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BS: So carry on then with the abuse....

Shanghaiceltic 07 Jun 04 - 10:49 PM
Wolfgang 08 Jun 04 - 06:36 AM
kendall 08 Jun 04 - 06:58 AM
mooman 08 Jun 04 - 07:38 AM
GUEST 08 Jun 04 - 08:30 AM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Jun 04 - 09:32 AM
beardedbruce 08 Jun 04 - 09:39 AM
CarolC 08 Jun 04 - 10:04 AM
beardedbruce 08 Jun 04 - 10:07 AM
CarolC 08 Jun 04 - 10:15 AM
Amos 08 Jun 04 - 10:27 AM
Amos 08 Jun 04 - 12:10 PM
Stilly River Sage 08 Jun 04 - 12:30 PM
Peace 08 Jun 04 - 12:48 PM
Chief Chaos 08 Jun 04 - 12:53 PM
GUEST,guest from NW 08 Jun 04 - 01:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Jun 04 - 01:11 PM
Stilly River Sage 08 Jun 04 - 01:19 PM
Don Firth 08 Jun 04 - 01:36 PM
Greg F. 08 Jun 04 - 02:10 PM
emjay 08 Jun 04 - 02:42 PM
George Papavgeris 08 Jun 04 - 04:06 PM
Peace 08 Jun 04 - 04:23 PM
M.Ted 08 Jun 04 - 04:24 PM
Bill D 08 Jun 04 - 04:29 PM
Greg F. 08 Jun 04 - 08:32 PM
GUEST 08 Jun 04 - 09:16 PM
Mooh 08 Jun 04 - 10:04 PM
beardedbruce 08 Jun 04 - 10:14 PM
GUEST,Clint Keller 08 Jun 04 - 10:38 PM
GUEST,Clint Keller 08 Jun 04 - 10:39 PM
beardedbruce 08 Jun 04 - 10:48 PM
Bobert 08 Jun 04 - 10:49 PM
George Papavgeris 08 Jun 04 - 11:02 PM
Amos 08 Jun 04 - 11:02 PM
johnfitz.com 08 Jun 04 - 11:13 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 Jun 04 - 12:22 AM
GUEST,Clint Keller 09 Jun 04 - 12:36 AM
GUEST,Clint Keller 09 Jun 04 - 12:38 AM
johnfitz.com 09 Jun 04 - 12:42 AM
Stilly River Sage 09 Jun 04 - 01:59 AM
Metchosin 09 Jun 04 - 03:19 AM
Shanghaiceltic 09 Jun 04 - 04:04 AM
jack halyard 09 Jun 04 - 04:33 AM
jack halyard 09 Jun 04 - 05:29 AM
Wolfgang 09 Jun 04 - 06:12 AM
beardedbruce 09 Jun 04 - 06:21 AM
beardedbruce 09 Jun 04 - 07:22 AM
Greg F. 09 Jun 04 - 07:41 AM
Stilly River Sage 09 Jun 04 - 09:01 AM
GUEST,Marion 09 Jun 04 - 09:34 AM
Stu 09 Jun 04 - 10:09 AM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Jun 04 - 11:20 AM
Don Firth 09 Jun 04 - 12:29 PM
Wolfgang 09 Jun 04 - 02:29 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Jun 04 - 04:29 PM
Amos 09 Jun 04 - 04:43 PM
CarolC 09 Jun 04 - 05:43 PM
beardedbruce 10 Jun 04 - 12:44 AM
GUEST,guest from NW 10 Jun 04 - 01:16 AM
GUEST 10 Jun 04 - 01:23 AM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Jun 04 - 05:05 AM
beardedbruce 10 Jun 04 - 05:10 AM
beardedbruce 10 Jun 04 - 05:24 AM
GUEST,fed up 10 Jun 04 - 05:30 AM
beardedbruce 10 Jun 04 - 05:42 AM
JennyO 10 Jun 04 - 05:51 AM
beardedbruce 10 Jun 04 - 05:59 AM
jack halyard 10 Jun 04 - 06:40 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 10 Jun 04 - 08:57 AM
Stilly River Sage 10 Jun 04 - 10:10 AM
Amos 10 Jun 04 - 10:33 AM
CarolC 10 Jun 04 - 10:48 AM
Stilly River Sage 10 Jun 04 - 10:56 AM
GUEST,Clint Keller 10 Jun 04 - 11:14 AM
Amos 10 Jun 04 - 11:19 AM
CarolC 10 Jun 04 - 11:42 AM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Jun 04 - 11:57 AM
Don Firth 10 Jun 04 - 12:08 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 Jun 04 - 12:41 PM
CarolC 10 Jun 04 - 01:21 PM
Chief Chaos 10 Jun 04 - 01:39 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Jun 04 - 01:52 PM
GUEST,Larry k 10 Jun 04 - 01:58 PM
Amos 10 Jun 04 - 02:18 PM
CarolC 10 Jun 04 - 02:25 PM
Amos 10 Jun 04 - 02:34 PM
Greg F. 10 Jun 04 - 03:18 PM
Don Firth 10 Jun 04 - 03:48 PM
GUEST,Clint Keller 10 Jun 04 - 04:08 PM
Don Firth 10 Jun 04 - 04:09 PM
GUEST,Clint Keller 10 Jun 04 - 04:15 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 10 Jun 04 - 08:53 PM
Amos 10 Jun 04 - 09:32 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 10 Jun 04 - 09:52 PM
dianavan 10 Jun 04 - 10:00 PM
George Papavgeris 11 Jun 04 - 02:14 AM
George Papavgeris 11 Jun 04 - 02:17 AM

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Subject: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Shanghaiceltic
Date: 07 Jun 04 - 10:49 PM

Just read this in the Online Telegraph (UK Newspaper.

How will the US Govt ever be able to criticise a foreign regime that uses torture as part of its methods to extract confessions?

Ban on torture overruled in Pentagon
By David Rennie in Washington
(Filed: 08/06/2004)


A leaked Pentagon memo cast serious doubt yesterday on the Bush administration's insistence that its treatment of prisoners was bound by laws and treaties banning torture.

A secret document discloses that, on the eve of the Iraq war, political appointees overruled military lawyers to assert that President George W Bush was not bound by US and international law on torture.

   
The US armies 'Rules of interrogation' Click for detail
The memo, prepared for Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary, went on to claim that, if national security was at stake, government agents who tortured or even killed prisoners on the president's authority were immune from prosecution.

A draft of the 100-page memo, leaked to the Wall Street Journal, conceded that several US and international laws banned torture.

But lawyers at the Pentagon and the justice department argued that all such treaties and laws were trumped by the president's "inherent constitutional authority to manage a military campaign" and protect the American people.

The leak appears to be part of an extraordinary civil war in the Pentagon between civilian officials and uniformed officers appalled by what they have described as moves by political appointees to shroud the war on terrorism in an "environment of legal ambiguity".

The trail of the memo begins at Guantanamo Bay and leads to Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison, where pictures of abused and humiliated prisoners shocked the world.

A military official who helped to prepare the report told the Journal that the memo was requested by senior commanders at Guantanamo. They had complained in late 2002 that conventional interrogation methods were not extracting valuable information from terrorist suspects.

