Cheney told NBC’s Tim Russert, five days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. “We’ve got to spend time in the shadows

    using sources and methods that are available to our intelligence agencies

    That’s the world [terrorists] operate in, and so it’s going to be vital for us to use any means at our disposal

    It was an odd thing to say. Throughout our history — from John Winthrop’s 1630 “City Upon a Hill” sermon to President Clinton’s foreign policy speeches — our leaders have been quick to assure us of the opposite premise: We will prevail against our enemies because (and only if) we’re on the side of light, rather than the side of darkness. We will prevail not through spending “time in the shadows” but through our commitment to freedom, democracy, justice and the rule of law.

    Granted, previous rhetorical commitments to the side of light were at times accompanied by some pretty dark episodes. But if we didn’t always manage to live up to the values we publicly embraced, our public commitments at least gave us a yardstick for measuring ourselves — and declared to the world our willingness to be held to account when we fell short.

    But in keeping with Cheney’s admonition to “work

    the dark side,” this administration has openly embraced tactics that no previous administration would have formally condoned. In prior wars, for instance, we granted the protections of the Geneva Convention to our enemies as a matter of policy, even when those enemies — like the Viet Cong — lacked any legal claim to the convention’s protections. Yes, some U.S. soldiers abused Viet Cong prisoners anyway — but when they did so, they violated the clear written laws and policies of the United States.

    Contrast that with the Bush administration, which refused to recognize any Geneva Convention rights for the “unlawful enemy combatants” captured in the war on terror until finally ordered to do so by the Supreme Court.

    Within months of Cheney’s “dark side” comments, Guantanamo filled up with hooded, shackled prisoners kept in open-air cages. The Justice Department developed legal defenses of torture, we opened secret prisons in former Soviet bloc countries and the president authorized secret “enhanced” interrogation methods for “high-value” detainees.

    And despite the best efforts of human rights groups, the courts and a growing number of congressional critics from both parties, Cheney’s still getting his way. On July 20, President Bush issued an executive order “interpreting” Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention, as applied to secret CIA detention facilities. On its face, the order bans torture — but as an editorial in this paper noted Thursday, it does so using language so vague it appears designed to create loopholes for the CIA.

    Just as bad, though barely noted by the media, last week’s executive order breaks new ground by outlining the category of people who can be detained secretly and indefinitely by the CIA — in a way that’s broad enough to include a hefty chunk of the global population. Under its terms, a non-U.S. citizen may be secretly detained and interrogated by the CIA — with no access to counsel and no independent monitoring — as long as the CIA director believes the person “to be a member or part of or supporting Al Qaeda, the Taliban or associated organizations; and likely to be in possession of information that could assist in detecting, mitigating or preventing terrorist attacks [or] in locating the senior leadership of Al Qaeda, the Taliban or associated forces.”

    Got that? The president of the United States just issued a public pronouncement declaring, as a matter of U.S. policy, that a single man has the authority to detain any person anyplace in the world and subject him or her to secret interrogation techniques that aren’t torture but that nonetheless can’t be revealed, as long as that person is thought to be a “supporter” of an organization “associated” in some unspecified way with the Taliban or Al Qaeda, and as long he thinks that person might know something that could “assist” us.

    But “supporter” isn’t defined, nor is “associated organization.” That leaves the definition broad enough to permit the secret detention of, say, a man who sympathizes ideologically with the Taliban and might have overheard something useful in a neighborhood cafe, or of a 10-year-old girl whose older brother once trained with Al Qaeda.

    This isn’t just hypothetical. The U.S. has already detained people based on little more. According to media reports, the CIA has even held children, including the 7- and 9-year-old sons of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. In 2006, Mohammed was transferred from a secret CIA facility to Guantanamo, but the whereabouts of his children are unknown.

    It’s dark out there, all right.

    Source:
    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-brooks27jul27,1,4695928.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

  4. dquijano Says:

    I don’t mean to be Draconian, but there are war crimes in every war by all sides. It is how wars are won. Detaining someone who may know something that could save someone’s life or win a battle is hardly a war crime. Realistically, how long are these people being held. A day? A week? Most people being held indefinitely are terrorists themselves.

    All I know is that I would rather be held in Abu Grab when it is run by the US as opposed to Saddam. If you say otherwise, you are lying to yourself. So to say there isn’t a difference between America and terrorists is moronic. With Saddam this type of stuff along with torture was standard. I don’t believe anyone has produced evidence that suggests it is standard for American run prisons. Not to mention, the current terrorists in Iraq saw people’s heads off. That is not quite on the same level as having a room switch between cold and warm temperatures at Gitmo.

