Are These People Evil? Pt II...

Are these people evil?

http://www.thememoryhole.org/war/iraqis_tortured/

I refer to the American people grinning among piles of
tormented Iraqi prisoners of course.

Bush continually invoked a "good vs evil" agenda for attacking Iraq (and Afghanistan). God, of course, was on Bush's side. How could He not be? Bush is a devoted Christian!

But of course after the failed "Weapons Of Mass Destruction" ruse, the white house re-emphasized the human rights excuse for "liberating" Iraqis. According to Bush among those indicators of a corrupt regime were _human rights abuses, mistreatments of prisoners_ etc.

Oh dear how things can backfire, huh? Of course, these human rights abuses can't say anything about Bush's "regime" can they?

Is it any wonder many of us roll our eyes when people whip out the "good vs evil" talk as an excuse for their actions? Especially when it comes to political leaders, I cringe when they use the word "evil" because that label is so often used as an excuse for forthcoming questionable actions on the part of those using the term. Once you label something "evil" you can justify whatever means necessary, and rally your people around a two-dimensional concept of the foe. Bin Laden of course justified 9/11 on the fact he was attacking an evil empire too...every side uses the "evil" excuse as a way of squashing complex situations to two-dimensional thinking, so people can justify whatever they dream up in order to "conquer" the supposed evil.

Sigh.

But hey...someone can prove me wrong. Would anyone like to comment as to whether their religious beliefs allow them to recognize the actions of those American soldiers as "evil" or not?
And if so, how far up the chain of command does the trail of "evil" lead?

Thanks.

Prof.

whether their religious beliefs allow them to recognize the actions of those American soldiers as "evil" or not?

Are you talking about the "person" or their "actions"? The thread title says one thing and the post says another.

mkirk,

Take your pick. If someone thinks evil acts indicate an evil person it's up to them to say so.

BTW, I envy your blue-namer ability to italicize and underline. Against such power, how can any mud-namer prevail? :-)

Prof.

Well, their actions, or maybe a better way to put it is, the way they gloated over their actions, regardless of whether or not thier activity was/is justifiable, was evil by definition.

e·vil   Audio pronunciation of "evil" ( P )  Pronunciation Key  (vl)
adj. e·vil·er, e·vil·est

  1. Morally bad or wrong; wicked: an evil tyrant.
  2. Causing ruin, injury, or pain; harmful: the evil effects of a poor diet.
  3. Characterized by or indicating future misfortune; ominous: evil omens.
  4. Bad or blameworthy by report; infamous: an evil reputation.
  5. Characterized by anger or spite; malicious: an evil temper.

Even if investigation finds them innocent of any charges, the "intent" of the pictures was to gloat over what they did. This goes outside the standards of accepted morality.

*shows off his bluenamer super-powers :-)*


(Yaaaghh! Prof shields eyes from blue-namer power).

mkirk,

So, are you identifying evil via dictionary definition, your religion, or your personal sense of morality?

Prof.

Prof,

All three. However, it should be noted that until they are convicted the only thing we have to go on is the photos and testimony of the accused. The photos are enough evidence to show stupidity which, in this case, would be a moral wrong by the dictionary definition, religious understanding and my personal conviction.

In order to judge a person as "evil" we would need a lot more evidence, to show not just an isolated act or acts, but a lifestyle pattern which would lead any reasonable person to conclude the same thing. We would also need to go deeper into things such as motive, intent, and underlying issues which would be much harder to prove. Additionally, morality and even the generic term "evil" is defined culturally. Therefore Osama Bin Laden would be characterised by the majority of U.S. citizens as "evil" but would be considered a "hero" by his countrymen. U.S. politicians will use this term to their advantage and so will Al Queda. Who is right? I say both are correct in their terminology, however as a U.S. citizen, with cultural bias, I prefer to protect my way of life and stick with our application of the definition.

They are wrong because I believe we are right. Does that make me any less intelligent? I don't think so. I just understand that there are two sides of an issue, I choose to align myself with the side I agree with the most. Were the soldiers in the photos wrong? I believe so based on the limited evidence we have so far. Do I think they are "evil" in the same manner as Saddam? No. Do they have the potential within themselves to contain the same "evil" as Saddam? Yes, we all have the propensity to be much worse than we are; he had the means.


mkirk,

Well, what can I say? There's nothing much to disagree with in what you wrote. Thanks for your view.

Prof.

Probably not, but I would like more info before making a judgment. 

