Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Hey, I for one would love to. Two problems. I don't know which cell block they're kept in, and I think the interrogators still have some more questions for them. Otherwise, why not? We could start with the detainee who really tried to flush his own copy of the Holy and Most Revered Book. I'm sure it wouldn't be too difficult to have him airlifted to Chop-Chop Square in Riyadh and dropped off for some Saudi-style sensitivity training.
'The US must live up to its responsibilities and not be lenient with the perpetrators of the desecration and should bring those responsible for the despicable crime to justice immediately,' said OIC spokesman Ambassador Atta El-Manan Bakhit.
But here's the deal Mr. Ambassador: the US has already handled this in a responsible way, and has no plans to start a "Military Center for the Decapitation of Naughty Soldiers" just to satisfy your people's homicidal frenzy after each outrageous press conference. It's your religion, your book, your desecration fetish. We infidels do not worship your book, that's your job. We treat it with a modicum of respect, as we treat all religions. If that isn't enough for you, too bad, hire more riot police or teach your people to meditate.
These "urgent measures to calm the tension" I presume will begin immediately after you finish reading out this one last inflammatory condemnation of alleged incidents that your own people were in fact responsible for, correct? Or is this how you think tensions are "calmed"?
The spokesman for the world's largest Muslim organization also called for urgent measures to calm the tension caused by the incident in the Islamic world and ensure that such abhorrent acts are not repeated in the future.
Now I know how the "Arab street" feels because I'm starting to seethe.
The OIC statement came after the US military admitted on Friday that those interrogating Muslim prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba had defiled [wow, there are never any scare quotes around when you really need them -- here, I found some, let me try: "defiled"] the holy book by splashing urine on it and also stepping on it.
The US Southern Command, which supervises the Guantanamo facility, confirmed at least five cases of intentional or unintentional mishandling of the holy book from among 19 alleged incidents since the detention facility opened in January 2002.
The OIC condemned the despicable acts committed by US personnel [while ignoring their own terrorists' intentional desecrations] and said it showed their blatant hatred for the faith of the world's 1.5 billion Muslims and created doubts about the nature of instructions given to American soldiers about religious values and tolerance.
All right, I took a few deep breaths, that helped. The angry Muslim "demonstrators" should try it, it really is quite refreshing.
Let me try to approach this from a practical angle, to see if we can improve the "nature of instructions" given to the soldiers. You see, as far as I can tell, the problem here isn't really with urine persay, since apparently a good Jihadi attempting to flush his own book is perfectly fine. The objection is only to infidel urine. So the US military needs to modify its procedures: if a Koran needs to come in contact with urine for some reason, a beaker of spare Muslim urine should be kept on hand just for that purpose, as it apparently doesn't have the power to defile.
And one correction to the article: it claims that the "defilement" was perpetrated by interrogators. But to the best of my knowledge, it appears to have been the guards, not the interrogators. The interrogators were too busy wondering why their requisitions for electrodes and cattle prods were rejected.
Well, technically, this could lead to a few other possible outcomes, but I'm assuming they've already been rejected out of hand -- like the Islamic world perhaps discovering what a chill pill is.
'These unequivocally rejected practices can only lead to the incitement of religious feelings and a deepening of the gulf of differences and intolerance between the Muslim world and the United States,' Bakhit said.
We do want to shut it down. As soon as terrorists stop blowing people up and having to get sent there, we can turn it into a Tolerance Museum and the Senator can hold the biggest scissors at the ribbon cutting photo-op.
In Washington, a leading Senate Democrat said yesterday the United States needs to move toward shutting down the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.
Sen. Biden is right, this issue of respect for the Koran is a great propaganda tool, but not at all in the way he thinks. Sen. Biden is forgetting that the value of any propaganda is judged in its effect on the message's recipient, not on how it jibes with the politically convenient goals of pompous politicians far from the field of battle. He ignores the mind-set of the enemy fighters (assuming he even believes there is an enemy), all of them exhorted to a suicidal devotion to slaughter by their Koran-thumping leaders. What these "holy warriors" must think, watching their supposed captors deliver them copies of their "Holy Instruction Book for the Conquest of the Infidels", fetching it with gloved hands, always carrying with two out of deep respect, instructed not to mistreat it in any way and dismissed even for mistaken violations of these reverential requirements. What a propaganda victory it is for these otherwise defeated terrorists to witness the validation of their fighting faith that Allah will bring even the most powerful nation to its knees at their feet. They don't see us as compassionate in victory, for the victorious do not cower before the defeated. The senator is right though that it is unnecessary to be in that position, if by "that position" he means on our knees.
'This has become the greatest propaganda tool that exists for recruiting of terrorists around the world. And it is unnecessary to be in that position,” said Sen. Joseph Biden.
I'm not sure there's enough oxygen left in the blamosphere to support yet another investigation and all the media frenzy that entails. Plus, I think the usual panels of experts are all booked up through summer by Amnesty, so in meantime if the Senator still insists on bashing his own military in front of the klieg lights, even as it fights for his freedom, well, the Senator will just have to take a number.
He proposed that an independent commission take a look at Guantanamo and make recommendations.