    As a side note. From everything I have read, there were infinite more war crimes committed by the US during WWII than during the Iraq War. People get so worked up over relatively small incidences during this war because they were never taught about American crimes during other wars. If people were more knowledgable about our past as well as the past of other countries, things would be in a better perspective, and seeing people in a naked pyramid might make you laugh rather than making you see us as moral equals with serial murderers and rapists (not to mention REAL torture).

    One more side note, I would rather be a prisoner in Gitmo than a guard. At least as a prisoner you would have liberals and the media on your side. Oh yea, and you don’t get shit thrown on you when you are a prisoner either.

  5. dquijano Says:

    Also, do we know if we still have Khalid Sheikh Mohammeds children in custody?

  6. shcb Says:

    The obvious question I would ask is what percentage of this 20,000 are there permanently and what percentage are there on a rotating basis. So here is the scenario, you and your fire team are walking down the street, half a clip is let loose from the house across the street, two of your men are hit with flying concrete and sustain minor injuries. You see a child in one of the windows so you decide to not frag the building as you usually would. Your team breaks the door down to find 4 men, two women and 1 child. The men say the shooter ran out the back door. You don’t believe them since the same thing happened from this house to a different team a couple weeks ago. You take all the men into custody, detain three of the four for a couple days not getting much information out of them. But that one kid, he’s seventeen and you have a gut feeling he is the shooter and the rest of the family is protecting him. It’s only a matter of time until his aim improves so you detain him indefinitely and send the rest home. So all four are figured into that 20k, 3 go home and the one stays. After 6 months or so you send the kid home too. Maybe he won’t shoot at Americans again. There is also a certain number that you caught in the act and didn’t kill. They are obviously what we use to call prisoners of war. They haven’t been charged with a crime because they haven’t committed a crime, they are warriors that were caught, they don’t enjoy Geneva protections but like all POWs, they aren’t there indefinitely, they are only there until one side ore the other surrenders. If Democrats are elected next year they may be out by Easter 2009. Of course if the Democrats don’t surrender they may be there for a few hundred years.

    So say 3000 are permanent POWs, 5000 are rotated out every 6 to 10 months and the rest are in custody under a week each time. Sounds reasonable to me.

  7. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb, Man, the reality you create for yourself really sucks.

  8. shcb Says:

    suits me fine

  9. ymatt Says:

    So you’re okay with holding people without proof and without Geneva protections?

    If we want even a little bit of credibility as the good guys, we have to at least do one or the other: 1) We treat people as non-uniformed combatants and deny them Geneva protections, but make sure we have proof before condemning people to that fate, or 2) We treat this as war and the combatants as soldiers, give them Geneva protections, but allow ourselves to cast the net wide, since it’s a war zone.

    By choosing the easy route, we’ve decided that the safety of our troops and the progress of our fighting is worth more than the lives or interests of the people we’re fighting for. That’s exactly the primacy-over-universality choice I was talking about earlier. Sometimes we *must* take the harder road, if we truly believe in our own values.

  10. shcb Says:

    Matt,

    I would vote for option 2. I don’t think you get that much out of torture, not as much as you loose anyway. So I’m not against giving them Geneva convention rights even though they don’t deserve it. I would leave a window for the use of torture in extremely rare cases, the old only he knows where the nuke is hidden, and the only way to find it before it blows is torture scenario. I’m not sure how we are going to know when the end of the war is, and if we let these guys out are they going to blow us up? Given the tenacity of this enemy a POW status may be a life sentence.

    What would you think of this compromise, if they declare the country they are fighting for and wear that uniform, or come up with their own uniform for whatever group they are fighting for they will be afforded full Geneva rights including their release after hostilities end , If they are out of uniform, they will not be afforded full rights, but will be treated with respect and without torture, but will more than likely spend the rest of their lives behind bars. I would also reserve the right to execute these prisoners as per Geneva conventions. This only applies to people we catch actually shooting at us. For the riffraff around them, I would be happy with holding them until the Iraqi government can prosecute them as criminals in a court of law. And that would only be a small percentage of folks taken in for questioning, it will probably be pretty obvious after a couple hours most people were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. There of course would be some overlap in these groups making this a little more difficult to administer, but it’s just a draft plan.

  11. NorthernLite Says:

    I agree. If you want to be regarded as the “good guys” then you should probably act like it. That is the only truly way to win over “hearts and minds”.