Wouldn't evil be irrelevant? G-d created them, put these people among us and told us not to judge them? They are being, acting, choosing, what they are dispositioned to? People are supposed to embody who they are. They are being who they are. If it's against us does that mean they are evil? I don't believe they believe they are evil. The people around them don't believe they are evil. They come from a land that is much older then ours and also a land where a lot of our holy writings and revelations come from.
I don't beleive we need to define them as evil, just deal with them by embodying who we are, as individuals, maybe even as a nation.

Brighton-

Prof, how about some relativity? Humiliation of enemy combatants whose sole intention is to kill us is not "evil". Tactically, it's brilliant. I believe that most of this "abuse" rose to the level of college hazing, Malenthorpe photo's, or a Madonna concert!

check out evil:
http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/menu/massgraves.guest.html

Rooster opined: "Humiliation of enemy combatants whose sole intention is to kill us is not "evil".

It was not proven that many of those in the pictures were out to "kill us." Quite a few have expressed that they were ordinary citizens scooped in a round up to determine who were the "bad guys." If this is not so, why were those "killers" released, and currently free to tell their story?

--"Tactically, it's brilliant."--

I take it then, you have no use for the Geneva Convention? Or, perhaps, is it ok only for the USA to ignore rules for the ethical treatment of prisoners?

--"I believe that most of this "abuse" rose to the level of college hazing, Malenthorpe photo's, or a Madonna concert!"--

Hmmm, (prof checks memory)...nope...last Madonna concert I attended they didn't hook up electrodes to my testicles or attack me with dogs while hooded, nor was I, as far as I know, beaten to death (Although, as she ages, I wouldn't put such publicity stunts past Madonna).

Rooster, how about more relativism? Investigate just what it means to a Muslim to be put in those kind of positions. It's different than for a phrat boy.

Or, perhaps if your son were a prisoner of war and he was forced to perform acts of pedophilia while incriminating pictures were taken (and shown to the world), you'd say it was "brilliant," and a-ok as just another tactic of war?

Somehow, I don't think so. Nor do I think you would be so easy on the Iraqis had the positions been reversed, and it was American servicemen being tormented in those photos with smiling Iraqis.

Oh that's right, you did come down hard on those Iraqis in the previous "Are These People Evil" thread.

So: Smiling Iraqis who view themselves as fighting an unwanted occupancy by a foreign power celebrate the death of US soldier. = Evil.

Yet: American soldiers, occupying Iraq, tormenting Iraqi prisoners (at least one of whom was beaten to death) via dog attacks, electrocution and illegal acts of humiliation, stand grinning with pride at their acts = "Brilliant."

"Evil" when they do it, "brilliant" when your side does it. I suppose that's evidence of the higher moral sensitivity afforded by Christianity, 'cause as a heathen I just can't see it that way.

:-(

Prof.

Prof

Please don´t take Christiany as whole because of only one individual.

Donna, I don't of course. Nor do I take Rooster's position on this as a general knock against him either.
But there is a point to be investigated about how we identify and define evil. Christians do it one way and non-believers supposedly another way. (Although, I think we really all tend to derive morality through a similar process). But it's mostly religions like Christianity that make claims to an objectively described morality...and I fail to see such a thing in practice. As the many disagreements between Christians show.

Prof.

Being tortured would be insanely bad, I think it should be reserved for extreme scenarios. Example: a bomb is going to kill millions, we need to get the unlock code.

Torture for the sake of humiliation is extremely evil.

You struck a nerve with me w/ the hooded dog example. I've never had my testicles executed, but I've been bitten repeated, w/ no hood, in a condition I could end it fairly quickly, and it was terrible. I had huge bruises on my triceps/back that took weeks to go away. Pinching wounds sting like crazy.

In this case, I don't see how it benefitted anyone to torture the Iraquis. Evil action for sure.

Anyone see the 'torture' scene in punisher? How do you guys feel about psychological torture, as opposed to physical ones? Still as wrong if no permanent physical damage is done?

Prof, how about some relativity? Humiliation of enemy combatants whose sole intention is to kill us is not "evil". Tactically, it's brilliant.Tactically brilliant?You could argue that executing them all would be tactically sound, but humiliating them, and either letting them go or letting their story get out, is in no way sensible. All it does is increase the number of your enemies, and the level of hatred they bear you.Plus, as mentioned above, they weren't necessarily "enemy combatants whose sole intention is to kill us".

prof: It was not proven that many of those in the pictures were out to "kill us." Quite a few have expressed that they were ordinary citizens scooped in a round up to determine who were the "bad guys." If this is not so, why were those "killers" released, and currently free to tell their story?

me: right, it's a war, not policement arresting American citizens. It's easy to 2nd guess who is being arrested from our computers away from the action my friend.

