Join 3,558 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


U.S. soldiers videotaped desecrating Taliban corpses.
October 20, 2005 3:18 AM   Subscribe

U.S. soldiers videotaped desecrating Taliban corpses. The bodies were positioned to face Mecca and burned -- an act of desecration that violates Islamic burial rites and the Geneva Conventions. A U.S. PsyOps specialist broadcast an inflammatory message to the nearby town in order to incite an attack. "Attention, Taliban, you are all cowardly dogs. You allowed your fighters to be laid down facing west and burned. You are too scared to come down and retrieve their bodies. This just proves you are the lady boys we always believed you to be."
The video aired last night in Australia, but hasn't surfaced yet in the U.S. It won't be long, though.. "Wow, look at the blood coming out of the mouth on that one, fucking straight death metal."
posted by insomnia_lj (237 comments total)

 
last link won't work if you open it directly... copy&paste URL into new browser window for it to work
posted by slater at 3:21 AM on October 20, 2005


Gasp. (not finding any words at the moment)
posted by nostrada at 3:26 AM on October 20, 2005


Fear not people. Abu Ghraib shows that the system works. In mere years, we will see some braindead grunts in jail for following their superiors' orders.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:30 AM on October 20, 2005


Ah, straight out of the book How to piss off just about everyone.

FFS, they're in a Muslim country and they basically insult the entire population. This won't end well. If ever.
posted by bouncebounce at 3:31 AM on October 20, 2005


Fuckers.

Any wonder why the rest of the world hates your "freedom".
posted by twistedonion at 3:32 AM on October 20, 2005


It could be quite a bit issue for those countries that have thousands of troops in Afghanistan besides the U.S., such as the Australians, British, Germans, Canadians, French, Norwegians, etc.

Not only do most of these nations not want to associate with such actions, there's also the risk to their own soldiers because of U.S. actions.

If the U.S. incite the locals to attack, odds are good that the Taliban won't ask first whether the person they're attacking is an American or not.
posted by insomnia_lj at 3:34 AM on October 20, 2005


Great, fucking great.

Thanks, Bush.

/burns passport

Who me? I'm Canadian.
posted by Deathalicious at 3:35 AM on October 20, 2005


Regarding the war in Afghanistan - I was not against it because I thought it was unjustified. I was against it because, on the available evidence, I thought the US military was incompetent.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:37 AM on October 20, 2005


To be fair, the journalist who shot the footage says he believes the bodies were burned for hygine reasons only, and the whole desecration angle was added for the broadcasts only for the express purpose of trying to draw the Taliban out.

It's not nice, but I'm sure fighting in Afghanistan isn't a bundle of laughs at the best of times, but this isn't anything like the shit at Abu Ghraib or the desecrating of the Koran at Guantanamo. Mkaing up stories to piss your enemy off is par for the course, shurely.
posted by ciderwoman at 3:38 AM on October 20, 2005


What's "interesting" -- if you can call it that -- is that they did this openly in front of an embedded Australian reporter. Makes you wonder just how common such behavior is.

The transcript also shows that they filmed U.S. troops threatening collective arrests and action against the entire village... despite that, nobody wanted to cooperate with them.

All is not well in Afghanistan.
posted by insomnia_lj at 3:38 AM on October 20, 2005


From last year - widely ignored.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:39 AM on October 20, 2005


It's not that they're stupid enough to do this that surprises me - it's that they're stupid enough to allow themselves being filmed.
Everyone really wants their 15 minutes don't they? Bring.It.On.

on preview: ciderwoman, if the bodies were being burned for hygiene issues why was it necessary to broadcast an inflammatory message at the same time?
posted by oh pollo! at 3:40 AM on October 20, 2005


he believes the bodies were burned for hygine reasons only

I don't think the Geneva Convention has a get-out clause for when you're too tired to dig a grave...
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:41 AM on October 20, 2005


the whole desecration angle was added for the broadcasts only for the express purpose of trying to draw the Taliban out

Unfortunately, when this gets publicised, it will be drawing people out in Iraq, Palestine and probably North London...
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:45 AM on October 20, 2005


"To be fair, the journalist who shot the footage says he believes the bodies were burned for hygine reasons only..."

That's not what he said, exactly.

He said he believed the soldiers who burned the bodies apparently thought it was being done for hygene reasons. Clearly though, they obviously received orders from a commanding officer to do the work.

Their PsyOps person was apparently the senior officer on site. He clearly knew the full implications of what they were doing, and it was his duty to stop it. He also knew how to speak Arabic, unlike the lower-ranking soldiers in question.
posted by insomnia_lj at 3:46 AM on October 20, 2005


Weren't those other abu ghraib pictures supposed to come out soon? The ones the govt. is/was fighting tooth & nail to keep under wraps?
posted by slater at 3:47 AM on October 20, 2005


on preview: ciderwoman, if the bodies were being burned for hygiene issues why was it necessary to broadcast an inflammatory message at the same time?


I suggest you watch the interview with the cameraman in the second link if you want ananswer to that.

And PG, I'm not condoning the fact they burned rather than buried the bodies, I'm saying that to do so for hygine and to do so for no other reason than to deliberatly offend a religion are two entirely different things. The desecrating of the Koran in Abu Ghraib was done for one reason and one reason only, it would be offensive to the religion of the detainees. This was done for a different reason. They're just not on a par with each other.

On preview, Insomnia, if you're going to come out with statemets like "Clearly though, they obviously received orders from a commanding officer to do the work" you really need to back them up, otherwise it's not clear, it's just your interpretation.

And if you haven't, I really suggest watching the interview clip rather than just read the transcript of the video, becuase he plays the burning down much more in the interview.
posted by ciderwoman at 3:52 AM on October 20, 2005


oh pollo! : "ciderwoman, if the bodies were being burned for hygiene issues why was it necessary to broadcast an inflammatory message at the same time?"

ciderwoman : "the whole desecration angle was added for the broadcasts only for the express purpose of trying to draw the Taliban out."
posted by Bugbread at 3:54 AM on October 20, 2005


Insert Godwin statement here.

Jesus F'ing Christ.
This is like some weird recruitment campaign for the enemy.

How stupid can these people actually be? Can they really be so shortsighted?
posted by Espoo2 at 3:57 AM on October 20, 2005


Since when is being shot the night before necessarily a need for bodies to be burnt the next day, especially given that the video was recorded just a few weeks ago? High teperatures for Afghanistan at this time of year tend to be in the upper 70s.

As the article says "Islam requires burial within 24 hours." Why hadn't these bodies been buried earlier or turned over to local authorities for burial? One obvious answer springs to mind, especially when our soldiers accused locals/insurgents/Taliban of being "too scared to retrieve their bodies".

Odds on, the bodies were being used as bait.
posted by insomnia_lj at 3:59 AM on October 20, 2005


Now wait a minute. Don't compare this to Abu Gharib. This is about soldiers defending themselves in the field. "Fuck with us and this is what happens to you."

In response to attacks on their soldiers, truely brutal regimes would round up innocent civilians, put them against a wall, and shoot them by the hundreds. This is the baseline against which this atrocity has to be measured. If desecrating a few dead bodies sends a message to the enemy that results in fewer dead soldiers, then do it. Sorry, but this doesn't even come close to pegging my outrage meter.

Do not compare Afghanistan and the Taliban to Iraq and Saddam Hussein. The Taliban are not Iraqis - they are the bastards that provided aid and comfort to Osama bin Laden and his gang of terrorists who attacked New York and the Pentagon. They are still hiding Osama bin Laden and helping him to avoid justice.

Payback is a bitch.
posted by three blind mice at 4:06 AM on October 20, 2005


If the bodies aren't going back to the victims' families, why should we give a shit if they're not handled in the way dictated by your enemy's superstitions? Just get rid of them. Corpses are medical waste.

The bragging about it over a loudspeaker to draw out enemies does seem a little shortsighted when there's a reporter nearby, though. But enough fake indignation that the soldiers aren't respecting the wishes of people that they killed in the first place.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:09 AM on October 20, 2005


If the bodies aren't going back to the victims' families, why should we give a shit if they're not handled in the way dictated by your enemy's superstitions?

Because it's the Law. Whether the bodies were desecrated for the same reasons that prisoners were abused in Abu Gharib is irrelevant - the end impression on the Muslim world will be the same.

Payback is a bitch.

Yes, yes it will be.
posted by oh pollo! at 4:18 AM on October 20, 2005


Mayor Curley : "The bragging about it over a loudspeaker to draw out enemies does seem a little shortsighted when there's a reporter nearby"

My personal phrasing would be this: "The bragging about it over a loudspeaker to draw out enemies does seem a little shortsighted when the ultimate goal is a reduction in the number of terrorists". I don't think what the military is doing is wrong on some high moral ground, but I do think it seems counterproductive in the extreme.
posted by Bugbread at 4:20 AM on October 20, 2005


insert mad, enraged, indignant, seething, furious comment here:

_____________________________________________
posted by recurve at 4:22 AM on October 20, 2005


Phew, it's just as well the only fundamentalist Muslims in the world are in the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Because otherwise this would stir the shit.
Wouldn't it.
posted by NinjaPirate at 4:23 AM on October 20, 2005


hail to the new world order !
posted by Substrata at 4:25 AM on October 20, 2005


Payback is a bitch.

Ignorance is a habit.
posted by srboisvert at 4:29 AM on October 20, 2005


"Lady boys," eh? I guess "girlie men" didn't quite translate.
posted by schoolgirl report at 4:30 AM on October 20, 2005


In response to attacks on their soldiers, truely brutal regimes would round up innocent civilians, put them against a wall, and shoot them by the hundreds.

So that makes pretty much anything short of shooting hundreds of innocents acceptable? Utterly specious logic.

If desecrating a few dead bodies sends a message to the enemy that results in fewer dead soldiers, then do it.

You may have failed to notice but the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are supposedly part of a war on terrorism. While it may be argued that this labelling is a simplistic attempt to validate multiple essentially separate actions by the US, from the muslim perspective, there are many who appear to think that the fronts opened by the US and its allies are attacks on Islam. That is, while the war on terrorism may or may not be global, the potential for new sources of terrorists may be, if not global at least international. Certainly there would appear to be enough potential terrorists willing to take violent action against allied forces across the muslim world and beyond to justify consideration of the effects these kind of acts can have across the muslim world. So, do the actions of these soldiers act to reduce the risk to soldiers (and indeed civilians) or do they increase them on global basis? It is far too simplistic to consider the immediate effects alone.
posted by biffa at 4:32 AM on October 20, 2005


"Do not compare Afghanistan and the Taliban to Iraq and Saddam Hussein. The Taliban are not Iraqis"

True, however it doesn't work the other way around.
I'm certain that previously disinterested people are already saying "This was perpetrated by the USA. The same USA who commited atrocities in Abu Ghraib. The same USA who are holding prisoners indefinitely and subject to torture in Cuba. The USA is attacking Muslims everywhere."
The conclusion to this reasoning is left to the reader as an exercise.
posted by NinjaPirate at 4:33 AM on October 20, 2005


"...truely brutal regimes would round up innocent civilians, put them against a wall, and shoot them by the hundreds. This is the baseline against which this atrocity has to be measured."

No, that's just another example of 'they did it first and worse' justification of what should not be justified.

It's interesting to see who trots out the "the US isn't as bad as them" angle first.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 4:36 AM on October 20, 2005


"Now wait a minute. Don't compare this to Abu Gharib. This is about soldiers defending themselves in the field. "Fuck with us and this is what happens to you."

The soldiers at Abu Ghraib were mortared regularly, often several times a day. Presumably, they also felt "Fuck with us and this is what happens to you."

That said, both those soldiers at Abu Ghraib those soldiers behind this desecration were, infact, soldiers. Both groups violated the Geneva Conventions and the The Law of Land Warfare in very significant ways, aided the enemy, and endangered their fellow soldiers.

Both should be held responsible for their actions.
posted by insomnia_lj at 4:36 AM on October 20, 2005


I never thought I'd see a month where we jumped the shark.
posted by VulcanMike at 4:42 AM on October 20, 2005


If desecrating a few dead bodies sends a message to the enemy that results in fewer dead soldiers, then do it.

Dumbass.

You have no idea do you? Have you ever been in a conflict situation? Taunting the enemy does not result in fewer dead soldiers, it results in more.

BRING.IT.ON.
posted by twistedonion at 4:44 AM on October 20, 2005


We jumped the shark about a year ago IIRC.
posted by ciderwoman at 4:47 AM on October 20, 2005


"In response to attacks on their soldiers, truely brutal regimes would round up innocent civilians, put them against a wall, and shoot them by the hundreds."

Obviously, we were letting them off easy by threatening collective punishment/arrests against the entire village. BTW, what makes you think that Afghani civilians who get thrown in jail are always treated humanely and are never tortured or killed?
posted by insomnia_lj at 4:49 AM on October 20, 2005


Taliban fighters bad. American army good. Ergo, everything American soldiers do to fight taliban fighters is good even if it's not. End of!

I don't even want to know anymore.
posted by funambulist at 4:57 AM on October 20, 2005


.
posted by DrDoberman at 5:00 AM on October 20, 2005


Taliban fighters bad. American army good

Or, according to some here, everything American army do bad. End of.

I have no desire to come across all pp, in fact I have been vehemently against the war in iraq from the outset and unsure on the one in Afghanistan, but it seems to me there are fights worth fighting, and this story just isn't one of them. Abu Ghraid, Guantanamo, different situations, different reasons, different results. This isn't great, but it's really not all that, and certainly not the end of the world as some of the posts have inferred.

I'd put money on Abu Ghraib still being talked about long after this has disappeared.
posted by ciderwoman at 5:07 AM on October 20, 2005


I know I should care about this, but I seem to be suffering from an onset of acute outrage fatigue.
posted by alumshubby at 5:23 AM on October 20, 2005


I don't know ciderwoman, this is not "everything", it's a specific act that incidentally happens to be violating laws of war -- I know the Geneva conventions are toilet paper by now but you know, at least for the sake of appearances -- and, pesky ethical principles aside, can be argued to be completely pointless if not counterproductive.

No it's nowhere as bad as Abu Ghraib but so are many other things that are still wrong, pointless, and violating some law.

Even when the Abu Ghraib scandal came out, some people reacted by saying "well it's not as bad as" something worse, so if we argue by that standard nothing is bad cos there's always something shittier being done somewhere else.
posted by funambulist at 5:29 AM on October 20, 2005


It also heightens the perception of local people that the Americans are just as barbarous as the Taliban say they are.
Australian troops operate out of the same army base and in the eyes of the locals, as members of the same coalition, there is no distinction between American and Australian forces.
This is what happened in Afghanistan the last time American soldiers were accused of mocking Islam. In May this year, reports that the Koran had been desecrated in Guantanamo Bay sparked unrest in the eastern city of Jalalabad. Rioters forced the foreign aid community to flee and destroyed their offices and vehicles.

posted by funambulist at 5:35 AM on October 20, 2005


And in the grand scheme, ciderwoman, this may not be "the end of the world" -- but given the climate we've created through Abu and Rumsfeld's public disdain for the Geneva Conventions, we can expect many more of these small events that will eventually form -- perhaps not the end of the world -- but at least an epidemic problem both with our military standards and with our world image.

If we freak out about this one, and the few coming up, perhaps we'll see a higher-level change. If we brush these off, we'll be quite behind when people finally decicde they care.
posted by VulcanMike at 5:35 AM on October 20, 2005


"This isn't great, but it's really not all that, and certainly not the end of the world as some of the posts have inferred."