  12. shcb Says:

    NL,

    Thank you sir.

  13. NorthernLite Says:

    Actually I was agreeing with matt, but your post was pretty good, too.

    Shifting gears for a moment, I just watched a documentary last night titled, “Iraq’s Missing Billions”. Anyone who calls themselves a “fiscal conservative” and supports the management of this war, needs to watch this.

    Iraq’s Missing Billions
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3904382605215032226

  14. enkidu Says:

    I bet the missing billions we have an inkling about are just the tip of the ‘corruption iceberg’

    The lies just keep getting bolder and more sickening. Anyone following the Pat Tillman story? Sounds more and more like he was assassinated to keep a war hero from going public about his opposition to the war on Terrrra and specifically the War on Iraq.

    Let’s round up a few facts:
    - no enemy around, no enemy shots fired
    - Tillman was shot at close range by a M16 (bad guys use AKs)
    - in the forehead
    - 3 times (you would have to be lying down to get hit three times in the forehead)
    - after he was shot in his chest, legs and hand
    - after he threw a smoke grenade to indicate he was a friendly (bad guys don’t use many colored smoke grenades)
    - after he screamed his lungs out that he was a friendly “This is Pat fucking Tillman! Cease fire!” (sorry to rwnj hothouse flowers who can’t stand the use of the f-bomb, but it’s a quote)
    - finally, after one or more of the squad murdered Pat, they burnt his body armor and uniform (I am sure rwnj will call this the SOP)
    - White House Counsel Fred Fielding has “refused to issue certain documents to the committee because of executive privilege.” why?
    - The Army won’t release Pat’s diary to his family… gee I wonder what is in there? Perhaps he wrote about the criminal crap the rwnj thugs are up to?

    You want to ‘debate’ rwnj and his looney sidekick loopy lefty? Fine. By all means. Knock yourselves out. Just don’t expect me to treat these thugs as anything more than the wretched refuse they really are.

    I see very little daylight between dumbya/cheney and saddam hussein.

  15. shcb Says:

    Enkidu,

    We’ve been discussing this a bit on the thread below this one, I’m probably closer to your opinion on this one than most issues. I have heard some of the points you stated, and some I haven’t heard. We’ll see how this shakes out. You’re not hurting my delicate sensibilities with nasty, dirty words, I’ve hit my thumb with a hammer so many times the nail is deformed, sailors cringe every time I miss what I’m aiming for and hit what I’m not.

  16. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb, then you probably haven’t noticed my insulting you. Pity.
    ;-)

  17. shcb Says:

    no more than usual

  18. enkidu Says:

    I think they really held back on this one. There are so many areas of comparison that would make you weep (can you say torture?), but they took a lighter tone.

    http://yankeefog.com/films/If%20FDR%20Were%20GWB.html

    What if FDR were like GWB?

  19. knarlyknight Says:

    thx enk…
    for you History Channel buffs:

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/august2007/020807hitpiece.htm

  20. shcb Says:

    Enkidu,
    That clip was cute, the guy put a lot of effort into it, he just may be the next Michael Moore. Now you do realize that Moore’s work and this little piece are cute and entertaining, but have no substance and are no substitute for legitimate discussions of the issues.

    Knarly, I guess one man’s hit piece is the rational man’s truth.

    Here, you can wash your ears out with this; the first link is to a piece a couple guys from the Brookings Institute discussing the progress we are making in Iraq. This is good news to all freedom loving Americans not such good news to those who are invested in our defeat. This was an op ed in the New York times, sorry I couldn’t get it from a more respectable outlet like Kos.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/30/opinion/30pollack.html

    This link is to an article Investor’s Business Daily about a kind and gentle Arab villager that was mistakenly detained, then released. Take particular note of the part where he says he fooled his captors into releasing him, I think he is talking about you in absentia.

    http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=270684643495490

    Again, I’m sorry for not having the knack of finding reliable sources like you guys.

  21. NorthernLite Says:

    Is George W. Bush the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq? He must be, after all, he created them.

  22. shcb Says:

    NL, that is an interesting statement, since you are talking to a poor dumb farm kid, could you explain that a little bit? (watch him folks, he’s about to step in a pile a’ horse shit)

  23. NorthernLite Says:

    Just putting it out there. I don’t think it needs any more explaination, aside from King George’s folly into Iraq lead to the creation of that terrorist group.

    Originally being a country boy myself, I know how to look out for road apples, so I don’t think you’ll see me stepping into one. :)

    Nor would I get into a pissing match with a skunk.

