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Depressing thoughts

"No, they're not here", the woman said as she handed me my retrieval slips. "Try it again on Tuesday, lovey: I'm expecting another shipment in then." So, I'm still on tenterhooks, waiting to see if the pictures I took at the GotR-gig last week have come out in anything approaching publishable state. ::hrumph::

I don't handle disappointment well. It prompts me to behave irresponsibly, and mostly it's my bank balance that has to take the brunt of it. As soon as I'd heard the news, I went across the road and indulged in a nice new pink pair of jeans. Not that I needed another pair of trousers, but it makes me feel slightly better to have bought something.

Although the buying of clothes these days is somewhat of a disappointment as well: despite all my good intentions, instead of going down a size or even maintaining my weight as it was, I seem to have gone up a size (well, half a size, but still...) since the middle of last year. Proof positive, I think, that dieting does not work.

In a way, to me, disappointment has been the prevailing sentiment of recent weeks. However much I try not to think about them, the photos of the US treatment of Iraqi POWs in the Abu Ghraib prison have shocked me to the core. I don't know why I should have been so surprised, as I already believed that the war had been initiated on the flimsiest of excuses, but I was. For the last 2 days, the news has devoted much attention to the American executed in Iraq in an act of revenge for the abominable behaviour of the guards in Baghdad; and for a while, I worried whether all the images of recent weeks hadn't left me strangely de-sensitized to evidence of atrocities (I'd visited an photo exhibition of Japanese war crimes in and leading up to WWII last weekend, and been confronted by horrible images of the Rape of Nanking and experiments in vivisection on live human beings), until I finally realised, somewhat shamefacedly at that, that the pictures of Mr. Berg's beheading left me cold precisely because deep down, I never expected his Arab captors to behave any differently. Not that I think that justifies their actions, but the nations of the Middle East have never pretended to champion and adhere to the values of western civilisation, such as democracy and human rights. America has, and the realisation that it can deviate from the path quite easily is, quite simply, shocking; and its image has been tarnished forever in my eyes.

It was therefore with great satisfaction that I read that Piers Morgan has been sacked from his job. By publishing the doctored photographs of alleged prisoner abuse by British troops in an effort to increase the sales of his poxy newspaper, he has dealt a blow to the image of the UK in the world as well. Knowing the Middle East as I do, I'm sure that the news that the photos were fake won't reach the man in the street or if it does, they will believe for generations to come, that it's all a conspiracy of the West and a cover-up, to keep them under our thumb while we continue to 'steal' their riches (oil).

Comments

( 9 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
automatedalice_
May. 15th, 2004 08:41 am (UTC)
America has, and the realisation that it can deviate from the path quite easily is, quite simply, shocking; and its image has been tarnished forever in my eyes.

i'm still in shock that people thought america was above this. frankly, i'm not a bit surprised regarding the prison photos. disgusted, yeah, but surprised? if we dug deep enough, we'd find similar photos from WW2, korea, vietnam, the previous gulf war, etc. arguably, they're lynchings of a sort. america is a country built on slavery, segregregation, lynching. this is the country that forcibly sterilized black women without telling them what was doing, a country that willingly gave syphilis to black members of the military as "experiments," without telling them what was being given. a country that held most of the the west coast japanese population in concentration camps in WW2. yeah, standard of living may be high, we take a lot of freedoms for granted. but do i trust the country or the government? a resounding hell no. < /cynicism>
bogwitch
May. 15th, 2004 08:57 am (UTC)
I was going to post on The Mirror affair as the whole thing makes me want to spit nails. The reptuation of the UK and the allegations are bad enough. It's the irresponsibility of publishing any photos of this sort that makes me livid.

I agree the man on the arab street won't know or care if they were fake. We have sent people out to Iraq to do a very dangerous job. Whether we agree with the reasons for it or not. They are putting their lives on the line and The Mirror has just made their job 100x more hazardous, for what? Newspaper sales.

