id, meet your ego

10/20/05

Dear American Psychological Operations (or PsyOps):

Just a quick note! I’d like to personally thank you for burning two Taliban soldiers, facing them toward Mecca, and then basically calling the Muslim troops “faggots” for not coming out to fight. That was really cool. Especially after Abu Ghraib, and the Koran/toilet scandal, this was another masterwork of international diplomacy.

I’m so glad you are doing your part to keep us safe here in America – I cross the Manhattan Bridge with my baby daughter a lot, and it warms the heart knowing you’re keeping those people in their place. Now they’ll never try and do something awful over here, right?

Some say that burning bodies – which is forbidden by the Koran – and pointing them toward Mecca would make any average teen in Saudi Arabia… well, seethe with uncontrollable rage. And maybe turn his life over to fundamentalist causes. And then either blow himself up while taking eight of our Marines with him, or maybe travel in America’s direction with a car full of fertilizer. But I’m sure you thought all that through. Pooh-pooh on those who say you’re a bunch of insensitive dickwits! Clearly they don’t know you put the “pysch!” in “psychological ops!”

Keep up the good work and give ’em hell!

0 thoughts on “id, meet your ego

  1. Matt

    I guess Ian didn’t see Newsweek’s retraction of the Koran/Toilet scandal. It didn’t happen, dude. U.S. military regs at Guantanamo Bay mandate that us infidels wear gloves when handling the Koran so as not to offend the sensibilities of folks being held there who like to saw people’s heads off. (Kindest, gentlest war in history.) Not that flushing a book would’ve been so horric compared to say, executing Christians for possessing a Bible or knocking cinderblock walls onto people for being gay.
    PsyOps did break U.S. military policy by burning the fundo’s corpses. Perhaps now Dick Durbin can give another speech on the Senate Floor comparing U.S. soldiers to Nazi Germany and the former Soviet Union. Who knows, maybe he’ll even call them dickwits this time.

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  2. dhh

    Ian, are you intellectually lazy or just plain lazy? I love most of your rantings, but you have to base your rantings on truth. As last comment says, Newsweek has retracted ANOTHER of their stories!

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  3. hxc

    Ian’s point was not that he’s irritated about us fucking with terrorists, he’s unhappy that our policies are creating new terrorists.
    While our soldiers didn’t flush a Koran down the toilet, they did take prisoners and attack them with dogs, smear them with shit and ass rape them. I don’t care how tall the stack of sawed-off heads is; we should be the good guys.
    Let’s just be happy with killing the fundos, not with torturing everyone around them.

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  4. dhh

    People always state that we are creating more terrorists as if it is the gospel. It could be true, but it is nothing but pure supposition, not fact. Assuming it is true, however, what created the terrorists that attacked NYC and DC? You remember those guys, don’t you? I know it is sometimes easy to forget them as we focus on BS like whether we are handling a prisoner’s Koran with enough deference. Plus, it is also easy to forget them because there has not been another attack in over 4 years. I guess all these hordes of new terrorists we are allegedly creating are well-behaved and choose to stay in their desert.

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  5. Greg H

    “I love most of your rantings, but you have to base your rantings on truth. As last comment says, Newsweek has retracted ANOTHER of their stories!”
    I wish the current admin had based their rush to war in Iraq on truth.
    With Rovegate in high gear, the truth may finally see the light of day.

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  6. WM

    Dear Ostriches,
    How does the sand look to you? I guess you think that US military regs at Guantanamo Bay also require the magical winds to move urine through air ducts so that it will land on those evil non-Bibles as well. Newsweek, under pressure from the White House, retracted a story, therefore everything is a-ok with our torture policies. You dismiss burnings, torture and killings in the name of what? Supporting the administration? Fighting the evil-doers?
    Before you condemn the entry written by Ian, you might want to read it. He mentions the Koran “scandal.” The retraction of the story by Newsweek doesn’t eliminate the scandal except maybe in your mind. The handling of the scandal by the administration was even more inept than the handling of the Koran. But, we have a solution now. Karen Hughes has swooped in from Texas to boost our reputation in the Middle East. Can you name a single thing she has done so far? Can you name a single reason that she is qualified her for that job?
    And you know what, it is easy to forget the terrorists of 9-11 when our country is engaged in a war against a country that had nothing to do with it. If you think that the new terriorists are staying in the desert, your heads are clearly in the sand.