  24. enkidu Says:

    Yeah, I read that fluffjob from those to rwnjs. These two jingo johnnys should get out of the green zone and see what life is really like for the average Iraqi, not just what the dept of propaganda wants them to see. These two punks were all gung ho for the invasion and their criticisms basically amount to: pretzlenitwit bush hasn’t been glorified enuf in teh part of the country that can read! hey why don’t they join up? (crickets)

    Your other link is hilarious in context of your backhand at kos. Stop watching Bill O’Lie-ly and wake up to reality. The reality is that the handful of nutter lefty posters are edited by the kos community. Maybe you can cherry pick a few comments about Darth Cheney’s near miss or point to a retouched photo of shrubby getting a bj (is that what Jeff Gannon’s ‘job’ was all about?), but the deluge of hate speech from rwnjs is like a tsunami of vile, disgusting genocide laden bullshit. O’Lie-ly’s site has plenty of that crap (not deleted btw) and if you visit any rwnj site that allows comments, their hate filled screeds make the kos jokes look mighty pale in comparison.

    But just crank your redneck outrage meter to 11 and whistle dixie.

    btw – there were NO al qaeda in Iraq prior to our invasion (see State Dept web page on where aq is around the world circa 2001 – can you read? even stuff that pops your putrid bubble of ignorance and stupidity? doubt it)

    talk about horse shit…

  25. NorthernLite Says:

    Yeah, I get a kick out of those news reports showing “Al Anbar province is relatively safe”, while the journalist/senator/other delegation are all sporting their body armour and are all flanked by dozens of soldiers with weapons drawn. Meanwhile, the streets in the background are literally empty, all the buidlings are destroyed and you can hear explosions in the distance. No hydro, no clean water. And this is in the “safe” part of the country. Good grief Charlie Brown.

  26. shcb Says:

    I believe the operative word here is relatively safe, is it as safe as Fairplay Colorado, probably not, but it may be a safe as Detroit. Fairplay may not be a good example since Kenny gets killed in every episode. The article also says progress is being made not the job is finished. Of course you guys still think the “mission accomplished” banner meant the war was over. I know it’s hard to see the good guys making progress when there is so much at stake here. A win against such a slippery foe would justify so much of what you are all opposed to, war in particular.

    Saying Al Qaeda wasn’t in Iraq prior to our invasion as a defense of George Bush created them is specious even by your standards. They weren’t there because we weren’t there and Sadam was. Which is evidence this isn’t a war against Iraq, it is a war against Islomofascism. I swear, sometimes It seems I’m talking to elementary school kids. Islamofascists were around before George Bush, don’t make me get the list out again.

    By the way, only by your far left wing standards would anyone from Brookings be considered Right Wing, they are left center by any reasonable standard.

  27. enkidu Says:

    So the author if this little ditty is a lefty?

    Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq, Random House, 2002, ISBN 0-375-50928-3

    rwnjs obsessed with how the NYT is some kind of PRAVDA need to read it once in a while: the paper reflects many viewpoints. Because there are many viewpoints in NYC. ‘Islamofascist?” it is to laugh. Hey rwnj how are shrubby’s good buddies the Saudis (u know where 15 out of 18 hijackers came from?) doing on their glorious drive for Democracy? Hello? (crickets)

    Funny how you berate anyone who disagrees with you as “elementary school kids”, yet you make a pretty knowing reference to Kenny (from South Park fame one would assume). You SURE you aren’t some spotty fatass redneck sitting in your mom’s basement? Really sure? Go join up punk.

  28. NorthernLite Says:

    Your on dope if you think the newly established terrorist group called, “Al Qaeda in Iraq” existed before the invasion. They were created as a result of the invasion.

    Worldwide terrosist activity has increased dramatically since King George’s invasion. The world is more dangerous. And it also seems people are getting stupider, which I blame on him as well. He has created a culture of idiocy.

  29. shcb Says:

    I’m fifty and fat, the military probably doesn’t want me, my mom is dead and my folks didn’t have a basement. I’ve never seen an episode of South Park but I drove through South Park a couple months ago and stopped in Fairplay for gas, signs all over the place reminded me this was the town they used as a model for the show.

    I don’t berate anyone who disagrees with me, you have to earn that right, congratulations you made the grade. My reference to you all as school kids, even twelve year old’s understand if someone kills 3000 of your countrymen, you are at war with those people. Are there Islamofascists in Saudi Arabia? You bet, but they seem to be keeping them under control after we pulled out of there, invaded Iraq and had some discussions with the royal family, sometimes just the threat is enough.