Except that if any violation of human rights isn't worth fighting, then none are. Acceptance of this sort of incident, even if it's acceptance by inaction, only legitimizes it. It raises the bar for what's unacceptable. It certainly makes the US claims to be morally better than those that they're fighting mean nothing.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 5:36 AM on October 20, 2005


How odd. After seeing this link all over yesterday, it only seemed appropriate that insomnia_lj would latch on and use this in his "I really need one issue to get myself noticed" spiel. Got to hand it to him, he sticks to that one issue: war is hell. Thank you, Captain Obvious.

In typical fashion, he's a day late and a dollar short. Not to mention the simple regurgitation of the original link (no additional research?), plus the added bonus of a blog-link as proof positive backup. Of course, the blog-link is already farked.

Unfortunately, 98.5% of Americans really don't give a shit what happens to the Taliban, Qaedas or Baathists. They really don't.

Frontline, Dateline or Convoy of Death. I've watched it all. Seen the pictures, heard the accounts. Yet I still don't see nationwide outrage out on the streets. Or at the ballot box.

Now if you were to write a FPP about innocent little American soldier girls giving bj's to Polish commandos over in the desert for $50, then, and only then, will you have a story....
posted by jsavimbi at 5:36 AM on October 20, 2005


Three additional photos of the incident have been passed on to me. NSFW. Please don't hotlink, but distribute freely.

1, 2, 3
posted by insomnia_lj at 5:37 AM on October 20, 2005


Add another item to the list of things that the US government deems acceptable but if done to the US or its citizens -- indefinite internment by a foreign power without charge, torture of prisoners, targeting and killing of the family of a head of state, etc. etc. -- would cause news headlines, public outrage and furious statements from the President.
posted by Hogshead at 5:39 AM on October 20, 2005


"I'd put money on Abu Ghraib still being talked about long after this has disappeared."

I would hope that Abu Ghraib doesn't become the standard by which we should begin to give a rat's ass.

If that's the case, then we are *SO* doomed.
posted by insomnia_lj at 5:42 AM on October 20, 2005


"Fuck with us and this is what happens to you."

I'm no expert, but I think anything that was willing to be cowed by threats in Afghanistan either fled or died long ago.

18 years of bloody occupation, then civil war. To them, the US is just another Soviet Union.
posted by spazzm at 5:48 AM on October 20, 2005


jsavimbi - I hadn't seen or heard anything of this until i_lj posted. Can you pass on any further sources/reports?

Also, don't forget to flag this thread to register your discontent before fucking off and finding another place to stand and spit.
posted by NinjaPirate at 5:53 AM on October 20, 2005


I can honestly say it is hard for me to be worked up over this when I know many things that are more egregious are happening as we speak that no one will report on.

Having said that, I don't think the US can afford any bad press and their should be a very strong message from above that clearly states no violations of the Geneva Convention will be tolerated.
posted by sultan at 5:55 AM on October 20, 2005


Except that if any violation of human rights isn't worth fighting, then none are

Dipsomaniac, you're missing my point. Violation of human rights most certainly are worth fighting for. When they are deliberatly infringed such as has happened at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, they cause justifiable outrage.

However, the reporter says this (the burning) was done for hygenic reasons. It may well not have been, but we don't know, and we can never know. So all we have is a reporter saying this was why they were burnt.

Yes, this can be interpreted as going against the geneva convention (which, AFAIK, allows for burning for hygenic reasons), but while it is in a) a combat situation, b) not clear in it's causes, it will remain nothing more than a footnote.

The desecration of the Koran is a completely different matter. There is no other explanation for why this happened, so a debate on human rights is valid. This has many explanations, indeed the one given by the only eyewitness whose testimony we have says that it was not done for offensive reasons so the other explanations go against our main source.

We are trying to have a debate on human rights when it is blantantly unclear whether human rights have been abused or not. Becuase there are so many cases where the US has blatantly abused human rights it seems a little pointless to get hung up on this one.
posted by ciderwoman at 5:59 AM on October 20, 2005


...the[re] should be a very strong message from above that clearly states no violations of the Geneva Convention will be tolerated.

Not likely.
posted by leapingsheep at 6:05 AM on October 20, 2005


Enough with the fraternity pranks.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:06 AM on October 20, 2005


well there goes the neighborhood.
posted by swinginjohn at 6:10 AM on October 20, 2005


Re: Slater's question re: the ACLU lawsuit to release more Abu Gharib photos - the Federal judge ordered the release on Sept 29th, but it'll be in appeal for untold months.

Or until everyone forgets, whichever comes first.
posted by bhance at 6:16 AM on October 20, 2005


I caught the end of an interview with the embedded reporter on the same show that broadcast the original report last night. The reason he understood the soldiers were committing such inflammatory acts was to deliberately inflame the locals/Taliban to attack the US soldiers. Simply, if the Taliban don't attack them they cannot kill them, as they are part of local community and the soldiers cannot get at them...
posted by Onanist at 6:19 AM on October 20, 2005


After seeing this link all over yesterday, it only seemed appropriate that insomnia_lj would latch on and use this in his "I really need one issue to get myself noticed" spiel. Got to hand it to him, he sticks to that one issue: war is hell. Thank you, Captain Obvious.

In all fairness, he has two. Hurricanes! You forgot hurricanes...
posted by justgary at 6:20 AM on October 20, 2005


Ciderwoman, the reporter does not say that the bodies were burnt for hygiene reasons. He says he was told this but "the explanation was unbelievable."
posted by oh pollo! at 6:21 AM on October 20, 2005


Why does the Australian media hate Freedom?
posted by Nelson at 6:23 AM on October 20, 2005


Not to be the moral buzzkill, but those weren't "bodies" that were being burned, they were people, PEOPLE! Yes, war leads to horrible behavior, yes, US soldiers have the short end of the stick at culpability time. But this is administration mandated, from the top down behavior. If those bodies were American soldiers, burned in the desert, and filmed with the message "Where's your Messiah Now?!" This country would go positively ape-shit and bomb Mexico out of spite. Sure, the Taliban are the bad guys, but don't forget who let them rise to power in the first place.
posted by hautenegro at 6:25 AM on October 20, 2005


This seems like a terrorist-generating activity, not a terrorist-reducing one.
posted by mecran01 at 6:26 AM on October 20, 2005


oh pollo!, that really doesn't change things. The fact is that it was done for a reason (or at least he was told it was done for a reason) that contradicts much of the outrage shown here, and we will never be able to show in any way that this is not correct.

My point has always been that there can be no explanation possible for desecrating the Koran in Abu Ghraib other than to offend the prisoners religion. Here there is an explanation. Whether you want to believe it or not is nothing more than a dog chasing its tail. Unless one of the soldiers suddenly admits they did this for reasons purely of outrage, then what are we here to debate?
posted by ciderwoman at 6:29 AM on October 20, 2005


oh pollo!: Technically, we don't know that those were the reporters at the scene, who gave that response. I'm pretty sure this was a deliberate act, but there is margin for error.
posted by Swandive at 6:29 AM on October 20, 2005


Absolutely disgusting. The war on terror has sput out of control - the leadership at the top is not running this campaign with any kind of foresight or strategic awareness and they are giving the Islamists exactly the kind of propaganda that they need. This is exactly the type of shit Osama Bin Laden (remember him?) wants. It helps his efforts for creating a larger war between Islam and the West.

Great post.
posted by rks404 at 6:36 AM on October 20, 2005


oh pollo! It's just a few bad apples who taunted the soldiers about their dead comrades.

It's better to burn their corpses in (insert name of middle eastern country where our last atrocity has occurred) than to have to burn their corpses on the streets of Cleveland.

They hate our freedom!

Mushroom cloud! We don't want to see mushroom clouds!!!
posted by leftcoastbob at 6:37 AM on October 20, 2005


Unless one of the soldiers suddenly admits they did this for reasons purely of outrage, then what are we here to debate?

You're right, in so far as no one here will ever know the whole truth, which requires context (that is, being there).

But the debate is really about how we got to this point, where we have such low moral credibility that such revelations are so incredibly damaging.

War is hell--we all know that. War in the age of the internet will always involve leaks of things that were in past time easier to keep out of the public eye. But that's all the more reason that the idea of following "rules of war", however oxymoronic that may sound, is so important.
posted by mondo dentro at 6:38 AM on October 20, 2005


Mushroom cloud! We don't want to see mushroom clouds!!!

Yeah, but the problem is, we're still on track for one. In fact, these treasonous fucks have made it more likely--because they want it that way.
posted by mondo dentro at 6:40 AM on October 20, 2005


ciderwoman: "Here there is an explanation..."

Right, you just keep telling yourself that.
posted by prostyle at 6:41 AM on October 20, 2005


Prostyle, if you want to emulate the quonsar one liner you have to try a little harder.

It's an explanation given by people who were there, therefore it has validity. More so than your half ass attempt at wit.
posted by ciderwoman at 6:44 AM on October 20, 2005


Mushroom cloud! We don't want to see mushroom clouds!!!

Yeah, but the problem is, we're still on track for one. In fact, these treasonous fucks have made it more likely--because they want it that way.
posted by mondo dentro


This is the part that I don't understand. Is Bush trying to hasten Armageddon? Whatever happened to the Christianity that taught, "That which you do to the least of my brethren..." Has the US been taken over by some bizzare parallel-universe sort of Christian cult?
posted by leftcoastbob at 6:47 AM on October 20, 2005


So some folks "mistreated" some dead bodies. Big blipping deal. They were DEAD. No longer alive == not people anymore. It's about time people got over such superstitions.

Feel free to do whatever you want to my corpse. I won't care, I won't be there anymore.
posted by davy at 6:47 AM on October 20, 2005



ciderwoman: "It's an explanation given by people who were there, therefore it has validity."

I understand you think that the explanation is good enough for you, but for the majority of us here (and, i'd presume, anyone with a conscience) it is not satisfactory. Go ahead, keep on posting your marginalizing remarks and assuming my posts are some inflammatory meta-commentary with no sincerity and can be written off as such. I don't really care.
posted by prostyle at 6:53 AM on October 20, 2005


Porstyle, it was a reply to a glib one liner from yourself. Post a decent argument rather than trying to be clever and you'll get a lot more respect.

And to be honest, if the majority here are going to have an argument whilst ignoring original sources that disagree with them then it really is just a big circle jerk.

If you read my posts you will see that I am no fan of the war. However, a lot of posts here are making assumptions for which they have no evidence merely to forward their own argument which is lazy, dangerous, and not in the spirit of the blue.
posted by ciderwoman at 6:58 AM on October 20, 2005


three_blind_mice, most Afghanis are NOT Taliban. Most were not Taliban even when the Taliban was in power. You know, like most Americans are not responsible for the evil deeds of the Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton and/or Bush II administrations. If you disagree, please tell me which U.S. misdeed YOU would like to be held accountable for. (Take your time researching 'cuz there are so many U.S. sins to choose from.)
posted by davy at 7:01 AM on October 20, 2005


If those bodies were American soldiers, burned in the desert, and filmed with the message "Where's your Messiah Now?!"

Right. Anyone remember the *OUTRAGE GRAAAA* that precipitated after the US contractor got burned and filmed in what was basically a public lynching in Fallujah? This was after Abu Gharab, of course, but whatever. IIRC it resulted in a pretty grim fate for Fallujah, so it obviously didn't have the effect that the insurgents intended.

Why would you think that the reaction of Muslims would be more measured then our own army and publics' reaction to the American's desecration?

But I'm sure all you people who thought that this was perfectly fine with the Fallujah Lynching. Right?

(for the record, while I find body desecration by anyone distasteful I don't find it particularly outrageous in that it does not get me all outraged. But I do value consistency.)
posted by delmoi at 7:09 AM on October 20, 2005


Wilma, you better hurry up before the news channels pick up on this!
posted by Harry at 7:10 AM on October 20, 2005


Two separate things, the burning of the corpses with an embedded reporter present could have a straighforward explanation, but the use of the images to PsyOps the enemy for whatever reason seems to me to be clearly sending a message. "you might think we will observe the moral high ground but if that doesn't serve our purpose we will treat you like this"
So the US army is using the lowest common denominator to fight this "war on Terr" as fighting on conventional grounds is impossible in these scenarios.
I echo Alumshubby's fatigue. What do we really expect? There is no-one to reign the USA in and US voters have expressed their opinion.
posted by Wilder at 7:11 AM on October 20, 2005


So some folks "mistreated" some dead bodies. Big blipping deal. They were DEAD. No longer alive == not people anymore. It's about time people got over such superstitions.

I'm sure you said the same thing about the American contractors that were ambushed in Baghdad, shot, burned, and strung up from that bridge. Right?
posted by odinsdream at 7:13 AM on October 20, 2005


You know, like most Americans are not responsible for the evil deeds of the Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton and/or Bush II administrations. If you disagree, please tell me which U.S. misdeed YOU would like to be held accountable for. (Take your time researching 'cuz there are so many U.S. sins to choose from.)

You're responsible for every single one of them if you are American. That is the price of democracy.
posted by srboisvert at 7:14 AM on October 20, 2005


Islamic death rites call for burial, and cremation could "be quite close to signifying putting the dead into a horrible punishment."

All is not well in Afghanistan.

No, it's not. The Taliban "have proven access to what are believed to be Russian and Chinese-made surface-to-air missiles (SAMs). They have downed several US aircraft." American military casualties have gone up every year we've been in Afghanistan. We've lost 92 men and women this year, compared to 52 last year and 47 the year before that. Winners in the recent elections include a warlord and a former Taliban governor.

If desecrating a few dead bodies sends a message to the enemy that results in fewer dead soldiers, then do it.

Would you say the same thing about the descration of American military bodies in Moghadishu and Fallujah?
posted by kirkaracha at 7:14 AM on October 20, 2005


I agree with you Davy. To add; from the point of view of a non-USian, you guys are all starting to look collectively responsible.

Please stop. Or at the very least, don't expect sympathy when the hoodoo comes.
posted by fingerbang at 7:16 AM on October 20, 2005


NinjaPirate, sorry I couldn't stick around, but one has to get to work.

Wed October 19, 2005, 11:00 hours was the time stamp on Totalfark yesterday. That's when I first saw it. And it continued to be submitted throughout the entire day.

I certainly do not condone said activities. Equally so, I don't recall seeing any outraged insomnia_lj post whenever someone gets their head cut off, or their mutilated and burned body is dragged through the street behind a howling mob, or someone finds an insurgent jail that reminds one of a medieval torture chamber. He never seems to have a blog-link to someone who was kidnapped, tortured, etc. by insurgents, terrorists, whathaveyou. Very odd.

No, he restricts his posts to American atrocities, real or perceived. And his batting average isn't very good so far. Kind of one-sided, IMO. Not to mention his lack of timeliness, lack of research or constant pontification:

If that's the case, then we are *SO* doomed.


Yawner. Nobody likes a preacher.
posted by jsavimbi at 7:16 AM on October 20, 2005


"The fact is that it was done for a reason (or at least he was told it was done for a reason) that contradicts much of the outrage shown here, and we will never be able to show in any way that this is not correct."

The bodies were freshly killed the evening before, U.S. troops no doubt evac'ed their own KIA and the friendly Afghani, but the bodies were left there, and apparently no effort was made the next morning to deliver them to the nearby village or have locals pick up the bodies, when they went through the place. Instead, the bodies were turned to face towards Mecca and burned, supposedly for health reasons... nevermind that it was in early October and temperatures this time of year there are usually no higher than the upper 70s.

