Saturday, September 25, 2004

Roundup
from the mind of  Evan Kruse.

Bush's Wings: If George W. Bush were really a bad pilot who skirted service and just goofed off, why would there be so many people vouching that he was a real asset to our nations defenses way back when. Powerline has an article that just doesn't make sense if the AWOL and all of the service skirting was true.

Sanity and Intellegence are not the same thing: This Fox News Report looks at the mess that was called the UN Food for Oil Program. That name completely fits the definition of a misnomer. It would be too simplistic to think that the ties between Saddam and Osama were only one or two degrees of separation. This report looks at the possible network used to tie the two parties together. If the UN cares about its own reputation, it should be divulging all of this information as speedily as possible. We need to get to the bottom of this. Anyway, Saddam was not sane, but neither was he stupid.

And Finally: Ted Koppel ran a two part piece showing footage from a soldier who had recently returned from Iraq. He captured a wide array of video footage over in Iraq and offered it to ABC to show. They also ran a continuous interview/commentary between clips. Originally, the soldier had furnished over 20 hours of footage to the network, and I think that much less than 5% of that was shown. Of the footage shown, it seemed to be a wide array of situations.

One of the troubling parts to me was the footage of the 'torture' positions in which one of the captives was seated during an interrogation. The position was knees on the floor sitting on your heels. It was on a hard floor, and yes, it's uncomfortable for many westerners to sit that way. Ted Koppel said something on the lines of 'try sitting like that for 30 minutes or more. It's extremely painful'. (I have no exact quotes. ABC doesn't offer free transcripts of their programs. I refuse to pay for something that should be part of public record.)

The reason I say 'westerners' is because right now, I am a westerner in a country that heavily utilizes that exact seating position. In Japan, the traditional seating style is called 'seiza', and at first, was extremely uncomfortable to me. I was astonished to see children and adults sitting on hard surfaces for well over an hour. After first trying it, I though I was pretty tough to get by with 2 minutes. Now, after living in an area where I am frequently exposed to that position, I can stand much longer times without much pain at all. It's just something that takes getting used to. I can sit that way without considering it torture.

Now, one might say "but the people in the prisions aren't used to that position! It's Torture!" Now, I recall hearing somewhere that muslims pray several times a day. I also recall that they sit in a very similar position for their prayers. In fact, I'm sure if one were to dig through the archives at ABC, they could find countless clips of people praying in Mosques from all around the world. It only took a quick google search to find this picture:

This boils down to a news channel taking a story that doesn't fit their goal and editorializing it (incorrectly) to fit their point of view. From my recollection, the soldier did a very good job of countering loaded questions from Koppel. Perhaps the next story should be about the widespread 'torture' that happens all over the country of Japan. All those poor kids on the hardwood floors. Oh! The Horror!!!

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