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  7. dhh

    I agree, lyle, that the current track is not a-ok. But, I also dont know the answer. For example, before we went to war, we relied on the witless UN, diplomacy, etc and the terrorists attacked us: in the ’70’s, 80’s, ’90’s and ’00’s. So, clearly, a Monroe Doctrine-like philosophy of keeping our hands out of the Middle East (or eastern Europe) is not going to work. For example, if we pull out now and send them all a bunch of flowers and candy, are they going to stop bombing us and stop killing their own women and children? No. The answer? I don’t know. They hate us with every ounce of their being and want to kill all of us! How do you reason with such a faction? I dont think you can. Although I agree the current campaign is off-track, but it may be possible that the only way to stop them is to get rid of them.

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  8. Warrior of the Woods

    dhh: “People always state that we are creating more terrorists…but it is nothing but pure supposition, not fact.”
    Fact:
    http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0428/dailyUpdate.html
    “…if we pull out now and send them all a bunch of flowers and candy, are they going to stop bombing us and stop killing their own women and children? No.”
    Now that’s pure supposition.

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  9. J.Boogie

    what a surprise, Ian spreading more lies and left-wing propaganda again
    That Koran BS story was retracted months ago, but DailyKos and NPR never told Ian about it, they know the sheep like Ian never care about the truth, only the next lie to come along to push their left-wing ideology. You are not going to win national elections by spreading lies and innuendo about our troops, sometimes I think Ian is just as dumb as Howard Dean.

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  10. hilary

    i feel self-conscious that i’m posting so many comments these days. today’s entry, fine, whatever; i’m still reeling from nonnie. you struck something with me there, ian. god, especially those photographs. i just feel so strongly that we all need to spend more time with our relatives in nursing homes. the homes can be really difficult for the young and conscious, but i think about my grandmother, all alone there, and like nonnie, not so concerned about that anymore (95% because she’s incapable of concern and 5% because she actually has a boyfriend in the home–the most annoying 85 year old-man ever, named Leo, but that’s another story), and i just wish so badly that i could spend even 5 minutes a day with her, holding her hand and drinking coffee with her. and in the end, it’s to make myself feel better, not her.

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  11. Emily

    J.Boogie, you’re late to the party! We’ve already gone over the semantics of the retraction/scandal. Got anything new to say?

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  12. Matt

    “…and ass rape them.”
    Now there’s a story I missed. Care to give a cite for that one? The guards responsible for the abuses at Abu Ghraib are serving time in prison.
    Lyle, foremost among the Bali bombers complaints is the liberation of East Timor. That was an event championed by the left (though I agreed with it too). Do I really need to run down the long list of Islamic terrorist attacks that pre-date the Bush Administration? Talk about having your heads in the sand.
    By the way, WM, Newsweek retracted the story because it wasn’t true, much as you would like to believe it was pressure from the White House. Newsweeks Pentagon “source” said he was misquoted. It appears that you didn’t read the report of the investigation at Gitmo, which found a mere 5 MINOR infractions relating to the “Koran/toilet scandal,” which is how Ian actually framed it. Nobody with an ounce of sense is in an uproar about any one of them. As it happens, the investigation did disclose that pages of a Koran were flushed down a toilet … by a Detainee!

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  13. badbob

    Enjoy your cozy & artistic lives folks. Keeping selling each other pizzas!
    Amazing you’ll harp on Michael Jackson “innocent until proven guilty” themes but you’ll not gran the soldiers in this case the same “inalienable” right.
    Surely this reflex can’t be political, can it? I thought y’all “support the troops but not the war”. If they broke the law they’ll be punished- simple.
    It’s a war where “The Grave of the Hundred Head” by Kipling comes to mind…..
    re- “Now they’ll never try and do something awful over here, right?”
    Yes they will..and you’re living near ground zero. Comforting, ain’t it?
    badbbob (real bad)

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  14. kaz

    okay, i have spent the past two days getting pummeled for my short film (about supporting the troops, mind you) on a military blog:
    http://gojackarmy.blogspot.com/2005/10/for-your-consideration.html
    and reading today’s comments has me even more depressed than i already was. because of the seeming unwillingness for those entrenched in hating the left-wingers (read: badbbod, et al) to actually consider the other side, or the TRUTH.
    dhh, the FACT is that when you create social situations like the ones now playing out in the middle east, two things happen: the US soldiers begin to act like animals and the people being beaten down being to fight back eventually, because there’s nothing else to do.
    http://www.prisonexp.org/
    here’s a brief lesson, in case you’re too lazy to check out the site above:
    in the fallout of WWII, people in this country wanted to know if the germans were inherently evil or if anyone could be made to do the horrific things that the nazis did if a complex set of factors created a similar situation. and, guess what, it’s not even that complex. in the basement of the stanford psych department in the 70s, professor phil zimbardo conducted one of the most famous experiments in history. in less than 2-weeks, he turns a bunch of perfectly-normal, balanced, freedom-loving white students into sadistic torturers.
    so, is it supposition or fact that our actions are creating MORE terrorists? it’s FACT. and the abu ghraib scandals and koran scandals and burning bodies scandals are based in FACT, whatever the stories or spin or retractions. science is founded on being able to accurately repeat and re-create results time and again. and the fact that the administation chooses to ignore science in everything from global warming warnings to FDA recommendations to, yes, the best ways to protect the country and the troops out in the field is a complete travesty.
    there’s my rant. welcome to the 21st century. the new dark ages.