The official said: "People were trying like hell to ratchet up the pressure." Techniques then used at Guantanamo included drawing on a prisoner's body and placing women's underwear on prisoners' heads.

Those practices appeared in abuse photographs from Abu Ghraib, casting doubt on the Bush administration's insistence that Abu Ghraib misconduct was the work of a few low-level "bad apples".

An intelligence officer told the Journal that methods now used at Guantanamo included limiting prisoners' food, subjecting them to body searches, depriving them of sleep for up to 96 hours and shackling them in stress positions.

In public, William Haynes, the Pentagon's senior civilian lawyer, insists that all interrogations are conducted in a manner "consistent with" the international convention on torture.

Mr Haynes was in charge of the working group that drew up the memo, officials told the Journal, and political appointees claimed almost unlimited powers for the president to approve torture.

• America and Britain issued a fourth draft last night of a United Nations resolution granting Iraq sovereignty as they pressed for a vote at the Security Council as early as tonight. It ignores French demands for an explicit Iraqi veto over military operations but pledges "close co-ordination" between coalition forces and the new interim administration.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Wolfgang
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 06:36 AM

I wouldn't have thought that possible four years ago. It's very sad. Especially, since it is not just one more country using inhumane methods of information gathering. The bad example of the USA will have a signal function for others considering similar methods: What is right for the USA cannot be wrong here.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: kendall
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 06:58 AM

We can always hope that Bush gets captured by the terrorists.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: mooman
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 07:38 AM

If true, I find this utterly sickening... and we are supposed to be "civilised".

Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 08:30 AM

The NY Times broke the story. It is in today's edition--the headline story online.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 09:32 AM

Here's what google news comes up with today, when you key in the word "torture"


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: beardedbruce
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 09:39 AM

from the above link...

Torture Used to Suppress Dissent
Central Asian and Southern Caucasus Freedom of Expression Network (CASCFEN), Azerbaijan - 6 hours ago
HRW, Brussels, 7 Jun 2004 -- The Iranian government has intensified its campaign of torture, arbitrary arrests, and detentions against political critics, Human ...
Iran intensifies torture of political critics : Human Rights ... - IranMania News
Torture 'rife' in Iran - News24
HRW Says Tehran Uses Torture To Suppress Dissent - Radio Free Europe
Albawaba Middle East News - Washington Times - and more »

Rape, torture' rife in Sudan
News24, South Africa - 4 hours ago
New York - Amnesty International warned of widespread rape, torture and other abuses in western Sudan and called on the Sudanese government and the ...


Sudan: Incommunicado detentions, unfair trials, torture and ill- ...
Amnesty International - 3 hours ago
... humanely. Torture is widespread. "The failure of the justice system cannot be ignored. ... said. Torture is frequently and increasingly reported. ...
Incommunicado detentions, unfair trials, torture and ill- ... - Amnesty International USA
and more »

And where are the threads complaining about these? I hear a deafening silence on the part of those against the use of torture...


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: CarolC
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 10:04 AM

How will the US Govt ever be able to criticise a foreign regime that uses torture as part of its methods to extract confessions?

They will do it selectively as they have always done. When it suits their purposes, they will use torture as one of their excuses for using aggression against other nations. And when it suites their purposes, they'll gloss over the use of torture by countries who are willing to do their torturing for them. 'Twas ever thus.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: beardedbruce
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 10:07 AM

agreed, CarolC... Just like the rest of the world.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: CarolC
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 10:15 AM

Not quite, beardedbruce. There are many countries that don't commit acts of military aggression against other nations.

And there are other countries who don't hide their use, or their support of the use of torture. I guess that's the direction in which the US is headed these days.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Amos
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 10:27 AM

Overt invasion, and covert torture? Wow -- shades of old Germany, and Communist Russia. Makes a feller proud to be joining such a long tradition among nations. Huh? Wrong tradition? Whatever do you mean?

A


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Amos
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 12:10 PM

The Bush administration seems to be deliberately stepping into the role of High Barbarians Possunt, willing to wear the horns and appeal only to the brute law of power.

This is a hard time for this once lovely nation. A lot of ugliness -- whether earned or thrust upon us -- is fouling up our days.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 12:30 PM

And where are the threads complaining about these? I hear a deafening silence on the part of those against the use of torture...

Beardedbruce, then you're not reading the right old threads around here, listening to the right radio stations, or reading the right web or print papers. Just don't rely heavily on the mainstream US papers to print the indictments. And don't blame Mudcatters if George W. Bush has gone apeshit and is torturing the rest of the world. Sometimes we don't post a new thread for every single thing we're concerned about. This is, after all, a music site (though if you go look up protest songs you'll find a wealth of them to protest all sorts of warlike activity).

From the Digital Tradition, and too bad these days it doesn't take something as simple as people in a room signing papers:

LAST NIGHT I HAD THE STRANGEST DREAM
(Ed McCurdy)

Last night I had the strangest dream,
I never dreamed before.
I dreamed the world had all agreed
To put an end to war.
I dreamed I saw a mighty room,
The room was filled with men.
And the papers they were signing said
They'd never fight again.

And when the papers were all signed,
And a million copies made
They all joined hands and bowed their heads,
And grateful prayers were made.
And the people in the streets below,
They all danced round and round.
And guns and swords and uniforms
Were scattered on the ground.

Last night I had the strangest dream,
I never dreamed before.
I dreamed the world had all agreed
To put an end to war.
I dreamed I saw a mighty room,
The room was filled with men.
And the papers they were signing said
They'd never fight again.

When I awoke, twas but a dream,
and peace a dirty word
I tried to tell them of my dream,
but not a word they heard
And then I got me fighting mad,
and I knew just what I'd do
I'd fight nonviolently for peace,
until my dream came true.


"Last Night I Had a Happy Dream" was given a new
lease, when Ed McCurdy rewrote it as a peace song. The
last verse was added by Linda Hirschorn. BL



SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Peace
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 12:48 PM

If you elect a government headed by a totalitarian group, ya get totalitarian policies. Bush and his cronies are shit. Remember that in November.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Chief Chaos
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 12:53 PM

It seems to me that over the last few years we haven't had to complain as it has been sadly evident that our troops were tortured upon capture and during incarceration.

This is a sad day for those of us in the service who believed that because we held ourselves to a higher standard of behavior we expected that our CIC would as well. Regardless of the legal mumbo jumbo spewed out to defend that outrageous supposition that he is above that law, the laws were created to keep our GIs safe from torture. Although it hasn't always worked there was always the hope that it would. From now on it's going to be gloves off, bare knuckled, no rules, anything goes. For if he as President is above the law, then so are all the others.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: GUEST,guest from NW
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 01:11 PM

"And where are the threads complaining about these? I hear a deafening silence on the part of those against the use of torture..."

i'm so sick of this type of moronic justification of american abuse and torture practices. since you hear so much silence on these other countries torture tactics, let me shout this at you...

