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"I Punched Saddam in the Mouth"
April 30, 2005 4:18 PM   Subscribe

"I Punched Saddam in the Mouth" • A man known only as "Samir" worked as an Arabic interpreter for United States Special Forces in late 2003 when Saddam Hussein was captured in Tikrit: "I was so angry. I began cussing at him, calling him a motherfucker, a son-of-a-bitch -- you name it. I told him I was Shiite from the south and was part of the revolution against him in 1991. I said he murdered my uncles and cousins. He imprisoned my father. In Arabic, Saddam told Samir to shut up. And when Saddam called him a traitor, an enraged Samir silenced his prisoner with a flurry of quick jabs to the face. I punched Saddam in the mouth."
posted by dhoyt (87 comments total)

 
Wow. Thanks.
posted by C17H19NO3 at 4:23 PM on April 30, 2005


I thought the whole "Saddam hiding in a hole thing" was staged?
posted by sudasana at 4:30 PM on April 30, 2005


Hmm.
posted by blacklite at 4:33 PM on April 30, 2005


Unconvinced, Special Forces had Samir ask the captive his identity. When the man answered that his name was Saddam, Samir says he shook him by his hair and dirt-matted beard.

"I said, 'Yeah, Saddam what? Saddam what?' Finally he said, 'Hussein.'"


Cool. Special Forces fan fiction. Awesome.
posted by psmealey at 4:39 PM on April 30, 2005


I don't know why, but this bit disturbs me. Was he actually threatening to sodomize Saddam Hussein? Gross!

"I said, 'Yeah, Saddam what? Saddam what?' Finally he said, 'Hussein.'"

Upon hearing that, Samir unleashed years of pent-up rage.

"I told him that I was going to fuck him up the ass. That we were all going to fuck him up the ass. I told him he was a criminal and a murderer. I hit him and spit in his face. I stepped my foot on his head and his back. He wasn't crying, but I think he was shocked. No one had ever treated him this way."

posted by debris at 4:39 PM on April 30, 2005


dhoyt, thanks for the reminder of how complicated the Iraqis' allegiances and grievances are. This guy goes in 10 years from being a political refugee because of the U.S. government's bad faith during the Shiite uprising, to helping capture Hussein with the U.S. government's aid.

Whatever the morality and advisability of that war (and I'm sure it'll get rehashed again soon...), this personal story is amazing.
posted by felix betachat at 4:41 PM on April 30, 2005


I once tripped Ferdinand Marcos' former housekeeper. I also kicked Idi Amin's dietician right in the junk at a swapmeet in Reno. But none of that felt as good as the time I punched out a man who looked very similar to Henry Kissinger.
posted by mokujin at 4:41 PM on April 30, 2005


I thought the whole "Saddam hiding in a hole thing" was staged?

-->
Samir is quick to anger when people dismiss the necessity of the U.S. invasion of Iraq -- or, even worse, when they question the validity of Saddam's capture.

Such was the case early last month when United Press International ran a story debunking the public version of Saddam's capture. Based on an interview a former U.S. Marine gave to a Saudi newspaper, the article, which received scant attention, said Saddam was apprehended a day earlier than the official reported date of Saturday, December 13, and surrendered only after an intense firefight.

The ex-Marine, Nadim Abou Rabeh, of Lebanese descent, also said Saddam was not taken from the clutches of the spider hole but found in a modest home in a small village. Nadim claimed, too, that a military production team later fabricated the film of Saddam removed from the hole.

"People will believe what they want to believe," scoffs Samir, who heard the story but paid it no mind. "I was there. I know what happened."

posted by jenleigh at 4:43 PM on April 30, 2005


... this personal story is amazing.

That's what I was thinking as well, but I was thinking more like, this personal story is bullshit. Obviously (if the photos are authentic), the guy was there, but the story itself reads like propagandist fiction. The whole "what's your last name bit" is a bunch of crap, since Arabs typically do not use first and last names like westerners do. "Saddam" would have been enough in terms of personal identifiers. This story could well have happened, but the added flourishes make it sound like Hollywood crap, and therefore, more than a little suspect.
posted by psmealey at 4:55 PM on April 30, 2005


The Riverfront Times was founded in 1977 as St. Louis's alternative newsweekly.

