No moral equivalence
Last evening there was a rather heated discussion between a person at my house and myself; basically the other person thought the Abu Ghraib photos was equivalent to the barbarism exhibited in the Middle East. I invite that person and all that might be interested to review, for instance, the Berg video, or maybe just Roger‘s entry of May 14: [warning: explicit violence]
First, the photographs. They are of actual live castrations of Kurds.
Now, the video tapes:
Two beheadings, during one of which “Happy Birthday, Saddam” is being sung in Arabic.
Fingers being cut off one by one from a hand tied to a board.
People being thrown off four-story buildings, one forced to wear a Superman costume.
A man scourged ninety-nine times.
Three different instances of gas poisonings (probably employing different types), including dead babies.
In view of this, how about something different
Dr. Agris saw that the Abu Ghraib “surgeries” were a botch. They’d cut through the joining of the wrist’s carpal bones, “like carving a Turkey leg.” Saddam’s doctors did nothing to repair the nerve endings, which left the men with constant real and “phantom” pain. Drs. Agris and Kestler had two preliminary tasks: Repair the nerves, and, alas, take another inch off the men’s lower arms, to leave a smooth surface for attaching their new prosthetic “hands.” They worked for two days operating on the seven men, who then took a week to recover before receiving their new hands.
Those devices were donated by the German-American prosthetic company Otto Bock, at a cost of $50,000 each. They are state-of-the-art electronic hands, with fingers, which respond to trained muscular movements. The rehabilitation and training is being donated by two other Houston companies, TIRR and Dynamic Orthotics. The Iraqi men are in Houston now, spending five hours a day learning to use their new right hands. And oh yes, the brands on their heads were removed.
Don North completed his documentary on what happened to these men in Iraq. I watched “Remembering Saddam” this week. Several of the men insisted on seeing Saddam’s home video of the atrocity, and so it’s in the film–a bizarre, almost dainty image of forceps, scalpel, surgical gloves and green operating-room garments. Nothing like it since Dr. Mengele. Watching his hand come off, Baasim Al Fadhly says: “Look at this doctor, who considers his career noble and swears to God to be a noble person. Let everyone see this film.”
Charles has something to say. Senator Joe Lieberman reminds us,
We cannot allow the prison scandal in Iraq to diminish our own American sense of national honor and purpose, or further erode support for our just and necessary cause in Iraq. American opponents of the war may try to do the latter, while foreign critics and enemies of the United States will try to do the former. The misdeeds of a few do not alter the character of our nation or the honor of the many who serve in our defense–and the world’s–every day. Winning the war we are now fighting in Iraq against Saddam loyalists and jihadist terrorists remains critical to the security of the American people, the freedom of the Iraqi people, and the hopes of all the Middle East for stability and peace.
Then there is the matter, as I mentioned before, The Saddam-9/11 Link’s Confirmed, and, did you ask about WMDs, perhaps?
Update Eleonora Bruzual has a comment (in Spanish).
Update: A friend emailed this article The Berg dilemma