  30. knarlyknight Says:

    Enkidu, I don’t think the army would have shcb, I know they’ve lowered their entry requirements but shcb comes across as being a little too unbalanced and trigger happy.

    NL, pissing match with skunk? exactly. Sometimes also like a barfing match with an elephant.

    shcb, it is clear that the neo-cons have made the world more dangerous. Besides their inherent ridiculousness, labels such as islamo-fascists reflect more on the peanut minds of those who use such terms than they contribute to any understanding of the issues.

    And NL is right, people are getting stupider, but the media has a large role in that. For example, here’s an interesting little edit by CNN to make sure their viewers get a misquoted message that Senator Thompson “is not conservative enough” rather than the real story that unfolded (a questioner at a Thompson event was forcibly removed because she was identified as belonging to a particular group not favoured by the event organizers. (Further description preceeds the video)
    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=bb8_1185451469

  31. shcb Says:

    I looked at that video, I would like to know the rest of the story, Fred seemed to answer all her questions politely even when she was a little hysterical in the beginning of the video, which was probably the organizer’s first inkling she was trouble. There seemed a point that someone asked her to move because she was in front of the camera?, they then escort her out. I would like to know what she did off camera at that point. She is already away from Thompson before she asks the 911 lunacy question. She keeps yelling “get off me” and I didn’t see anyone on her, of course she is waving the camera, cell phone? All over the place, maybe a little theatrics? I would like to see a more wide angle view of the event. The reason CNN didn’t mention she was a 911/Ron Paul loon? Maybe good taste?

    Islamofascist is a well thought out term that accurately describes our enemy while separating them from the peace loving faction of Islam. It is probably more accurate than neo-con, a term that has come to mean anyone in the Bush administration that is not opposed to this war, whether they were once a liberal or not.

  32. knarlyknight Says:

    SHCB, you watched the video but your computer screen must be warped or you intentionally did not see what it showed. And as per usual, your comments totally missed the point of my previous post of which the video clip was a tiny little example. To recap: CNN used this little episode to put forth an anti- Senator Thompson perspective which, by clear implication, blatantly mischaracterized the woman as a fellow republican who was irate that Thompson was not conservative enough for her, when the reality of the situation was totally different.

    NEO-CON
    I agree neo-con is a silly term, and I don’t exactly know what it means so perhaps I should stop using it. What do I mean by the neo-cons? Mostly just those people who signed the PNAC, you know, many of the same people who Ray McGovern said most people laughed at in the 1980′s because they were such obvious nutjobs that they could never be considered as a serious political force. Wow was he ever wrong about them being too wacked-out to ever become a serious force and Wow was he ever right about them having wacky ideas for using the US military to effect a pax Americana for corporate gain.

    ISLAMO-FASCIST
    shcb says “the peace loving faction of Islam”??? Which particular faction would you mean by that??? Islam refers to the way of God, aka peace. If it is not peace it is not part of Islam. Therefore those who espouse violence to further Islam are NOT a part of Islam, they are an abomonation of the religion.

    Similarly, conducting war in the name of Jesus is not in any way shape or form consistant with Christianity. Both are corruptions by the state or by other power-hungry individuals (neo-cons?).

    Using your logic: due to your definition of the oxymoronic “Islamofascist” term, you have ipso facto also defined most of America as being “Christo-fascists”.

  33. shcb Says:

    Good post Knarly

    I’ll respond in order. I guess I did miss the angle you saw. I just saw her as a Ron Paul /911 conspiracy supporter who was there for the sole purpose of tripping up Thompson for a sound bite and a mention on CNN or wherever they can get the attention. I’m not sure where to place Paul, but he has hooked up with the conspiracy folks, I don’t know if he really believes 911 was an inside job or just sees it as an unrepresented constituency he can exploit, doesn’t really matter. The anarchists on the left and the total libertarians on the right kind of intermingle around the back side of the left to right political continuum. This is where the conspiracy theorists live. So while she is telling Fred he isn’t conservative enough, there is someone else that holds 90% of her views telling Hillary she isn’t liberal enough. CNN being left center is just looking to help out the Democratic candidates and will show anything in a slightly biased to the left way to help that cause, just as Fox News will do the same to help out Republican candidates. Bias plus bias equals balance.

