Tuesday, August 25, 2009

'America Tortured Prisoners' - Here We Go Again

It looks like there's another cycle starting in the news. The despicable deeds of America and/or the (diabolical, what else?) Bush administration - or maybe it'll be just the wicked CIA - are being investigated.

The claim is that America has been torturing prisoners. Specifically, using waterboarding, and, once, telling one of the brains behind the 9/11 attack, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, that his children would be killed if his bunch attacked America again.

Telling someone his children will be killed: that's over the top. Waterboarding? I'm not so sure.

Back when reporters were collecting video of demonstrators waterboarding each other, I did a little checking. Waterboarding is unpleasant, obviously. I'd just as soon not experience it. But if it's torture, then the American military tortures its own troops. Waterboarding is a part of military training, to teach soldiers what to expect if they're captured - and how to deal with it.

And, I don't think that the America military tortures its own soldiers, any more than I am appalled by all the poor, uneducated minorities being drafted to fight for America's Big Oil.

On the other hand, I realize that America's government can make mistakes. Some have been whoppers.

The Ulysses S. Grant administration set the gold standard, so to speak, for corruption, I think the treaty of Versailles, written with the (I trust) well-intentioned help of President Wilson, created a mess that we're still sorting out. I can't approve of the way the American government handled citizens with Japanese ancestors during WWII, and I really don't like the way Hawaii was acquired.

Back to what's supposed to have happened in interrogations: It's quite possible that there have been abuses. If so, I'm pretty sure that they'll be identified and corrected. Maybe over-corrected. I don't think America is perfect, remember?

Still, I like it here, and don't know of a better place to live. That's an informed statement: I did some rather serious looking around, in the seventies and eighties, and didn't find a better alternative. For me, anyway.

Finally, I think it would be advisable to remember that the not-niceness of Al Qaeda, and the other outfits who want to make the world safe for their particular take on Islam, take not-niceness to great heights. Or depths.
"The hot wind swirls around the human bones and cracked skulls that litter the forsaken desert lands in Western Iraq.

"We are standing in the middle of what was an al Qaeda execution site, just outside an intricate bunker complex that the organization used to torture and murder its victims, the bodies left to rot or be eaten by animals.

"From the back of the police truck the opening to the first bunker is barely discernible in the distance.

" 'Al Qaeda came in as a massive force' one of the officers says as we bump along the harsh terrain. 'They stole our cars, our personal cars. They kidnapped two of my brothers. They blew up the house over there.'..."

"... And al Qaeda is still able to send a message to those who dare oppose them.

The police officers show us blood stains in the desert near the bunkers and tell us how they found two beheaded bodies just a month ago. They were identified as being the brothers of two police officers from another city, Ramadi....
Related posts: In the news: Background:


Brigid said...

Related posts"


Brian H. Gill said...



Fixed it. Found two more, fixed them, too. Thanks!

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.