Oh, look at the pretty flag. It's red.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 5:05 PM on April 30, 2005


this personal story is bullshit

True enough. Never let personal testimony stand in the way of a good ideological objection.

*goes back to wondering how Rove's script-writers got away with "I'm going to fuck you in the ass"*
posted by felix betachat at 5:06 PM on April 30, 2005


*goes back to wondering how Rove's script-writers got away with "I'm going to fuck you in the ass"*

Ha, well, remember, in the initial (phony) script a valiant marine yelled down the spider hole "President Bush sends his regards." Man, that shit's like in the movies!
posted by crank at 5:11 PM on April 30, 2005


Never let personal testimony stand in the way of a good ideological objection.

Right, because my objection was made along ideological lines.
posted by psmealey at 5:15 PM on April 30, 2005


*goes back to wondering how Rove's script-writers got away with "I'm going to fuck you in the ass"*
posted by felix betachat at 5:06 PM PST on April 30 [!]


Well, if you really want a believable story, one that people will buy, you would use terms that you would never use, you know?
posted by jikel_morten at 5:17 PM on April 30, 2005


Saddam got on my nerves
He was running me amok
He ridiculed me calling me a bum

I wupped Saddam's ass
I wupped Saddam's ass
I wupped Saddam's ass
I wupped Saddam's ass
I wupped Saddam's ass
I wupped Saddam's ass

Saddam thought he was bad
He was a fucking asshole in the first place
He got knocked to the floor

I wupped Saddam's ass
I wupped Saddam's ass
I wupped Saddam's ass
I wupped Saddam's ass
I wupped Saddam's ass
I wupped Saddam's ass

Saddam beat the hell out of me and knocked me to the floor
I got back up and knocked him to the floor
He was being such a jackoff

I wupped Saddam's ass
I wupped Saddam's ass
I wupped Saddam's ass
I wupped Saddam's ass
I wupped Saddam's ass
I wupped Saddam's ass

Rock over London, rock on Chicago
Wheaties, breakfast of champions
posted by slapshot57 at 5:30 PM on April 30, 2005 [1 favorite]


Was ifuckedsaddamintheasshard.blogspot.com taken or something?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:33 PM on April 30, 2005


Cool. Special Forces fan fiction. Awesome.

Feh. If you can't see the ideology behind that sentiment, there's probably not much I can do for you.

I think it's a good story because it reminded me that Iraqis are real people living complex and fraught lives. I'm inclined to believe a story like this without compelling evidince to the contrary because I live a privileged and sheltered existence. A guy like this commands my respect simply by virtue of his experiences.

If he doesn't command yours, I'd be interested to know why.
posted by felix betachat at 5:34 PM on April 30, 2005


Well I would speculate here felix that the respect isn't commanded because people think he may be, you know, lying. At this point, I don't think we have any way of knowing, short of seeing video of the event, how exactly Saddam was captured. Discussing it is pointless, since none of us can bring evidence to bear. Unless one of you happens to be Rumsfeld?
posted by kavasa at 5:49 PM on April 30, 2005


That couldn't be any more a'Merikanized if it was written, "I see-lapped the Kee-rapp outa' his shiz-nitt!!".
posted by Balisong at 5:51 PM on April 30, 2005


This reminds me of a Superman comic from the 1940's called "how Superman would have ended World War II." Superman goes and kidnaps Hitler and Stalin and brings them to a court in the U.S., who sentences them for their horrible war crimes. Yay!

This story is about as realistic and almost as gratifying. Wow, Saddam was captured, then you got to slap him around for a bit. Boy, that certainly showed him for massacring your family! You win!
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:02 PM on April 30, 2005


Doesn't seem real. Look at the photo on page 4 of the article, then the last picture on the Memory Hole. Either "Samir" got pretty fancily photoshopped-out in the internet version, or he's just some jackass pasting himself onto some other guy's pictures.
posted by queen zixi at 6:03 PM on April 30, 2005


Nice catch, queen zixi

The next step would be to ask both the editor of this story and the editor at military.com -- that originally published some of the pictures to comment.