    Neo-con simply means someone was once a liberal and now they are a conservative, David Horowitz is a prime example, he was raised by radical liberal parents, became a radical liberal in college, and then saw the light and became a conservative. There are also neo-liberals. Present day neo-cons tend to be Jewish or at least the more famous ones. For some reason the Jewish population has traditionally voted Democrat while being fiscally conservative. As the Democratic party has moved to the left, they lost these fiscally conservative, socially liberal Jews. These folks grudging moved to the Republican party and then became full fledged conservatives after seeing the view from the other side. Reagan helped a lot too, he was so good at verbalizing the conservative philosophy.

    This term was co-opted by the left during this administration as a pejorative. Bush has a number of neo-cons in his administration who championed the war from the beginning. Now I don’t know if Bush actively recruited these neo-cons because they were neo-cons or it was just a coincidence. I can see it being deliberate, when someone has a mid life philosophy change they tend to more passionate about it. Then you have the Jewish factor. Here is a group of incredibly intelligent individuals that would traditionally be on your side switching teams in mid game which naturally pissed the liberals in the media off. So the term neo-con became the catch all term for anyone pro war in this administration. It’s a cute term, short, rolls off the tongue, has the word con in it, perfect. But by all means, keep using the term, it has came to represent what it represents, I who you are referring to.

    All religions say they are peaceful. But as in any organization, they are populated by individuals that have many different agendas, some peaceful, some not. I personally don’t believe in organized religion because I find they all become corrupt by preying on people’s fears of the unknown. What we are doing by calling the militant faction of the religion Islamofascists is to single out that group of individuals from the others, nothing more sinister than that.

    As to Islam being a peaceful religion, I’m not that religious, so it doesn’t interest me enough to research this much. As I understand, the Christian religion was of course brutal and aggressive in the times of the crusades, forcing their beliefs at the point of a sword. Then the reformation came where church doctrine was changed to a more peaceful method of getting people to convert. Several speakers I have heard, have said the religion of Islam has not gone through this reformation yet, so they are still trying to convert people at the point of sword. Or at least a faction on the religion is. This is the faction we are fighting, and will have to continue fighting until this reformation occurs. Do you know more about this?

  34. NorthernLite Says:

    Yeah, you have to wonder about people saying they are religious. I mean, OBL is apparently a religious person, yet is responsible for thousands of deaths.

    George W. Bush, a born-again Christian, (The worst kind. Kind of like the ex-smoker who preaches all day to his smoking friends about how smoking is bad for you.) is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths, many of them innocent civilians.

    Of course there are many more examples.

    So if there is a heaven/paradise and these two assholes get in just because they “say” they are believers, I’m pretty sure we’ll all get in.

    I have to say though, shcb, it seems you have toned down your religious rhetoric. At least you are trying to separate “terrorists” from “Muslims”.
    After all, you’re the one that said, “We had to go somewhere and kill Muslims (after 9/11)”. Which I’m sure you realized soon after typing was a pretty dumb thing to say. I mean, after the Oklahoma or abortion clinic bombings would it be alright for me to say, “We had to go somewhere and kill stupid right-wing white men”?

    Also, I would stay away from the Fox News invented term “Islamofacism”. It just sounds stupid and was created and used, unsuccessfully, to attempt to draw a parallel between Hitler and terrorists. Well, counting you, I guess a couple people bought into it.

    I actually prefer the term “Radical Islamic Terrorists”.

  35. shcb Says:

    NL,

    The “go somewhere to kill Muslims” was as much a taunt as anything, guilty as charged boys don’t grow up we just get more expensive toys. I’ve asked a couple times if is there was a term folks here liked better to describe the people we are fighting, you are the first to offer a substitute. Yours doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but neither does Islamofascists. The problem I have with the term fascism is when I have looked it up in various dictionaries it can cover so many competing groups depending whether you are talking about economics or social values, the roll of government in everyday lives etc. to the point you can call almost anyone a fascist. How about Jihadists? Or we could use the acronym of your suggestion RIT, RITs, RITists. I am not all that happy with “terrorists” either, terror is a military tactic in this case. But I am resigned to the term.

    By the way, I pretty much agree with your first four paragraphs, to a point. I think you are exaggerating a bit, kind of like I did with the “we had to go somewhere” remark.

    I don’t have a lot of use for organized religion either.

  36. enkidu Says:

    Radical Islamic Nut Jobs or rinjs

    Right Wing Nut Jobs or rwnjs

    These two groups depend on one another for ‘validation’ of their skewed and sick world views. Shoot first (and then just keep shooting) seems to be the MO of the worst president in US history. Tens or hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis dead (o yeah and a few thousand rinjs as well). How many of those innocents had families? Do you think the death of their father or mother or siblings makes them pro-US or anti-US?

