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Author Topic: Bush: Prison abuse "unamerican"
JeSuisse
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Why on Earth did he say "unamerican"?

When I hear it, I think two things:

1) Oh, so he thinks that only Americans are good enough not to abuse prisoners? It's unamerican, but not unfrench, unspanish, unswiss, unjapanese, and unbotswanish?

2) Hey! McCarthy said "unamerican" a lot too! Hmm. Wait a sec! McCarthy isn't exactly a role model for the kids!

(Don't attest me shallow brain capacity. I'm perfectly capable to look beyond these initial thoughts. But that's what I thought when I heard it first. It's these little things that really piss me off.)

Why didn't he just say "inhumane"? It would have come across a lot better.

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Wayward Son
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I think he wanted to strongly disassociate these actions with America, to emphasize that this is not how we as a nation do things. Saying "inhumane" does not convey that. "Un-American" does.
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TCB
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Agreed, Wayward Son. The concern is this will reinforce hatred of America in the middle east. Bush is less concerned that this will reinforce hatred of humanity.
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Omega M.
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Yes; since Americans (U.S. citizens) were abusing the prisoners, Bush needs to say that their actions do not reflect the U.S.'s values in order to stem the hatred toward all of the U.S. that will ensue. Perhaps calling the prison abuse "against the values of decent people everywhere" would have been better.

As for the McCarthy allusion---just because one person used "un-American" frivolously doesn't mean that nothing deserves to be called "un-American."

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JeSuisse
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Omega- unamerican and McCarthy. I know. Of course I know. It's just that every time I hear someone saying "This is unamerican" I have a flashback to McCarthy playing in my mind. Don't know why.

I'm aware that Bush wanted to make very clear that *America* does not endorse abuse. But the people who need to hear that most are the people that already have strong sentiments against America, right? So everytime they hear America, whistles go off in their heads.

Now what do you think these people hear?

a) We as a nation are really not abusers.

or

b) We have human rights here, unlike the rest of the world. American behaviour is the standard everyone should adopt.

See, if people think "Well, that certainly was inhuman" and then Bush says "unamerican", they think "ah, so America thinks it sets the standards as to what is right and wrong?"

Very contra-productive. I was simply amazed he or his speech-writer did not see it.

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VaLyoMeT
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Be assured.
Those who hated the U.S. before, aren't going to hate the U.S. more now. They hate wholeheartedly 24/7.

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halfhaggis
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But those who didn't hate, but didn't exactly love either, are going to start swaying more in one of those two possible directions.

I wonder which it will be?

Nah. I give up. You tell me. [Razz]

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VaLyoMeT
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That's an easy one.
Some of them will move in the opposit direction of those intelligent enough to understand what was meant by "unamerican".
In other words, those prone enough to be swayed by fanaticism, will be.

And if "unamerican" don't work, they will find another alibi.

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dank
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Of course gross mistreatment of prisoners is unamerican.
Those people that are quick to think McCarthyism and read some hidden meaning or inadvertent guilty admission into the clear direct statements have been brainwashed to see such "connections" in the usual kneejerk manner.

Why OSC is so quick to believe that Rumsfeld or some other higher up could be responsible for the depraved actions of a few soldiers/jailers is beyond me. His obvious dislike for Rumsfeld is a surprise. Rumsfeld is, in my opinion, doing a great job against a hostile press corps and under enormous pressure.

I don't see it at all. The story came out that the there was an investigation into abuse by some soldiers, then pictures surfaced and all hell broke loose. Of course, given a nudge in that direction by a reporter or a lawyer, a low ranked soldier caught being depraved and living it up is going to try to displace blame: "I'm not the bad guy here. Let me go and I'll turn over on the brains of the operation." Give me a break. Factor in the guards having sex in front of the prisoners and you've really got scratch your head to understand how anybody could imagine that these idiots were coached into doing these acts to improve the interrogation results.

There is some evidence that these people were without supervision, guidance, and discipline, but that does not excuse them from responsibility. Superiors that failed to supervise should be held accountable as well. But, you don't hold the CEO of a company responsible for an employee that goes out and drags puppies from the bumper of the company car.

OSC still has my respect. I will continue to read his opinions and books because I like to hear different points of view. I read andrewsullivan.com for one gay perspective on gay marriage (guess what andrew is all for it) and OSC for one mormon perspective (guess what OSC hates it) and I don't agree with either take entirely, as I am neither gay nor religious/mormon. OSC has used the prisoner abuse scandal in this case to bemoan what he sees as "an American sickness." He in convinced that a pervasive attitude in America to lie/cheat/steal to get results at all cost led to this scandal and I say hogwash. Soldiers are trained contrary to that notion. Soldiers are trained to follow the rules and do things by the book. There will always be a few idiots that get their jollys out of being kinky and depraved. There will always be weak people that get some kind of power rush god-complex when they have utter control over others.