As my old man used to say, "The cheese becomes more binding."
posted by warbaby at 6:12 PM on April 30, 2005


I think it's a good story because it reminded me that Iraqis are real people living complex and fraught lives.

You need to be reminded that people are "real" and live "complex" lives?

How exactly did you imagine Iraqis before you read this story?
posted by Jimbob at 6:12 PM on April 30, 2005


Good for Samir. The monstrous evil of Saddam is unfathomable.
posted by LarryC at 6:19 PM on April 30, 2005


I remember hearing about Samir's welcome in his hometown after the invasion; it was a feelgood story for a minute or two. But if much of the guy's family was wiped out in the 1991 rebellion, I wonder if he's equally anxious to punch Bush I and Schwarzkopf in the face. I mean, they encouraged the rebellion, promised help, and then decided Iraq was better off as a stable country under the current dictator and allowed Saddam to use military helicopters to decimate the Shiite population that had risen up and was mere hours outside Baghdad, if I recall correctly.

The fact that the U.S. government made a devil's bargain in 1991 to keep Saddam in power and sell out the Shiites miserably is hardly in dispute. The article mentions it but doesn't really follow through the implications:

Samir was a twenty-year-old college student living in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah when he joined a civilian uprising against Saddam. It was 1991, and U.S. and coalition fighters had just declared a ceasefire after liberating Kuwait.

Encouraged by the Republican Guard's swift defeat, Samir grabbed the family AK-47 and joined thousands of southern Shiites organizing a massive rebellion. In hindsight, Samir says, the revolution was doomed from the start. The ceasefire allowed Saddam to regroup and launch a counterattack against his own people. It soon became clear that the United States never planned to assist the Shiites with any tactical support. The failure of the U.S. government to provide military assistance during the uprising still strikes a sour chord with Samir and countless other Shiites.

"We were defenseless," fumes Samir. "Saddam began a retaliation campaign with tanks and helicopters. Our guns were useless."


What a disgusting episode in U.S. history that was. But the reporter fails to ask Samir directly about his feelings about Bush I. Guess there's a limit to how much reality we're supposed to take from this one.
posted by mediareport at 6:20 PM on April 30, 2005


Oh, look at the pretty flag. It's red.

What are you insinuating here? Missouri is far from being a "red state" and St. Louis City and County are traditionally quite liberal, except in the more yuppified 'burbs.
posted by zsazsa at 6:20 PM on April 30, 2005


Feh. If you can't see the ideology behind that sentiment, there's probably not much I can do for you.

From your lack of insight, I'll agree that there's probably little you can do for me. You don't seem capable of much. Of course my initial comment was snark, but far from ideologically based. That was just my bullshit alarm going off. You drove past my point entirely. My comment was based on knowing at least a little bit about Arabic culture, having spent a few years in that part of the world, some of the cultural elements of his account didn't jibe, especially since he is an Iraqi himself. It is certainly possible that it happened exactly the way he said it did, and that by dint of testosterone, or telling the story too many times, he embellished a bit. But, doubtful, I think. The net result was those embellishments made the story as a whole seem fantastic and manufactured.
posted by psmealey at 6:35 PM on April 30, 2005


Reminiscent of this personal testimony (previously MeFi'd here).
posted by PlusDistance at 6:40 PM on April 30, 2005


Very good eye queen zixi, one of those two photos has definitely been altered. It's easier to add stuff than it is to subtract, too... so my money is on the memory hole version being closer to reality.
posted by odinsdream at 6:44 PM on April 30, 2005


... or he's just some jackass pasting himself onto some other guy's pictures.

No doubt about it ... the photo at The Memory Hole looks like the original. Makes me wonder if someone at River Front Times didn't take some creative license to make the images a little more compelling since Samir only shows up in one of the capture photos.