THE REASON I'M NOT COMPLAINING ABOUT TORTURE IN OTHER COUNTRIES IS BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE A VOTE THERE. THEY DO NOT REPRESENT ME. ON THE OTHER HAND, IN AMERICA I AM A CITIZEN WITH VOTING RIGHTS AND AM APPALLED BY THESE CROOKS AND THEIR IMMORAL ACTIONS THAT ARE BEING DONE IN MY NAME AS A CITIZEN. I WANT THE TRUTH ABOUT THEIR DEGRADING ACTIONS TO COME OUT AND FOR THEM TO BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE. I WISH PEOPLE LIKE YOU WOULD DO YOUR DUTY AS CITIZENS TO UPHOLD THE LAWS OF OUR LAND AND QUIT TRYING TO FIND WAYS TO JUSTIFY CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR ON THEIR PARTS. FOR THE RECORD, I DISAPPROVE OF THESE TACTICS BEING USED BY OTHER COUNTRIES BUT FEEL THAT THE WAY TO DISCOURAGE THAT IS THRU DOING THINGS IN A MORAL MANNER AND NOT JOINING THEM IN THEIR HEINOUS ACTS.

loud enough for you?


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 01:11 PM

None of those other countries have been able to bully the rest of the world into giving their citizens any kind of immunity from being tried for crimes like this. At least in principle, anybody involved in this kind of thing could be arrested and charged if they ever set foot in most countries. Remember the case of General Pinochet.

The USA is the only country which has demanded that kind of immunity -which means that the USA has laid upon itself the sole responsibility for pursuing and rooting out this kind of behaviour by its own citizens, no matter how high placed. That means that when a US administration is willing to authorise torture, including the murder of prisoners in its care, and to give immunity to its agents who carry out such acts, that is a particularly serious matter.

Or rather it has managed to suborn some corruptible lawyers into providing a legal rationalisation for this on the basis of a sickening perversion of the US Constitution. The Constitution which all Presidents are, I understand, sworn to uphold.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 01:19 PM

Guest from the NW, you said it exactly right, but as someone with dyslexia I have a hard time negotiating all of the caps. Here is what you said, in sentence case and big bold text. Just in case other dyslexics come along and need to read this loud and clear:


    "And where are the threads complaining about these? I hear a deafening silence on the part of those against the use of torture..."

    i'm so sick of this type of moronic justification of american abuse and torture practices. since you hear so much silence on these other countries torture tactics, let me shout this at you...

    The reason i'm not complaining about torture in other countries is because i don't have a vote there. They do not represent me. On the other hand, in america i am a citizen with voting rights and am appalled by these crooks and their immoral actions that are being done in my name as a citizen. I want the truth about their degrading actions to come out and for them to be removed from office. I wish people like you would do your duty as citizens to uphold the laws of our land and quit trying to find ways to justify criminal behavior on their parts. For the record, i disapprove of these tactics being used by other countries but feel that the way to discourage that is thru doing things in a moral manner and not joining them in their heinous acts.

    loud enough for you?

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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Don Firth
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 01:36 PM

I'm sick and disgusted. What the hell happened to the country I was born into?

So much for Reagan's "shining city on the hill."

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Greg F.
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 02:10 PM

Reagan's "Shining City on a Hill" analogy was plagiarized from writings of the the 'Pilgrims' in the Mass. Bay Colony- one of the Mathers, perhaps.

It was bullshit in the seventeenth century, it was bullshit when spewed by Ronnie, and its overwhelming bullshit now.

Problem is, lots believe it. Fervently

Bruce- ya wanna wager, say, twenty bucks on the November election? I have a deep and abiding faith in the stupidity and invincible ignorance of the average U.S. voter.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: emjay
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 02:42 PM

There is another aspect to this matter of Americans torturing or abusing their prisoners. It doesn't matter so much whs at you call it, it doesn't change what was done, but equally as important as our seeing and recognizing the evil we are doing is to realize that allowing, even encouraging our troops to do these things to prisoners forever changes their characters, usually for the worse. There are those who do see the wrongness of what they are doing and will come to speak out against it. Too many others become abusive people because of that behavior after having been encouraged to commit the acts.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 04:06 PM

I don't know why, but I can't help thinking of that expression - "The Evil Empire". Is this a boomerang heading Bush's way? For how can anyone, ANY-f*cking-ONE, be above the law and call themselves a civilised person?


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Peace
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 04:23 PM

Greg F, you are on. I will bet that Bush is beaten. That is, Bush will lose the election. The winner of the bet keeps his cash. The loser of the bet gives to a recognized charity of his choice. We trust each other to do that. If that is good by you, you're on.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: M.Ted
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 04:24 PM

Once torture is OK for "known" terrorists, it is soon acceptable for "suspected" terrorists, then for those who support suspected terrorists--easier each time--


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 04:29 PM

I heard a guest on NPR explaining all this "exemption" BS. What they have done is to create a complex of overlapping and contradictory laws, 'findings', 'rulings'...etc, the sum of which is that anyone who does commit or approve torture and gets called on it can find all sorts of legal defenses based on the old Nazi "I vas chust following orders" defense at Nuremburg and the even older "things are done in "wartime" which aren't permissible in local police depts."

It is all a case of CYAWP...covering your ass with paper...Everyone concerned gets a big, complex set of pre-arranged excuses....and I am ashamed to see my government going to such idiotic extremes for such dubious reasons. If all the Muslims in the world had invaded our shores and started killing people in the streets, I could at least understand, if not approve....but righteously creating bureaucratic defenses for one wrong to whitewash another....no, thank you....


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Greg F.
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 08:32 PM

You're on, Bruce! Its a bet.

Is that twenty bucks Canadian, or twenty bucks real money? ;>)

I should say that nothing would give me more pleasure than sending that sawbuck to the American Friends Service Committee. 'Twould give me great pleasure to lose this one.

Best, Greg


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 09:16 PM

And all thanks to Reagan's little heir apparent!


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Mooh
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 10:04 PM

It amazes me that anyone should be surprised by any of this. The most gung-ho, trigger happy, gun infatuated culture elects (sort of) its poster boy and his manipulating cronies and what do you expect, the second coming? An unsupervised military which nurtures rabid hatred and the "if they're not for us, they're against us" mentality among it's uninformed troops, gets soldiers who torture. Condoned or not, that torture was allowed to happen.

Any wonder the stereotypical image of Americans in some parts of the world is so negative? Shame, ain't it!

Peace (I hope), Mooh.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: beardedbruce
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 10:14 PM

war zone logic:

people who shoot at me --------------enemies

people who put bombs to blow me up---enemies

People who burn my comrade's bodies, and hange them from bridges and lampposts----------------------------ememies

people who supply or hid my enemies--enemies



WHat part of this do you not understand?


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: GUEST,Clint Keller
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 10:38 PM

I understand that torturing one's enemies is wrong. (Torturing anyone else is too, for you hairsplitters.)

I understand it is necessary to be better than Saddam & his like; and I understand that's not enough; I understand it's necessary to be different.

To put it more plainly, If we become a tyrannical government we have been conquered by tyranny.

What part of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill or Rights don't you understand?

