The Nudnik File

Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

              Abu Ghraib
In yesterday's Wall Street Journal Victor Hanson wrote about the alleged torture and humiliation of Iraqi prisoners by US soldiers (article from Benador Associates site). He makes no excuses for this behavior, but does put it in perspective:

"If a small number of soldiers has transgressed, then let us punish them severely, as well as the officers who either ordered or ignored such reprehensible behavior. But let us also accept that the reaction to this incident is indicative of larger moral asymmetries that are the burdens of the West when it goes to war, a culture that so often equates the understandable absence of perfection, either moral, political, or military, with abject failure -- a fact not lost on our enemies.

We have seen terrible things since September 11 -- monotonous public executions, taped decapitations, videos of brutalized hostages, diplomats gunned down, aid workers riddled with bullets, children's bodies blown apart by improvised explosive devices, nuts, bolts and rat poison added to suicide bombs -- most under either the sponsorship of some autocratic Middle Eastern governments or of terrorist cabals that could not exist without at least the tacit support of thousands in the Arab street.

So as we in America address the moral inadequacies of a handful of our soldiers, let those in the Middle East take heart from our own necessary and stern democratic inquiries and audits, and thus at last now apply the same standards of accountability to tens of thousands, far more culpable, of their own.

On the other hand, there are now reports that the pictures of British soldiers torturing Iraqi prisoners were faked.:

Col Black said: "[From] the evidence we have seen so far looking at the photographs, there are too many inconsistencies."

He said the vehicle, the Bedford MK, which appears in the photographs, was "not deployed by the army to Iraq at all because of difficulties with local fuel.

"That vehicle can't operate with fuel that was available in Iraq. So obviously the photograph was probably not even taken in Iraq."

Col Black said the soldiers would have been wearing helmets or berets, not floppy hats as in the photographs. They would have had a regiment identification flash and a brigade flash on their sleeves and the rifle should have had a sling and an attached radio button.

|| Nudnik 11:23 AM
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