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February 20, 2006

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» WFMUs Beware of the Blog: from Yeah...
WFMU writes: Heres the latest collage by Stephen McQuillen (aka The Piss). Its a video called The Bottom Line, with a soundtrack by Negativland. Before you view it, be warned: it contains many disturbing images of torture f... [Read More]

» The Bottom Line from Screenhead
Here's a pretty great Abu Ghraib collage video with Negativland music backing it up. If you're watching this from the states, it's full of the sort of stuff the... [Read More]

Comments

Mike D.

Unwatchable. Sickening beyond words.

And it is easy to blame the Bush Administration. And they are what they are, and there's no denying the blood on their hands. It is easy to say, "I didn't vote for these people, I wash my hands of any responsibility for what they do and the blood they've spilled around the world."

But all American taxpayers and citizens, including myself (who did not vote for Bush), bear responsibility for the atrocities that were committed at Abu Ghraib.

It was done in our names. It is attached to our names. The blood is on all of our hands.

We have much work to do, much to repair in our society. And, unforunately, cynicism, sarcasm, and feelings of hopeless and defeat are not going to get the job done.

But I have no idea where or how to begin. All I know is, somehow, it must be done.

Listener James from Westwood

I have no idea either. The gulf between America's current role and persona, and its true potential — on the part of its leaders and its citizens — is striking, and growing.

hornsofthedevil

last time i checked the people responsible for those crimes were tried and convicted and are now in jail.
the unending insistance that the attrocities at Abu Ghraib "go right to the top" are based SOLELY on suspision, wishful thinking, and bitterness. unfortunately, not evidence.
in this country we try people on evidence.

MEANWHILE: the forces of ingorance intolerance and oppression riot in the streets, burn churches of other religions, murder holy men of other religions, praise Hitler and call for the beheading of anyone disagreeing with them all in the name of.... cartoons.
...but i guess that not newsworthy, not we we can all cut ourselve a big slice of self loathing. immerse yourself in the gruesome details of crimes comitted 3 years ago- especially if it contribute to a dramatic and stupifying "hollywood" view of the world .
if there is a threat against us... we must be failing to understand it!
if we fight an enemy... that enemy must be ourselves!

wouldn't it just be peachy if the world worked that way? wouldn't it be perfect if ALL of world history demonstrated that? so in the spirit of hoping it will come true, pay attention to Abu Ghraib and not the islamist hordes that have announced their desire to kill, silence, and oppress in the name of cartoons. there's no story there...
Churchill would be proud.

mark m.

That's gotta be my FAVORITE of the lame rationales offered up by the pro-torture crowd: "THE OTHER GUYS ARE EVEN WORSE!!!"

well, yeah. absolutely. But since when do we judge OUR conduct by THEIR standards? We have no control over the radical Islamists--we can only condemn their brutality and fight when attacked. and HOPEFULLY hold ourselves to our higher, historic standards of prisoner treatment...which this administration has utterly failed to do.

Your post is wrong so many ways I hardly know where to begin, and probably a waste of time, but here are just a couple salient points:

"last time i checked the people responsible for those crimes were tried and convicted and are now in jail."

you haven't been checking very closely. Despite dozens of well-documented incidents, and many deaths, only a very few low level grunts have been punished, and even fewer sent to jail. One soldier was given several months of "restricted duty, and a dishonorable discharge, for KILLING an Iraqi prisoner with brutal interrogation methods. If you genuinely want to be informed, check out the coverage of this issue at www.andrewsullivan.com. Sullivan is a SUPPORTER of the war who is nonetheless disgusted by U.S. torture, because it's immoral AND counter-productive.

"in this country we try people on evidence"

true enough....but in the increasingly Nixonian Bush administration, evidence is kept secret. Unless of course they need to release classified info to score political points. And brave, honest soldiers who've spoken out agains prisoner abuse--ever hear of Ian Fishback--have been muzzled and punished. The evidence which has leaked out--Gonzales and Mora memos, internal Red Cross and Pentagon reports, to name just a few examples--has been very damning.