Or to put it more simply, is there anything about American principles and ideals that you do understand?

clint


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: GUEST,Clint Keller
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 10:39 PM

"Different" from Saddam, that is.

clint


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: beardedbruce
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 10:48 PM

I have been told over the last 40+ years that whenever the constitution allowed for something that m ight be dangerous, it was ok to change it. I never believed that, but I kept being told that by all the well-meaning liberals. Now, you want me to believe it is sacred??? Make up your mind: Some of us have always felt the Constitution should be treated as a whole, but at every turn rights were restricted by liberals "for our own good"


Tourture is bad- we are trying to determine the guilty parties, and punish them. Has ANY muslim cleric issued a fatwah against any of the atrocities against the US forces or contractors???


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Bobert
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 10:49 PM

Like it has been said, "one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist"...

What the US needs is another USSR to keep it half way honest. It sure doesn't wear this "Single Super Power" badge too well.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 11:02 PM

Agree Bobert - the emperor is naked and nobody is telling him to go get dressed. Or he's not listening.

This is a watershed, not for a single politician or his party, not even for the political system of the US, but for international law and how it will (not) be respected in the future; and for the image of a once great country and its denizens in the eyes of the world.

We are in the middle of WWIII, I think - the "war on terror" is certainly global. But ugly though it is, we have seen its face already. Yet even this will be as nothing if one day the world turns against the most powerful nation on earth to rid itself of a tyranny it (the world) feels imposed on it. I hope that day never comes, but I worry that it might.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Amos
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 11:02 PM

BB:

I sense you are almost articulating something quite true, but it is still not clear. I don't know what you mean by "liberals" who have restricted rights. Which rights? And as for people telling you it was okay to change the Constitution, I suggest you make up your own mind, keeping the purposes and ideals of the document in mind.

I would add that under the right circumstances, knee deep in a blood-hot war, I might torture some people under particular circumstances. But what was being made into a scandal was something very different -- it was rampant sadism. There is a world of difference. The prisoners being abused and ridiculed at Abu Ghraib were not witholding critical information, as far as I have heard. Nor were they critical to a life-or-death issue (except their own). I think these are significant distinctions.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: johnfitz.com
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 11:13 PM

Somebody e-mailed me today and asked why I had not posted for several months. I think this thread is why. It is deeply hateful, self satisfying and righteous. I heard our leaders apologize--almost profusely, for the treatment of the Iraqi prisoners. If it were widespread and systematic I know we would have heard more. I have six children. I live fearful for their future. I lived for two years in a communist country. Much of my liberalism was squeezed out of me. I am not proud of it; at times it is downright embarrassing, not so much because I feel I am on the wrong side of an issue, but by taking a contrary stand other people leap with their assumptions--they leap with joy at the possibilty of a public forum to be "right" again. I've placed my heart and soul in the folk community for over 25 years. It's a good place, especially when it laughs at itself. I've never learned a thing from an angry man. I really haven't. I can't hear them.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 12:22 AM

You've heard apologies out of one side of their mouths, Johnfitz, and out of the other side we are seeing that they dictated all of the exceptions to the rules so that no American soldier will be harshly punished for those acts, and so that many of those acts may continue because of the classification of the prisoner.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: GUEST,Clint Keller
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 12:36 AM

Sorry I lost my temper. Your post looked like a defense of torture to me, and that really pushes my buttons.

And I just about lost it again when I read your next post; with all respect, my name isn't 'You Liberals,' and forty years ago I would have told you the same thing as I did last post. But if I had changed my mind it might be because I learned something in that forty years. I hope I've learned something since 1960.

I have a Croatian friend who came here while the Communists were still in power. He told me that his people looked up to the USA as a symbol of freedom, that even though they might not get to America or ever have that freedom in Yugoslavia, it was a comfort to know that somewhere in the world people were free of secret police, of having neighbors who were informers, of being imprisoned without charges -- all those things tyrannical governments are so fond of.

We are losing that reputation, and it is costing us, and I don't like it.

clint


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: GUEST,Clint Keller
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 12:38 AM

I was addressing bb there, of course.

c


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: johnfitz.com
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 12:42 AM

What they can, and can't do was addressed publicly today. They have, in essence, set the standard for acceptable torture. Not exactly a noble exercise, but at least as Americans we have a public statement we can hold them to, or at least try to. I feel like you and I are off on the wrong foot. I agree with you that apologies are worded vaguely and that the torture was deplorable, counter-productive and idiotic; that is why I remain convinced that the stuff they did at Abu Graib (sp?) is more the work of localized yahoos, tolerated by an inept general.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 01:59 AM

The last paragraph in a Washington Post editorial pasted to another thread:

Perhaps the president's lawyers have no interest in the global impact of their policies -- but they should be concerned about the treatment of American servicemen and civilians in foreign countries. Before the Bush administration took office, the Army's interrogation procedures -- which were unclassified -- established this simple and sensible test: No technique should be used that, if used by an enemy on an American, would be regarded as a violation of U.S. or international law. Now, imagine that a hostile government were to force an American to take drugs or endure severe mental stress that fell just short of producing irreversible damage; or pain a little milder than that of "organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death." What if the foreign interrogator of an American "knows that severe pain will result from his actions" but proceeds because causing such pain is not his main objective? What if a foreign leader were to decide that the torture of an American was needed to protect his country's security? Would Americans regard that as legal, or morally acceptable? According to the Bush administration, they should.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Metchosin
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 03:19 AM

I've read this thread too and I see nothing particularly hateful or self satisfying.

What I do see are some fine Americans outraged, remorseful and angry that the current US administration appears to believe that it is above the laws of the land and and also appears to be searching for legal loopholes so that it can extricate itself from inconvenient international conventions to which it's a signatory.   

That some are angry is understandable to me. America has always viewed its form of government as the epitomy of the democratic ideal and viewed itself as a torch bearer in the field of human rights and at times with a good deal of justification.

It is easy to abide by civilized rules when things are going well, it's when the chips are down that it becomes difficult not to stoop to the lowest common denominator. However, it is during tough times when those very ideals are most needed as a beacon, or else, what the hell is the point?

The folk community is rife with angry men and women and has been forever so. The protest song is an intregal part of the folk process of those angry men and women, particularly in North America and sometimes, when there is a message in the music, sorry, but it just ain't funny.

Some angry folks

Pete Seeger

Bruce Cockburn

Bob Dylan

And some young and old angry folks

Smith/Seeger/DJ Spooky


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Shanghaiceltic
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 04:04 AM

One of the reasons I despaired when I saw the article in the Telegraph is that the US Govt (Far more than the UK one) has had a pretty good record on getting people released from detention in China. People can be detained in China for many reasons other than criminal acts. Once in detention there have been clear cases of abuse by the authorities.

I can only see this latest news being used against the well intentioned US negotiators who try to portray the US as having a higher regards for political and human rights.

Indidentally the brave doctor who blew the lid off the SARS problem last year and then wrote openly to the Chinese Government regarding a more open approach has not been seen since the begining of this month. Just prior to the Tiananmen anniversary.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: jack halyard
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 04:33 AM

I am angry, but I'm hardly surprised. Folks, America- or atleast its government, refused to ratify a number of international conventions icluding a meaningful international court. It is precisely such a court that would have been the appropriate forum for the impartial trial of Saddam Hussein, and it is now appropriate for an impartial trail of George Bush.
I remember Arlo Guthrie singing in the early seventies

"If you didn't know about that one, then what else don't you know."