Bodies are buried all the time when found well past 24 hours after the fact in far harsher conditions, but you seem to think that the bodies of our enemies should be disrespected. Fortunately, CENTCOM, who know how harmful this can be to their cause, don't feel the same way about this that you do. Neither do most soldiers.

You, however, are free to blindly support your ideology any way you will... and when the soldiers responsible for this episode are charged and convicted, you should be sure to eat some crow... assuming you haven't moved on to the next talking point and have forgotten your unconditional, loving support for those who disgraced themselves and endangered their fellow soldiers.
posted by insomnia_lj at 7:18 AM on October 20, 2005


Is Bush trying to hasten Armageddon?

I believe the answer is yes, but not consciously. This particular infestation of faux Christianity is a form of mass psychosis (as were, by the way, fascism and nazism) that amounts to an emergent social expression of what Freud referred to as thanatos--the death "drive". Unfortunately, we're all along for the ride.

And a note to my Christian friends, just to be clear: I'm not talking about Christianity in general. Note the adjective "faux". If the shoe don't fit, please don't put it on!
posted by mondo dentro at 7:18 AM on October 20, 2005


jsavimbi, you're a troll. Trollytrollytroll. I fart in your face.
posted by insomnia_lj at 7:20 AM on October 20, 2005


I keep hearing arguments about the American government and how they handled the situation completely wrong.

I agree.

My friend just got back from Iraq. He is younger than me, which scares me. He was telling me how cool it was that he took down the sand nigger who almost killed him when they were ambushed outside of a major town.

I told him I was sorry he had to do that. He responded "yeah.. so what?" What I am saying is that the government put these kids out there... they didn't make them say killing someone was metal. There are young, impressionable youth out there who could carry a rifle. I know, because I almost became one of them. These acts become publicised in the hopes that we, the american people, can really understand what is going on. The vietnam conflict, for which I wasn't even born for, was shown for the disgrace to humanity that it was by photojournalism. Today, it seems Americans argue that such photos only aid the enemy. For this I cry for the future.
posted by Dean Keaton at 7:22 AM on October 20, 2005


He never seems to have a blog-link to someone who was kidnapped, tortured, etc. by insurgents, terrorists, whathaveyou. Very odd.

Perhaps that's because insomnia_lj isn't a participating citizen in a democracy that elected the leaders who are in control of said insurgents, terrorists, and whathaveyous.

Everyone picks their issues. Picking issues that are generated from a government that you participate in makes more sense than picking issues you have absolutely no control over. It can be argued that U.S. citizens have no control over their own government, but it's impossible to argue that U.S. citizens have more control over insurgent activity.
posted by odinsdream at 7:24 AM on October 20, 2005


"We had to burn the villagers in order to save them?"
posted by meehawl at 7:24 AM on October 20, 2005


jsavimbi, you're a troll. Trollytrollytroll. I fart in your face.

Ah, enlightened response. That's all you have? Please point out anything unfactual in my post. Or better yet, provide your own facts for once.

(and by "your own", I mean something original. I'll be here all day, so take your sweet time.)
posted by jsavimbi at 7:27 AM on October 20, 2005


You're responsible for every single one of them if you are American. That is the price of democracy.

To add; from the point of view of a non-USian, you guys are all starting to look collectively responsible.

Wow. I can understand the outrage, but some of the comments here are filled with such hate...

So, a 15 year old kid who is just trying to get through school is responsible? Someone who never voted for Bush, has protested against the war and tries to do whatever he can to help... he's responsible too?

By this logic, everyone in every country who in any way supported the war, provided logistics, or didn't fall on a sword in protest is also responsible.

Every single person in not only the US, but also England, Japan, and I'd better not forget Poland... all responsible for this and what? All must die? All must not feel horror if and when another terrorist attack strikes?

Will you sit back and laugh at the tv watching Americans die? Did you laugh at the London bombings? Madrid?

I would be shocked if I weren't so terrified. Really.
posted by AspectRatio at 7:32 AM on October 20, 2005


Why are we responsible for ensuring everyone's (living and dead) Islamic rights? Suicide bombing and executing women for adultery without witnesses is also against Islam, but who's complaining there?
posted by b_thinky at 7:34 AM on October 20, 2005


b_thinky, see my post above. Being outraged about everything everyone does is not useful. Being outraged about things that your own country does is useful, because we're a participatory democratic republic, where public opinion (theoretically) matters.
posted by odinsdream at 7:36 AM on October 20, 2005


This is eerily similar to the incident in Falluja where the Blackwater personnel were burned and strung up. One outrageous desecration deserves another I suppose.

Are we really trying to win this war? What the happened to "Hearts and Minds"? I'm quite sure those 'nearby villagers' completely loath Americans now. I would personally like to take those PsyOp fucks and pound their thick skulls.

Please follow this general rule: do not record your stupidity on videotape. If nothing else, this is a huge PR fuckup. It is unfortunate, in so many regards, that this is so much more then just a simple PR goof.
posted by kuatto at 7:37 AM on October 20, 2005


"Why are we responsible for ensuring everyone's (living and dead) Islamic rights? Suicide bombing and executing women for adultery without witnesses is also against Islam, but who's complaining there?"

Another one? Geesh, I thought we'd started to get away from the justification-by-worse-atrocity meme. Lots of people 'complained' there.

The US is responsible for enforcing human rights because they claim that they are, by being a signatory of the Geneva Convention (let's not get into Bush's "We invaded Iraq to save the people" reason). If you want to hold yourself up as a beacon of freedom and justice then you should expect to be held to that standard.

Just because other countries have let their responsibilities to their obligations lapse is no good reason for the US to follow suit.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 7:40 AM on October 20, 2005


You, however, are free to blindly support your ideology any way you will... assuming you haven't moved on to the next talking point and have forgotten your unconditional, loving support for those who disgraced themselves

Insomnia, we have both been around this place for a good number of years, and comments such as yours really do nothing to make me want to stay any longer.

If you bothered to actually read what I wrote you would see that I have no love of this situation at all, and have merely been trying to argue against generalisations some of the posts have made.

Mefi used to amaze me with the depth of some of its arguments, the trading of ideas, of facts and figures to back up argumenst. Trolling such as you have just demonstrated has more of a place on the sissyfight.com boards than it does here.

Finally, in case you really still don't get it, I have no sympathy for the American administration, or the wars it is fighting. Through my family I have many ties to the middle east, and what is going on there now sickens me. I find the abuse at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo horrific beyond words, and would press for full investigations and prosecution of all involved.

There are abuses being commited on a regualr basis by the allied forces as far as I can see, plenty of examples that can be used in arguments against violation of human rights in fact. Which is why the lazy reasoning, and just plain poor arguments here, go against what is needed, and as I stated, what the blue was always about.
posted by ciderwoman at 7:42 AM on October 20, 2005


odinsdream: That would be a fair point if we weren't taking shit from the whole world all the time for everything we do.

Americans have rights too, and one of our rights is to defend ourselves, which is exactly what we're doing in Afghanistan. We played nice and kissed ass for decades and look what happened in 2001. We have a right to fight back.

I don't know shit about combat or what's going on in Afghanistan, and I freely admit it, unlike pretty much anyone else on here who acts like a fucking Monday morning general. Afghans have been slaughtering each other for years, and probably not giving each other "proper Islamic burial rights" so a few guys getting torched isn't that big a deal.

If you want to control how you're buried, it's best to die in the company of loved ones, and not trying to kill a superior enemy.
posted by b_thinky at 7:48 AM on October 20, 2005


so why be there at all b_thinky?
posted by Dean Keaton at 7:50 AM on October 20, 2005


odinsdream, I agree with both of your posts, however I think that the real issue here is that insomnia_lj is a phony.

Plain and simple. His posts are all recycled, just look at his own site. I get better insight from Comedy Central. He's playing softball in hopes of getting scouted to the majors. Maybe he should try writing a diary on Dailykos. That would be laughable.

His outrage is fake, his arguments weak and his manhood cheap.
posted by jsavimbi at 7:52 AM on October 20, 2005


Oh yeah, just thought of another thing the emebedded reporter said in regards to his videotaping of the incident - something along the lines of: everything he saw, he believed the Americans wanted him to see. Why that would be the case in this particular instance, well, I can't think of a good reason. But it's not like the Americans could have simply forgotten about the long-haired Aussie journo with a videocamera standing beside them, is it?

Addendum: Ciderwoman, it's a bit "if you're not with us, you're against us" here sometimes... but don't worry, as per usual, it's only the idiots who make it feel like that (on both sides!)
posted by Onanist at 7:52 AM on October 20, 2005


Insomnia, do you do anything besides troll around for things to bitch about the military for? It gets old after the first 1000 times.

Here's what I don't understand. If you think stuff like this is SO bad, and will cause us SO much more trouble in the end, why do you call attention to it?

If we're travelling in a bus and you fart, most people aren't going to smell it. So why do you stand up and scream, "OH MY GOD I FARTED!!! IT STINKS!!! I FARTED!!!"?

IMO, the bitching is worse than the farting.
posted by b_thinky at 7:52 AM on October 20, 2005


No, he restricts his posts to American atrocities, real or perceived.

Presumably because he is an American, and has a right to expect better from his country. I don't think insomnia_lj or many of the rest of us has much of a say in what the government, quasi-governmental thugs, or mobs in Unpronouncistan do.

You may think that the the job of a patriot is to get outraged when other countries don't live up to our standards. But arguably it's the job of a patriot to get outraged when we ourselves don't live up to our standards; because that is something we have responsibility for.

That would be a fair point if we weren't taking shit from the whole world all the time for everything we do.

Talk about selective perceptions. America has been loved and admired and imitated around the world for much of the past century. We get shit from other people for a lot of reasons, some of them just and some not, but not for everything we do. We've been getting shit lately for doing ugly, nasty shit. So it sounds like people in those countries do just what you counsel people here to do; get outraged about what other countries are doing -- the other country in this case being us. So isn't it rather hypocritical of you to be offended by Americans who fail to focus their outrage on the behavior of people in other countries, while also being offended by people in other countries who do as you suggest?
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:54 AM on October 20, 2005


"That would be a fair point if we weren't taking shit from the whole world all the time for everything we do."

What I am trying to say is that why exactly do we take so much shit, and why has this amount of shit increased so much in the last 4 years? Do they hate us for no reason? Or were we (the proletarians, decent hardworking americans, whatever you want to call us) fooled yet again? Another bitter, endless war. Shit, I just started listening to Bill Hicks. I was too young to understand it, even 5 years ago. It sounds like a reflection of the current administration to me.
posted by Dean Keaton at 7:54 AM on October 20, 2005


It's time to re-frame the whole thing and stop calling it terrorism and the war on terror. 911 was a criminal act, and should have been dealt with as such instead of being hyper-inflated into whatever magical mystical wonderment it's become now.

The main effect of 911 has not been to terrorize but to offend America and provoke the country into displaying it's least attractive side to the rest of the world. When does America cease being offended by 911 and start acting rationally? Is 4 years enough yet?

Osama, sitting down there in his goat cave, must find nothing but validation in everything GWB has been doing since 911 starting right from "if yer not with us, yer agin' us" - he must have been very pleased to hear that little bit of genius.

Faux Christianity - uh huh, seems appropriate for a faux president no?
posted by scheptech at 7:58 AM on October 20, 2005


jsavimbi is complaining that we don't spend enough time complaining about random Islamic extremists and renegade Taleban, and instead focus our complaints on representatives of a democratically accountable government and permanent UN Security Council member. jsavimbi is retarded.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 7:59 AM on October 20, 2005


Insomnia, we have both been around this place for a good number of years, and comments such as yours really do nothing to make me want to stay any longer.

Right on ciderwoman. The lefty groupthink on Metafilter makes the blue more and more the mirror image of the Free Republic.

I was against the war in Iraq, but I - like the French and Germans - fully supported the war against the Taliban. Whilst the Bush administration has conflated the war in Afghanistan and Iraq into the Global War on Terror, I have not. The Taliban deserved a complete and thorough ass- whipping for their direct and indirect involvement in 9/11. They started this fight and I have no sympathy for what happens to them.

The war in Iraq, on the other hand, was and is a crime. More or less everything the US has done in Iraq is unjustified and undeserving.

Mixing the two conflicts together - as the Bush administration has done - is non sequitur. Pity that so many here in the blue have bought into this War on Terror fiction and see fit to mention Iraq and Afghanistan in the same sentence.
posted by three blind mice at 8:06 AM on October 20, 2005


Can the officer who ordered it for being a cultural ignoramus. From a humanitarian viewpoint, this really doesn't stand up there with torturing people. Yes, its going to piss off a bunch of Muslims, but I seriously doubt its going to unleash Saladin's hoardes upon the U.S. Maybe a small percentage of a percentage of people might reach for that trusty ol' suicide belt, but those people were going to end up doing it anyways.
posted by Atreides at 8:08 AM on October 20, 2005


jsavimbi is retarded.

Thanks Pretty_Generic!! It's been hypothesized before, yet never proven. But if you invoke the rule that arguing on the internet is like competing in the Special Olympics...

I never used the word "we". I pointed my crooked fingers at insomnia_lj specifically. Him. And him only. The phony pacifist.
posted by jsavimbi at 8:08 AM on October 20, 2005


insomnia_lj, just because your own trolling plays to the sympathies of a lot of folks around here doesn't make it any less ironic -- or immature -- when you post puerile junior-high-school crap like

"jsavimbi, you're a troll. Trollytrollytroll. I fart in your face."

I used to have a pretty high opinion of you for some of the stuff you'd posted previously, but you've pretty much gone and trashed it. I mean, if this is the level of discourse you think is appropriate, why should I take you seriously any more? Now you sound like some kind of bratty poser.
posted by alumshubby at 8:09 AM on October 20, 2005


Thanks Pretty_Generic!! It's been hypothesized before, yet never proven. But if you invoke the rule that arguing on the internet is like competing in the Special Olympics...

Everybody gets frenchfries?
posted by PantsOfSCIENCE at 8:17 AM on October 20, 2005


jsavimbi: "You're a phony! A big fat PHONY!"

Give it a break. Your mock outrage is embarrassing. There are more serious things at hand - like those bodies on fire.
posted by odinsdream at 8:21 AM on October 20, 2005


his manhood cheap.

Where does one go to get one's manhood valued? No, really, because I have no idea what was meant by this.
posted by biffa at 8:25 AM on October 20, 2005


There is no-one to reign the USA in and US voters have expressed their opinion.

This jumped right off the page for me. US voters elected Bush knowing full well the type of man he is. All comments to the effect of "don't blame me" kind of lost their tang after that election. I'm so tired of hearing USians seeking to escape blame. Quit defending yourself and do something about your incredibly f'd up government. And if your reply is 'I can't', then what kind of system are you living in?

We played nice and kissed ass for decades and look what happened in 2001.

Unbelievably ignorant. The sad part is it seems like most USians feel this way. Pick up a book or something. Turn your TV off. You are living in a fantasy world if you really believe this.
posted by stinkycheese at 8:26 AM on October 20, 2005


"Here's what I don't understand. If you think stuff like this is SO bad, and will cause us SO much more trouble in the end, why do you call attention to it?"

So it ideally will result in a change in minds, a change in policies, and so it ideally won't happen again. Maybe you can cite examples of how calculated ignorance would help our nation's policies... dunno.

