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A patriot day
April 28, 2003 2:44 PM   Subscribe

Stip Naked and Walk, Thief. On the chests of the men had been scrawled an Arabic phrase that translates as "Ali Baba - Thief."
posted by four panels (33 comments total)

 
tomorrow, when i meet with foxy municipal attorney to discuss settlement of a tax case, i'm going to suggest that we stip naked.
posted by quonsar at 2:49 PM on April 28, 2003


This is a fairly smart method of discouraging looting in the current situation.

Or should they be tied up and held at a Marine camp until the unspecified time in the future when an appropriate justice system has been set up to try their case? Running naked through the streets may be unusual, but it's certainly less cruel than that.
posted by 4easypayments at 3:02 PM on April 28, 2003


"It's not as bad as it seems," a laughing [Lt.] Canaday was quoted as saying, "we only do it to the people who are stealing weapons."

"A little public shaming; no physical damage and everything will be fine tomorrow," he said. "Hopefully they will be embarrassed enough not to come back."

sounds perfectly reasonable to me. it's much better than the alternative..
posted by car_bomb at 3:34 PM on April 28, 2003


Ali Baba and the 40 theives!
posted by delmoi at 3:34 PM on April 28, 2003


Strip fake it and talk, thief.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 3:51 PM on April 28, 2003


A warfilter thread also exists for this article--and features a post by the twice self-exiled rushmc!
posted by dhoyt at 3:53 PM on April 28, 2003


Saw a news blip on this: Iraq: Stripped naked and humiliated by US soldiers

Yet thought it was about prisoners of war, not prisoners to a crime of thievery. Was wondering what was up. Thought they cut your hands off in this country for stealing?

Or should they be tied up and held at a Marine camp until the unspecified time in the future when an appropriate justice system has been set up to try their case?

He claimed he got the idea to strip them from people in the neighborhood.

The Marines left Baghdad last week, it's all under the US Army's thumb now.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:53 PM on April 28, 2003


Rule of law, people. The fundamental tenet of Democracy: Rule of Law. What law was being enforced here? By what right was anyone stripped and humiliated? What is the rule of law?

I effing guarentee you, everyone here, there is no law that says this is acceptable. (Better than the alternative? WHAT alternative? Rule of law. Don't we all understand what that means?)
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:10 PM on April 28, 2003


Apparently they've been watching too many movies:
I am the Law
posted by blue_beetle at 4:20 PM on April 28, 2003


Given the local and customs, I guess the poster is suggesting we cut off their hands for stealing?

After all that is a so much more humane punishment...
posted by Trik at 4:29 PM on April 28, 2003


By what right was anyone stripped and humiliated? What is the rule of law?

[off topic] The police of Baghdad were the lowest form of authority that this city had before the fall of Saddam. When I say low, I mean they were under Saddam, his son's, his Bathe Party, and ect. So how can the current police force of Baghdad or other parts of Iraq be looked upon with authority that they never had? If you grew up thinking cops are just a puppet to the controlling regime, how would you establish police authority under a new regime? Especially if you had never seen fair play with the laws of the land? Stand around with an AK-47 & a badge. This is reminding me of going to Mexico and their police force, the crooked side. Which I will add is not respected by their public either.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:34 PM on April 28, 2003


The Law of Belligerent Occupation
posted by homunculus at 4:41 PM on April 28, 2003


It's just hilarious to me that people think this is acceptable.

A fairly smart method, 4easypayments? By "smart" I guess you mean "effective." So why don't we just kill them? That's pretty smart. And at least the media wouldn't find out what kind of bigots are running the American Occupation.

Better than the local customs, Trik? Well Saddam gassed thousands, institutionalized rape and torture, and much worse. So if we just beat a few here, kill a few there, it's not as bad as before... that makes it ok, right?

You should be ashamed of yourselves. And assuming that you have no proper sense of shame, may I suggest that you strip naked, write "moron" on your chest, and run to the nearest populated area.
posted by zekinskia at 4:51 PM on April 28, 2003


From the article homunculus linked to:

"Pursuant to both humanitarian and human rights law, they may impose punishment only after a regular trial in which the accused has been informed in writing of the charges. Trial must occur within a reasonable period and the accused is entitled to the assistance of counsel and the opportunity to present evidence in his or her defense."
posted by Hildago at 4:55 PM on April 28, 2003


Given the local and customs, I guess the poster is suggesting we cut off their hands for stealing?

yeah, he's probably pro-saddam too.
posted by mcsweetie at 4:55 PM on April 28, 2003


inappropriate method of punishment? definitely.
Effective method of punishment? Probably.
Are there effective alternatives available? Probably not.
Human rights abuse worthy of massive outrage? No.
Does that make it an acceptable practice? No.
posted by Wingy at 7:11 PM on April 28, 2003


Since when do any U.S. soldiers write decent Arabic? I've studied Arabic off and on for a few years and I can't write the alphabet.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 8:52 PM on April 28, 2003


Fortunately all of the thieves just happen to look good naked.
posted by Poagao at 12:42 AM on April 29, 2003


RJ: I would guess (and maybe some military or ex-military folks could verify this) that at least a few of the soldiers in each unit had been given some Arabic language training. Also, unlike those who study languages and alphabets at their leisure from home, American soldiers have an excellent incentive to learn at least the basics of the local language in a place where it could mean the difference between life and death.