"i guess that not newsworthy" (sic)

oh right, I've heard NOTHING about cartoon riots, beheadings, etc. on tv and in newspapers. It's that wascally Mainstream Media again.

hornsofthedevil, you've been spending too much time in Ditto-land. We don't have to BECOME the Devil, in order to fight him and win.

Jeff T

I'm going to put this video on the P2Ps mislabeld as Saw 3.

ortsed

we should torture more people to stop them from torturing people.

landruc.

... And, unforunately, cynicism, sarcasm, and feelings of hopeless and defeat are not going to get the job done.

But I have no idea where or how to begin. ...

If you don't have any idea where to begin, how can you say you know what the job is? Perhaps you shouldn't be criticizing those whose emotions aren't what you want them to be.

hornsofthedevil

ummmm....

you realie that Abu Ghraib was not blown open by our intrepid reporters. it was already under investigation by the military because it was reported by the soldiers who were in charge of the prison. England, Frederick and Graner weren't even allowed ot be in there - they were reservists.
ahh yes, its such an elaborate conspiracy! to recruit reservists to violate rules and enter the prison and then leave discs in the computer that the authorized soldiers discovered and reported!
it must go all the way to the top!! only they could dream up such a plan... did i say plan? i meant conspiracy. a simple conspiracy put forth by you and your ilk.
"we can only condemn their brutality and fight when attacked"

LOL!
great plan... really. that should work just fine. don't forget about the Jimmy Carter tactic: if we are really upset, we'll sit out of the olympics and hold our breath.
nice chat, but we all have to get back to waiting to be attacked again....
Churchill would be proud.

here is Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "arsenal of democracy" speech"
http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/fdrarsenalofdemocracy.html
enjoy.

ortsed

so how's that Bush tactic working out?

Mike D.

landruc

Allow me to clarify.

The job/goal is to repair the deficiencies in our sociey that would allow such a horror to occur in our names. The freedoms we enjoy, and most specificially the freedom to vote, also come with responsibilities. My point is that the responsiblity for what happened is not limited to Bush, his Administration, or the military. Its on all of us, there's no getting around it. Anything else, like the posts of hornsofthedevil are rationalizations. Look at his original post. In the first paragraph, she/he refuses to accept any responsibility for what happened. In the second paragraph, she/he offers a rationale and justification for torture that amounts to, "Everyone else is doing it, so why should we worry about what we do? The real world doesn't work that way. It's kill or be killed." If people on both sides take this to its logical extreme, and their thinking wins the day, then surely nuclear war is around the corner. I don't see how it can be avoided. So to me, the road of, "We are justified in any atrocities we commit because the other side is barbaric" must lead to nuclear oblivion, sooner or later. And no one wins in a nuclear war. Think about the answer Einstein gave to this question:

Q: Do you think nuclear weapons would be used in World War 3?

Einstein: "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."

So that's the job. Where to begin? I'm listening. And of course, landruc, its possible to identify a problem, task, or goal, and not know where to begin.

Example: Terraforming Mars. How would we accomplish this task? I have no idea. But I can still identify the terraforming of Mars as a goal.

So. Where do we begin? What led to this horrendous outcome that all Americans of voting age are responsible for? How can we prevent it in the future?

I don't know. But the questions need to be asked, I think.

hornsofthedevil

"My point is that the responsiblity for what happened is not limited to Bush, his Administration, or the military. Its on all of us."


thats funny, because everytime anyone holds all of Islam accountable for the attrocities done day in and day out in their name, they are labeled a racist, a hate monger, or a fascist.
the horrific behavior of a few military dunces(whom our system and courts have brought to justic) is the fault of ALL of us.

...but the beheadings and torture and oppression and bombing done in the name of Allah constantly in every part of the world (met without any disaproval from other muslims) is not upon the relgion as a whole. its just a few isolated koo koo birds.

sounds like a gross colossal double standard. sounds like hypocracy even.
mix in some self loathing and you get the whole picture.

Mike D.

Hornsofthedevil

I can only hope there are more people with my outlook on the other side, and less people with yours.