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dank
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Fancy that!

I am honored to be #1776

Another poster got stuck with #666, but seemed to be a good person nonetheless, so I won't let it go to my head.

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spa/2tan33
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it is very madddening because the fact is hye only said it is only unamerican rather then saying sorry
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Van Aaron
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Bush did say he was sorry for the mistreatment of those prisoners. CNN Article
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spa/2tan33
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but that is not enough just say sorry. you can say sorry for anything. i could kill my next door neighbor and say i was sorry but i would still be president. he is the president and he has to take all responsibilty as leader. If he fails it is his responsibilty to try again and bring everyone out of the ditch, if he wins, he can only give the victory to his soldiers. they are the ones risking there life, not him. As a president HE SHOULD TAKE RESPONSIBILTY
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spa/2tan33
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he also did not say it in a very meaningful way. i mean seriously, are u for bush or are u against bush
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dank
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quote:
he also did not say it in a very meaningful way. i mean seriously, are u for bush or are u against bush
This statement makes it clear that your want Bush to apologize/take responsibility NOT because it is the right thing to do, but because you are against Bush.

Of course Bush is Commander in Chief and the soldiers are under his command, ultimately. But how does that make him responsible for the abuse?

It is obvious to most people that those who seek political gain from this scandal are not looking for an apology. They see Bush as an evil Nazi ordering the extermination of the Jews and they want him to fess up. No matter that the fantasy image the Bush-haters have of him is ludicrous.

Again, if you hold every top executive accountable for any bad behavior by any subordinate, where do you draw the line? Next time a postal employee goes postal, that will be Bush's fault as well, no doubt.

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VaLyoMeT
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If Bush were really killing Jews, you can be sure he would be massively supported by the whole Islam.

And by the whole Left.

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vulture
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What a steaming pile of horsecrap VaLyoMeT.

I was actually going to type out a slightly more considered response, but the level of stupidity in that last post doesn't deserve a meaningful response.

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Serotonin'sGone
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replace whole with a "a lot of" and you'd have a true statement in part a (islam). Replace massively supported with "wouldn't protest" and you'd have a nasty debate at least on the second statement (the left).
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VaLyoMeT
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O.K., I know, I admit it. It wasn't fair to generalize.
I apologize to anyone who may have found it to be distasteful, inapropiate, exagerated or, in a more metaphysical way, a steaming pile of horsecrap, for the way I said what I said.

I would rephrase the first sentence, then.

If Bush were killing Israelites, he wouldn’t be supported by any Islamic Democracy and maybe all of the Islamic theocracies and dictatorships.

As you see, I put the blame on dictatorships, not on democracies. Is this more politically correct ?

About the Left, I think Serotonin’s is Right.
The left wouldn’t protest. It’s the best way to put it.

There’s no debate about it.
When a palestinian child is killed, you can see it coming : Israel is a Terrorist State, they are Nazis, they practise genocide.
When the child killed is an Israeli child ...

Silence.

And then, Israel is the one to blame, they provoked it for attacking Palestine.

If someday, somewhere, I hear a Left Party formally condemning Arafat as Genocidist, I’ll start thinking that maybe the left isn’t as antisemite as it seems.

If that doesn’t ever happen, then my next choice would be to see something like this, with Arafat as the main character :

http://www.geocities.com/tejas970/independent_cartoon.html

I hope my intelligence is still what the vulture so politely expressed.

[ May 20, 2004, 08:40 PM: Message edited by: VaLyoMeT ]

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vulture
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Sorry for the over-reaction on my part VaL.

I find I agree with most of your last post. I can't speak for the left in America, but in Europe, you can guarantee that (for example) yesterdays deaths of 10 Palestinian protestors (armed or unarmed, depending on which reports you believe) will be widely condemned, while any Israeli deaths will be probably regarded as the regrettable consequences of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians.

Much to Europe's shame, I should add (speaking of the governments here, rather than the population as a whole).

I have no idea what fraction of Muslims celebrate the deaths of Jews. I've met some in the UK who take it for granted that driving Israel into the sea is the right thing to do. I've met others who abhor any and all killing. If your original statement was about Islamic governments, then you might have a point. But about the vast majority of individual Muslims? Not the one's I've met (which may or may not be representative of the middle east generally).

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VaLyoMeT
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I was principally writing about the left I know best, European Left - Spanish's left mainly.

They won't state they hate jewish people.
I'm concerned not about what they state, but about what they don't.
About their acts more than about their words, as their speeches suppurate political correctness.

I can't have any respect for a party that only condemns prisoner abuses if the abusers are north-american. I only can label them as antisemites if they just regret palestinian deaths.

Of course, there is people with leftist ideology who doesn't fit in with this description. Maybe a lot of people.
But when it comes to parties, or governments, it's hard to find any formal condemn of palestinian terrorism.

