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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).


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.
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.