Fucking arseholes.
gamiila
May. 17th, 2004 06:13 am (UTC)
We have sent people out to Iraq to do a very dangerous job. Whether we agree with the reasons for it or not. They are putting their lives on the line and The Mirror has just made their job 100x more hazardous, for what? Newspaper sales.

Fucking arseholes.


Couldn't agree more.
bogwitch
May. 17th, 2004 06:25 am (UTC)
You tell I got a bit worked up!

My friends really disappointed me by downloading the footage of that poor American man being beheaded, and then trying to show it to me. They felt 'they needed to see it to get a sense of what these people are capable of'. Sorry, my imagination is quite capable of filling in the blanks there. I refused of course.
gamiila
May. 17th, 2004 06:35 am (UTC)
They felt 'they needed to see it to get a sense of what these people are capable of'.

Ah! That seems to be the prevailing universal excuse. Bollocks! they just wanted to see someone get his head cut off.
bogwitch
May. 17th, 2004 06:44 am (UTC)
I agree. My mate, who isn't a deep thinker really, sometimes needs the moral implications of things pointed out, but her boyfriend (who I think was actually the driving force here) has no excuse. I'm stunned that he thought that some sort of intellectual curiosity was more important than respect for the family or the victim.
onetwomany
May. 15th, 2004 04:17 pm (UTC)
I don't blame America, the country, for the atrocities. Whether it was just some insane privates, or it went higher up the chain, it was still inidviduals at work, and every single country, anywhere, has individuals who will exploit and abuse others.

The difference between America and Iraq, however, is that Americans are deeply outraged. They will sacrifice the reputation of their own country to investigate this and put a stop to it. Saddam, on the other hand, would have found the individuals and promoted them.
gamiila
May. 17th, 2004 06:11 am (UTC)
Don't get me wrong: I don't blame America, the country, or America, the people, for the appalling behaviour that has come to light, but America in the guise of the George W. Bush administration that has consistently trodden the tenets of international law since coming to power -- so why should I have been so upset by all this? Probably because at some level, my early conditioning seems to have taken deeper hold than I thought and I still believed in the ideal of America as the home of the free or whatever.

Also, it doesn't seem likely that this scandal is the result of a few individuals misbeaving -- it seems it's a matter of policy, sanctioned and decreed even at the highest level.

They will sacrifice the reputation of their own country to investigate this and put a stop to it. Saddam, on the other hand, would have found the individuals and promoted them.

Really? I'm sorry, but from where I'm standng, I can't see any evidence of this. Rumsfeld is still in office, and Bush and Condoleezza Rice seem to think that simply saying sorry, while meaning nothing of it, is enough to restore our faith in them.
(Deleted comment)
gamiila
May. 17th, 2004 05:57 am (UTC)
Your email bounced, so...

No, it didn't! Never fear, I got your message -- and I really can't think of a better way to the night my world came to an end, the night they broadcast the last ever episode of Angel.

No more Spike...how will we bear it?
vegmb
May. 17th, 2004 10:50 am (UTC)
I have made it a point to keep my posts and comments politics free, because I find that I am much more conservative than most of my virtual friends. But this once, because of the enormity of my feelings on the subject, I am going to break that rule.

I am sickened by what has happened in Iraq. By the way our troops treated prisoners and by the retaliation. I am sickened, but not surprised. Please don’t misunderstand that statement. I am pro-military. I do hold a deep believe in and respect for the fact that our troops volunteer to protect our country and our way of life. I understand in a very real way that they risk their lives and much more everyday. But I also know that there is a dark side to human nature, and that power over others tends to corrupt those in power. I do not believe that what happened was the result of a group of low level enlisted soldiers getting together and thinking it up. That does not mean that I don’t hold those individuals responsible for their actions. To be honest what has surprised me was that they were so brazen about what they were doing, that they documented themselves.

Unfortunately I have to say that I am not surprised by the media coverage of it either. Anything for ratings. The more gruesome the spectacle the better.
( 9 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )

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