But you're right... why bitch about dumbass policies that hurt our nation, when I can be more upbeat like you? Hell, if I work up a good enough charade, I just might be able to say the Feds did "a wonderful job" responding to Hurricane Katrina, and still find the time to blame the problems in the aftermath on all the people who chose to stay behind.

Thanks. I feel more chipper already!!
posted by insomnia_lj at 8:27 AM on October 20, 2005


Half the country tried, stinky.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:29 AM on October 20, 2005


There are more serious things at hand - like those bodies on fire. jsavimbi: "You're a phony! A big fat PHONY!"

Give it a break. Your mock outrage is embarrassing. There are more serious things at hand - like those bodies on fire.


Please don't put words in my mouth, thanks. And btw, bodies are cremated every day, all over the world. Nothing new.

Secondly, and for the last time: THE AMERICAN PUBLIC DOES NOT GIVE A RATS ASS ABOUT THE TALIBAN OR WHATEVER HAPPENS TO THEM.

If they did, they'd be up in arms over all of the talib who died incinerated from American bombs, asphixiated in truck containers, tortured to death by warlords, hung from lamp posts, frozen in jail cells or just plain old shot in the head. Where's the outrage? I see none, nor do I expect any.

Once again, insomnia_lj's dog refuses to bark.
posted by jsavimbi at 8:31 AM on October 20, 2005


If desecrating a few dead bodies sends a message to the enemy that results in fewer dead soldiers, then do it. - three blind mice

The problem is that it won't make any soldiers safer. It's not like these fighters are so afraid of having their bodies desecrated that they'll lay down their weapons. It only enrages them further, and makes them feel more justified to be attacking the barbaric Americans. It won't instill fear, instead it makes them hungry for revenge. It's counter prodcutive and stupid.

Or - as mecran01 put it so well: This seems like a terrorist-generating activity, not a terrorist-reducing one.
posted by raedyn at 8:33 AM on October 20, 2005


"We played nice and kissed ass for decades and look what happened in 2001."

Unbelievably ignorant. The sad part is it seems like most USians feel this way. Pick up a book or something. Turn your TV off. You are living in a fantasy world if you really believe this. - stinkycheese

Seconded.
posted by raedyn at 8:34 AM on October 20, 2005


I would be shocked if I weren't so terrified. Really.

Fear is the friend of the current administration. Don't forget that every time you get into your car, you have a far better chance of being killed than you do of ever dying in a terrorist attack.
posted by you just lost the game at 8:38 AM on October 20, 2005


To get positive press, maybe they should have just videotaped themselves beheading the Taliban. I mean, that would score points for irony...

To obtain Geneva Convention protection, my understanding is that you must be engaged in protected action. The Geneva Convention is designed to protect you and me, and to a lesser extent soldiers. Yes, it provides for soldiers, but there must be a few things to get the protections:

1) Uniforms that are recognizable. This prevents soldiers (in theory) from shooting at innocent civillians in the belief that they're enemy soldiers. This is for -your- protection. The Taliban are not following this part of the convention.

2) There must be a recognized government. The Taliban is not such a government and never has been that I'm aware of. (Has it? I was under the impression that only a few countries, perhaps Iran and the Saudis? ever recognized the Taliban at all). There is nobody who can surrender on behalf of the Taliban. They're not following the GC.

3) You must be a signatory to the GC. This is not the Taliban, they never signed.

To suggest, then, that the US be bound by rules that the enemy is not is to suggest that the US tie one hand behind its back. The question of whether it's foolish to desecrate the bodies of the enemy is a different one entirely. Again, perhaps they should have captured them and beheaded them alive. The media seemed to think that that was pretty interesting when the "insurgents" did it in Iraq, and it didn't really stir up much in the way of negative feelings for the "insurgents."

Mind you, this has been mishandled in the press. I would consider doing the same thing that the military did, but making very clear that it was part of a psyop against a terrorist group that doesn't follow the Geneva Convention.

They tried during the Guantanamo fiasco, but they never made it into serious talking points.

The Geneva Convention is a treaty. If you don't follow the rules, you don't get the benefits. At least, that's my understanding.

Yay for special olympics!
posted by swerdloff at 8:40 AM on October 20, 2005


biffa, sorry, that was a reference to Henry V.
posted by jsavimbi at 8:49 AM on October 20, 2005


Half the country tried, stinky.

But that's exactly what I mean. This attitude of "I voted for the other guy, what more do you expect?" - try & imagine how that sounds if you live outside the U.S. To say it sounds weak is generous. Democracy has got to be a lot more than showing up to pull a level or whatever.

Viewed from the outside, it's pathetic. I can only imagine that media has successfully convinced right-thinking people that their opinions no longer have value. It may feel good to be cynical and say...(I don't know, I'm sure someone here will give me a good example shortly)...but what good does it do, other than to allow you to go on feeling OK about yourself?

History is being written every day, and it's incredible to consider that the US' slide into military-corporate hell - and with it, quite possibly the end of our civilization - happened that much faster because people basically sat on their hands and said "but what can I do about it?"
posted by stinkycheese at 8:59 AM on October 20, 2005


"if this is the level of discourse you think is appropriate, why should I take you seriously..."

I don't believe it is appropriate with most people. That said, jsavimbi is a over-the-top troll. I refuse to take his crap seriously.

His whole point seems to be that I posted something to MeFi which was mentioned yesterday on some blogs, in foriegn papers, etc. That said, it only started getting any serious media attention in America this morning. (CNN and Fox picked the story up two hours ago.)

While I could've gone forward with something earlier, I don't think I necessarily should have or needed too. Most people here hadn't heard of it before I mentioned it, so it was hardly old news.

As for his complaints about me not posting about people who have been victimized by terrorists, I most certainly have, both on MeFi and on LJ. I pointed out the horrible execution of a South Korean by the insurgents, for instance.
posted by insomnia_lj at 9:00 AM on October 20, 2005


That is the price of democracy.

Actually, freedom costs a buck-oh-five. Saw that in a movie somewhere.

Speaking of pop culture references, there's a sketch from Kids In The Hall where the leader of a bank robbery team keeps shooting his own men as an example of what would happen if anyone tries any 'funny stuff'. This whole incident just seems like yet another instance of us shooting ourselves, metaphorically speaking, to make an unimpressive point to people who'd rather see us gone.

Will we run out of bullets, people, or global patience first?
posted by davelog at 9:08 AM on October 20, 2005


I saw the program and I've only skimmed this thread.

The 2 issues for me are 1. editing/editorializing/sensationalizing (very unusual for the tv station that produced it) 2. the burning and what it meant.

1. is the reason it got wide press. They intejected into the regular news to say the report would be on but when you watched it (or me, anyway) the shocking part was the filming of the burning body. There were some quips from nearby soldiers but nothing a slap upside wouldn't fix.

2. if I understood correctly, regular soldiers burnt the corpse and psyops were under the belief that they did it for hygenic reasons. psyops read out what they bullhorned up the mountaintops. They used the failure of the insurgents to retrieve the body as proving their 'girliness'. It was clear from the whole segment that the great problem forces in Afghanistan face is the inability to find their enemy - this was the WHOLE basis of the story.

So after seeing the segment I was a bit more outraged at SBS tv station for the way they set me up. As for the corpse - it was sick to watch, but there was insufficient evidence in the program proper to draw a conclusion about orders / involvement / beliefs / responsibility.

Thus I see it as something that needs further investigation. And despite being largely anti-war, and being reasonably ignorant about the present state of affairs in Afghanistan, it's not hard to imagine the trouble they encounter flushing out rebels. I don't necessarily condone psy-warfare but it's easy to understand how someone in psyops would, as it is their job, think to exploit the (mis-?)actions of the regular soldiers.


Oh and jsavimbi and insomnia_lj are the new dios:rothko pairing methinks.
posted by peacay at 9:08 AM on October 20, 2005


Right on ciderwoman. The lefty groupthink on Metafilter makes the blue more and more the mirror image of the Free Republic.

The following members have not been banned merely for not being part of lefty groupthink: ParisParamus, b_thinky, jsavimbi, dios. Ergo, MetaFilter is nothing like FreeRepublic.

Here's what I don't understand. If you think stuff like this is SO bad, and will cause us SO much more trouble in the end, why do you call attention to it?
posted by b_thinky at 7:52 AM PST on October 20


Uh, maybe because the only way for us to stop doing bad things is to pay attention to when we do bad things. If your dog shits on the carpet in front of you, you don't ignore it and walk away, thinking that the shit will magically vanish and it will never happen again, you say "bad dog!"
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:10 AM on October 20, 2005


try & imagine how that sounds if you live outside the U.S.

Or the fact that the Dems and Repubs have colluded to keep third parties out. Or that both Cobb and Badnarik were arrested trying to get into a debate last election.

Friends outside the US can't believe it, friends inside the US have never even heard about it.
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:11 AM on October 20, 2005


Poking holes into one's argument is hardly trolling. I believe it's called discourse. If you have nothing to back it up and need to resort to fart references, please, by all means do.

While I could've gone forward with something earlier, I don't think I necessarily should have or needed too. Most people here hadn't heard of it before I mentioned it, so it was hardly old news.

Goodness. He actually kept some news to himself. I can only speculate to what else he has under wraps. Please keep us posted. Sounds like the marketing plan he had for the dead kids story, yet in this case he needed to get it out asap before the networks sccoped him.

(CNN and Fox picked the story up two hours ago.)

Congrats. You're quicker than MSM.

I pointed out the horrible execution of a South Korean by the insurgents, for instance.

No, sir. You reposted links that were already up there. Again, aside from the frothing "I hate the troops" headlines, we get nothing original.

I'm sure name-dropping will ensue.
posted by jsavimbi at 9:14 AM on October 20, 2005


Send in the trolls.
posted by iamck at 9:16 AM on October 20, 2005


Funny how the headlines about our troops are never about heroes, but about animals. Generation X to the rescue.

Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America, and the New Face of American War
posted by stbalbach at 9:25 AM on October 20, 2005


Again, aside from the frothing "I hate the troops" headlines

You aren't this simpleminded, are you?
posted by Space Coyote at 9:32 AM on October 20, 2005


Funny how the headlines about our troops are never about heroes, but about animals.

Time to get yourselves some heroes then.
posted by twistedonion at 9:33 AM on October 20, 2005


Where can I deposit money into Osama's bank account?
posted by CynicalKnight at 9:35 AM on October 20, 2005


AspectRatio: "You're responsible for every single one of them if you are American. That is the price of democracy.

To add; from the point of view of a non-USian, you guys are all starting to look collectively responsible.

Wow. I can understand the outrage, but some of the comments here are filled with such hate...

So, a 15 year old kid who is just trying to get through school is responsible? Someone who never voted for Bush, has protested against the war and tries to do whatever he can to help... he's responsible too?

By this logic, everyone in every country who in any way supported the war, provided logistics, or didn't fall on a sword in protest is also responsible.
"


Well, I happen to be German, and that is exactly what happened to the German people. Today, we still are accused that our grandparents were Nazis; most of them strictly speaking weren't. Mine were neither functionaries nor soldiers, just people who lived in a certain country at a certain time and sort of "went along with it all". I'm not trying to say that was a good decision, but if you blame them, you have to accept the same blame put on the whole of the American people for the political leadership and the actions of the US soldiers.
Not trying to Godwin, just pointing out that we have a similar situation here.
posted by PontifexPrimus at 9:37 AM on October 20, 2005


I forget, who are the good guys? And why?
posted by fenriq at 9:49 AM on October 20, 2005


Reuters Link; DOD Press Release
posted by Mave_80 at 9:50 AM on October 20, 2005


I'm so tired of watching these discussions get ruled by apologist sophistry. The sophists divide our attention and our unity of action. "Ho Hum, I sure gave that troll a good verbal thrashing. Now I can feel good about myself again."

This distraction is an echo of the national discourse. The anti-war United States needs to elect it's own leader who can speak clearly, calmly, logically and strongly for our benefit. We need a Shadow Parliament. (And not one of those goddamned spineless Democrats, either. Call 'em non-partisan if you like, that's a good catchphrase.)

There should be a national movement to create this Shadow Government.

There's the solution for outrage fatigue.
posted by Skwirl at 9:54 AM on October 20, 2005


Again, aside from the frothing "I hate the troops" headlines

You aren't this simpleminded, are you?


No, I'm not. What gets me typing are the people like insomnia_lj who latch on to a headline and keep screaming it over and over again, as if they're message is so righteous that nobody should even dare debate the actual facts with them.

Mary was a virgin!

Marijuana-crazed negroes will rape white women!

Psychiatry is evil...EVIL!!

Yeah, um....he's one of those. Just like Bill O'Reilly. Don't let the facts get in your way of a good shouting match.
posted by jsavimbi at 9:55 AM on October 20, 2005


People who believe that this was done for hygienic reasons have no concept of what cremation really involves. Cremations are done in specially designed enclosed ovens with gas jets that enable maintaining a temperature of over 1000 degrees. Even then, the process takes about one and a half hours.

A human body is basically about 20 gallons of water. Two bodies would be like a 40 gallon drum of water. Now imagine trying to boil away this 40 gallons of water by sprinkling some gasoline around it. You would have to continue sprinkling gasoline every few minutes for perhaps 8 hours -- without blowing yourself up.

More likely they just doused the bodies with gasoline and torched them. What you would have left a few minutes later, when the fire went out, would be a steaming, charred body oozing gallons of fluids. Then you would have to pick that up and bury it.

hygienic -- I don't think so. This was done purely for desecration reasons.
posted by JackFlash at 9:57 AM on October 20, 2005


Oh and jsavimbi and insomnia_lj are the new dios:rothko pairing methinks.

Not that new.
posted by quantumetric at 10:07 AM on October 20, 2005


Secondly, and for the last time: THE AMERICAN PUBLIC DOES NOT GIVE A RATS ASS ABOUT THE TALIBAN OR WHATEVER HAPPENS TO THEM.

It doesn't matter what AMERICANS think about this event. Don't you get it??? Burning bodies facing west is haram, a big no no in islam - it means those people will (by some interpretations) be barred from Paradise and forced into eternal hellfire and all that shit.

IT'S BAD FUCKING PR FOR A COUNTRY TRYING TO PREVENT THE ENTIRE MUSLIM WORLD FROM THINKING THIS IS A WAR ON ISLAM, NOT A WAR AGAINST TERRAHISTS.

Jesus titty-tapdancing Duh!

This is as big a deal to many muslims as the koran desecration - It's a specific and deliberate action intended to violate tenets of their religion (aside from being grossly distasteful and a major geneva conventions no no.)

This will not serve to WARN any muslim about anything, it'll just incense them and piss them off, thus likely creating more terrorists, not less.

People do funny things when they think their very religion, belief system, and or way of life is under attack.

This doesn't exactly help our case that this is about criminal actions, not about clashing religions.
posted by stenseng at 10:09 AM on October 20, 2005


People do funny things when they think their very religion, belief system, and or way of life is under attack.

Yeah, if we piss them off they might fly commercial airliners into skyscrapers or something.

War always has atrocities. Every war, every time.
posted by Bonzai at 10:19 AM on October 20, 2005


What an amazingly content-free comment, Bonzai.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:22 AM on October 20, 2005


It doesn't matter what AMERICANS think about this event. Don't you get it??? Burning bodies facing west is haram, a big no no in islam - it means those people will (by some interpretations) be barred from Paradise and forced into eternal hellfire and all that shit.

I'm not particularly religious, so no, I don't get it. Those dead bodies were in fact dead. They could wrap them in pigskin, for all I care. I think the crux of said matter is how they got dead.