Our own prime miniscule, John Howard, is appealing to the same ignorance, and with his toadying to the international policeman has given many Australians the same sense of deep shame. I feel deeply for ordinary Americans. The sooner you get big money out of your politics and get a broader base of presidential possibilities than your aristocracy of business, the better for both America and the rest of thye world.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: jack halyard
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 05:29 AM

I feel I should follow up. The string of events that led to the Iraq invasion seemed merciless and relentless. It seemed that "America" was a leviathan bulldozing the world along its chosen course, regardless of other opinions.
I want American mudcatters to know that the quality of discussion and introspection on this forum has restored my hope.
As one new to the electronic pipeline, it's inspiring to hear other voices from the United States than the usual run of leaders and commentators thrust at us by the mass media. Your good health all!
                                        Jack Halyard.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Wolfgang
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 06:12 AM

Your shouting, my friend, only reinforces our views. If you have to shout it then there's more than likely not a lot ot meat to your views...
(Bobert, a few hours ago, but not in this thread, to Beardedbruce when BB used caps for a minor part of his post)

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: beardedbruce
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 06:21 AM

well, I guess i will only use lower case. that will make all my arguments nice and meaty. sorry if i had something to emphasize.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: beardedbruce
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 07:22 AM

and did i hear the queen of spades in there? " first the sentence, then the trial."


SRS:

"Beardedbruce, then you're not reading the right old threads around here,"

please see my 'sudan' thread. i looked back to the begining of mudcat. don't see how i can find any older than that. and damn few of you have stepped up to answer my question.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Greg F.
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 07:41 AM

No "watershed" at all- just 'deja vu all over again'-


Here's a kick in the ass, boys, here's a kick in the ass.
We'll smash down your doors, we don't bother to knock
We've done it before, so why all the shock?
We're the biggest and toughest kids on the block!
And we're the cops of the world, boys, we're the cops of the world.


      Phil Ochs(1965?)


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 09:01 AM

Beardedbruce, that's because you don't bring a lot of substance, just fingerpointing, to your own discussion.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: GUEST,Marion
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 09:34 AM

"Sudan: Incommunicado detentions, unfair trials, torture and ill- ...
Amnesty International - 3 hours ago...And where are the threads complaining about these? I hear a deafening silence on the part of those against the use of torture... "

beardedbigot - What's the point of this sort of comment? I haven't heard you taking up the cause of people in Sierra Leone who are being tortured. WHY NOT? If I were to use your logic, I'd say what a hypocrite you are because you're only going on about the people in the Sudan - you're not doing anything for the people in Sierra Leone. Why are you attacking people on this site who alarmed about US torture in Iraq?


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Stu
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 10:09 AM

This goes deeper than the US needing to have an adversary like the USSR.

China is still a communist superpower, with WMDs, appaling human rights abuses happening daily (don't get me started about Tibet) etc, and now Bush and Blair simply want to do business with them, morals be damned!

In truth, the USA is now in effect an Empire, acting with typical imperial disdain towards people it doesn't agree with (including it's own citizens). Part of the trick of running an empire is to make sure people who live in the motherland think a) they are right all the time and everyone else is wrong, and b) their leaders have their best interests at heart.

Lessons learnt from previous empires would seem to indicate this way of acting is wrong (ask the English - still hated by many in the British Isles and the world over for the wrongs of the British Empire). It's not good for the citizens of the Empire, or for those who live in countries that happen to get in the way of the (invariably) 'great democracy'.

The Americans will regret acting like this for generations - their grandchildren will pay the price for their leader's arrogance and imperialist attitude, even though they had nothing to do with it.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 11:20 AM

"If it were widespread and systematic I know we would have heard more."

That depends what you read and watch and listen to. Over the last couple of years there have been numerous allegations, that appear very well-grounded, made about torture of various kinds carried out in Guantanamo and other detention facilities operated by the USA, and also about prisoners being handed over to other countries for torture.

And there have been statements from administration and military sources which have confirmed that practices are authorised which fall within the definition of torture that the USA, in common wioth most other countries, has sworn to outlaw. Mainstream media in other countries such as the UK have carried these stories.
.....................

Why is more fuss made here about what the USA gets up to, than about other less powerful countries? One reason is that the torturers and politicians in other countries are always, in principle, at risk of prosecution any time they leave those countries, even if their own government backs them up. That doesn't apply to citizens and politicians in the USA, where special immunities have been "negotiated" which remove the possibility of such prosecutions.

But another reason is, people know that there is within the USA a tradition of challenging oppressive and corrupt administrations. There is more point in kicking up a stink when there is a possibility that people might be listening.

Look at it this way - if people outside the USA were able to just shrug off this kind of thing, wouldn't that just mean that the USA had been written off as anything to admire or respect? "Don't worry, we know that torture and stuff like that is only what we all expect of Americans" - is that better?


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Don Firth
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 12:29 PM

"They have, in essence, set the standard for acceptable torture."

"Acceptable torture." Ye Gods!! What sort of moral pygmy—no, I won't finish that sentence.

While channel-surfing last night, I happened upon the Senate hearings with John Ashcroft on CSPAN-2. It became obvious during the questioning, especially Ashcroft's refusal to answer certain questions and refusal to provide copies of the memos in question (despite that fact the some of the senators already had copies of the memos, leaked to the press, in hand), that torture of prisoners is a matter of Bush administration policy. Asked if he was invoking executive privilege, Ashcroft said he was not, but he still refused to answer. When told that if he was not invoking executive privilege, he was legally required to answer, and he still refused. He was also threatened with charges of contempt of Congress, but he still refused. He obfuscated and equivocated, talking all around the subject, but he didn't answer the senators' questions. What he wouldn't say spoke volumes.

It came out during the questioning that apparently there is a manual that outlines several "procedures" (seventeen, if I recall correctly) that are "allowable" during interrogation of prisoners. When asked if President Bush had authorized the use of these "procedures," Ashcroft gave a convoluted response that talked all around it, but still didn't answer the question. He could give dancing lessons to Michael Flatley.

It was evident that many of the senators, including Republicans, were thoroughly disgusted. Small wonder. The stench was overpowering.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Wolfgang
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 02:29 PM

Your shouting, my friend, only reinforces our views. If you have to shout it then there's more than likely not a lot ot meat to your views...
(Bobert)

The point of my post above with this quote from Bobert may have been lost, so let me state it explicitely:

Guest from NW shouted at Beardedbruce and there was no comment from Bobert who nearly at the same time had made the quoted remark to Beardedbruce who had used much less shouting. It seems to me that shouting is considered as more inadequate if we do not agree with the position of the shouter.

Just a little observation that also holds in real life, in my experience.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 04:29 PM

If capital letters count as shouting, is there any equivalent convention that indicates we are whispering?