That got me wondering about the photo where he's holding Saddam to the ground. I'm not a photoshop/forensics expert ;), but I did a quick blur test on his face and it does seem to create the same pattern of dark and light areas as the photo at The Memory Hole.
posted by itchylick at 6:55 PM on April 30, 2005


Weird. The alignment of the foreground and background don't match up exactly for the two images, so it's possible they could be separate images taken at slightly different times. Look at the box o' money that the guy is holding up, and its position in front of the vegetation and building in the background. The box looks a bit unwieldy to hold up for multiple pictures, though. I wish I was in St. Louis so I could get a print edition of the article and scan it in; the one on the site is tiny.
posted by zsazsa at 6:59 PM on April 30, 2005


I think there's an earlier photo of Samir here.
posted by SPrintF at 7:22 PM on April 30, 2005


My comment was based on knowing at least a little bit about Arabic culture, having spent a few years in that part of the world, some of the cultural elements of his account didn't jibe

Just because some elements of his story strike you as implausible, doesn't make it a lie. Critical reading is important, sure. But if you operate under a constant presumption of mendacity, you run the risk of taking leave of reality just as easily as if you were a naïf.

This story is being tossed aside on some pretty flimsy grounds. I'm just curious why. What's to be gained by manufacturing a story like this now? As mediareport astutely notes, the interviewer is a little soft in his line of questioning. But that certainly doesn't change the basic facts of his story, which remain compelling in the face of the simplistic black-and-white characterizations of Iraqis that we usually see.
posted by felix betachat at 7:24 PM on April 30, 2005


It's pretty clear the Saddam on the ground photo was photoshopped.
posted by debris at 7:27 PM on April 30, 2005


nice catch on the photos. cute.

now, a good question: one guy cashing in on a gullible little alt-weekly, or liberal-targeted personal-story-style propaganda plant?

I love that the state of things are such that this is the question that comes to mind now.
posted by blacklite at 7:59 PM on April 30, 2005


Okay, about the photos. They appear eerily-similar, the poses are almost identical, but the positions of the people indicate that it was either a different camera at exactly the same time, or one of the photos has been squished around (entirely possible...even legitimate...). To match the-memory-hole photo, the article image needs to be scaled up and rotated -3.4 degrees. The whole scene appears horizontally-squashed:





In the above sequence, the article black-n-white is in false-color red overlaid on the memory hole photo. Notice the butt of the gun held by the soldier far left, the spikes on the thatched roof, and the position of the box.

Someone with more knowledge of lenses and photography could probably offer a better analysis, but just looking at the left soldier's gun, the article photo seems to have been taken from farther left than the memory hole one.

It's possible there was a ring of cameras taking pictures of the same scene at approximately the same time, and this Samir guy jumped in on the left for one of them...anyone else notice anything?
posted by odinsdream at 8:15 PM on April 30, 2005


If this story is true, is anyone else besides me reacting by being mostly just upset and disturbed by the physical abuse of a captured, helpless prisoner, no matter who it is?

Anyone?

OK, then.
posted by kyrademon at 8:20 PM on April 30, 2005


Good one kyrademom, good one.
posted by mrblondemang at 8:32 PM on April 30, 2005


Yeah, but it was a captured, helpless prisoner who hates the U.S.

I fail to see any wrongdoing.
posted by item at 8:34 PM on April 30, 2005


just upset and disturbed by the physical abuse of a captured, helpless prisoner

If we were talkking thumscrews, iron maiden, the rack, peeling his fingernails off? Maybe.

A punch in Saddam Hussein's nose? Not at all. He'll be just fine.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 8:35 PM on April 30, 2005


...because we know *for sure* that that was the only torture he endured, right devil?
posted by item at 8:38 PM on April 30, 2005


Hm. Saddam is one of those few human beings I feel no sympathy for, or at least damn little. This story, however, doesn't ring true to me and I don't like that feeling. Sometimes this Samir guy hides his identity, other times he boasts. He let the U.S. army visit his home, but he is afraid of the images getting out. Yet he's clearly posted them on the internet. There's just something fishy here.

I guess I would like to think that soldiers from the U.S. would never beat or abuse a prisoner. It's naive, but it was an illusion I harbored in childhood, something that made me proud.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 8:47 PM on April 30, 2005


...because we know *for sure* that that was the only torture he endured, right devil?