The biggest problem is that supporters follow their leader and assume the party's guidelines as their own. Therefore this attitude might generalize, what I find disturbing...and dangerous.

It's something we might face related to muslim countries, or groups.
Some or many, I don't really know how much of their leaders may be antisemites .. or "anti-western culture".
Worst, some moderate countries might radicalize if that fanaticism succeeds in it's propaganda.
This is an obviousness, I reckon.

Well. just as the left parties aren't showing any will to condemn palestinian terrorism, the same applies to muslim countries. Palestinian terrorism maybe isn't formally supported, but it isn't being condemned either.

Muslims individuals may, as you pointed, abhor any killing. I know a few of them too, and as you, I know a few ones who seem mostly happy when a bomb explodes in Israel.
The problem is that lately the last are in greater number/importance than the former, specially when it comes to oppinion-forming individuals or media.
And I'm talking about people living in Europe for a long time, who should have become more occidentalized/moderated that muslim people of the middle east.

This, of course, varies from time to time, from group of people to group of people, from country to country, so it isn't a generalization either, but it might point to a trend that I find disturbing.

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Redskullvw
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i would have emailed this but your email is blocked.

Val

I have enjoyed your work so far.

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Badvok
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Is it really any surprise that many people (ignoring left/right for the moment) hold Israel responsible for the troubles in this area.

Let's look at a few figures:

Israel: GDP greater than $100billion.
Palestine: GDP less than $3billion.

More than 57% of Palestinians live below the poverty line.

This is a classic David v Goliath situation. While many people can not and do not condone suicide bombing (myself included) - what choice do these oppressed people have?

Add in to the equation that Israel is backed by the might of the US and the situation for Palestine becomes more hopeless. Desperate people with no hope will resort to desperate measures.

Just because some people can see why the Palestinians fight the way they do does not mean they are anti-semitic. The phrase 'anti-semitic' is often thrown in to any discussion of this situation by ignorant people as a way of attacking those who are just anti-Israel.

However, coming back to the original topic. The prisoner abuse in Iraq can not be un-American since it was Americans who did it and hence it is by definition 'American' even if the majority of Americans find it appalling.

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VaLyoMeT
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Badvok, I would agree with you if Palestine's leaders were seeking peace.

A multimillionaire Arafat rejecting every peace attempt while his people doesn’t attempt to stop ( meaning they promote ) suicidal attacks, blaming Israel for it's oppressive attitude towards palestinians it's not my ideal of morality.

For example, children :

Every phase of a child's life is exploited by the PLO to implant an obsessive hatred of Israel and Jews, and inspire a yearning to die for the sake of destroying the enemy.
The child is assured that this will bring the coveted status of shahid, that each suicide-killer brings honor and glory to a proud family, and will enjoy eternal sensual bliss in paradise

The PLO regime has been raising a generation indoctrinated from infancy with the belief that the goal of life is to die for the sake of destroying Israel

It follows, then, that this regime has no plans to live in peace with Israel on any terms, or to tolerate existence of any remnant of Israel

What you’ve just wrote, that jihad-terrorists are driven by despair and hopelessness inflicted on them by the jewish… I mean, Israel … But the jihadis themselves assert that they act in hope of glory, and their kin revel in that reflected glory. They yearn to achieve shahada -- martyrdom

The Shahada mandate to children comes from the Palestinian political leadership. Arafat presents the actions of children who intentionally died as Shahids as model behavior. Asked in a TV interview what was his message to Palestinian children, he cited a suicide act, saying dead Palestinian children Shahids are 'the greatest message to the world.
The PLO media feature the happy mamas of shahids.
Palestinian religious leaders have been a driving force, through their religion classes and their televised sermons, in calling for Palestinians to kill jews… I mean, israelites, especially through suicide bombings. They teach that seeking death for Allah as a Shahid is every Moslem’s duty, and direct these messages to children as well. Fatwas ( religious rulings ) have also established that children are obligated to participate in these activities.

I could go on, and on, and on…

Desperate people is being brainwashed to become terrorists...by their own leaders.

Who is keeping this war alive ? Who is forcing them into poverty ?
Surely Suha Arafat is the epitome of self-sacrifice …

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Badvok
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VaLyoMeT, sorry if my post was unclear, but I was not supporting the actions of the Palestinians in any way. Both sides are guilty of prolonging this battle and I don't think either side is really interested in ending it without the total destruction of the other.

My post was simply highlighting why some people feel sympathy for the Palestinians and the fact that the 'anti-semitist' label is always thrown at those people incorrectly. They are simply being sympathetic to the underdog and hence are anti-Israel. I personnally believe that if there is to be any resolution to the conflict it must start with the superior force, i.e. Israel. Building walls, and illegal assassinations are not going to help the situation.