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Amos
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 04:43 PM

I don't know of any, Kevin

Regards,

A


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: CarolC
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 05:43 PM

(nope, nothing I can think of either)


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: beardedbruce
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 12:44 AM

did my sarcasm go unnoticed?

as i have stated, i started the sudan thread because i felt that the hypocrits claiming to be so concerned about people were really just using other's suffering to avance their own agenda. CarolC is the only one ( so far) who has stepped up and shown herself to care. the others have just been attacking me for trying to make the point. I do not agree with CarolC on very much- but i have to respect her. too bad about the rest of you.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: GUEST,guest from NW
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 01:16 AM

"Guest from NW shouted at Beardedbruce and there was no comment from Bobert who nearly at the same time
had made the quoted remark to Beardedbruce who had used much less shouting. It seems to me that shouting is considered as more inadequate if we do not agree with the position of the shouter."

my shouting was in response to a comment by beardedbruce about the "silence" he heard when throwing out bad things that other nations do as opposed to what we americans do. what others do is no justification for engaging in immorality and abuse yourself. to do so is to show that you have no moral basis either. didn't your mother ever ask you "if everybody else jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?"
sanctioning torture as american policy is a cliff we will wish we never jumped from. we live in a dark time.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 01:23 AM

people who feel they are justified in hating, by name calling etc, are part of the problem. Its that sort of belittling of others that leads to abuse.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 05:05 AM

Sarcasm, bearded bruce? I just took it as a straightforward comment. This post I made (the second part of it) was intended as a response, suggesting reasons for the different response to reports about torture by various countries. It certainly wasn't meant as any kind of attack on you.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: beardedbruce
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 05:10 AM

that post i took as a straightforward comment. my sarcasm was the comment that since i was in lower case, my comment must have a meatier content.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: beardedbruce
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 05:24 AM

SRS:

Your comment: "Beardedbruce, then you're not reading the right old threads around here,"

My comment: please see my 'sudan' thread. i looked back to the begining of mudcat. don't see how i can find any older than that. and damn few of you have stepped up to answer my question.

Your comment: "Beardedbruce, that's because you don't bring a lot of substance, just fingerpointing, to your own discussion. "

******************************************************************

I pointed out the fact that most of you "humanitarians "(CarolC excepted) are hypocrites, interested in other's suffering only when it will advance your own political views. That is my discussion.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: GUEST,fed up
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 05:30 AM

beardedbruce

You turned up around April with poetry - it has taken you just a few weeks to go from verse to worse. Calm down. Relax. Maybe its a new thing for you to come across people with more humanitarian views. Breathe deeply - maybe you might learn something. Argue ideas, not sweeping generalisations.

The world is your muse - treat it kindly.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: beardedbruce
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 05:42 AM

GUEST, fed up:

"people with more humanitarian views"

i believe that my point is that most of those here espousing "humanitarian" views are hypocrytical scum, using the guise of concern to attack a political view they do not like.

I have been around a bit more than since this April- I just have been biting my tongue until now. But check my posting history, if nothing else.

"Argue ideas, not sweeping generalisations"

I try to match the tone set by those already posting. If you see sweeping generalization, maybe that is what I am reacting to, as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: JennyO
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 05:51 AM

i started the sudan thread because i felt that the hypocrits claiming to be so concerned about people were really just using other's suffering to avance their own agenda.

i believe that my point is that most of those here espousing "humanitarian" views are hypocrytical scum, using the guise of concern to attack a political view they do not like.

Beardedbruce, without being a mindreader, how can you possibly know about other people's state of mind or motivation, to make that judgment?


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: beardedbruce
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 05:59 AM

JennyO,

If someone is oh so concerned about some action, for "humanitarian " reasons, and then ignores a similar state of affairs, elsewhere, that is far worse, what other conclusion can a reasonable, thinking person draw?????



"without being a mindreader, how can you possibly know about other people's state of mind or motivation, to make that judgment? "

There are non-stop statemnents about the motivation of the US, or members of the US government here. Are you ( all) claiming to be mindreaders, then?


Or is it only those you disagree with that you ask this type of question of?


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: jack halyard
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 06:40 AM

I know of Jenny O that she opposes torture with as much revulsion as I do. Plenty of us had lots to say about Saddam Hussein, Tienanmin square, East Timor, Idi Amin, as well as having lots to say about our own disreputable government that is currently imprisoning children in concentration camps. I for one have only recently been doing it on this forum, so BeardedBruce can hardly comment on my consistency.
The point to me is that the American Government has been claiming the moral high ground over the rest of us for years, while refusing to ratify many just causes in matters of the environment, land mines and a meaningful world court. With the dreadful revelations coming out of the Washington woodwork, one can hardly be surprised at the anger of people at discovering that the world's chief policeman is as corrupt as the rest of the world's self appointed coppers.
In this day and age, the glib throwing around of the term "Hypocracy" about any who's opinions diverge from ones own is more a comment on the speaker than his subject. Address the issues please, BeardedBruce, rather than dumping on the messengers.

                                  Jack Halyard.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 08:57 AM

Much as I would prefer to do otherwise, I am inclined to take seriously the facile drivel from beardedbruce, because I think many, many millions of Americans agree with it. Probably they are driven by fear and uncertainty, which the present Admin does all in its power to whip up. Anxieties are likely to increase as it becomes ever more plain that America is incapable of achieving its foreign-policy objectives by brute force.

Beardedbruce accuses someone of putting "the sentence before the trial" - blissfully overlooking how this sits with his own knee-jerk views. For instance, in response to allegations of government-sponsored torture, he spells out who his enemies are and then asks what part we don't understand. The part I don't understand is why Iraqis, liberated by their friend America, should be assumed to be bombers, murderers etc, when they have not been charged with anything, never mind tried.

Beardedbruce is disingenuous in pretending anyone would be as concerned about what goes on in other countries as they are about what goes on in their name. And his claim that if the allegations were true we would have heard about it before now, is risible. If it had been left to CBS, we would never have seen photos from Abu Ghraib, never mind the memo suggesting that torture is politcally sanctioned. So much for freedom of information, in the land of freedom.

Re Clint's comment about Croatia, it is not helpful to my mind that an overwhelming majority of Americans cling to a simple shorthand whereby Commie = bad, capitalist = good. Comparing the Russian and Chinese economies since the wall came down would be instructive for a start.

Cultures and arts that once flourished under Communist patronage are now in decline all over Eastern Europe, not least in Croatia. Equally many communities are much more fragmented and unstable now than was the case under communism, as greed, avarice and growth for growth's sake become the main economic drivers, exactly as spelled out by Keynes in his creed for capitalism.

In fact the kind of communism that Croatia experienced as part of Tito's Yugoslavia is now remembered with affection by many Croatians, notwithstanding that for reasons of history going back centuries, many there always yearned for independence rather than mere autonomy. (Tito spurned Soviet influence, traded with the west and helped found the "non-aligned" movement, which in itself demonstrates that communism, like capitalism, can come in various flavours.) As the Warsaw Pact collapsed, America rushed to advance the credentials of Franjo Tudjman, because he was a "westernised" successful businessman, just like Chalabi in Iraq. He also turned out be an autocratic dictator and reinstated the emblems of WW2 Croatia, under which a catholic-fascist regime installed by the Axis powers masterminded the murder of nearly a million ethnic Serbs, Jews and Roma, often with hideous cruelty. Those who to this day applaud the atrocities of 1941-45 are foremost in voicing the views that Clint has heard.