Well then by all means, since we don't know "for sure" let's just assume the truth.
posted by Stauf at 9:03 PM on April 30, 2005


kyrademon writes "If this story is true, is anyone else besides me reacting by being mostly just upset and disturbed by the physical abuse of a captured, helpless prisoner, no matter who it is?"

Hell no!

Part of giving Iraq the "Gift of Democracy" is allowing them to ignore the Geneva Conventions just like real Americans!

They had an "accountability moment", so STFU lib'rul!
posted by orthogonality at 9:13 PM on April 30, 2005


...because we know *for sure* that that was the only torture he endured, right devil?

Show me evidence that he had a hot iron shoved up his ass and I'll be the first to call Human Rights Watch. Until then I'm gonna take this guy's word that all he got was a punch in the mouth. In a warzone, that's not too bad. In some ways he's lucky that the US found him first...
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 10:03 PM on April 30, 2005


In some ways he's lucky that the US found him first...

Given the number of countries in the coalition, he was unlucky to have been captured by one of the few with no respect for international law.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:11 PM on April 30, 2005


allowing them to ignore the Geneva Conventions

Too bad the Geneva Conventions only apply to an enemy who fights by the rules. The Geneva Conventions specifically don't apply to non-conventional warfare.

Specifically, combatants have to meet all of the following requirements to be protected by Geneva:
... (b) having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance; (c) that of carrying arms openly; (d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war. (Geneva Conventions, Part I, Art. 4)
Post-Saddam fighters meet none of the above. I think that the Iraqi government should treat them in accordance with the Geneva Conventions, but they are by no means required to do so under international law.

Basically, Geneva says that unless you are going to fight in conventional European-style combat then you recieve no protection. It would be perfectly legal for the Iraqi government to draw and quarter each and every insurrgent. I would disagree with that policy, but it's not "ignoring Geneva." It's "Geneva doesn't apply until the insurgents get uniforms and start playing under the rules."
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 10:12 PM on April 30, 2005


one of the few with no respect for international law.

Right, because a punch in the mouth and some time in solitary with access to Red Cross monitors before a trial is "no respect for international law." If he had been drawn and quartered, or beaten to a bloody pulp, or denied medical care, or executed without a trial then I might agree. Otherwise your conclusory statements about the US and international law are entirely irrelevant to the matter at hand.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 10:17 PM on April 30, 2005


Slapshot wins with the Wesley Willis ref.
posted by stenseng at 10:38 PM on April 30, 2005


YAY AMERICA!
BOO SADDAM!
GO CLIFF CLAVEN SAMIR GO!
posted by swell at 10:44 PM on April 30, 2005


Otherwise your conclusory statements about the US and international law are entirely irrelevant to the matter at hand.

Uh huh. He was only "lucky" because he was too visible to be shipped off to Abu Ghraib or Guantanemo or one of our even more torture-friendly allies.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:48 PM on April 30, 2005


He was only "lucky" because he was too visible

Okay, but your original statement was that he was "unlucky" to have been captured by the US. He's lucky or he's not. Pick one. Gitmo and extraordinary renditons aren't Saddam Hussein's life. It doesn't matter to him whether they exist or not.

I say he's lucky given that had he been captured by Iraqis he would have been taken on a tour of the country in little tiny pieces. A punch in the mouth sucks, but it's far better than being torn to pieces at the hands of the Kurds.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 10:52 PM on April 30, 2005


it's not vicious and gross enough to be real.
posted by mcsweetie at 11:09 PM on April 30, 2005


He's lucky or he's not. Pick one.

Oh good grief.

Worst case is being caught by Iraqis. Next is being caught by a country with no respect for international law, a history of torture and extraordinary rendition. Best case is being caught by a country that respects international law. Happy now?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:38 PM on April 30, 2005


Happy now?

Not until you make me a sandwich too.

