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Getting On : All My Politics

Call that humiliation?

from benji - Thursday, April 05, 2007
accessed 1024 times

No hoods. No electric shocks. No beatings. These Iranians clearly are a very uncivilized bunch

Terry Jones
Saturday March 31, 2007
The Guardian

I share the outrage expressed in the British press over the treatment of our naval personnel accused by Iran of illegally entering their waters. It is a disgrace. We would never dream of treating captives like this - allowing them to smoke cigarettes, for example, even though it has been proven that smoking kills. And as for compelling poor servicewoman Faye Turney to wear a black headscarf, and then allowing the picture to be posted around the world - have the Iranians no concept of civilised behaviour? For God's sake, what's wrong with putting a bag over her head? That's what we do with the Muslims we capture: we put bags over their heads, so it's hard to breathe. Then it's perfectly acceptable to take photographs of them and circulate them to the press because the captives can't be recognised and humiliated in the way these unfortunate British service people are.

It is also unacceptable that these British captives should be made to talk on television and say things that they may regret later. If the Iranians put duct tape over their mouths, like we do to our captives, they wouldn't be able to talk at all. Of course they'd probably find it even harder to breathe - especially with a bag over their head - but at least they wouldn't be humiliated.

And what's all this about allowing the captives to write letters home saying they are all right? It's time the Iranians fell into line with the rest of the civilised world: they should allow their captives the privacy of solitary confinement. That's one of the many privileges the US grants to its captives in Guantánamo Bay.

The true mark of a civilised country is that it doesn't rush into charging people whom it has arbitrarily arrested in places it's just invaded. The inmates of Guantánamo, for example, have been enjoying all the privacy they want for almost five years, and the first inmate has only just been charged. What a contrast to the disgraceful Iranian rush to parade their captives before the cameras!

What's more, it is clear that the Iranians are not giving their British prisoners any decent physical exercise. The US military make sure that their Iraqi captives enjoy PT. This takes the form of exciting "stress positions", which the captives are expected to hold for hours on end so as to improve their stomach and calf muscles. A common exercise is where they are made to stand on the balls of their feet and then squat so that their thighs are parallel to the ground. This creates intense pain and, finally, muscle failure. It's all good healthy fun and has the bonus that the captives will confess to anything to get out of it.

And this brings me to my final point. It is clear from her TV appearance that servicewoman Turney has been put under pressure. The newspapers have persuaded behavioral psychologists to examine the footage and they all conclude that she is "unhappy and stressed".

What is so appalling is the underhand way in which the Iranians have got her "unhappy and stressed". She shows no signs of electrocution or burn marks and there are no signs of beating on her face. This is unacceptable. If captives are to be put under duress, such as by forcing them into compromising sexual positions, or having electric shocks to their genitals, they should be photographed, as they were in Abu Ghraib. The photographs should then be circulated around the civilized world so that everyone can see exactly what has been going on.

As Stephen Glover pointed out in the Daily Mail, perhaps it would not be right to bomb Iran in retaliation for the humiliation of our servicemen, but clearly the Iranian people must be made to suffer - whether by beefing up sanctions, as the Mail suggests, or simply by getting President Bush to hurry up and invade, as he intends to anyway, and bring democracy and western values to the country, as he has in Iraq.

· Terry Jones is a film director, actor and Python

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from Baxter
Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - 12:15

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

Okey, Bollocks to this.

Firstly, the Iranians only captured British servicemen by INTRUDING into Iraqi territory. The captain of the dhow the British boarding team boarded confirmed that the Iranians were 1.7 miles inside Iraq at the time.

Let's not get carried away here. When one criticises British or American tactics one does not need take the side of the opposition. THIS IS IRAN we are talking about. For those of you who have been asleep for the last 50 years, Iran is the sunny,friendly, humanitarian state that has been quite open in it's support for destructive terrorism around the bloody world. You cannot criticise American hypocrisy or British hypocrisy without criticising Iranian hypocrisy. The Iranians do not give a shit about Iraq or Lebanon or Palestine. They simply use the failures and shortcomings (or downright crimes) of the American, British and Israeli governments to cause more mayhem. We spend a lot of time bashing Neo-Conservatism as political fanaticism. IS ISLAMIC FANATICISM ANY BETTER? Let's put this into context here. IRAN has a religious government. In fact it has two governments in practice. The Iranian president has to answer to the Ayatollah, the religious head of state. The Revolutionary Guard, who 'captured' the British sailors, does not answer to the president, but the Ayatollah, effectively making them a sort of religious SS.

My personal theories as to the nature of this debacle are as follows: This was not just a propaganda action on the part of the Iranians; this was designed either as a test of coalition resolve as well as cohesion, or in fact as a provocation. The fact that the Revolutionary Guard do not answer to the 'secular' government means that they can act with a considerable level of impunity. I wouldn't be surprised if Ahmedinajab was pulling out his hair when he found out. It's also interesting that the Ayatollah never made a statement. The Iranians were clearly probing throughout to see how much they could get away with. If Bush hadn't made a statement when he did, they might even have tried them as criminals, which was the general direction they stirred bublic opinion in Iran. If there had been a visible gap between the British position an American support and resolve, the Iranians might have thought of going for it. I'm personally sure Ahmedinajab was relieved to get rid of them.

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From Samuel
Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 20:04


Hear ye! Hear ye!

Kudos to you, Baxter. I could not have worded that any better.(reply to this comment

from Oddman
Monday, April 09, 2007 - 14:26

Average visitor agreement is 4 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 4 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 4 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 4 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 4 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

Nice article. I'd have to agree, that it's pretty funny how the British have been whining like babies over what was comparably mild treatment of captives... I find it funny, cause it's always funny to laugh at whiny poms.