I shall watch the Greg-brucie wager with only academic interest, as there's so little to choose between Bush and Kerry. Since becoming the Dem nominee presumptive, Kerry has been pathetic, so far as he has been visible at all. His problem is that he needs the votes of America's beardedbruces to have any chance of winning.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 10:10 AM

Thank you, Peter K for taking the time to spell this out. It was a well-illustrated observation, and probably took a while to compose. I for one don't intend to dismiss it out of hand.

BB, substantive dialog doesn't come with the simple ability to write sentences. Moving subject and object and the connecting and modifying bits around on the page, regardless of what they really mean ("judge the form, not the content" said beardedbruce regarding his sonnets) is to place the grammar, the structure, above the content and the context. As a favorite English professor of mine pointed out in a difficult history of language class, "grammer is just manners." People without proper understanding of the rules of grammar (whatever language they speak) can make themselves understood even if they don't follow the grammatical conventions. Language came first, the rules came later (about the time of the printing press).

While we place importance on word order and subject and object and verb agreement, we'd be complete fools if we ignored any dialog that doesn't exactly conform to those rules. Yet the parallel exists here. Beardedbruce, who has been around for a year or more but only started posting voraciously when Blackcatter started that ill-conceived best poet thread, has loosed his mighty pen here at Mudcat and is dismayed that we are underwhelmed by his facile ability with words. That's because many of read beyond face-value and expect deeper understanding of our posts in return.

We've seen a lot of growth and understanding of issues occur here at Mudcat over time. It's an open forum. Many make solid contributions from wherever their political position, some never quite get it, others are rough gems with a spark of real insight and humanity that peeks through on occasion. We come from polar extremes on some of our political views. Beardedbruce, I hope you'll calm down and do some reading before you make any more pronouncements about the political ideals and impulses of the members here and consider it if is fair or even necessary that they meet your particular standards. If they aren't performing in the way you want them to on your thread, maybe it's because there is something wrong with the thread (or the person who hovers over it) instead of the wide variety of Mudcatters who have taken time to post here.

To be fair, we've all been trounced at one time or another here at the Mudcat, and this is your turn. You'll get over it and discussion will calm down (or you'll go away and pout and say nasty things about Mudcat--it's your choice).

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Amos
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 10:33 AM

It was not Communism that made the difference to those who remember Tito's Yugoslavia foindly, but stability. Just as Saddam did, Tito kept things under control. This means that any method (of government) is preferable to none. But it does NOT mean that a Communist method is necessary. It is economically oppressive inherently. It is not an evil idea -- in fact it is, in the abstract, charming. But it doesn't work, and the reason it doesn't work is that human nature will not be coerced. Charity is a voluntary action, and the incentive to own a piece of the world is much stronger in the human makeup than the incentive to help one's fellows.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: CarolC
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 10:48 AM

Neither "ism", Free Market Capitalism nor Communism, has ever been tried. So we can't really say whether or not either of them would work if they were tried. The only economic "ism" that has ever really been tried is economic Darwinism, and as far as I can see, that one is not a very sustainable "ism". At least not in the long run.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 10:56 AM

Interesting concept, economic Darwinism. This link is to a google search on the term.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: GUEST,Clint Keller
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 11:14 AM

I wasn't saying "Commie = bad, capitalist = good;" I was repeating what Miro Vejkovic (probably spelled wrong) told me, which was that "even though they might not get to America or ever have that freedom in Yugoslavia, it was a comfort to know that somewhere in the world people were free of secret police, of having neighbors who were informers, of being imprisoned without charges -- all those things tyrannical governments are so fond of."

That's more like Autocracy=bad, Democracy=good. Miro was pretty cranky about being pushed around by capitalists too, or by academic bureaucrats -- we were both working for Washington State University -- and he didn't much like the people who had replaced the Communists in Yugoslavia.

clint


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Amos
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 11:19 AM

I like this Miro feller already, Clint!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: CarolC
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 11:42 AM

Interesting concept, economic Darwinism. This link is to a google search on the term.

Ha! And here I was thinking I'd coined the term my little old self. Ah well.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 11:57 AM

So here's a quote from that post of mine I referred to earlier:

Look at it this way - if people outside the USA were able to just shrug off this kind of thing, wouldn't that just mean that the USA had been written off as anything to admire or respect? "Don't worry, we know that torture and stuff like that is only what we all expect of Americans" - is that better?


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 12:08 PM

I've been acquainted with Social Darwinism as one of the driving forces behind conservative politics in America, but economic Darwinism certainly applies as well. Good one, Carol. "Great minds working along parallel lines" perhaps?

In following Maggie's (SRS) link, one of the first comments I ran into was this goodie:
The hour draws near when agencies must choose between two options — change or die. They must either hold themselves accountable for the results of their work or be replaced by those that will.
Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 12:41 PM

CarolC, when I saw your line it was an "aha!" moment--like Don I too am quite versed in the dialectics of Social Darwinism, and clearly the "survival of the fittest" idea (and who and what constitute "fit"?) is a logical use of this Darwin concept. I simply plugged the term into Google to see if it was one that had been around for a while. The outcome is the realization that it is viable, and that you're in good company. Congratulations on introducing this particular notion to the discussion!

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: CarolC
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 01:21 PM

Thanks SRS and Don F.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Chief Chaos
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 01:39 PM

Isn't it strange that those who would align themselves against the biological darwinism because they don't hold with the evolution theory so eagerly espouse the economic and social darwinism?

The soldiers/sailors/airmen/marines and coasties of the US Military are not "taught to hate" by the military. They don't need to be. Watching someone who is your friend and confidant, was there at your bachelor party and held you up steady for your wedding as your best man, helped you care for your sick child, or did a number of other things to earn the status of "brother" or "sister" without actually being blood related, get his or her head or other bodily part mutilated by someone that you are supposedly there to liberate is probably enough to do that. And yes, some of our eager young military personnel actually believe in the mission. It's not their fault. We were all once that young and naive. Don't try to deny it.

And by the way, although the above mentioned servicemen might only have Uncle Sam to correct them for their wrong doing, it's not going to be cushy if they do get punished. Leavenworth is a hard time facility and most often the military justice system does not take into consideration why you did things. They only have to prove that you did them. And even when they haven't, like OJ Simpson, the charges hover over their heads for the rest of their (short most likely) career. And until trial you are mostly held guilty until proven innocent. I've personally known a few who were punished prior to trial and then had the charges rigged so that they couldn't defend themselves.

None of this in any way excuses the abuse/torture that occurred.

The fact is that when we play world policemen half the folks tell us we're wrong while the other half say "we need you in (insert country here)." Catch 22.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 01:52 PM

I'm sure there'll likely enough be ground level soldiers who'll be punished - but the people higher up in the military food chain will come off a lot better, and the real high ups, and those more responsible for the whole thing, will be completely untouched.

Does anyone believe that Abu Ghraib was just a case of a bunch of imaginative psychos left in charge of a corner of a jail, rather than a security breach opening the shutters on a widespread pattern of behaviour orchestrated from the top?
.......................

Mind, how many weeks did Lieutenant Callan get locked up for because of My Lai? Perhaps things have changed...