There's plenty of bodies buried by Muslims in haphard ways, some kept in wharehouses for years on end, so I'm not getting too excited about the reaction to this one. KFC should, though.

Should they have been used by some numbnuts in psyops? Absolutely not, and I hope said numbnuts gets a boot in the ass. Matter of fact, I hope the whole lot of them there should be drummed out of the service. That's my opinion.

As far as PR goes, we've lost that war. Also, we were the evil Americans before the war, so no hearts and minds being won there, either.

Hey, if you keyboard peaceniks want a war fought with rules, conventions and gentlemanly good taste like your DnD games, then trun off the telly and stop reading the news. IT JUST AIN'T SO.

That's my last post, it's lunch time. See you again whenever insomnia_lj decides to do some on-the-spot journalism/handwaving.
posted by jsavimbi at 10:26 AM on October 20, 2005


If those bodies were American soldiers, burned in the desert, and filmed with the message "Where's your Messiah Now?!" This country would go positively ape-shit and bomb Mexico out of spite.

Very well put. Remember Fallujah? The U.S. destroyed an entire city b/c the corpses of four Blackwater employees were desecrated.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the similarities yet.

Unfortunately, 98.5% of Americans really don't give a shit what happens to the Taliban, Qaedas or Baathists. They really don't.

And, of course, we are all Americans now. Bah.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:30 AM on October 20, 2005


I guess several people already did. Sorry missed it.

What gets me typing are the people like insomnia_lj who latch on to a headline and keep screaming it over and over again

There are lots of interesting posts regardin the war in Iraq. He posted this "headline" once. How is that screaming it over and over again?

I'll have to agree. jsavnimbi is a troll. Ignore as necessary.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:36 AM on October 20, 2005


Still waiting for a clear list of jsavimbi's "facts"... still waiting for his point regarding the subject at hand. (hint: the subject isn't me.)

Meanwhile, I'd like to repeat and endorse what the DoD said:

"This alleged action is repugnant to our common values, is contrary to our command's approved tactical operating procedures, and is not sanctioned by this command."

While I'm still concerned that the commanders in charge of the military are not clear about their watered-down policies and backhandedly condone unacceptable behavior, I will most certainly agree that this kind of behavior should be repugnant to the common values of both Americans and U.S. soldiers.

Unfortunately, there are is a minority out there who don't find such actions repugnant. Infact, they endorse it, despite the increased risk it puts both U.S. soldiers and ordinary Americans in. They fail to see that this policy isn't in place to provide comfort the enemy, but to deny the enemy comfort. They cannot see past their hatred of the enemy to care about those they would like to win over to their side.

Mercy and honor helped heal this nation after a bitter civil war, but if we are not careful, lack of both qualities may create a world in which war never ends and rifts never heal.
posted by insomnia_lj at 10:40 AM on October 20, 2005


Which is why the lazy reasoning, and just plain poor arguments here, go against what is needed, and as I stated, what the blue was always about.

People have very different opinions about what "the blue" was "always about."

It still makes me laugh everytime somebody whines, "But that's not the best of the Web!" lmao.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:40 AM on October 20, 2005


What an amazingly content-free comment, Bonzai.

Why single me out? This is an entire thread is 90% "America Sucks!" which makes it the same with half the other threads ever started here.

So let me expand.

Every war ever fought in the history of mankind has produced atrocities. Therefore, why must this degenerate yet again into yet another "America Sucks!" thread? What's the point?

My other point, since you didn't get it, was that the people we are fighting have already flown commercial jet airliners into populated skyscrapers. Therefore, why worry about retaliation they have already done thier worst over much less.

Does anyone honestly believe that there were Muslims out there on the fence about joining up with the terrorists who will take this inncident as the final straw?
posted by Bonzai at 10:43 AM on October 20, 2005


Funny how the headlines about our troops are never about heroes, but about animals.

Here you go.
posted by Space Coyote at 10:43 AM on October 20, 2005


Unfortunately, there are is a minority out there who don't find such actions repugnant.

More unfortunately, I don't think it's a minority in the U.S. I'm traveling, but check out how much traction this story gets in the US media.

It looks like it's already a Page 4 story, and it just surfaced last night.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:43 AM on October 20, 2005


This is an entire thread is 90% "America Sucks!" which makes it the same with half the other threads ever started here.

Absolute bullshit must be noted. Love it or leave it! They took our jobs!
posted by mrgrimm at 10:44 AM on October 20, 2005


Tillman had very unembedded feelings about the Iraq War. His close friend Army Spec. Russell Baer remembered, "I can see it like a movie screen. We were outside of [an Iraqi city] watching as bombs were dropping on the town.... We were talking. And Pat said, 'You know, this war is so f***ing illegal.' And we all said, 'Yeah.' That's who he was. He totally was against Bush." With these revelations, Pat Tillman the PR icon joins WMD and Al Qaeda connections on the heap of lies used to sell the Iraq War.

Fascinating. That story is getting play in SF, but I wonder if elsewhere. Doubtful.

I only wish that the media had treated Pat Tillman with this much honesty and care back when they were lauding his sacrifice.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:49 AM on October 20, 2005


"The Geneva Convention is a treaty. If you don't follow the rules, you don't get the benefits. At least, that's my understanding."

Actually, that's not correct. The GC is binding to a signatory, even if only one side in a conflict is a signatory. It is binding, on the signing nations, regardless.

Article 1

The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances.

Article 2

In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peace time, the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them.

The Convention shall also apply to all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party, even if the said occupation meets with no armed resistance.

Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations. They shall furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power, if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 10:49 AM on October 20, 2005


the people we are fighting have already flown commercial jet airliners into populated skyscrapers.

I'm astonished.

There's no point. The country I love is going to kill itself. How can anyone argue with this drivel?
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:55 AM on October 20, 2005


jsavimbi, since the only effort you've underrtaken in this thread is a pathetic attempt to discredit the poster, why don't you shut your fricken' yap and take it to Meta ... where your attack at least loosely might belong?
posted by Wulfgar! at 10:55 AM on October 20, 2005


Democracy has got to be a lot more than showing up to pull a level or whatever.


Where "or whatever" == mass protests (numbering in the millions), travelling thousands of miles for door-to-door campaigning, writing millions of letters, standing on millions of street corners, registering the economically disenfranchied so they can vote, holding rallies, making movies, speechifying during the Academy Awards, resigning from jobs in protest, ETC.

But yeah, we didn't run outside with our guns and start shooting a bunch of inconsequential poor-sap day-shifters. So I guess this is all our fault 'cause we didn't do anything. Nope, nothing at all. Just showed up and pulled a lever.

Say, you do get the news in your country, right? Did you happen to catch this (2002)? This (2003)? How about this (2004)? Surely you saw this (2005)?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:58 AM on October 20, 2005


Yah MrGrimm, that Pat Tillman story is powerful and tragic. And they were making a big deal out of it, until it turned out he was killed by his own team, and was pretty staunchly liberal. I know Ann Coulter said something about how he was the Ideal Virile American Male, I wonder what she's said since the rest of the story came out.

Anyhow, I think it's important to bear in mind how many troopers over there are smart, conscious, and yes, heroic. Also, many are stupid and vile. Probably about the same mix you get anywhere.
posted by freebird at 11:00 AM on October 20, 2005



My other point, since you didn't get it, was that the people we are fighting have already flown commercial jet airliners into populated skyscrapers. Therefore, why worry about retaliation they have already done thier worst over much less.

Does anyone honestly believe that there were Muslims out there on the fence about joining up with the terrorists who will take this inncident as the final straw?


Oh please, pull your head out of your arse.

The people we are fighting didn't crash anything into anything. The assholes who crashed planes into WTC 1,2 and the Pentagon are dead. Further, THEY WEREN'T AFGHANS. They were a bunch of shithead Saudis - our good oil buddies!

The people we're fighting now, the Talib fighters, are our former good buddies in teh War on Comm'n'ism, ex Mujahideen - a bunch of backwards-assed shepherds and druglords our pals in the whitehouse had over for lunch in Texas in the 80s. Soon as they were no longer useful proxies in our little Vietnam Payback, we dropped em like the Macarena.

We're facing the problems we have with them now for three reasons - one, they're pissed at Amurika for turning our back on em after the Soviets fell, two, big business desperately wants Afghanistan and a lot of other places made safe for business and pipelines, and three -Afghans are tenacious motherfuckers, and they don't stop fighting until you get the fuck out.

See Soviet invasion of Afghanistan 1979-1989

Guess who won, if you can call it winning.

Wasn't Gorby and the invincible Red Army

See Also: Pyrrhic victory
posted by stenseng at 11:01 AM on October 20, 2005


What Bonzai said. Best post of the day.
posted by b_thinky at 11:23 AM on October 20, 2005


The people we are fighting didn't crash anything into anything. The assholes who crashed planes into WTC 1,2 and the Pentagon are dead. Further, THEY WEREN'T AFGHANS. They were a bunch of shithead Saudis - our good oil buddies!

Don't be so naive. The western hating muslims are from all over, Saudi Arabia being one of them. Also, I don't disagree with you, we probably did stick our dicks into the fire ant pile. What did I say that disagreed with you? Oh, and thanks for the history lesson, I'm an idiot. That didn't come off as condesending at all.

All I have been saying is that no educated person has a right to be shocked by war atrocities and that it is no longer possible to further inflame the people (be they afgahan, saudis, or hippy kids from Berkely) that hate us. They are at maximum inflamation. Right or wrong that die is cast.

Furthermore, don't make assumtions about me because of my observations. I understand why people hate us, we're arrogant and greedy. We're no angels.

You are right about one thing, none of this will end until we stop acting like money hungry bullies. But I got news for you, none of this will end until you stop making excuses for the muslim extremists. None of this will end until lots of things happen on both sides. Got it? Both sides are wrong. War is always evil.

Suicide bombers walking into cafes are evil.
Dropping tons of bombs onto cities is evil.
Flying airplanes into building is evil.
Desecrating bodies is evil.
Road side bombs are evil.
War for oil is evil.
War for God is evil.
George Bush is evil.
Ossam bin Laden is evil.
posted by Bonzai at 11:25 AM on October 20, 2005


The sad part is it seems like most USians feel this way. Pick up a book or something. Turn your TV off. You are living in a fantasy world if you really believe this.
- - Stinkycheese

What's a "USian"? I've never heard this term before. Do you really dislike this country so much you can't say "American"? Apparently you do since you imply all "USians" (besides you) are dumb. Thanks.
posted by b_thinky at 11:27 AM on October 20, 2005


This thread is a litmus test wingnut flypaper.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:28 AM on October 20, 2005


From yesterdays testimony:

Rice said the United States will follow a model that was successful in Afghanistan. Starting next month, she said, joint diplomatic-military groups _ called Provincial Reconstruction Teams _ will work alongside Iraqis as they train police, set up courts, and help local governments establish essential services.

She left out the intimidation-through-desecration bit when describing the 'successful model' of Afghanistan. I wonder why?
posted by Mr T at 11:30 AM on October 20, 2005


What's a "USian"? I've never heard this term before. Do you really dislike this country so much you can't say "American"? Apparently you do since you imply all "USians" (besides you) are dumb. Thanks.
posted by b_thinky at 11:27 AM PST on October 20 [!]


What I like best about you, b_thinky, is that you'll critique something, then someone will respond to your critique, and you'll never respond back. You do this in literally every thread you post in. So it's fucking pointless for stinkycheese to give half of a shit what you think of his abbreviations.

I repeat:

Here's what I don't understand. If you think stuff like this is SO bad, and will cause us SO much more trouble in the end, why do you call attention to it?
posted by b_thinky at 7:52 AM PST on October 20


Uh, maybe because the only way for us to stop doing bad things is to pay attention to when we do bad things. If your dog shits on the carpet in front of you, you don't ignore it and walk away, thinking that the shit will magically vanish and it will never happen again, you say "bad dog!"
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:36 AM on October 20, 2005


b_thinky: I believe "USian" is shorthand for American from the USA, that gained traction because many Americans and North Americans are not from the USA.

Some people (though only from the USA) seem to think it's an insult. Some people seem to think there is an entirely legitimate need for a term that has been long needed and is finally here.

I myself, a non-US citizen in the US, have offended non-US North Americans by using the word "Americans" to refer to US citizens, and I have also offended non-US North Americans by using the word "Americans" to refer to them.

So to my mind, the word is needed. However, I don't use it, because many US citizens have only ever heard it come from the lips of people criticising the USA specifically, and thus get a mental association that the term is meant to be insulting. Best not to take it that way though. Any insulting can be delivered directly :)
posted by -harlequin- at 11:39 AM on October 20, 2005


stop making excuses for the muslim extremists.

This is 100% unmitigated projection on your part.

It is in your head.

It serves no purpose but to sophistically deflect your own attention from the crimes being committed in your name.

Do you really dislike this country so much you can't say "American"?

Yes. That is what is going on. It is hatred for the brightest hope this world had that motivates criticism of the war. It couldn't possibly be pride in the dignity of one's own country.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:41 AM on October 20, 2005


This is an entire thread is 90% "America Sucks!"

America dosn't suck. The reaction of America's current leadership to 911 sucks. The height of cynicism has apparently been achieved: open profession of Chistianity by the country's leader while abandoning any and all ethical guidance it may have provided. Applying far too much overt muscle and nowhere near enough brain power to the problem. America had much the worlds sympathy for about 3 days until GWB started sorting entire countries into two groups with his foolhardy "yer either with us or agin' us" and it's been downhill ever since. The Administration's reaction to 911 in a thousand ways, has made America look less attractive in terms of leadership, less civilized, more cynical, and more isolated than it ever had to... which sucks.

Consider that "with us or agin' us". What does that sound like: you're either subservient to us or you're our enemy. Downhill ever since...
posted by scheptech at 11:43 AM on October 20, 2005


Civil_Disobedient: Actually, I just inserted "or whatever" in case you didn't pull a lever, but put an X in a box or put your thumb in purple ink or whathaveyou. I'm in no way suggesting violence (when you're talking about the country with the largest military in human history, an armed uprising is clearly not the best solution). The other things you mention are great but frankly they don't appear to be cutting the mustard, do they?

The US system has certain safeguards for dissent: protest, editorial comment, and so on. What do you suggest be done in a situation in which such normative dissentions have no effect? History shows us the answer is likely to lie with the populance. It seems like the populance in this case currently can't be bothered for one reason or another, however. I would blame the (cough) culture in this case, but that's just one possible reason.

b_thinky: Your question has already been answered here by others. I use USians sometimes and Americans other times. And I don't hate all Americans. Again with the defensiveness, eesh.
posted by stinkycheese at 11:49 AM on October 20, 2005


What's a "USian"? I've never heard this term before. Do you really dislike this country so much you can't say "American"? Apparently you do since you imply all "USians" (besides you) are dumb. Thanks.

Contrary to popular assumption, America consists of a few more countries than just the US, and sometimes people think there's a need to differentiate.
posted by uncle harold at 11:50 AM on October 20, 2005


Quick question. In the pictures of the burning bodies, the shadows are going left of the bodies. This indicates that the bodies are lying in an approximate north/south direction. In my personal belief, that'd mean the bodies were not facing west towards Mecca. Were the faces of the corpses facing west? Or am I misconstruing the position of the sun in Afganistan in the fall?

If not, does this imply something else about the report?
posted by Atreides at 11:53 AM on October 20, 2005


Unfortunately, 98.5% of Americans really don't give a shit what happens to the Taliban, Qaedas or Baathists. They really don't.