I'd also say the Iranians handled it pretty well. I don't doubt the very real possibility that they nabbed the British off of Iraqi waters, and whatever which way the real story goes, Ahmadinejad probably earned a few points as far as domestic support goes. It was a publicity stunt to say, "look, we can level. We can be diplomatic. There is no reason for anyone to invade us. We're not that bad." From the stories the Britons have been spreading, it seems they've concentrated on psychological torture, without resorting to physical abuse. Admirable, in a way. The fact that the Britons are being paid to tell their stories also decreases the credibility of their statements, as far as the Iranians are concerned.

But let's not ignore the circumstances in the process of acting like 12 year old girls eagerly riding the trend. The trend of bashing the USA, and any nation that allies themselves with the US.

The USA is at war with Iraqi and Afghani insurgents and militias. There is reason to believe that some of the combatants captured in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the non-combatants the US has abducted in other countries, may be involved in missions that will cause harm to US citizens, and/or the citizens of it's allies. Some of the captured were known to view death as martyrdom, and as such, threats of death would have had little effect on gaining information or obedience. Pain and humiliation was the next route.

Iran is trying to avert war with the UK and it's allies. None of the captured Britons are known to be involved in any acts of terror within Iran or it's allies. It is unlikely that any of them would have access to any information that would save the lives of Iranians, or the people of Iran's few allies. Those soldiers were not looking forward to yea many virgins in the afterlife, and a subtle hint of death would have had great impact on their minds. Not quite so neccessary to electrocute or humiliate.

Overall, I think Iran played fair on this issue. You can't expect much better from a nation you are on the verge of war with. I don't doubt that if Iran were at war with the British, and captured combatants in a war zone, they wouldn't hesitate to do what is neccessary to save a few Iranian lives. As the mission objective was very different, the methods were different. There's little doubt that the USA flouts the geneva convention regarding POW rights, whenever it seems fit. Do I think that's a good thing? No.

While I think there are questions that need to be asked as far as when and how torture should be applied, in principle, I support torture as a neccessary evil. I also think it's perty ridiculous that some enemy combatants think they should be protected under the US constitution. I think POWs (i.e. those captured as combatants in a war zone) and suspects (i.e. those captured in the USA) should be treated absolutely differently. I think a terrorist captured in the US or UK attempting a terrorist attack should be handled by the police and courts, whereas insurgents and enemy combatants captured in war should be handled by military courts and tribunals.

As far as kidnapping suspects abroad and shuttling them through covert CIA bases. Not respectable. Ideally, I think the CIA should provide other nations with the intel neccessary to capture such suspects, and it should be up to that nations authorities to apprehend the suspects, try them, or deport them. But why doesn't that happen? Because other nations want the intel, but don't want to get their own hands dirty. I'm no Dubya lover, but I think nations that lack the resolve and fortitude to protect their own people have no business pointing fingers at those nations that do.
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from Ne Oublie
Thursday, April 05, 2007 - 13:01

Does anyone take The Guardian seriously?
(reply to this comment)
From vix
Thursday, April 05, 2007, 13:17


*Raises hand.


(reply to this comment

From Ne Oublie
Monday, April 09, 2007, 14:38

Don't worry vixie, I'm told it's natural to go through such a phase.(reply to this comment
From Falcon
Thursday, April 05, 2007, 13:40

The point wasn't about the guardian at was about Benji consistently posting the same kind of shit that is entirely one sided...(reply to this comment
From Falcon
Thursday, April 05, 2007, 13:48

Oh oops, sorry, let me be politically correct and say "same genre"....(reply to this comment
From Ne Oublie
Thursday, April 05, 2007, 13:42

... and that doesn't relate to the Gudarian, how?(reply to this comment
From Falcon
Thursday, April 05, 2007, 13:49

Well luv, I believe Shaka was trying to make a general point about all Benji's posts, not just this particular one which was published by The Guardian.(reply to this comment
From Ne Oublie
Thursday, April 05, 2007, 14:04

Yet the comment was primarily regarding the content of the post - which is from the Gudarian. Similarly appropriate is your comment "consistently posting the same kind of shit that is entirely one sided..."(reply to this comment
from Shaka
Thursday, April 05, 2007 - 12:57

Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

Ok, I'm about sick of you (I know it's a copy paste but you seem to be obsessed with this issue). The Abu Gharib scandal has been beaten to death and it's getting old. The idiots who participated in abuse are IN PRISON. Case closed. Why is it that no one notices anymore that we're still finding bodies every day of people who have been tortured to death by these poor, poor, abused hajji rat fucks. And what the fuck does Abu Gharib have to do with the Iranian hostage situation? Abu Gharib was home to the worst of the insurgent scum, the most violent offenders along with the (allegedly) innocent people who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was a disaster waiting to happen. This Iranian fiasco is politics, nothing more. Of course they wouldn't dare mistreat those soldiers with the world watching and every superpower about to sanction the shit out of them! If you think they're so wonderful, take a goddamn tour of their political prisons. Go to Iran and do something to piss them off without the world watching and lay back and enjoy the hospitality of the Revolutionary Guards.

I fucking hate the mentality of always siding with the underdog even if they're barbaric savages who have no concept of how to behave like a human being. It's like the craze in the US of prosecuting cops every time they use force in the line of duty. All these holier-than-thou assholes should spend a little time in this cesspool and then talk about how fucking terrible the West is.
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From Baxter
Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 12:17

I don't think I could agree more.(reply to this comment

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