RE: Creative cruelty and responsibility: Photos from Iraq

Date: Mon May 03 2004 - 10:16:21 PDT

What makes the issue most disturbing, I think, was that this war has
been based on the claim that democracy should be promoted in Irak
(this, second-hand, after the claims of WMD turned out to be

I personally had not simpathy for Hussein at all and found him a
mirrored image of Hitler in a lot of ways. However, and may be hence,
not only the fact that the pics were outrageous but the fact that they
were taken in a place where torture by Hussein agents was a common fact
makes the issue most ashaming and worthy of public condemnation.

And, one may ask now, if this is going on in Irak, what is going on in
other places where there is no access to International Organizations
such as in Guantanamo bay? Please, do not take me wrong. I think that
terrorism has no justification at all. But I think that the ways it is
challenged should be part of the solution and not the problem! Torture
is not the way, not only by practical but by moral reasons: you don't
want to become what you want to defeat.

Well, may be this has gone too much away of the purposes of the XMCA
forum, so I guess I should stop here...

Quoting "White, Phillip" <>:

> Judy wrote:
> I have heard that the information derived from this kind of
> mistreatment is
> completely unreliable. If so, what are the real pragmatic goals? or
> -- embedded in a broader political arena, in countries outside
> Iraq.
> and Eugene responded:
> Probably, it works like testing in education. It is well known that
> testing
> is not reliable as the assessment of students' knowledge and/or
> learning but
> it is easily achievable. At the end of the day, testing - whether
> reliable
> or not - produces sorting that serves for the purpose of
> stratification. The
> "pressured" interrogations produce information that can be later
> analyzed
> and (mis)used by military and politicians.
> I agree, Eugene - when I read Judy's observation it confirmed
> my own thoughts from past readings in either Harper's or the
> Atlantic, that torture is ineffective and the information is
> unreliable. which reminded me of methods used by schools to
> discipline students - the methods are most usually ineffective, and
> quickly become a dialogue (to coin a new phrase, homoglossic) in
> which all the participants know their roles and ventriloquate an
> unchanging dialogue that is more ritualistic than attempts at new
> understandings and relationships - not unlike Gutierez's
> description of discourse in the high school classes where the teacher
> practices teaching and the students practice studenting - with little
> emphasis on learning and the new relationships that necessarily
> emerge out of the new learning.
> i think that what happened in the Bagdad prison is a micro
> example of common forms of activity here in the states - what Judy
> described as "good ol' times" - frat house hazing, police abuse,
> etc. etc. - and, Eugene, I have seen photos of lynchings in which
> the white participants were positively beaming with smiles, even
> pointing towards the lynched body as if illustrating a redeeming
> moral lesson.
> Phillip

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