You don't understand the issue here. I also don't care much what happens to Talibans, Qaedas (is that a new term) or Baathists who did nasty things to innocent people. But aside for the problem of deciding who exactly is a Taliban or terrorist or such on the ground, so we're working on a "take our word for it" basis here, well aside from that, the issue is the standards of military conduct. "War is hell" is not supposed to be an excuse for a complete lack of standards. "War is hell" goes along with a set of rules and laws which you may not care about but have actually a purpose beside setting ethical principles, and that purpose is security. Those standards are not unrealistic rules that can never be applied in war. They were set in place after WWII, by Americans, for a reason.

You may not care for the security of American soldiers. American soldiers may not care about their security either. But Australian (and other nationalities) work alongside Americans in Afghanistan and they do care about theirs. That's what the reporter made clear. That alone is reason why doing things that are unnecessary, counterproductive, and meant to inflame the civilian population along with the enemy fighters is not a good idea.
posted by funambulist at 12:01 PM on October 20, 2005


Oh god, it's even worse. I didn't read the part where we're subjecting the talib fighters to Fleetwood Mac.


The humanity.
posted by stenseng at 12:02 PM on October 20, 2005


ciderwoman: the thing here is not just the burning of corpses which may well be for hygienic reasons but the broadcasting of it along with that message you can read in the transcript.

So don't pretend it's only a matter of disposal of bodies, it isn't.
posted by funambulist at 12:02 PM on October 20, 2005


So... lemme get this right. 9/11 justifies everything we do in Afghanistan, no matter how much our troops debase their own humanity, and destroy whatever credibility we had as a "shining beacon" in the process.

Oh right, I forgot. In the manual for cremation you have to position the corpses to point towards Mecca *before* you ignite them, otherwise they'll rise up as zombies to devour the wee American childrens' brains. That one almost slipped by me. Bonus Jesus points for taunting their living relatives while you do it.

Seriously, guys, what the hell are you smoking? If they piled all the corpses together in some remote location, burned them and just left it at that I could understand the absolutely limp response, but this was obviously done to offend and incite hatred. Hell in this country it would be considered a hate crime. But I guess if it's done against some Muslims (who may or may not be part of the Taliban, we don't know for certain) then it's okay, they aren't human or anything.

This doesn't have a damn thing to do with "supporting the troops" or some ends justify the means bullshit. An army is either ethically superior or it is not.
posted by Talanvor at 12:03 PM on October 20, 2005


Were the faces of the corpses facing west? Or am I misconstruing the position of the sun in Afganistan in the fall?

The sun moves during the day more or less from north-east to south to north-west (in the northern hemisphere), regardless of season.

</smartass>
posted by uncle harold at 12:05 PM on October 20, 2005


I believe "USian" is shorthand for American from the USA, that gained traction because many Americans and North Americans are not from the USA.

I think it's more accurate to say that it's netspeak that's gained traction because it's shorter than "American." I've seen UKian* as well. You'll sometimes see people talking about taking a trip to .ca or .ru for similar reasons.

In either direction, it seems to me that normal people wouldn't take offense at it, only people who are looking to take offense at something might latch onto it as an excuse for a tirade or lecture.

*And even "UKoGBaNIan" , but that's just to be silly.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:07 PM on October 20, 2005


(may likely not be for hygienic reason, but for the sake of argument, even if it was, the accompanying "You allowed your fighters to be laid down facing west and burnt etc You attack and run away like women etc." makes the intent of the message quite clear, so let's not try and miss the forest for the tree here)
posted by funambulist at 12:09 PM on October 20, 2005


On USian - I've first heard it in a totally non-political context so yeah it's not meant to be offensive (god forbid anyone should offend Americans!), it's a more precise alternative - see Wikipedia.

It doesn't sound great but it's shorter than "US citizens".
posted by funambulist at 12:17 PM on October 20, 2005


It serves no purpose but to sophistically deflect your own attention from the crimes being committed in your name.

And yours. Don't kid yourself.
posted by Bonzai at 1:28 PM on October 20, 2005


I use USian all the time to differentiate between, well, USians and all the others who inhabit the Americas. I don't see it as political in the slightest, except to the extent that it accurately reflects the world as it is, not as some would like it to be.

Back on topic: I read this review about abuse of corpses right after this thread and it seems somehow apt to consider them together, especially for those maintaining that a body is just a carcass.
posted by Rumple at 1:35 PM on October 20, 2005


How is "USian" pronounced? Is it "oooh-zian" or "uss-zian"?

Optimus: I think the dog analogy is poor because, in the instance of Abu Ghraib, people shouted "WHEN THIS GETS OUT TO THE ARABS, AMERICANS WILL DIE BECAUSE OF THIS!" Of course, in saying so, it was getting out to the enemy in Iraq.

I don't think this would have happened in WWII because the media was generally more "pro-American" than pro-profit.

Also, thank you for liking me! I like you too! Sorry if you think I'm annoying, but usually snarky comments are only released when someone stops arguing facts and says something like "Americans (or USians) who don't agree with me are dumb. They should read the books I read and maybe they'd then agree with me since I'm smart and stuff."
posted by b_thinky at 1:37 PM on October 20, 2005


Pronounced you-ESS-ee-an, at least around here
posted by Rumple at 1:45 PM on October 20, 2005


I use USian all the time to differentiate between, well, USians and all the others who inhabit the Americas. I don't see it as political in the slightest, except to the extent that it accurately reflects the world as it is, not as some would like it to be.

Actually, people use "American" because there is no good term derived from United States as there is for Canada, Mexico and most other countries. It has nothing to do with implied ownership of a continent. What's offensive about USian is that it implies arrogance on the part of those who prefer "American."
posted by b_thinky at 1:47 PM on October 20, 2005


I also hate it when people say "pop" instead of "soda."
posted by b_thinky at 1:48 PM on October 20, 2005


If all war is evil, and hence all acts within a war cannot be judged, then 9/11 was a genuine act of military aggression, and a pretty effective one at that.

Of course, the US can claim (rightfully) that this was an attack on innocent civilians, and that their is a larger moral equation at work.

So when US troops do screw the pooch like this, can't you fundies just admit that these troops (and especially the officers in charge) should be held to a higher standard than common murderers and mutilators?

It's already been said here a hundred times, and atrocity supporters have yelled about it lamely, but just ask yourself:

Does this sort of shit lengthen or shorten the war on terror? Sure, you and your friends might not care, but the rest of the world does (as do Americans like myself, although that's getting harder and harder to believe).

(Just ask Condi--she refused to answer Sen. Sarbanes' question as to whether or not American troops would still be in Iraq in ten fucking years.)

jsavimbi, banzai, b_thinky, others who "know" so much about this sort of thing: here ya go.
posted by bardic at 1:53 PM on October 20, 2005


What's offensive about USian is that it implies arrogance on the part of those who prefer "American."

What's offensive about American is that it implies anti-Citizen-of-the-United-States-of-Americanism on the part of those who prefer "USian".

Or something like that. Have a soda!
posted by Rumple at 1:54 PM on October 20, 2005


Ah yes, the two double-syllabic "so_a" words: "soda" instead of the more efficient mono-syllabic "pop" and sofa instead of "couch", of course "sofa" is still better than the tri-syllabic and now archaic "chesterfield".
posted by scheptech at 1:56 PM on October 20, 2005


Sure, you and your friends might not care, but the rest of the world does (as do Americans like myself, although that's getting harder and harder to believe).

Oh they care, all right.

"You can take that from that other kid? He said your mommas a lesbo. What are you a wuss?"

(Cue sound of fourth graders chanting: "Fight, fight, fight!")
posted by all-seeing eye dog at 2:04 PM on October 20, 2005


I've never heard "chesterfeild" but my grandma says "davenport."
posted by b_thinky at 2:04 PM on October 20, 2005


"Actually, people use "American" because there is no good term derived from United States as there is for Canada, Mexico and most other countries."

Arguably, that could now be:
"Actually, people used "American" because there was no good term derived from United States as there was for Canada, Mexico and most other countries."

(Depending on whether USian continues to gain traction :)
posted by -harlequin- at 2:05 PM on October 20, 2005


Optimus: I think the dog analogy is poor because, in the instance of Abu Ghraib, people shouted "WHEN THIS GETS OUT TO THE ARABS, AMERICANS WILL DIE BECAUSE OF THIS!" Of course, in saying so, it was getting out to the enemy in Iraq.

1) Torture is bad whether or not anyone else knows about it.

2) No one shouted "when this gets out to the arabs..." because it was already out.

3) You can't end a problem if it's being kept a secret.

Why not just admit that torture gives you a sexual thrill? Man up about it. Why not admit to yourself that you imagine being a big tough guy with a gun, rope, and thumbscrews instead of one of the 101st Fighting Keyboarders, furtively masturbating into his sock while looping a slideshow of naked and bruised men piled on top of one another? Why not admit that you climax when you get to the faces of the corpses, pleasuring yourself wild by imagining driving your bayonette into the empty eye socket of someone's father, son, or brother?

You justify torture. You are a deviant. You should be ashamed of yourself.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:50 PM on October 20, 2005


180 comments +/- Most of it pointless.

The Geneva Convention may have been violated. It should be investigated and those responsible should be punished - period.


To not do so not only impugns the honor of the armed forced of the United States but strips our troops of their protections.
Obviously some groups aren’t following the GC. But the cops don’t fire automatic weapons through crowds just because the criminals are. The law is the law. We cannot uphold the law and also defy it. We cannot insist our intentions are honorable and yet act dishonorably.


That said. As a tactic, I see the uses. Were I a frustrated soldier I might resort to the same thing.
Unfortunately that soldier’s frustration is grounded in a lack of support and training by the U.S.A. If they can’t find the Taliban, the solution is investigation, not incitement. (But they obviously aren’t getting the back up to do that.)
Hell, why would you invite them (the enemy) to attack you at their leisure anyway?
That’s fucking stupid. You dictate the terms of the engagement or you lose (or take more casulties than you should).
I don’t know what AIT these kids went to, but I suspect they learned enough to survive. They’d know this. So I suspect they didn’t know what was happening here or were just following orders.

Either way, it warrents an investigation. So what’s the debate?



“Today, we still are accused that our grandparents were Nazis; most of them strictly speaking weren't.”
posted by PontifexPrimus at 9:37 AM PST on October 20 [!]

People should alway take pains to identify the Nazis and the ‘Japs’ as completely different from the Germans and Japanese people. Many don’t. They are idiots.


“Does anyone honestly believe that there were Muslims out there on the fence about joining up with the terrorists who will take this inncident as the final straw?”
posted by Bonzai at 10:43 AM PST on October 20 [!]

I suspect the families of these men will. Their friends, perhaps their aquintances too. Something like this really clairifies things. Particularly if someone is whispering in your ear already how evil the Americans are.
If it were my brother or my friend, I’d kill every American I saw. If the men responsible for it were prosecuted by the Americans I might still feel angry, but I might think differently about it.


/derail

“See Soviet invasion of Afghanistan 1979-1989
Guess who won, if you can call it winning.”
posted by stenseng at 11:01 AM PST on October 20

I take exception with your point on this (not the general theme). The Afghans then had a superpower backing them up. Their current resources are limited. It’s just a matter of time and political will. I would concede the latter is our weak point.

Indeed it is possible that OBL-Co. is playing the victim card here. It would be a smart move. Just lay low, let Bushco keep whipping you and whipping you until he’s out of office or until the population gets sickened.
Conversly the plan by Bushco could be to spur enough of a response to ‘have to’ declare martial law.
But that’s pure conjecture from left field



Anyway, why talk about all this - Jen & Vince were spotted kissing!!!!
http://www.cnn.com/2005/SHOWBIZ/Movies/10/20/people.aniston.vaughn.ap/index.html

(Sometimes I wish I had an IQ of 85 so I could be blissfully unaware too)
posted by Smedleyman at 2:52 PM on October 20, 2005


I'm interested in seeing the new Russian film Company 9.
posted by bardic at 2:57 PM on October 20, 2005


/further derail
"USian"

Why not call us “Sams” (for Uncle Sam) or Yanks (yankee)?

I think I’d prefer ‘Yank’ to USian.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:59 PM on October 20, 2005


The US system has certain safeguards for dissent: protest, editorial comment, and so on. What do you suggest be done in a situation in which such normative dissentions have no effect? History shows us the answer is likely to lie with the populace. It seems like the populace in this case currently can't be bothered for one reason or another, however. I would blame the (cough) culture in this case, but that's just one possible reason. -- stinkycheese

[long semi-off topic post]

We're dancing around the term civil disobedience, right? Militant nonviolence. Satyagraha. Ironically, none of the examples civil_disobedient linked to were very strong examples of civil disobedience. Huge (permitted) protests, yes, but where are the mass premeditated arrests (thousands or tens of thousands?). The shutdown or defiance of unethical law?

Small examples of civil disobedience with regards to Iraq exist, but they often lack the poetry of Gandhi's salt march or King's sit-ins.

There are foreseeable problems for a mainstream US nonviolence movement. People want to keep their jobs. Parents want to keep their children. The historically unprecedented US prison system might just swallow up the movement. Successful satyagraha requires the willingness to die for the cause, but never kill for the cause. When people do put their lives on the line for the cause, modern Darwinian types write the protesters off as stupid. Also, our American lives are way too comfortable for many to take up this call. (Myself and probably yourself included.)

Lawful protest seems useless from the get-go when the administration and congress has shown such incredible disdain for public welfare or opinion. When one stages an unpermitted protest, only the (easily marginized) hardcore show, the work-a-days bitch out the "anarchists" for the traffic and the police break it up. People should probably take it to the military bases, recruitment centers and military administration (i.e. shut down the Pentagon), but you will see a lot of cracked protester skulls if they start to make any ground. Cracked heads is a sign that your Satyagraha is making progress, but no doubt the talking heads would break out the "support our troops" sloganeering and the outrage might turn against the protesters.

But maybe we are too selfish. However, this statement doesn't preclude non-US citizens. You're no better or worse in this regard. Hypothetically, anyone who thinks this war is immoral and is willing to die for Satyagraha can hop a plane and U-lock their neck across the door to a US military recruitment center. If you can't afford the plane fare or make it through customs, there's plenty of worldwide bases to choose from. Failing all else, you can stage a hunger strike. These options may sound unrealistic to you, but the potential price is the same for all: Your life.

Of course, all civil disobedience movements saw uniquely humongous problems. First they ignore you, then they laugh at you ...
posted by Skwirl at 3:02 PM on October 20, 2005


It's on all things considered now..
posted by nile_red at 3:04 PM on October 20, 2005


b_thinky: Actually, people use "American" because there is no good term derived from United States as there is for Canada, Mexico and most other countries. It has nothing to do with implied ownership of a continent.

Er, it wasn't always that way. Maybe for that reason, in Spanish, the polite form to call US citizens is indeed "estadounidense" (from "Estados Unidos": United States). There are plenty of less polite names for them, too...
posted by Skeptic at 3:15 PM on October 20, 2005


Hell, why would you invite them (the enemy) to attack you at their leisure anyway?

Because in a straight up face to face fight, an American trained soldier can pretty much whip most enemies. This has been true for decades. Vietnam is a prime example. The two times that the Vietnamese soldiers went straight at American troops, it resulted in lopsided American military victories (Ia Drang and Tet Offensive). The difference between the two is the first was both a military and political victory, the second was the first but not the former.