I bet you hope for the same thing. Unless you want confrontation for confrontation's sake.

I hope you learn to realize this isn't a sporting competition. This isn't about being loyal and rooting for the home team.

I'm not going to continue this discussion, but I will leave you with this thought.

If you were living in Iran right now, what sorts of posts do you think you'd be posting to message boards? Do you think you'd be talking about how Iran should think about all of the horrors its committed and sponsered and that all of its citzens were responsible for the horrible acts it had participated in?

Honestly, I don't think you would be talking about that. You'd be talking about the pro-Western (Jewish controlled?) biased mass media. You'd be talking about the horrors committed by America and Israel. You would label fellow Iranians who questioned their own government and its actions as "unpatriotic" or "self-loathing".

Do you see the limitations of the "support the home team at all costs" mentality?

Again, I hope there are more people like me on the other side, and less like you.

No one wins a nuclear war. No one. No teams left to root for.

nextstop

I dont care about finding comon ground with hornsofthedevil. He is a yahoo.

But I dispute the use of a key word by Mike: "Responsibility."

I am not responsible for Abu Ghraib.

I am, however, ashamed.

For more on the difference between shame and responsibility, Dosteovsky comes to mind.

And only idiots -including some with the potential to grow out of it - doubt that vast majorities of peoples throughout the world, of all stripes, viscerally understand shame and are ashamed of sordid manifestations of power that devalue human beings.

And only idiots -including some with the potential to grow out of it - dispute that those most fortunate have an obligation to help those less fortunate see their way through.

That said, someone could still be unashamed of Abu Ghraib and not be responsible. Of course, that person would be an idiot. There are worse names that would also apply.

But it's not about being nasty. Really.

And it's not about calling a spade a spade. But even if David Irving didn't go to jail, he should have been ashamed.

It's OK to apologize and to make excuses. But beware accusations. You see we all know it's lonely, cold and windy. Some of us know it better than others. And the ones who knew it well avoid those who lash out.

Not to make you feel bad. It's just that we know how hard it can be. And if you're not trying, remember: It's not a cold shoulder, but if you haven't gone away, it's not because we want you around.

It's because you're too scared to deal.

And that's OK.

But it's boring.

Because it's not real.

And time is short.

And there are so many people who are trying to be real.

hornsofthedevil

its true.

i'm FOR western civilization and all of its values.
i never defended what went on at Abu Ghraid, i simply noted that it is wrong to see it as an indtictment of our nation. that is what militant Islam does and neither you nor i nor any other decent citizen of a free nation supports the acts of those animals that are now (thankfully) in prison.

but again, if you think your view of the world as fair and equal and multiculturalist and happy is the more noble then you are woefully uneducated on all of the accomplishments and values of western civilization. you casually overlook the abolishment of slavery, the permission of divorce, the acceptance of all religions and the furtherment of free speech.

not all cultures are equal.
this falls under the "life is not fair" rule of nature.
if all cultures were equal than we would work to preserve cannibalism and slavery and genital mutilation - all cultural traits valued in less enlightened parts of the world.
pick a side because you are a coward if you don't.

chris

stop judging other people's cultures you prick. Your not in there shoes. You do not understand. People in the middle east do not want the US blowing them up and controlling them. Its that simple. Would you like being blown up? If yes I suggest you do us a favor. Its not just about the cartoons. Peoples is Peoples. thats from a movie right? muppets? i dont remember.
anyway, hornsofthedevil, you need to like have hornsofjesus instead, because you are evil.
your right about life not being fair, but we dont have to make it any tougher for people now do we. If we do, than cablamo. war on US. Violence is only necessary for survival. Do you actually think killing people in Afghanistan and Iraq was necessary? Because, you know, civilians didnt take down the twin towers. It was a mixture of our governments stupidity and a muslim extremist group. poo poo on you
love chris

chris

if there was only a way to fix our governments stupidity....
i wonder.

what sayeth you devil. enlighten thy knights of this forsaken blog.

drewo

How about a popular tactic used against terririst organizations? Cut their funding. April 15th is not that far away.

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