    I can see rwnjs answer already: kill em all and let Gawd sort em out

    Rational people would have to say this collateral damage is making things worse for the US (and the west in general)

  37. shcb Says:

    RINJs it is, I like it, do you think it will catch on, you better get that trademark polished up.

    The death of anyone in this conflict is a personal tragedy, it is too bad the RINJs started it and continue to push us to doing what must be done. If they would stop the innocents in Iraq could enjoy peace. We certainly don’t target civilians.

  38. enkidu Says:

    Actually, no. “They” didn’t start it. They just finally landed a body blow to the psyche of rwnjs everwhar. Our ridiculously one sided support for Israel. Our ridiculously one sided support for the Saudi ‘royal’ family. Our ridiculously one sided support for dumbya and Big Dick Cheney. Time to resign in disgrace.

    And to return to the thread’s origin: we have completely lost our compass if these dipshits aren’t yanked from the Army and put in Leavenworth for the rest of their days.

    “We heard a few reports, in one case corroborated by photographs, that some soldiers had so lost their moral compass that they’d mocked or desecrated Iraqi corpses. One photo, among dozens turned over to The Nation during the investigation, shows an American soldier acting as if he is about to eat the spilled brains of a dead Iraqi man with his brown plastic Army-issue spoon.
    “Take a picture of me and this motherfucker,” a soldier who had been in Sergeant Mejía’s squad said as he put his arm around the corpse. Sergeant Mejía recalls that the shroud covering the body fell away, revealing that the young man was wearing only his pants. There was a bullet hole in his chest.

    “Damn, they really fucked you up, didn’t they?” the soldier laughed.

    The scene, Sergeant Mejía said, was witnessed by the dead man’s brothers and cousins.”

    Hey rwnj, why don’t you go ask those folks how they feel about the desecration of that man’s body. Much less his murder. Oh, right. Shit happens! no biggee right?

    If you have the balls, go read this http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070730/hedges I am sure tv and shcb will wave their magic wand and dismiss this as a couple bad apples blah blah blah glory Evil Dims blah blah glory! FREEDOM™®©!!!. btw – these are noncombatants

    I think The Gaurdian had a similar article a few weeks back. We don’t hear this because the Ministry of Propaganda won’t sully Duhmerkkkah’s beaoooteeful mind with such trivial details.

  39. knarlyknight Says:

    you’re in the military enkidu? Maybe there still is some freedom of speach left here in this world / your country… in any event, you are very brave to bring to light such horrors on a left wing (therefore rwnj monitored) website like this. Maybe that’s what shcb’s role is here, maybe he’s just playing with us as far as the discussion goes but if he comes across any talk of real organization or actual rebellion then he reports it to his superiors. whddya think, inkydo?

    By the way, you mentioned something bad about Israel. That is not allowed. The Zionists might imprison babies without sunlight, but I’m sure your administration (or shcb) can explain that it is all for a good cause:

    http://uruknet.info/?p=m35188&hd=&size=1&l=e

  40. shcb Says:

    Knarly,

    Actually I agree with you, this is reprehensible. The Israelis should be reprimanded for this if it as it seems. Jail is no place for children, those babies should be taken from the mothers and put in foster care until they are released.

    I did a little Google search on one of the women’s names and only came up with this article verbatim on a bunch of left wing blogs, that and a story on Mandela’s site. Now this is a new story so maybe people are still researching. The Mandela site said they were trying to secure the release of the WOMEN and the children, and nowhere could I find what these women are in for. Since all the sites including Mandela’s were left wing, you would assume they are anti Israeli and pro Palestinian. I would think if these women were in jail for minor infractions that would have been mentioned in the articles since that would strengthen their case. These are just observations at this point, I’m not drawing any conclusions yet.
    Wouldn’t it be funny if these women have been offered to have the children placed in homes but have turned those offers down so they can use their own kids as tools to secure their release? And wouldn’t be even funnier if they were using their kids because they were in jail for blowing up someone else’s kids?

  41. knarlyknight Says:

    “Funny” would be my last choice of word.

    I got no opinion on that article either, as it is a sketchy source. Thx for remaining reasonable & not dumping all over it because it is not verified elsewhere. Problem is, we Rarely hear of Palestinian’s mistreatment except through the lens of radically pro-Israeli dominated media, which afteer all the spin makes it sound like they deserved every bit of (mis)treatment they receive. Truth is seldom so black and white. Maybe they were offered foser care, but giving up your baby to people you hate and distrust due to years of perceived mistreatment is probably next to impossible to do.