Wingy: ditto.
posted by skoosh at 2:20 AM on April 29, 2003


Lets see...
Thieves in a mideast war zone caught stealing weapons.
They're not executed, maimed, tortured or imprisoned.
They are however publicly humiliated.

Still beats the shit out of being executed, maimed, tortured or imprisoned.

Still some bleeding hearts would seem to prefer that they'd been released with no penalty.
Maybe a stern talking to, ehh?

You are a very bad person! You steal weapons! And you get caught! You are a very bad thief! I would scoff at you and tweak your nose, but Amnesty International would find out and expressed concern at me. So I am going to let you go and ask you to not attempt to steal any more weapons that you would probably use to kill me.
posted by Trik at 7:18 AM on April 29, 2003


Still beats the shit out of being executed, maimed, tortured or imprisoned.

Really? I'd take imprisonment every time over being forced to walk naked through my neighbourhood with a humiliating slogan on my chest. Some people really will defend anything.

Who mentioned execution, maiming, torture and imprisonment anyway? Why have you created those alternatives? Let me pre-empt you: 'That's what they would have got under Saddam'. Congrats, the US is just one step up from Saddam.
posted by Summer at 7:54 AM on April 29, 2003


I don't know anything about military law but I'd be willing to bet that stealing weapons during a military exercise or in a war zone would carry espionage, sabotage, terrorism charges.
All of which would earn you at the very least interrogation and imprisonment.

This would be true of any military force and not limited to saddam

Hell, stealing weapons in any civilized society during peace time will earn you a long term prison sentence.
posted by Trik at 8:09 AM on April 29, 2003


Wait...is this the same Metafilter where people where pulling their hair out two weeks ago about how the merciless US military hadn't stopped the looting and therefore was commiting grave war crimes?

And now the military has come up with an innovative way to use its limited man power but still stop the looting without causing permenant harm to anyone and not even removing people from their social circumstances (ie no imprisonment) and people are still complaining?

Hello?
posted by pjgulliver at 8:17 AM on April 29, 2003


Still beats the shit out of being executed, maimed, tortured or imprisoned

Hell, stealing weapons in any civilized society during peace time will earn you a long term prison sentence.

Trik, How do you reconcile this stance? It's better somehow that we didn't give them the treatment that would be the norm in any civilized society? (A trial, and just punishment by law) Have we somehow bettered civilization through public humiliation after accusation with no defense, judge or jury? You're not making any sense, my friend.
posted by Wulfgar! at 8:21 AM on April 29, 2003


pjgulliver, this is the same MetaFilter where people were screaming that the US military could and should have prevented the looting of institutions they were warned would be targets. This is not the same a the US Military filling the role of judge/jury/executioner. The one role is defense, the other role is indefensable. Your attempt to find hypocracy here has failed.
posted by Wulfgar! at 8:24 AM on April 29, 2003


Hell, stealing weapons in any civilized society during peace time will earn you a long term prison sentence.

A quick flogging might be preferred by some to a prison sentence. There's a reason why civilised societies don't allow this. Something to do with shows of degradation.
posted by Summer at 8:31 AM on April 29, 2003


Hell, stealing weapons in any civilized society during peace time will earn you a long term prison sentence.

The statment implies having had a trial and having been found guilty.

Does anyone know what the penalties are for being caught attmepting to steal weapons from Iraqs, Irans, Saudi Arabias, Syrias, or any of the other mid-east armies are?
And what *due process* you could expect / hope to recieve?
posted by Trik at 8:34 AM on April 29, 2003


I think it qualifies as Cruel and Unusual Punishment. But we can always leave that out of their constitution when we get done writing it.
posted by vito90 at 8:39 AM on April 29, 2003


I believe that Baghdad is currently under a state of martial law. As such, looters are generally liable to be shot on site.
posted by cmdnc0 at 11:15 AM on April 29, 2003


I don't see how comparing what would happen if they stole from the Syrian army has to do with the US army... is "Well, we're better than Syria!" the best measure of our adherence to International and Human Rights law we can claim?

It's clearly cruel and humiliating but it seems better than what the US appears to be doing to people demonstrating against the occupation...
posted by Babylonian at 4:07 PM on April 29, 2003


They could have and should have been shot as looters, spy's, terrorist.
They weren't.
Instead of crying a river about what did happen to them.
Why don't you celebrate their survival.

And thank the soldiers that spared their lives.
posted by Trik at 4:29 PM on April 29, 2003


I would guess (and maybe some military or ex-military folks could verify this) that at least a few of the soldiers in each unit had been given some Arabic language training. Also, unlike those who study languages and alphabets at their leisure from home, American soldiers have an excellent incentive to learn at least the basics of the local language in a place where it could mean the difference between life and death.

Um, these are US soldiers we're talking about :)

(unless they were brought up speaking it at home) they don't speak arabic - they travel with Iraqi translators
posted by Babylonian at 4:56 PM on April 29, 2003


OK I gotta admit to PML @ Fortunately all of the thieves just happen to look good naked.

But seriously, I have to wonder if being forced to walk around naked in public would be even more humiliating/shameful in that culture. If so, this is yet another example of our country's fine work in "winning the peace."

But we can always leave that out of their constitution when we get done writing it.

Yes, of course - it's going to be based on *our* post-Pat II constitution.
posted by NorthernLite at 5:15 PM on April 29, 2003


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