Just kidding, that list sounds good to me.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 11:44 PM on April 30, 2005


Metafilter: The monstrous evil is unfathomable.
posted by saysthis at 12:01 AM on May 1, 2005


We should all get a turn!
posted by ArunK at 1:43 AM on May 1, 2005


Metafilter: Not until you make me a sandwich too.
posted by caveday at 3:36 AM on May 1, 2005


Metafilter: We Can't Stop With The Taglines oh god please help us
posted by Hat Maui at 3:55 AM on May 1, 2005


I told him I was Shiite from the south and was part of the revolution against him in 1991

thank Allah Daddy Bush supported the revolution all the way back then!
I mean, only a terrible man would have called for an uprising only to withdraw military support, shamefully sending them to slaughter!
posted by matteo at 4:07 AM on May 1, 2005


I'm inclined to doubt this story, but what really cracks me up is kyrademon's concern for poor Saddam getting punched in the nose. It's like a parody of the wishy-washy liberal come to life! "While I deprecate murder, torture, and mass repression, I also deplore any form of personal violence. Now you say 'I'm sorry' to Mr. Hussein, and wipe that blood off -- blood is so messy." Kudos to thedevildancedlightly for maintaining good sense and a sense of humor.
posted by languagehat at 6:05 AM on May 1, 2005


Oh, look at the pretty flag. It's red.

What are you insinuating here?


"Red flag" in the sense of a warning flag. "Alternative newsweeklies" tend to be full of shit on a weekly basis, no matter what their ideological slant. So if one is the lone source for a story there's a very good chance that it's not true.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 7:04 AM on May 1, 2005


I was raised to believe that beating up helpless people is wrong, languagehat.

Sorry you find this opinion so amusing.
posted by kyrademon at 7:43 AM on May 1, 2005


Beating up Saddam -- couldn't happen to a nicer guy. I could give a shit. It's abuse and killing of innocent civillians in the Iraq War that's the more pressing tragedy.

But so is distortion of the truth. The number of staged incidents we've seen from the Pentagon so far have given everyone a tinfoil hat wearer's license good for the next 6 years.

It will be interesting if this holds up.
posted by inksyndicate at 7:44 AM on May 1, 2005


PinkStainlessTail, I apologize and do indeed agree with you.
posted by zsazsa at 8:05 AM on May 1, 2005


Sometimes this Samir guy hides his identity, other times he boasts. He let the U.S. army visit his home, but he is afraid of the images getting out. Yet he's clearly posted them on the internet. There's just something fishy here.

Yeah, I had the same reaction.

"It's largely because of the photos that Samir insists his last name not be used for this article. He's afraid that extremists loyal to Saddam, or opposed to the U.S. invasion, will retaliate against him..."

He's not that hard to find: "He still wears his everyday uniform, a black tracksuit and Air Jordan sneakers, and works out daily at Bally's in Clayton."
posted by ericb at 8:59 AM on May 1, 2005


Did anyone else imagine Samir from Office Space getting really angry at the printer while reading this story? Just me? Ok.
posted by blendor at 9:02 AM on May 1, 2005


My name is Samir.
You killed my uncle.
Prepare to get punched in the mouth.
posted by aaronetc at 9:05 AM on May 1, 2005


Oh ... and to be sure ... just look for "Samir's green BMW 740" in the parking lot. You can also pick him out - as his personal trainer is Jeff "Bulldog" Gannon. Easy to spot!
posted by ericb at 9:09 AM on May 1, 2005


It's getting harder to believe what we hear in press accounts these days.

Runaway bride - hoax!

Buried treasure - hoax!

Sprinkle liberally!
posted by ericb at 9:13 AM on May 1, 2005



I guess I would like to think that soldiers from the U.S. would never beat or abuse a prisoner. It's naive, but it was an illusion I harbored in childhood, something that made me proud.


Right, because the "truth" is totally dependant on what you'd like to believe.

Anyway, the story seems mostly-true to me. He might have changed or miss-remembered the dialog a little bit, but it seems totally reasonable. As far as not meshing with Arab cultural expectations, well, the guy has lived in the US for years.
posted by delmoi at 9:43 AM on May 1, 2005


Also, he was not a member of the military, he was a contractor. So you're precious belief that the military wouldn't beat up a prisoner doesn’t have to be ruined (which we already know is false anyway c.f. abu garab).
posted by delmoi at 9:49 AM on May 1, 2005


Whatever. I heard the teacher from Snoopy in my head when reading both the article and most of the thread.
posted by raysmj at 10:44 AM on May 1, 2005


or "Peanuts," but you know . . . Whaaa whhhaaa waaah
posted by raysmj at 10:44 AM on May 1, 2005


As someone who was and is completely opposed to the US invasion of Iraq, I'd say that Saddam getting punched in the nose by someone whose family he killed is fine by me. Saddam is an evil man and will never get the punishments he deserves. The laws should prevent this from happening but we know that the system has broken down so if someone is going to get illegally abused, it might as well be a murderous dictator like Saddam. And a punch in the face is nothing in the scale of things.

