Saturday, May 21, 2005

Summer Sequels - or- The Revenge of Abu Ghraib

It's summer! Well close to it anyway. That means its time for big summer movies and big sequels – and apparently its not just for the movies it’s also apparently true for international politics.

Just after the Abu Ghraib prison scandal may have faded from people minds – a new set of pictures shows the sequel also has to be bigger and better. So what do we get? Saddam in his skivvies! The butcher of Baghdad in his B-V-D’s!

Another photo display of what life is like for Iraqi’s in American custody. So once again the U.S. military needs to “aggressively investigate” how these photos were released to a London tabloid. Sure the pictures are pretty bad – but what is worse is that The Sun says and I quote U.S. “military sources said they handed over the photos in the hope of dealing a body blow to the resistance in Iraq.” Meanwhile back on this side of the pond Senior U.S. military sources have said the military did not give the photos to The Sun no matter what the newspaper says. So how much did the paper end up paying for the humiliation of the former dictator? The General Manger of The Sun would only say the newspaper paid “a small sum” for the photos. He would not elaborate except to say it was more than 500 British pounds, which is about $900. Hell, pictures of British Celebrities in their skivvies bring in more then that. Even with the price tag Saddam gets no respect.

So once again we are on the receiving end of Geneva Convention infractions, though we managed to side step them by saying “it was not a government release so it is not a violation of the Geneva conventions.” Just in case you were wondering under Articles 13 and 14 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions III Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, POW’s “must at all times be protected ... against insults and public curiosity," and also "are entitled in all circumstances to respect for their persons and their honor."

So these photos are once again tarnishing the image of Uncle Sam and who though we could have sunk lower then American soldiers smiling giving the thumbs up pointing to blindfolded prisoners genitals.

Also this week but not nearly as visual is the allegations by Newsweek, about the desecration of the Quran at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Yet the real question is what’s going on in Iraq? The war torn nation remains calm, possibly because they are all still tuckered out about the Quran desecration. While some say the pictures are offensive to Arabs and Muslims, other Iraqi’s are saying the humiliation is just what the 68-year-old former leader deserves.

It’s a violation of privacy – or is it just punishment for a terrible dictator? It seems the world is split once again on how people feel about Saddam, Kurds who were oppressed under his regime say he deserves worse, while political parties who flourished under Saddam say it is inhuman, and immoral.

So in the end, I guess it just goes to show you that with this sequel is really like so many movie sequels, this time around the buzz was bigger, the stars were bigger, but in the end – its another sequel that just isn’t as important as the original.


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