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fantasia_is_dark
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Yeah, on the subject of prisoner abuse...

I think it's good that Bush deemed the actions against the prisoners as "un-American". He has to play the situation politically, and he's playing it as he should. There is not much he could be doing differently, short of getting rid of Donald Rumsfeld. While this would make us look good in front of all the anti-American buffoons out there, it would be a very, very foolish decision. Bush obviously did not imply that only Americans are too good to abuse prisoners. However, if he did, so what? It is a fact that Americans are generally more civilized than the savage Europeans who run around protesting every little thing that they disagree with.

On a side note, I personally find it funny that the prisoners were abused.

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VaLyoMeT
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Badvok, it's the attitude most “anti-Israel” adopt : they don't support Palestinian terrorism, but doesn't plainly condemn it either.

When those people relate U.S.A. support to Israel aren't just condemning Israel. They put the blame on "jew lobbies" too. If that’s just “being sympathetic to the underdog”, it looks pretty much like anti-Semitism on the whole. Too much to be coincidental, I think.

The superior force have shown repeatedly it’s will to negotiate. The ones who systematically rejected any attempt were the Palestinians, i.e. Arafat.
Besides, when you train children to become terrorists, you are not planning to reach any kind of peace treaty along the next 10 years.
Why don’t the Palestinians stop indoctrinating their children first ? Is that considered to be the right attitude to achieve peace ?

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unknown
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Yeah! Like invading other countries on false data and going agasint the will of the international community isn't "umamerican"???
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Jesse
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"If someday, somewhere, I hear a Left Party formally condemning Arafat as Genocidist, I’ll start thinking that maybe the left isn’t as antisemite as it seems."

Are you trying to say that Bush or any current leading republican (elected, not pundint) HAS done this??? If so I need to read a few more newspapers.

I've read the Bible cover to cover, and as I understand it, with a few translation errors, the old testament is pretty much the Tora. It says that Jews are gods choosen people, and that jews who dash out the heads of caananite children on rocks will be blessed.

Now, I am jewish enough by ancestory that Hitler would have gassed me. Part of my family is practicing/religious american jews. I am very well aware that most jews don't sincerely believe these teachings, or behave as if they do. A select view however, DO.

There is no "right" side in the Isreali Palestinian conflict. Isreal kills palestinians at a 7 to 1 ratio, but should they be condemend for being the more effective butchers? Both sides act with utter disregard for human life, civilian or otherwise. Palestinian terrorists (a very small minority) will bomb an Isreali club or market without a qualm, and Isreali helicopter gunships fire into huge populated aprtment buildings on the mere suspicion that bombs may be being constructed there.

Irish priests often took an active part in supporting Irish terrorists. We live in the age of nationalism, and no people will stop struggling to gain what they percieve to be theirs. Both of these groups have long-standing historical claims to the lands in question.

There are a lot of pointles and circular arguments that we could get into about whether the modern palestinians are the descendants of caaninites/samaritans/philistines or any of the other non-jews groups that we KNOW from jewish historical records lived in the area throughout the existance of the pre-roman jewish state. They would all be pointless.

Even if, as some contend, these people have "only" been there for as "little" as 500 years, thats 20 generations. Would you peacably walk away from land your family has held as long as anyone could remember, just because the UN said too?

It is also worth noting that 20% of the palestinian refugees are christian, and in the second intafada several of the suicide bombers have been christians.

If I had the solution to this dilema I would be making a lot more money than I do. However, pretending that it's as simple as "evil palestinians" or "greedy jews" is a sure fire way to avoid a resolution of the conflict.

The British spent 800 years trying to subdue the native Irish. They had the weight of the mightiest military power on earth behind them for much of that time. Ireland was for nearly all of that time the poorest and least powerful country in Europe.

Today, 75% of Ireland is free, and if population trends continue all of it will be within 50 years. If the Brits hadn't engaged in aparthied, and "overwhelming retaliatory strikes", and the denial of rights to catholics...Ireland would probably still be a part of the UK.

Instead, they were blinded by anti-catholic sentiment and propagnda. Convinced that no one could be loyal to the pope and the king, while through most of their occupation catholics served in their military!!!

Why do palestinians get indoctrinated by the PLO?
Why do moderate, peaceful palestinians have no voice? (yes, there are more than a few of them who are tired of dying too).

If you have a choice between a PLO school for your child or no school at all...what do you do? When the PLO controls the medicines your sick parent needs, what do you do??

One has to wonder how much hate these people would harbor towards an Isreal that fed them well, clothed them, gave them medical care, gave them meaningful work and the hope for a better life.

OF COURSE Isrealis would be more interested in doing these things if they didn't have to carry guns to walk their children to school.

There is more than enough blame to go around, and there isn't always a "right" side. Someone has to take the first *REAL* step, and I can't blame one side more than another for failing so miserably to make any move towards peace.

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