Also in the current Iraq situation, Americans have suffered more casualties from fighting the insurgency than overwhelming the Iraqi Army. We want them to come out and play, because we know we can kill them. Course, they know this too. :)
posted by Atreides at 3:23 PM on October 20, 2005


leftcoastbob: This is the part that I don't understand. Is Bush trying to hasten Armageddon?

In short: yes, of course.

Bush is an dispensationalist evangelical christer ("Do as I say, not as I do"). It's perfectly acceptable for him to hasten the end times because that will in turn bring the Rapture. Since Bush is one of the saved, he will fly up into Heaven and reap his eternal reward. In other words, he is a nut job who will be glad when the material world is destroyed.

If yer not wit' th' Warrior Jesus then yer wit' th' terrisss.
posted by oncogenesis at 4:16 PM on October 20, 2005


“Because in a straight up face to face fight, an American trained soldier can pretty much whip most enemies.”
posted by Atreides at 3:23 PM PST on October 20 [!]

Err... wha?
What’s a “straight up face to face fight”?


“Course, they know this too.”
posted by Atreides at 3:23 PM PST on October 20 [!]

Which is why they fight with booby traps.




Military action is politics by other means.
If you lose you lose.

If you lose the initiative, you lose.
If you broadcast your intentions, you lose.
If you are not mobile, you lose.
This is tactics 101.


Certainly we can hurl wave after wave of troops at nearly any other army in the world. (“We’ll choke their rivers with our dead!” - B. Simpson)
But that’s not fighting smart. The bullet sponge philosophy doesn’t work all the time.

The reason we had military victories in those engagements in Vietnam was because of superior firepower, air superiority, mobility and superior lines of supply.
Mistakes on the part of the enemy in choosing their engagements do not equate to wise choices on our part.
We did not, ultimately, root them out.

As I said, I recognize what the point of the tactic here is. I simply disagree with it as an efficient means to victory.
Certainly one can entice the enemy into making mistakes. Folks who have some knowlege of strategy prefer to do it with more reliable methods than simply trying to anger them into an attack while they have an obviously sypathetic population around them who are likely to be equally outraged.

Does it at all appear the Taliban will decide to fight with something other than guerilla tactics?
There is a deep Arab tradition of raiding, they use methods very similar to guerilla tactics. This has gone on for thousands of years.

Hell, we’re the ones that taught the Taliban the advanced methods in the first place, why should they forget those hard-earned lessons against the Soviets?


Even if not ultimately determined to be a violation - these are ultimately counterproductive methods. I can only blame leadership.

We’ve know how to fight these people since Orde Wingate, but our guys still have to run half-assed in-house special forces operations and they know that any agressive divisional commander with money is worth ten times that with bullets.

We started in Iraq without an urban warfare doctrine and no counter guerilla campaign in mind.
Fortunately the troops made it up as they went along, which is one of the things that does make American troops the finest the world has ever seen.

Unfortunately, without consistent leadership and guidance as well as strategic support that improvisation turns into events like this. Where you try to do whatever works to get things done.



Even if these soldiers are completely at fault and had no direct orders, I would still blame leadership. You cannot send a man into a situation like this and then leave him to fend among the wolves responding only when he does something you deem as wrong.

Shall we raise children this way? Shall we ignore them constantly forcing them to requisition school supplies and go through hell to get an extra pencil, never saying a word to them as to what life is supposed to be about. Until they do something wrong whereupon we throw them out of the house.

American troops are tough yes. They’re not supermen. Neither are special forces. You need backing and guidance. They’re not getting it.


When I say ‘we’ I mean command. The higher ups. Ultimately, the Commander in Chief.
Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or Green I don’t care if I loved the bastard and he’s my brother, he’s in charge, it’s his fault.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:45 PM on October 20, 2005


If all war is evil, and hence all acts within a war cannot be judged, then 9/11 was a genuine act of military aggression, and a pretty effective one at that.

That is exactlly opposite of what I said. If something is evil it can't be judged? That doesn't even make sense. I am NOT justifying what these men did, what I was saying is that you have no right to be surprised and you can't .... you know what? Fuck it, fuck you all. I'm done.
posted by Bonzai at 4:48 PM on October 20, 2005


I was saying is that you have no right to be surprised...

Whose surprised? I see people saddened, outraged, disheartened, and rightly so.

We have no right to be surprised? We don't share your omniscience Bonzai. Please keep that in mind.
posted by juiceCake at 5:04 PM on October 20, 2005


Now, be sure to put another "Support Your Troops" sticker on the back of your SUVs, goobers, because (select one):

a) It's just a few bad apples. The typical American soldier is a gent, a hero and a total fucking superstar.
b) And besides, they were probably short of cash to pay for college.
c) AMERICA! FUCK YEAH!

Stop supporting the troops. Please. They're war crime enablers. You shouldn't support that.
posted by Decani at 5:25 PM on October 20, 2005


Fascinating. That story is getting play in SF, but I wonder if elsewhere. Doubtful.
posted by mrgrimm


Sportsfilter two weeks ago. That's a sports site mind you, so don't think this is some super secret being held in the bowels of san fran.

(Just ask Condi--she refused to answer Sen. Sarbanes' question as to whether or not American troops would still be in Iraq in ten fucking years.)
posted by bardic


I don't see anything about ten years in the link you gave. Regardless, bascially saying you 'don't know' is not the same as refusing to answer the question. If she honestly doesn't know, you'd rather her make up an answer?

Now, be sure to put another "Support Your Troops" sticker on the back of your SUVs, goobers

Metafilter continues to do political threads poorly.
posted by justgary at 6:01 PM on October 20, 2005


I'm against the war in Iraq and have been since before it was launched... but I supported the fight in Afghanistan and the pursuit of Osama. I don't think this is as bad as torturing live prisoners. To me, that is unAmerican.

Here, they burned bodies. Once you're dead, you're dead.
They've thrown thousands of pounds of bombs at these guys--all designed to incinerate them.

Do you think that the mothers and brothers of these fighters would be any less likely to seek revenge against America if we had given them decent burials?
posted by notmtwain at 6:06 PM on October 20, 2005


notmtwain : "Do you think that the mothers and brothers of these fighters would be any less likely to seek revenge against America if we had given them decent burials?"

Maybe. And even if not, I think the friends and distant cousins, the neighbors and the business partners, of the mothers and the brothers of those fighters would be less likely to seek revenge.
posted by Bugbread at 6:11 PM on October 20, 2005


Stop supporting the troops. Please. They're war crime enablers. You shouldn't support that.

decani--this seems like a pretty unenlightened position to me... unless there's some subtle irony intended here that i can't parse out.

the ultimate war crime enablers are you (assuming you're a yank like me), me, and most of all, the myopic (and quite possibly, psychotically deranged) leaders we allow to "represent" us.

while everyone is responsible for his or her own actions, responsibility for horrors like this don't begin or end with the men and women of the military. especially when it's glaringly clear (at least to me) this action was committed under direct orders from higher up in the chain of command.

i know, especially with stories like this emerging, it's easy to start thinking that no one with a conscience could willingly participate in such atrocities (and wing nuts: please cut the repugnant "but they were already dead" crap), but frankly, it's the job of these men and women to follow orders without question, and we really do rely on their unquestioning loyalty to protect our domestic security (sadly, that's not often the kind of work we put them to these days, but at least, that was the original idea).

studies like the Milgram experiment make it clear that even ordinary people who haven't been conditioned for loyalty by military training are more likely than not to follow the orders of a perceived authority figure even when those orders require them to engage in unconscionable acts. it's just human nature to follow orders (i think a variant on that subject is also being discussed in this thread).

its supposed to be our leaders' jobs to ensure our soldiers aren't being given the wrong orders. it's supposed to be our jobs not to support leaders with bad judgment or self-interested agendas.

obviously that's not what's happening here.
posted by all-seeing eye dog at 6:51 PM on October 20, 2005


Do you think that the mothers and brothers of these fighters would be any less likely to seek revenge against America if we had given them decent burials?

notmttwain: yes.

that was exactly why the psyops guys ordered this act carried out in the first place--to whip up some fresh enemy casualties to report on the evening news in order to bolster political support for the civilian command.

(you think i'm being too cynical and that pols don't really think like this? you should listen to the johnson tapes sometime...)
posted by all-seeing eye dog at 7:01 PM on October 20, 2005


he believes the bodies were burned for hygine reasons only

then maybe the Iraqis who burned the bodies of those American mercenaries security operatives on that bridge in Fallujah did it for hygiene reasons, too. who knows.

____________


To not do so not only impugns the honor of the armed forced of the United States but strips our troops of their protections

you forget that this is post-AbuGhraib America -- torture is standard modus operandi for US interrogators in US military prisons, when it isn't outsourced to the Egyptians or the Syrians. the US Attorney General does not have a problem with that, either. what honor are you talking about?

____________


stop making excuses for the muslim extremists.

wind, whirlwind. to reap, etc.
posted by matteo at 7:26 PM on October 20, 2005


Dipsomaniac:

Neither of the two articles of the Geneva Convention you quoted really seem to say what you imply; that a signing party must apply the conventions to a non signing party.

Article One says - Respect the convention in all circumstances. But what you are respecting is an agreement (the convention) between signing powers, not necessarily a principle to be followed no matter what.

Article Two says - if there is a conflict between several powers, and one is not a signer, the other powers must still obey the convention in their mutual relations, and obey the convention with the non-signing party if they follow the rules and obligations of the convention.

Which your typical terrorist does not.

Clearly it has been a great moral and tactical mistake for the United States not to follow the convention "in all circumstances", but whether it was a legal mistake is still questionable from what I know.
posted by extrabox at 7:59 PM on October 20, 2005


Ironically, none of the examples civil_disobedient linked to were very strong examples of civil disobedience.

Points for proper word usage, but methinks civil disobedience is not the panacea for systemic change that many give it credit for. Specifically, unified motivation is more important than unified action. King wasn't successful because of his marches or boycotts, but because everyone had a common purpose. The actual implementation is almost irrelevant. This is why the anti-war protests and acts of CD during the Vietnam war (and this current debacle) are fruitless: too many different agendas and not enough focused momentum. The problem is that, these days, it's hard to direct your movements against a specific guilty party. There's a vast interconnected rot, and it's nearly impossible to agree on specific... let us say--amputations.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:05 PM on October 20, 2005


Extrabot - 'Undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances.' is pretty unequivocal. It doesn't qualify it with 'between signing parties'. It says ALL circumstances. I have a hard time seeing where in Article 1 it says or implies 'as long as they other guy does as well'.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 8:19 PM on October 20, 2005


Me: "So some folks "mistreated" some dead bodies. Big blipping deal. They were DEAD. No longer alive == not people anymore. It's about time people got over such superstitions."

odinsdream: "I'm sure you said the same thing about the American contractors that were ambushed in Baghdad, shot, burned, and strung up from that bridge. Right?"

In the first place I believe you're referring to an incident in Fallujah, not Baghdad. And you're absolutely right, yes I did say the same of them. Actually I said worse, because those were the corpses of imperialist vultures who should never have been in Iraq in the first place; the Afghani "Taliban" referred to in this thread were in their own damn country minding their own damn business.

It was my understanding that those strung-up "contractors" did not even have the rationalization of "just obeying orders", but had specifically applied for those voluntary private-sector jobs. Nor are you talking about tourists on a Spring Break lark -- to quote the Wikipedia article on Fallujah:

"In a highly publicized attack on March 31, 2004, four private military contractors from the U.S. company Blackwater USA were dragged from their vehicle and killed. Their bodies were then mutilated and burned."

If you go into somebody else's home to rip them off and they get you for it you should expect no pity from me. Look up "anti-imperialism" sometime.

And I agree with Decani: Stop supporting the troops -- except for supporting bringing them home immediately. (People who want to kill Iraqis can always find a way to join mercenary contracting firms.)
posted by davy at 9:35 PM on October 20, 2005


"Stop supporting the troops -- except for supporting bringing them home immediately."

I don't agree. You can support them without supporting the war, and still hold on to your beliefs.

Many of the troops don't support the war either, but that doesn't mean that they don't need support and someone who will listen to them and try to help them when they need it.

Heaven knows, there's a lot more that the military itself could do to actually help the troops. I know several who are suffering from depression, PTSD, chronic pain issues / back problems, and relationships that are on the verge of falling apart.

Does the military help them? Usually not. Rather, they get criticized and shipped back to Iraq or Afghanistan.

Kinda like they're expendable, no?!
posted by insomnia_lj at 11:15 PM on October 20, 2005


Swkirl: that seems to me a rather convenient way of framing the issue of protest. Set the bar so high, that nothing short of being ready to give your life will do. You forget that's the kind of protest that can occur under a dictatorship, never in a democracy. In a democracy you're supposed to be able to affect change by democratic means. I know, ok, it's the ideal, it doesn't happen literally and no one said it was easy, but when you get a majority of voters that give the war president a second mandate, and a majority of public opinion in polls that still support his administration policies, then imagining an army of heroic protesters ready to get their skulls cracked or who knows even set themselves on fire in the middle of Times Square, well, it all sounds a bit ridiculous really.
Those are the kind of actions people have taken in the past against their own government when that government was deporting or torturing them, not citizens of another country. People didn't set themselves on fire in Australia to protest against the Soviet occupation of Poland.
posted by funambulist at 12:23 AM on October 21, 2005


Thanks for your post Skwirl. That's a lot of food for thought.

FWIW I think you're right. I guess the problem is that the systematic changes going on in the US are so insidious and gradual that people aren't going to really wake up until it's more-than-likely too late. Whether other countries (or coalitions of countries) will intercede before that point is difficult to say. It all makes the future look quite bleak to me.

And funambulist, you raise a good point in that the crucial difference between, say, the US & the Ukraine (or some other country wherein the citizens do effect peaceful change) is that by and large US citizens aren't being deported or tortured. If they are, it's done on the QT and to those unlikely to cause a stir with the mainstream populance (ie. immigrants or the political fringe).

I imagine it'll probably never get that bad in the US really. People will look the other way, take their soma & reality TV, and keep quiet. American history is one of might makes right & the present government is about as mighty as they come. I suspect the government realises this & so as long as they turn up the heat gradually enough, the frogs won't notice their feet getting hot. I can't see an American satyagraha taking place, and without that, real change may be well-nigh impossible.

/depressed
posted by stinkycheese at 8:14 AM on October 21, 2005


“Stop supporting the troops -- except for supporting bringing them home immediately.”
posted by davy at 9:35 PM PST on October 20 [!]
WTF? So, what, we stop supporting sending them adequite equipment? Etc.? In some respects, bringing them home IS support. I have respect for people who - for example - protested the war in Vietnam. I have no respect for those who (figuratively) spit on the troops coming home.


“you forget that this is post-AbuGhraib America”
posted by matteo at 7:26 PM PST on October 20 [!]

I haven’t forgotten. The Atty. Gen’s position is despicable. A great many things done with the loyalty of our troops has been abominable.


“what honor are you talking about?”
posted by matteo at 7:26 PM PST on October 20 [!]

The honor that says I will lay my life down for you. The honor to follow orders without questioning even one’s own survival. One does not kill simply because one is bloodthirsty, but because one believes in one’s superiors and their judgement. One believes that they know something you don’t and whatever horrible thing you are called upon to do must have some purpose to it. Because one is trained to charge into a hailstorm of bullets, other less life threatening situations seem less irrational.
It is this willingness that has been perverted. This willingness to serve, to protect, to die if necessary in obeying the will of our superiors which ultimately should translate into the will of the people at home. It is this we call honor.


