Tuesday, October 24, 2006


An American soldier has gone missing in Iraq.

Perhaps he'll be dressed badly, given so much food he puts on weight, and will have to endure seeing one of his abductors standing near his Bible, in a way he finds disrespectful.

Or maybe he'll be tortured with electric drills, dragged behind a truck then decapitated.

I don't support Guantanamo Bay. It should be closed and the American government should respect and observe the Geneva conventions. But for the first time, this is not in order to ensure that captured US troops will be treated equally fairly. They won't be. Not under any circumstances, not in Iraq, nor in Afghanistan.


Ismaeel said...

Now Peter i appreciate you probably don't like Yvonne Ridley, but the point u just made is easily countered with reference to her story. Here was a woman captured and suspected of spying by the Taliban. This was back in the early post 9/11 days. According to her own accounts, they treated her like she was their sister and she was completley unmolested physically, mentally, emotionally or sexually. Another story that comes to mind is one reported by Sebastian Smith in his book about the first post soviet Chechen war for independence about his meeting ex-Russian soldiers who had been captured by Chechen Mujahideen and treated so well that they had converted and joined the Chechen's fight. I also remember a member of the House of Lords (forgive me i forget which one, i may be able to find out) giving a lecture about Chechnya where he recalled going to a Chechen POW camp in the mountains and finding it full of middle-age Russian women- the captured soldier's mothers who'd been allowed in to look about their sons.
I'm not going to excuse torture or mutilation of prisoners by anyone but savagery begets savegery.
What exactly are you trying to suggest in this post? That Muslims are inherently and irredeemably savage and uncivilised whereas secular Westerners can go bad but are due to your "superior" worldview and civilisation, salvagable. Again another aspect of your posts that worries me.

Ismaeel said...

Also your description of the types of torture he may face, i assume the first set was meant to be your idea of a funny parody of what US foces have done to Iraqi prisoners in Abu Gharib and to Afghanis in Guatanamo- please don't forget to mention rape, sleep deprivation, sexual humiliation, been told that your wife is being raped next door, being left in the open in the boiling sun in boiler suits. I could go on and one. Needless to say what u said was tasteless to say the least.

Peter Risdon said...

Why do you insist on lumping all Muslims together, Ismaeel? It's stereotyping of the worst kind. I know you claim to speak on behalf of "Muslims", but collectivisation like that is the root of all racism and discrimination.

I meant what I wrote: captured U.S. troops will not be treated well in either Afghanistan or Iraq. The description I gave of torture was exactly that carried out on two captured U.S. servicemen not long ago.

I deplore the treatment of some prisoners at Abu Ghraib and am relieved that the U.S. has a system of justice that is bringing the perpetrators to book. It's a shame that the torturers in Iraq will not face the same open and transparent reckoning.

I also think Guantanamo should be closed and the current occupants treated as prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions - though the implications of that are profound, as I shall point out in a future post.