prof: I take it then, you have no use for the Geneva Convention? Or, perhaps, is it ok only for the USA to ignore rules for the ethical treatment of prisoners?

me: you mean the ones that the enemy never abides by with us? You mean the 4 guys who were lit on fire and there dead bodies desecrated and kicked around like footballs? Please. Unless it's a case of sadistic physical torture, psychological warfare and physical discomfort are not "torture". It looks like you have selective outrage.

prof: Hmmm, (prof checks memory)...nope...last Madonna concert I attended they didn't hook up electrodes to my testicles or attack me with dogs while hooded, nor was I, as far as I know, beaten to death (Although, as she ages, I wouldn't put such publicity stunts past Madonna).

me: the electodes didn't work, the dogs are pictured but not shown attacking, dogs are used here for police action...what gives man? These guys flay people alive and you are worried about their discomfort and humiliation? Remember, we are in enemy territory where you have less guards the prisoners and you are trying to extract vital info that could save lives and blunt further attacks.

prof: Rooster, how about more relativism? Investigate just what it means to a Muslim to be put in those kind of positions. It's different than for a phrat boy.

me: I could care less what it means to a Muslim. Period. We are at war, not courting for marriage.

prof: Or, perhaps if your son were a prisoner of war and he was forced to perform acts of pedophilia while incriminating pictures were taken (and shown to the world), you'd say it was "brilliant," and a-ok as just another tactic of war?

me: "pedophilia"? They weren't doing that prof! I think what they were doing was gross and weird, it wasn't physical torture.

prof: Somehow, I don't think so. Nor do I think you would be so easy on the Iraqis had the positions been reversed, and it was American servicemen being tormented in those photos with smiling Iraqis.

me: Because everything is relative to you except Americans are just a bit more 'evil' then the barbarians who routinely tortured their own and our military. It's not Christians hijacking planes, it's not christians slicing journalists throats, it's not Christians gassing kurds...did you even go to that link I sent?!?

donna: Please don´t take Christiany as whole because of only one individual.

me: yes prof, please do not take Donna's perspectives as reflective of Christianity :-)

IBI: You could argue that executing them all would be tactically sound, but humiliating them, and either letting them go or letting their story get out, is in no way sensible. All it does is increase the number of your enemies, and the level of hatred they bear you.

me: as if the don't already hate us. The politics and religion of the Middle East ensure they hate us unless we appease them. They hate Israel, we support Israel, ergo, they hate us.

IBI: Plus, as mentioned above, they weren't necessarily "enemy combatants whose sole intention is to kill us".

me: we are not in a position to 2nd guess people fighting for their lives daily against people who have proven that they know what real torture is.

Anyone remember private Jessica being captured, raped and sodomized, beaten near to death!?!?

Again, selective rage.

IBI: You could argue that executing them all would be tactically sound, but humiliating them, and either letting them go or letting their story get out, is in no way sensible. All it does is increase the number of your enemies, and the level of hatred they bear you. me: as if the don't already hate us. The politics and religion of the Middle East ensure they hate us unless we appease them. They hate Israel, we support Israel, ergo, they hate us.LOLYeah, you're right. Every single person in the Middle East wants to kill you, so there's no way you could piss them off any more. That's why every single Iraqi is already trying to kill Americans, and none are cooperating with Coalition forces.BTW, aren't you going to try to defend your 'tactically brilliant' argument?IBI: Plus, as mentioned above, they weren't necessarily "enemy combatants whose sole intention is to kill us". me: we are not in a position to 2nd guess people fighting for their lives daily against people who have proven that they know what real torture is.Well, your leaders seem to think differently.Anyone remember private Jessica being captured, raped and sodomized, beaten near to death!?!? Again, selective rage.Nice strawman, but Guy Fawkes Night isn't for quite a while.

IBI: Yeah, you're right. Every single person in the Middle East wants to kill you, so there's no way you could piss them off any more. That's why every single Iraqi is already trying to kill Americans, and none are cooperating with Coalition forces.

me: Nope, just the fundamental nuts who hide amongst the civilians, put bombs in Mosque, pay kids to strap bombs to their bodies etc.

IBI: BTW, aren't you going to try to defend your 'tactically brilliant' argument?

me: militarily brilliant. Not brilliant to the left, and not politically brilliant if not given context and defended by the administration.

I heard that they made 70-90& of the detainees wear women's underwear. I wonder how they held up under such "torture".

I wonder if the concentration camp survivors saw such horrors.

Can someone tell me how to paste pics and we'll show the difference between torture and discomfort/humiliation.