However, I found Samir to be quite unconvincing (right off, if he was worried about people coming and killing him, then why the photographs?) and I couldn't really read the article after a bit. I have no opinions over whether any specific part of his story is true or not, I'm just sure he's an unreliable witness, so I have limited interest.

Next!
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:00 AM on May 1, 2005


Metafilter:




Yes we can. See?
posted by saysthis at 11:05 AM on May 1, 2005


Oh, look at the pretty flag. It's red.

[milk... exits... nose...]
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:10 AM on May 1, 2005


I take it the reward money is in the post.
posted by sgt.serenity at 11:28 AM on May 1, 2005


If even one Iraqi gets to punch the mouth of the man who caused him so much misery, then his 600,000 countrymen will not have died in vain.

Because we can vicariously enjoy that punch, and that's what counts.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:32 PM on May 1, 2005


It's largely because of the photos that Samir insists his last name not be used for this article.

I suppose if one wanted to find a mechanic named Samir in St. Louis -- with picture in hand -- it would be difficult...
posted by pwedza at 1:24 PM on May 1, 2005


I guess I would like to think that soldiers from the U.S. would never beat or abuse a prisoner. It's naive, but it was an illusion I harbored in childhood, something that made me proud.

Right, because the "truth" is totally dependant on what you'd like to believe.
So you're precious belief that the military wouldn't beat up a prisoner... [blah blah blah]


Um, he acknowledged that it was naive and an illusion. What's with the assholeish tone? Or are you just trying to feel superior?
posted by Stauf at 1:54 PM on May 1, 2005


I'm with you, kyra. Punching someone is wrong, regardless of whether that person is Saddam Hussein, Mother Theresa, or in a persistent vegetative state. Just because someone else is a dick doesn't mean you should be. Is it understandable? Sure. But still wrong.
posted by dame at 2:40 PM on May 1, 2005


wrong, regardless of whether that person is Saddam Hussein, Mother Theresa

I'll bet that Mother Theresa would have punched Saddam given the chance.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 4:13 PM on May 1, 2005


I'll bet that Mother Theresa would have punched Saddam given the chance.

I'll bet that Mother Theresa would have washed Samir's mouth out with soap first:

"I began cussing at him, calling him a motherfucker, a son-of-a-bitch -- you name it... I told him that I was going to fuck him up the ass. That we were all going to fuck him up the ass."

And you kiss your mother with that mouth, Samir?
posted by cup at 6:10 PM on May 1, 2005


I found it disturbing that Samir would punch and threaten a prisoner in his custody.

While Samir's punch in the face and Saddam's tattooing foreheads, cutting off ears or putting people in plastic shredders feet first differ greatly in quantity, the quality is the same.

When Samir tortured his defenseless prisoner, he took a small step closer to the man that massacred his family and a giant leap toward perpetuating the violence to which so many have lost lives, limbs and loved ones.
posted by cup at 7:22 PM on May 1, 2005


This is so cool! Because, you know, I really like our modern heroes to glorify violence and anal rape! Damn, this makes that Gandhi guy seem so out of date!

I think I need another fix of that thread where numerous Mefites tell us that child molesters should be tortured! I'm so happy to be a member of the civilised, educated, rational part of humanity!
posted by Decani at 3:17 AM on May 2, 2005


I guess I would like to think that soldiers from the U.S. would never beat or abuse a prisoner. It's naive, but it was an illusion I harbored in childhood, something that made me proud.

I would have liked to think that during the Cold War, the Soviets were wrong about us. And here we are talking about the preemptive use of nuclear force...
posted by dreamsign at 9:00 PM on May 4, 2005


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