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June 19, 2004

One Of These Things Is Not Like the Other

In only one of these photos is the person responsible for the atrocity depicted being punished by the same system that produced that person.

Only one of these photos were condemned as a violation of the Geneva convention.

Only one of these photos was published by the major media.

Only one of these photos wasn't greeted with overwhelming indifference on the part of the Left.

Only one of these photos will be the subject of discussion on the part of the major media in the coming months.


Because only one of of these photos doesn't show a dead American.

Posted by Bigwig at June 19, 2004 09:56 AM | TrackBack
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I am not surprised at the murder you so graphically depict above. Criminals are always to be condemded without a word.
I do expect better from soldiers in uniform.

Posted by: ExpatEgghead at June 19, 2004 03:03 PM

Personally I doubt that is why.

Do terrorists ever follow the Geneva Conventions? If they did, they would not be terrorists. So let's not ask questions that are rhetorical on this matter. "Terrorist" and "disciplined" come together in ways that are anti-democratic and downright brutal.

Remember, part of the point is that we are supposed to be better than they are -- and that includes cleaning up our own errors.

Posted by: Scorpio at June 19, 2004 05:36 PM

> Remember, part of the point is that we are supposed to be better than they are -- and that includes cleaning up our own errors.

And that's what we're doing, yet that isn't news.

Which reminds me - "we're supposed to be better" doesn't imply that they shouldn't be criticised.

BTW - I think that you really have to stretch to suggest that "leashing" is comparable to beheading.

Heck - the "crimes" here ARE comparable to frat initiation and gay pride parades. If the proud Iraqis aren't as tough as college freshmen and gays....

Posted by: Andy Freeman at June 20, 2004 11:43 PM

Cut it out, Bigwig, you are starting to talk like one of those loony paranoid conservatives who is always going on and on about the "librul media."

Now be a good boy, blog about a PNAC/Neo-Con/Zionist conspiracy, check the website to see if Preznit will give you turkey, and go visit Atrios and hit the refresh seven times for your penance.

The important thing, as correctly Lileks points out today, is not that we catch Bin Laden, or win the so-called war on terror, but that Bush be defeated in the fall. On this,, John Kerry, and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi are in agreement. So get with the program, and quit criticizing the media. It is important, if we are to win and defeat Bushwa, that the people aren't reminded of how good America is, and how bad our enemies are. If you were to show these pictures, and the Middle Eastern reaction to them ("must be the results of a Zionist operation") then you would make people think there is a shred of truth to the "Axis of Evil" libel. Big media is our friend; they are looking out for our best interests when they hide these pictures. Your ongoing criticism of the media coverage of terrorism has a really chilling effect on the free speech rights of the NY Times and Reuters.

Posted by: Blackavar at June 21, 2004 07:14 AM

"Heck - the "crimes" here ARE comparable to frat initiation and gay pride parades. If the proud Iraqis aren't as tough as college freshmen and gays...."

I sincerely hope you're joking.

The evil liberal media harps on Abu Ghraib and gives the beaheadings only passing mention. The evil conservative media harps on the beheadings and excuses Abu Ghraib. Face it, both sides are doing a freaking lousy job.

Posted by: Jackson at June 21, 2004 10:58 AM

> I sincerely hope you're joking.

Not at all. Of course, the beheadings weren't "crimes". (Only Americans think that the beheadings were bad. The rest of the world thinks that they're dandy.) As Bigwig points out, the perpetrators of the crimes are being prosecuted. The other perps are getting awards.

Posted by: Andy Freeman at June 21, 2004 12:34 PM

Jackson and others of it's ilk don't think the crimes are being punished.

Sure, the perpetrators are being tried and convicted, but the military-industrial complex is still there. Why isn't Rumsfield on trail? What about Bush? After all, he's the CinC, isn't he responsible for the men under his command?

And, of course, there are those who insist that it was ordered.

What makes the right go so crazy is, while the abuses at Abu Ghraib are being treated as the second incarnation of the Spanish Inquisition, the beheadings and torture of civilian hostages done by the 'insurgents' and 'militants' goes completely unremarked.

The 'abuses get called hazing because, so far, the only documented injuries we've seen from Abu Ghraib have all been to the egos of the prisoners.

Posted by: jack at June 21, 2004 02:35 PM

----In only one of these photos is the person responsible for the atrocity depicted being punished by the same system that produced that person.----

In the other two, the people responsibile for the atrocities are being punished by massive indiscriminate military strikes by the best equiped and most destructive military the world has ever seen.

---Only one of these photos were condemned as a violation of the Geneva convention.---

What? The other two are violations of the Geneva convention. Duh. It goes without saying that killing a captured prisoner of war is against the Geneva convention. You don't have to go declaring that the sky is blue. The leash picture is depicting something that might be in a Geneva gray area... so, it had to be made clear that this behavior is not acceptable.

But you're too ignorant to actually LOOK UP the Geneva convention to see what it says. Just because someone says "X is a violation of the Geneva Conventions", doesn't mean that Y isn't.