  42. shcb Says:

    Good point, there is a special bond between a mother and child. Fathers can love their children but not the way a mother does. Let’s keep track of this for the next month or so, surely this will be resolved by then. I will be particularly interested in how groups like Mandela’s handle this. Hopefully they can get these kids some help without using them for political tools.

    I’ve never understood why the Arab countries in the area don’t give up a little of their land and form a Palestinian state and leave the Israelis alone, that whole area is strange. This whole thing of mixing religion and public policy just doesn’t work. And I’m being as critical of the Jews as the Arabs here. Religious people can’t divorce their beliefs from policy completely, but they need to as much as possible.

  43. knarlyknight Says:

    You probably already know this, but the goal of the peoples’ in the middle east is not to acquire or gain the right to land on which to live and control, the goal is to control specific sacred and overlapping lands of their ancestors and prophets be they Christ, Mohammed, Abraham, or Peter O’Toole.

  44. shcb Says:

    And the most sacred is that of Peter O’Toole

    I know, which kind of makes my point, that politics and religion don’t mix very well. If Canada controlled a religious site, say the largest ball of twine they would let Americans come visit the site freely, if it were close to the border they would maybe even make an exclusion zone of some sort allowing Americans and Canadians to visit the Great Ball Of Twine without showing papers. A little cooperation is all it takes. It seems that Israel has offered the olive branch to the Arabs more than the Arabs have offered in return. That is a very simplistic statement since I don’t know that much about this conflict, it simply has never interested me that much. Israel is such a small state and as far as I can tell has never tried to get more land than was mandated after WWII unless they were attacked. But as you say, that mandate gave them all the cool places. Madness.

  45. shcb Says:

    my little smiley face at the end of the first sentence didn’t come through, oh well.

  46. knarlyknight Says:

    :-)

    So true about Canada / US ball of twine, plus you’d teach us how to make money off it and we’d teach you that it really is precious because it is the only place in the world where the endangered spotted boll weavil resides.

    FYI, Israeli settlements in the occupied territories is a huge land grab.

    WWII until now is but a blip in mid-east time…

  47. shcb Says:

    Destination resorts would ring the religious site by the end of the year, complete with gift shops selling replicas of the giant ball itself, (can’t you just get those from the hardware store?)(you can get a ball of twine, but this is an exact replica and only costs $35.00, with certificate verifying authenticity)(really? Well give me two.) By the end of the decade, America would have sucked all the religion out of that magnificent ball and people would visit all year round instead of just the traditional month of March (the month of twine. Ok, now I’m getting silly. So since it is endangered, I suppose a weevil petting zoo would be out of the question, there is big bucks there, so a few of them die, a portion of the proceeds will go to AIDs research (about 1 percent)

    About WWII being a blip, I think that is one of the things that make it so hard for people in America, and probably Canada too to understand much of that side of the planet. They can be mad at each other for 500 years and look at it as a relatively new conflict, we have another 10 generations before our country is even that old.

    I don’t understand that whole settlement thing, I guess I should read up on it more.

  48. knarlyknight Says:

    This is a quick intro to the topic:
    From 1968 to 1977, the Labour government focused its settlement programme (Allon plan) on regions with low Palestinian populations, on the creation of a Jewish belt around East Jerusalem, in the Jordan Valley and on the Golan Heights, with a view to a possible handing back of part of Palestinian territory to Jordan in case of negotiations. This policy was intensified in the last years of the Labour government (under the impulsion of Shimon Peres) and then further radicalised when the Likud came to power in 1977. Colonisation accelerated and aimed to prevent any “territorial compromise” through the installation of many settlements in densely populated Palestinian areas. This policy is still pursued today, particularly in the zone situated east of Jerusalem.

    Source:

    http://www.medea.be/index.html?page=0&lang=en&doc=41

    Off topic: I scanned this article fast, sounds like a nasty one brewing:

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/IH17Ae01.html

  49. shcb Says:

    Gunny Bob has been warning of this problem in the Philippines for years, we were making some progress in some of the outlying islands with economic help, building schools, helping the warlords become businessmen without losing face that sort of thing, looks like Al Qaeda doesn’t want peace after all. And they don’t want what is best for the Muslim peoples. Surprise, surprise.

    I’m still unclear on this settlement thing, are the lands the Israeli’s are settling just bare land nobody wants that sort of thing. But thanks for the link it helped explain the history a little anyway.

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