Ultimately though honor is like jazz: If I have to explain it, you’ll never get it.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:52 AM on October 21, 2005


The honor to follow orders without questioning even one’s own survival... This willingness to serve, to protect, to die if necessary in obeying the will of our superiors which ultimately should translate into the will of the people at home. It is this we call honor.

Brrrr. I beg to differ then. That's what I'd call fanaticism. Follow orders without questioning? Are you sure that's what is needed to stop things like torture?
posted by funambulist at 10:25 AM on October 21, 2005


I get the feeling that "honor" is one of those words like "pride," which is a good word for something completely idiotic. It may have meant something good, at some point, just like the word "freedom," but on October 21st, 2005, they just sound like fancy words for foolish actions.
posted by 235w103 at 10:58 AM on October 21, 2005


"Follow orders without questioning? Are you sure that's what is needed to stop things like torture?'
posted by funambulist at 10:25 AM PST on October 21 [!]


Feel free to insinuate whatever world view you wish to prop up as straw man in place of actually making an effort to discern my meaning, thanks.

Did I address torture other than to call the AG’s condoning of it despicable?


Jesus. I’m starting to empathize more and more with the people who become trolls. What’s the point of attempting to engage in complex discourse if no one even tries to understand it?

Perhaps the failure again, is mine.
Lets see if I can make this more plain.
See, if you ask questions like a two year old every time you’re given an order it tends to bog things down.

In the military, this can be a real problem.
If you sign up (I completely oppose conscription), then suddenly decide to question why you have to be the one to go and risk your life, you don’t have honor.
A member of the armed forces cannot choose when and where to decide to fight simply because it suits him or her.

Typically this is called desertion. You get executed for it because you leave other people to die while you shirk your duty.
It’s taken seriously.

Because people typically don’t run towards gunfire, soldiers have to be trained.
This training includes how to best survive combat, what to do, etc. as well as building up courage and eliminating the questioning attitude.
If, in combat, you question what the hell you are doing, you are likely to die and get others killed. It’s a completely mad undertaking.

Since you are willing to kill people and risk having them kill you without ultimately questioning all of this, torturing them or doing other irrational things, seem less of a glaring violation of human rights.


It’s a matter of perspective. Sit at a desk and you can see the problem. Kill a few people before breakfast, watch someone splatter your buddy’s brains in the dust, not so much.


I am not debating the morality of it. I am stating that - unless you question the need for any military force anywhere (and I’d like ponies too) - there is a need for humans to put themselves in this mindset, this perspective.

That this perspective necessitates a certain kind of numbness that without further training, further discipline, can result in actions such as torture precisely because of that numbness.


I am not at all stating that the need to not question orders in combat or in the course of doing one’s duty at all equates to absolution for those kinds of acts.


I am simply stating it’s clear that they are not trained enough. Human robots make a terrible army. This however seems to be what the administration wants.


They should not be trained to follow ANY order without question. In fact there are ‘open door’ policies and the like which demand that if a soldier is given an illegal order he report it.

But where do you go when everyone you can reach up the chain of command is giving you an illegal order?


But yeah. That’s what I was saying. They should be robots that follow all orders. That’ll stop torture. Yup. They hate Amerikuh, them ay-rabs.


“It may have meant something good, at some point....they just sound like fancy words for foolish actions.”
posted by 235w103 at 10:58 AM PST on October 21 [!]

Which is exactly the problem. Some people have ideals. Others don’t. Some live by them. Others don’t.
Some people exploit them and turn them into empty meaningless words. Those are the worst.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:57 AM on October 21, 2005


Brrrr. I beg to differ then. That's what I'd call fanaticism. Follow orders without questioning? Are you sure that's what is needed to stop things like torture?

For a military to operate successfully, a high percentage of orders must always be followed without questioning. Go here. Do this. Don't do that. Etc.

The problem is that some orders shouldn't be automatically followed, but in a society where adherence to command is a foundation, it becomes very hard for the individual to pause and go,"Wait a sec..."

The issue is not that soldiers should or should not follow specific orders, the issue lies in those who give the orders. We shouldn't blame the footsoldier who followed an order, but the officer and higher command who make it and create the atmosphere which allows for other similiar questionable commands.
posted by Atreides at 11:58 AM on October 21, 2005



Always someone who says it better than me. Thanks Atreides.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:06 PM on October 21, 2005


Smedleyman, it was a question and a comment, not an insinuation (of what?).

In all honesty, reading your whole comment about obeying orders and being ready to give one's life, in a discussion about torture and abuse and violations of various magnitudes, sounded very bizarre to me, seen as blindly following orders was exactly why those things happened in the first place, they weren't all down to the private initiative of isolated individuals. And I have read your other comments on this and know you weren't defending torture, that's precisely why I was baffled.

Now I see I misread the point you were making, sorry about that! It wasn't intentional, I wasn't trolling, I genuinely couldn't reconcile it with the rest you had written, cos I'd misunderstood what you were getting at.

I am not at all stating that the need to not question orders in combat or in the course of doing one’s duty at all equates to absolution for those kinds of acts.

Ok, agreed.

But where do you go when everyone you can reach up the chain of command is giving you an illegal order?

Ok now I get your point. Of course, it's true, the problem lies with the policies and orders.

On the other hand, I disagree with what Atreides said that "we shouldn't blame the footsoldier who followed an order". It depends a lot on the nature of that order. (Of course if all that meant was "we shouldn't make the footsoldiers a scapegoat for the policies from high up" then I agree.)

Plus, it seems to me it's a mix of both, reinforcing each other - orders from above, and enthusiastic embracing of them from some who make the most likely candidates for that kind of thing. These situations, or like Abu Ghraib, it doesn't so much look to me that there was any reluctance or even numbness and robot-like following of dictates, or much less the necessity to torture someone to extract information (supposing there was ever such a necessity), it all looked like abusing and humiliating for its own sake and there was definitely a gleeful participation in it.

And I'm not saying this to say "all American soldiers are gleeful torturers", I don't believe in literal collective responsibility either, even in a particular environment like the army. I'm saying, if on the one hand from high up you hear "it's just a few rotten apples", and on the other you hear "it's orders from above and soldiers are forced to comply", well, there is a risk of it turning into a big game of passing responsibilities around. Obviously the responsibilities are much higher the higher up you go. But I would think individual propensities of those who end up doing certain things also play a big factor there.
posted by funambulist at 1:38 PM on October 21, 2005


Now I see I misread the point you were making, sorry about that!

No problem. I seem to be getting that a lot lately (not being understood) so I probably flew off the handle as well, sorry.

/long response -probably too much detail.

...it all looked like abusing and humiliating for its own sake
and there was definitely a gleeful participation in it.
But I would think individual propensities of those who end up
doing certain things also play a big factor there.
posted by funambulist at 1:38 PM PST on October 21 [!
]


Yup. But again. That's the problem. I don't want to get into a nature/nurture discussion. But you can turn a human being into whatever you like. Torture is an excellent way to turn a human into a pathetic wreck who will do or say anything you want, which is why it's universally despised.


To a lesser degree there is training. A person can be trained to do whatever. More importantly though they can be trained to BE whatever.
In some respects you sign up for some of this. In others, you really don't.
Marines for example have it drilled into their heads they are always Marines, the Marine Corps are the best and being a Marine is the best thing it is possible to be.
Even strong willed individuals will be out of the Corps for years and still have this mentality.
I have a buddy who is a 6'8", 300lbs football playing, ex-Marine who was crying like a baby to me because he was having trouble dealing with the world when he got out.

It's that serious. It's like being in a cult.
It took me years to become a human again after leaving the service.

Consider that many people who enter the service are lost for a purpose in their lives looking for something to believe in.


It's easy to see how you could use those people, just as any cult leader uses it's weaker willed but more fanatic people.


I was considered a bad boy exactly because I don't kiss ass. I'm willfull. Think I'm smart. I am not a neat freak, etc.
But my combat inspections, all of my physical evaluations, leadership, stuff in the field - 4.0 (top of the scale). My dress uniform inspections - barracks room, etc. - Shit.
And I didn't play nice with the others, but I was teaching HTH at the time so no one really messed with me. But I got passed over for advancement where others moved forward.


And that's just from the piddly crap like having threads on your uniform (as opposed to say my always spotless, well-oiled-even-in-a-sandstorm weapon). Consider how much more of an issue it is when it comes to the serious stuff like this. I'm an exception. I'd probably refuse the order, be brought up on charges, clandestinely kill the officer who gave me the order and remove all evidence that I was in trouble. ("What charges? I dunno, looks like he fell down the stairs.")


But not all of us are that way. Great moment in "A Few Good Men" at the end one of the Marines says 'we were supposed to be looking out for guys that are weaker than us' or words to that effect.


Same thing here. Many of those new kids don't know shit from shinola and it's easy to teach them all kinds of bullshit.
It's why training is so important.


If you saw A Few Good Men - remember how dumb Pfc. Louden Downey was? Lotsa guys about that are that brain shy. But that doesn't make them bad men. What makes them bad is what they're taught. They should know better but they don't.

I'm not trying to skirt your point: " I would think individual propensities of those who end up doing certain things also play a big factor there" by saying it's because they're stupid.


But lot's of them are. The job isn't brain surgery for the most part. It's by rote in a lot of cases. Like any athletic training it requires talent, but training makes up the bulk of it. The ability to conceptualize deeply and analyze doesn't enter into the work of your average Pfc. In fact it's discouraged.

And that's not at all to say there aren't sadists either. I'm sure some of them at home, their parents use(d) the term "sand niggers" or whatnot. Value patriotism as an absolute, etc.

Certainly it's this form of thinking that can lead to building the type of person who would join up and gleefully torture another human.


But it's the training that should have stopped that.


One good quarterback can make a football team sucessful by upping the level of expectation. Same thing with any leader. But we've gotten massive walkouts by some of our best people who don't want to be associated with the military anymore under Bush. Look at all the people resigning in the Intelligence community.


Ultimately you get left with talent that is either piss poor or believes in the current party line. In part it's chain of command. In part it's atmosphere.

I'm sure there's some guys out there taking it in the ass and keeping their mouths shut over stuff like this because they will get passed by for promotion or even killed. Either put on point or hit by friendly fire or what have you.


So I think we agree on the abhorrance of the crimes, funambulist, and even the ideals which should be followed and the avoidance of literal collective responsibility and other broad blanketed ideas.

I'm just trying to point out some of the practical realities involved.


The question is of the order: How culpable is a parent in a child's hate crime?


I'm pointing out not all kids are as smart as others and some parents are worse than others, etc.
But we appear to agree in our distain for cut and dried answers.


Either way, much more investigation and light should be shed to get to the truth of the matter.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:55 PM on October 21, 2005


Metafilter continues to do political threads poorly

justgary continues to do absurd generalisation extraordinarily well.
posted by Decani at 6:16 PM on October 21, 2005


Ya know what Smedleyman, I really appriciate your viewpoint whenever I get into reading political/military posts. You seem very knowledgeable, and have lots of insights like someone who has really thought this stuff through.

I'm ex-air force,(boot-camp) separated for having a strong will back in '87. I also went to NMMI military school for a year in high school.

Today, I am pretty disgusted with how the military is used and managed, but I see their need.

So far the only point I see that we differ is conscription. I am all for 'changing the whole system' to (nearly) mandate public service for a time.

I think a system kind of like in the movie Starship Troupers might just work. (although probably not in a representitive republic)
Everyone who wishes to become a 'Citizen' must sign up for 'Public Service'. This can vary from soldiers, to working like Habitat for Humanity. Working at VA hospitals, postal service, DMV, county clerk and recorder office, police, fireman, search and rescue. Almost every government public sector job could be filled by this body pool. People are eligible to join out of high school, but may join at any time thereafter for a period of 2-6 years. Only people who serve in this public corps become 'citizens', with full voting rights, to be able to run for office, maybe even to own property or a buisiness.

You could choose not to serve, but would not be eligible to vote, run for office, (own proberty, or own a buisiness?)
There would still be plenty of jobs and opportunities to those who would not serve for whatever reason, but those who did get full benefits.

I know, it's a pipe dream, and really a tangent to this thread, but I guess I needed to get it out.. heh.
posted by Balisong at 6:59 PM on October 21, 2005


I know, it's a pipe dream

Many European countries enforce mandatory military or public service for school leavers as a condition of smooth citizenship of the polity. Germany, of example, enforces military service ("Grundwehrdienst"), or for constientious objectors, a longer period of community service ("Zivildienst"). More recently, service in foreign aid and development ("Entwicklungshelfer") can be substituted.

Since the end of the Cold War and the general elimination of the requirement for large standing armies in Europe, military conscription has been suspended or abolished in many of the countries that formerly practiced it, such as France, Italy, and the Netherlands. However, countries such as Greece and Switzerland are very into their whole "public service" ethos. Some countries, such as Sweden, recently discussed the expanding the community draft to include female Swedes.
posted by meehawl at 9:04 PM on October 21, 2005


Oh, here's a good list of the status of conscription in many countries.
posted by meehawl at 9:05 PM on October 21, 2005


But I thought killing people required such sensitivity!

It's just surreal that so many people would put so much emphasis on what happened after the killing while treating the killing itself as something insignificant.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:19 PM on October 21, 2005


I agree with that public service thing before you get your franchise rights.

I'm just cautious about how it would be run. Something like the GAO - solid.
But my biggest problem with it would be the 'who watches the watchmen' argument.
(Same problem I have with gun control and the death penalty)

Also I greatly respect those who are committed to peace. There would have to be some equivalancy for those who are opposed to violence.

It'd be tough. But I'd sure like to see public service and responsiblity (and adherence to human values as a universal) as the yardstick for office rather than who can con the most people into giving them money to con other people.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:38 AM on October 22, 2005


Smedleyman, thanks, that's very interesting, especially to hear it from someone who was/is in the army.

Yeah I think we agree on a lot of things and you're right the practical realities don't make things easy to fix.

I also agree with you - and very strongly disagree with Balisong - on conscription. Conscription is bad in principle and worse in outcome. I'm in one of the countries where it has been recently abolished and cannot understand the argument in favour of conscription in the US, how would it make things better, if you're going to be even less selective about who enters the army?

Public service is something that can be very useful but even there I don't agree with the principle of forcing people to spend a year of their life doing what should be volunteer work.
posted by funambulist at 5:54 AM on October 23, 2005


I think a system kind of like in the movie Starship Troupers might just work.

Fascism?
posted by biffa at 1:23 AM on October 24, 2005


Smedleyman, don't you get it? If we bring the troops home right away then there will be no "insurgents" shooting at them so they won't need armor-plated Humvees, for example. The supplies they need in order to be brought home are troop transport planes headed AWAY from Iraq. And I can't guarantee nobody will spit on them, people do stupid pointless shit all the time, but I'd rather be spat on than shot or blown up, wouldn't you?

"Bring them home now!" means just that: gather them up, get them on planes, and bring them home. Now.
posted by davy at 5:49 PM on October 25, 2005


PontifexPrimus... that's exactly the point I was trying to make. Holding the German farmer who was just milking his cows responsible for the Nazi attrocities wasn't just either.
posted by AspectRatio at 7:05 PM on October 25, 2005


Everyone who wishes to become a 'Citizen' must sign up for 'Public Service'.

Sounds great, as long as you give us "Non-Citizens" a proportionate amount of the land.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:33 AM on October 26, 2005


« Older It just keeps unravelling...  |  Welcome to the internet's busi... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments