Saturday, April 7, 2007

SE Opinion Page Strikes Again

Ok, so maybe I'm picking on the Standard Examiner, but I can't help it, their opinion page is pissing me off.

Now I don't ever watch The View, I don't follow Rosie O'Donnell, or what she says, so I'm not defending her. But by including this in their argument:

Now that the British sailors are home safe we may soon find out the physical and psychological abuse they suffered for almost two weeks at the mercy of Iran's thugs, who consistently violated Geneva standards for handling captives.

the Standard is leaving itself in the akward situation of hoping that these sailors were tortured. I understand this is an editorial, but simply assuming that stories will come out of torture because they were being held captive in Iran is a fairly large assumption to make to prove your point. Luckily, news reports would soon come out confirming the Standard's assumption.
THE 15 British sailors and marines captured by Iran were blindfolded, bound, held in solitary confinement and subjected to "constant psychological pressure" during their 13-day ordeal.

Some of the group were lined up while weapons were cocked, making them fear execution, they said.

Other news reports showed a bit of a different story though.
While in captivity the Britons told Iranian television they were being treated well, but on return to Britain said they faced “constant psychological pressure”.

Now it seems there is at least a question as to whether the torture took place, many will say that the sailors were just trying to get out of Iran safely, that's why they held back on the torture stories until they were home. But, according to Canada's National Post (above link), it seems like we're causing people to do the same thing.
“Questions asked by CIA agents were about the presence and influence of Iran in Iraq. They asked questions about the amount of aid Iran provided to the government of (Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri) al-Maliki, Shi’ite, Sunni and Kurdish groups,” he said.

“When they were faced with my answers about the official relationship of Iran with the Iraqi government and officials they increased the tortures, many days they tortured me day and night,” he said.

Did the CIA torture an Iranian Diplomat? Did Iran torture British Sailors? I don't know the answer to either of these questions. But given our reputation for handling prisoners and suspected terrorists (remember Abu Ghraib, and Gitmo) do we really want to be hoping someone else in the world is torturing people? Is that the best way to make ourselves look good? Is that the only way we can beat Rosie O'Donnell?

2 comments:

  1. It seems ironic that some commentators decry the psychological games to which the British soldiers were exposed, but fail to note that the U.S. did similar things. Clicking a rifle within hearing range of a prisoner; allowing unmuzzled, snarling dogs within inches of a prisoner's face--doesn't sound that different to me.

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  2. ya, i agree, it's as though they only think that's a bad thing when someone's doing it to us (or an ally), but when we do something along these lines, we're fighting for freedom and stopping terror . . . isn't it either right or wrong? if it's wrong for them to do, it's wrong for us to do.

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