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  15. Matt

    hxc, the sole basis for the charge that Iraqi prisoners were raped by U.S. soldiers is an allegation by a prisoner who said he saw a minor boy being raped. He claims a female soldier was taking pictures while this was happening. I know the Iraq “swears to God” this is true, but call me unconvinced. That’s not something other American soldiers would tolerate or cover up. No such pictures were among the ones found during the Abu Ghraib scandal. And it’s not like prisoners have never lied about such things. Sorry, but you’ll need more than that…

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  16. Matt

    Kaz, but leave “global warming” out of this one, ok? The reason that the abuses at Abu Ghraib happened was due to a break down in unit discipline and oversight by the chain of command. That shouldn’t happen at a military command and those officers, though perhaps not directly responsible for the abuses, have lost their careers over it. Notice that we’ve held these persons to account, not swept it under the rug. The Army was investigating the matter before it became public. We don’t condone it or excuse it, and if you don’t understand that then the commenters at those milblogs were right to pummle you for it.

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  17. Matt

    One more thing re “the new dark ages.” The UN released a new study last week showing that despite popular belief, the world is actually seeing few wars than just a few decades ago, and the ones that do occur are far less bloody. The primary reason: there are more democracies around today than there were then. Think about that — democratizing the ME isn’t such a bad goal, is it?

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  18. kaz

    matt,
    my comparison to the dark ages doesn’t actually have to do with war, it has to do with a lack of respect for the sciences and a return to faith-based belief, legislation, and government. the decision-making process of this administration is about as enlightened, in the real sense, as the spanish inquisition.
    also, given the wars today, fewer or not, less “bloody” or not, the wars now are resulting in grossly higher numbers of severely wounded soldiers and civilians who will survive in the past because of advances in battlefield medicine. so, while the number of deaths is less, the number of surviving wounded, both physically and psychologically, is insane.
    excerpt from a Pentagon survey of returning U.S. soldiers, “more than one in four—28 percent—are limping home with psychological or physical woes, ranging from unhealed war wounds to thoughts of suicide. Those roughly 150,000 vets eclipse the official war tally of 1,971 killed and 15,220 wounded through tuesday”.
    also, my issue with abu ghraib isn’t so much that the individual soldiers were disciplined. they should be. my issue is that the entire chain of command, which indeed should be responsible, has not been disciplined in ANY WAY. during vietnam, the largest single loss of US life was during an ambush. the whole chain of command was held responsible, from the soliders on patrol who were off smoking pot to the general who decided that they could take 2 weeks to break down the post.
    as far as democracy, did you read that a delegation of iraqi judges and journalists abruptly left theUS earlier this week, “cutting short its visit to study the workings of American democracy. A delegation spokesman said the Iraqis were “bewildered” by some of the behavior of the Bush administration and felt it was best to limit their exposure to the U.S. system at this time, when Iraq is taking its first baby steps toward democracy.
    The lead Iraqi delegate, Muhammad Mithaqi, a noted secular Sunni judge who had recently survived an assassination attempt by Islamist radicals, said that he was stunned when he heard President Bush telling Republicans that one reason they should support Harriet Miers for the U.S. Supreme Court was because of “her religion.” She is described as a devout evangelical Christian.
    Mithaqi said that after two years of being lectured to by U.S. diplomats in Baghdad about the need to separate “mosque from state” in the new Iraq, he was also floored to read that the former Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr, now a law school dean, said on the radio show of the conservative James Dobson that Miers deserved support because she was “a very, very strong Christian [who] should be a source of great comfort and assistance to people in the households of faith around the country.”
    “Now let me get this straight,” Judge Mithaqi said. “You are lecturing us about keeping religion out of politics, and then your own president and conservative legal scholars go and tell your public to endorse Miers as a Supreme Court justice because she is an evangelical Christian.
    “How would you feel if you picked up your newspapers next week and read that the president of Iraq justified the appointment of an Iraqi Supreme Court justice by telling Iraqis: ‘Don’t pay attention to his lack of legal expertise. Pay attention to the fact that he is a Muslim fundamentalist and prays at a Saudi-funded Wahhabi mosque.’ Is that the Iraq you sent your sons to build and to die for? I don’t think so. We can’t have our people exposed to such talk.”
    so much for leading by example in democracy…

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  19. Joe

    Personally, I’m glad you make entries like this, Ian. And unsurprisingly we’re on the same page politically.
    It’s amazing how many people who apparently check your blog on a regular basis can’t wait to yell in your face, isn’t it?
    I get the points you’re making between the lines; no need for me to trot out my “evidence” complete with hyperlinks to convince anyone. But that’s the difference between reading and reading comprehension, isn’t it, friends?

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  20. Matt

    “the decision-making process of this administration is about as enlightened, in the real sense, as the spanish inquisition.”
    We will disagree there.
    “also, given the wars today, fewer or not, less “bloody” or not, the wars now are resulting in grossly higher numbers of severely wounded soldiers and civilians who will survive in the past because of advances in battlefield medicine.”
    There are fewer wounded soldiers and civilians, too, believe it or not.
    “while the number of deaths is less, the number of surviving wounded, both physically and psychologically, is insane.”
    If you look up the report, you’ll find it’s still less than in the past.
    “excerpt from a Pentagon survey of returning U.S. soldiers, “more than one in four—28 percent—are limping home with psychological or physical woes…”
    And I’ll bet that has nothing to do with how we diagnose and categorize psychological “woes” today. I think we all agree that war is undesirable, it’s just that I think there are worse things (as did our forefathers).
    “my issue is that the entire chain of command, which indeed should be responsible, has not been disciplined in ANY WAY.”
    Those with direct oversight certainly have. If you think the WH and Pentagon should also face discipline, you’ll have to show that they either ordered the abuses or were aware of them and did nothing to stop them. So far, no has done so. It would seem extremely unfair to hold accountable persons without direct oversight. Was FDR held accountable for abuses that occured during WWII? When the Pentagon and WH learned of what happened, they acted.
    “so much for leading by example in democracy…”
    Please. I wouldn’t have made such arguments in Miers’ favor (I’m not thrilled by her nomination at all), but noting her faith as personal charateristic is a far cry from imposing a theocracy.

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  21. Ian

    As has been clarified by astute commenters, I mentioned the Koran/toilet thing because that still sticks in the minds of the Middle East WHETHER OR NOT it happened.
    And this is not me railing on normal soldiers, it’s calling out “PsyOps,” who, let’s be honest, really ought to know better. Man, you conservatives find one thing to harp on, and then just blot out everything else. How would you feel if some insurgent Iraqis came to America, kidnapped a bunch of army recruits, arranged their bodies into the shape of a Christian cross, and burned them while they taunted you as a bunch of fat, McDonald’s-laden mama’s boys?
    Oh, Hilary – I think that “Huffington Post honor roll” is for the other Ian Williams, a slightly-older Brit who covers the UN for Salon and is a relentless critic of Bush foreign policy. He’s a good guy. Although when I write for Salon or the NYT, I have to put the initial “R” in my name.

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  22. Sean M

    “How would you feel if some insurgent Iraqis came to America, kidnapped a bunch of army recruits, arranged their bodies into the shape of a Christian cross, and burned them while they taunted you as a bunch of fat, McDonald’s-laden mama’s boys?”
    Damn — now THAT’s perspective.

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  23. Matt

    “…WHETHER OR NOT it happened.”
    How nice. It’s a lie, but some Arabs believe it so you must be making a valid point. Is that it?
    And, trust me, it’s not just one thing.

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  24. Matt

    P.S. I know of one Iraqi who came to America and set off a bomb in the WTC. He went back to Iraq to live under Saddam’s protection.

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  25. badbob

    re- “PsyOps,” who, let’s be honest, really ought to know better.”
    I agree (can you believe it? because I hate professional stupidity) and like I said above, the system (UCMJ) will punish them, IF they are guilty.
    re- “.. if some insurgent Iraqis came to America..”
    That is why we kill them THERE, get it?
    BTW, if they did come here, it would most likely be NYC and they would probably take hostages from the arts and entertainment community and form them into a crescent…
    …or are you thinking that they (the hostages) would, hopefully, be “Republicans”?
    One of these days you must describe what a “normal” troop is…LOL.
    Sleep well tonight sheep. The sheepdogs will keep you safe.
    Badbob (real)

    Reply

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