Thursday, May 13, 2004

The Plot Thickens

Well, it looks like the shenanigans in the Iraqi prisons are worse than first announced. At this point I think I have to reserve judgement until as much of the story as we are going to hear surfaces. No illusions that the pulic will ever know the "full" story.

I don't want to suggest in any way that I'm condoning what went on, but lets take a broad view for a minute.

Up until the Napoleonic era, roughly two hundred years ago. the norm was for armies to loot, rape, pillage, and torture. Looting and pillage was often the troop's sole source of income. Torture was just expected. If you had tried to stop them from raping the conquered (or the bystanders), they would have been incredulous.

Coporal punishment was the order of the day, sometimes brutally so. Look up a definition for keelhauling, which was a standard naval punishment. It essentially has the victim run over by his own ship! Flogging, mutilation, branding were all common throughout more than 5,000 years of history. Calling these practices barbaric is very much a modern, western viewpoint.

Correct behaviour is a product of the society you live in. In Iraq, beheading random victims seems to be acceptable behaviour. I don't suggest that replying in kind is appropriate, but I for one won't be upset with harsh treatments. The issue is, where do you draw the line between harsh treatment and torture? I certainly don't know for sure.


At 4:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just want to thank President Bush and the Joint Chiefs for bringing S&M out of the closet. Where do I sign up for a two week humiliation vacation? I am excited just thinking of being strapped naked to a metal bunk bed with woman's underware on my head...


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