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: GUEST,Larry k
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 01:58 PM

To answer a question a while back- "What part of the constitution don't you understand?".   I don't understand the part which applies to non USA citizens.    I know that most of you would prefer to treat Al Queda the same way we treat Martha Stewart- with designer burkas and Calvin Kline robes.

Last night on O'relly he asked a hypothetical question which his liberal guest could not (or would not) answer.   If you were told an Al Queda operative under arrest had information on a nuclear bomb attack on a US city, would you use agressive methods of interrogation.   The guest would only comment that it was an unrealistic scenario.   

So lets go the real life story that happended a few months ago. A black sergeant put a gun to the head of a prisoner and told the prisoner he would shoot him if he didn't talk.   (is that torture?) The prisoner confessed to an ambush and as a result, several american lives were saved.   Was the Sargeant a hero or a villian?    Most of your say villian.    80% of the american public say hero.   He was brought up the US millitary for dismissal, but because of public pressure, the case was dismissed.

Lastly- to answer a point also made much earlier.   Someone said that not every country is evil and makes military advances on other countries.    That is true- I have never heard of Bora Bora attacking anyone- but I could be wrong.   On the other hand, there is only one country that protects the rest of the world when evil leaders attack other countes.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Amos
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 02:18 PM

Most of your say villian.    80% of the american public say hero.   He was brought up the US millitary for dismissal, but because of public pressure, the case was dismissed.


You're hyperventilating again, Larry, and your imagination is running away. The truth is that the sergeant was neither a villain nor a hero, but a soldier, doing what he thought would work.

That he saved American lives is praiseworthy.

As to "most of you say villain" I think you are buying in to the demonization of American liberalism from radical reactionaries like Rush. I don't think that sergeant was a villain. Why should he be called a villain for using force in a violent (if unnecessary) situation?

The real villains are not usually found in the ranks, who have little choice. It is in the ranks of their leaders, in particular thier Commander in Chief, who is a bogus eejit, and his entourage, who prefer to keep him that way.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: CarolC
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 02:25 PM

Lastly- to answer a point also made much earlier.   Someone said that not every country is evil and makes military advances on other countries.    That is true- I have never heard of Bora Bora attacking anyone- but I could be wrong.   On the other hand, there is only one country that protects the rest of the world when evil leaders attack other countes.

Larry K, I believe that is my post you are quoting, and I would like you to show me where in that post the word "evil" appears.

And who protects the world when the USA oversteps the bounds of what is good and right (and necessary), something that is hardly an uncommon occurance. Oh, that's right. Nobody does because we are above the law. Silly me.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Amos
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 02:34 PM

Larry:

Perhaps, unlike the founding fathers, you don't buy in to the belief that all men are created equal, or endowed with certain inalienable rights, or that this perspective is the ground bedrock of our constitution and law? Perhaps these metaphysical convictions should only apply to those who got inside the "more perfect union" as citizens?

A


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Greg F.
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 03:18 PM

You put your finger right on the heart of the problem, there Chief- by what right does the U.S appoint itself "world policeman"? Particularly since it won't permit itself to be bound by international law or to be subject to the World Court.

Per the Phil Och song, q.v., above-


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 03:48 PM

When might it be right to set law aside for the sake of expedience?

In Robert Bolt's play, A Man for All Seasons, about Thomas More, who stood up to King Henry VIII when the King rejected the Roman Catholic Church to obtain a divorce and remarriage, there is a marvelous piece of dialogue that is directly applicable to the matter of how flexible our constitution and laws should be. The play was made into an exceptionally good movie starring Paul Scofield as Thomas More. I consider this and Judgment at Nuremberg as absolutely must see movies.

Here is the dialogue:
Roper:   So now you'd give the devil the benefit of law?
More:   Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the devil?
Roper:   I'd cut down every tree in England to do that.
More:   Oh, and when the last law was down and the devil turned on you, where would you hide Roper, all the laws being flat? This country is planted thick with laws from coast to coast, man's laws not God's, and if you cut them down—and you're just the man to do it—do you really think that you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the devil the benefit of the law, for my own safety's sake.
Amen!!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: GUEST,Clint Keller
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 04:08 PM

Larry k:
That was me. I said "What part of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill or Rights don't you understand?"

The Declaration says something like "we hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights..." That's ALL men, not just citizens of the USA. There weren't any citizens of the USA when that was written because there wasn't any USA.

About the Al Qaedist with the secret of the bomb: the answer would depend on a lot of things, like who told me what he knew? The same guy that told Powell all that crap and sent him to the UN with it? And if he's willing to die, like so many of them are, would he tell the truth? How could I tell? In WWII, if you knew when the Nazis were going to stage a buzz-bomb attack on England how much good would it do you?

But seriously, folks, that's the wrong question. It's a trick. The right question is "If you were a prison guard, and you didn't know what a prisoner knew or didn't know, would you use aggressive methods to soften him up for the interrogator?" And another right question is "Why say 'aggressive methods' when we all know you mean 'torture?' "

The sergeant is neither a hero nor a villain. He is lucky. Lucky he was right and didn't shoot a man who knew nothing and so couldn't tell him. What he did worked this time, but it's a poor habit to get into.

And finally, who exactly is this "Most Of You?" As in "I know that most of you would prefer to treat Al Queda the same way we treat Martha Stewart- with designer burkas and Calvin Kline robes."

clint


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 04:09 PM

Sorry. That should be
Roper:   I'd cut down every law in England to do that.
Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: GUEST,Clint Keller
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 04:15 PM

Don Firth:

That was wonderfully to the point.

Our Leaders should each have it tattooed on their forearm for handy reference.

clint


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 08:53 PM

Excellent points at 4.08pm, Clint. And I take the points you made earlier, in response to mine.

I could make little sense of Amos however. To say it was stability and not communism that worked for Yugoslavia seems a fine distinction, considering it was under communism that the stability was achieved. Not communism in any pure sense, maybe, but at least a hybrid command/market economy, somewhat akin to China's now. But I was, after all, making the point (which Amos seems to accept) that both command and capitalist economies come in different shapes and sizes.

Amos seems spiritlessly resigned to his theory that human nature will always bring down anything but "me, now!" economics. This ignores the evidence of some other capitalist countries that manage their affairs differently, and finish up with societies much more stable and contented than America's.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Amos
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 09:32 PM

Amos seems spiritlessly resigned to his theory that human nature will always bring down anything but "me, now!" economics.

My goodness!! What a wrong impression I have generated!!

I have a great deal of confidence in the individual spirit to generate better futures, innovate, overcome obstacles, and re-invent the good. I just hate to see others try to organize it! :>)

A


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 09:52 PM

LOL!


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: dianavan
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 10:00 PM

Mudcatters - Thanks so much for restoring my faith in the American people. The ideals which make America great are now being undermined but it is refreshing to hear your opinions about what is happening to your country. Keep it up and remember 'the pen is mightier than the sword'.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 02:14 AM

Yes, Dianavan. In a thread that ebbed and flowed, got heated and returned to sanity, two posts stood out for me. Thank you Clint Keller, thank you Metchosin.


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Subject: RE: BS: So carry on then with the abuse....
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 02:17 AM

Er...that was on the other thread about Washington Post's article... Give up George, go back to bed!


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