For your reference:
The following are forbidden towards any persons in an area of armed conflict:

* Torture, mutilation, rape, slavery and arbitrary killing
* Genocide
* Crimes against humanity – which include forced disapparance and deprivation of humanitarian aid
* War crimes – which include apartheid, biological experiments, hostage tacking, attacks on cultural objects, and depriving people of the right to a fair trial.

Combatants who deliberately violate the rules about maintaining a clear separation between combatant and noncombatant groups — and thus endanger the civilian population — are no longer protected by the Geneva Convention.
Combatants who do fall within the guidelines of the Geneva Conventions enjoy the following protections:

* Prisoners of war must be treated humanely. Specifically, prisoners must not be subject to torture or to medical or scientific experiments of any kind. They must also be protected against violence, intimidation, insults and public curiosity. The public display of POWs is also prohibited.
* When questioned — in the prisoner's native language — prisoners of war must only give their names, ranks, birth dates and serial numbers. Prisoners who refuse to answer may not be threatened or mistreated.
* Prisoners of war must be immediately evacuated away from a combat zone and must not be unnecessarily exposed to danger. They may not be used as human shields.
* Finally, and most importantly, prisoners of war may not be punished for the acts they committed during the fighting unless the opposing side would have punished its own soldiers for those acts as well.

Both the fourth Geneval Convention and the two Additional Protocols extend protections to civilians during war time.

* Civilians are not to be subject to attack. This includes direct attacks on civilians and indiscriminate attacks against areas in which civilians are present.
* There is to be no destruction of property unless justified by military necessity.
* Individuals or groups must not be deported, regardless of motive.
* Civilians must not be used as hostages.
* Civilians must not be subject to outrages upon personal dignity.
* Civilians must not be tortured, raped or enslaved.
* Civilians must not be subject to collective punishment and reprisals.
* Civilians must not receive differential treatment based on race, religion, nationality, or political allegiance.
* Warring parties must not use or develop biological or chemical weapons and must not allow children under 15 to participate in hostilities or to be recruited into the armed forces.

But, see, you couldn't be bothered to check on that, could you. ALL THREE PHOTOS ARE IN VIOLATION OF THE ABOVE POLICIES.

---Only one of these photos was published by the major media.---

Yeah, well, the media has this thing about not publishing pictures of severed heads. Go figure.

---Only one of these photos wasn't greeted with overwhelming indifference on the part of the Left.---

Is there any possible way that you can back up this statement? I doubt it. I am very liberal, and I am entirely appalled at ALL THREE of these actions. It makes me sick to think about the situation with the beheadings and the prisoner abuse. I am furious with it. And I feel very badly for everyone involved, the Iraqi people in the prison AND the families of those people who have been captured and killed by terrorist organizations.

Now, I won't go to the lengths that your beloved Rush Limbaugh (a wholly owned subsidary of the republican party) went to, and say, quote, "I wanted to call president bush and tell him, let's make the place 20,000 degrees" after these things happened, but I am very upset by them indeed.

---Only one of these photos will be the subject of discussion on the part of the major media in the coming months.---

Well, time has shown that the Prisoner Abuse scandal doesn't make that much news anymore. It gets a mention here and there. And yet, the beheadings continue, so they get press coverage. So, you're just plain wrong here. Another attempt at a republican self-fullfilling prophecy fails.


---Because only one of of these photos doesn't show a dead American.---

Right, because the liberal left doesn't care about dead americans. Pull your head out of your ass. We love this country, and we hate to see it going down the tubes. We hate to see people getting killed. We are appalled at the use of a medieval custom in modern warfare. However, we also feel something when anyone is killed wihtout provocation. Just because they're not american doesn't mean they don't have a right to dignity. Did you not hear that the red cross released a memo stating that anywhere from 70%-90% of the Iraqis arrested by the U.S. Military were arrested for minor offenses or arrested in error when they had done nothing wrong? Did you not hear that several people in the Abu Ghraib prison DIED while the americans were interrogating them?

We are aghast at the abuses of power that the U.S. government has taken in Iraq. We are flabberghasted at the expense of this war. We are not amused at the lack of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

I'll do you a favor. I'll agree that the terrorists beheading these people in Iraq and Saudi Arabia are wrong and despicable.

Now, you do me a favor:
Look at these pictures -
And tell me what you see? I see GROSS VIOLATIONS of the geneva convention, I see TWO americans giving a thumbs up over the body of a DEAD Iraqi who died under their care in the Abu Ghraib prison. I see bloody Iraqis who appear to have been attacked by dogs. I see many naked bodies in an affront to human decency and dignity. I see people, human beings, chained to anything and everything in every position. AND THESE ACTS WERE COMMITTED BY OUR MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM.

If you're not completely appalled, you haven't been paying attention.

Posted by: Xiaodown at July 7, 2004 10:41 AM

I respond to some comments here

Posted by: Bigwig at July 7, 2004 01:12 PM
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