Sunday, May 02, 2004

the horror, the horror

The number two top story on the Yahoo newswire right now is the AP article titled Iraqi Prisoner Details Abuse by Americans

It tells the tale of one Dhia al-Shweiri, described as "a die-hard fighter in the al-Mahdi Army." It leads off with 12 graphs on the "pattern of torture" by coalition forces and the "systematic abuse" of prisoners, reports of which, we are assured, "were widely dismissed as politically motivated" (but never told "by whom").

Then, long after the angry reader has already taken his snootful of America-hated and moved on to the next tale of outrage, the subject of the article gets to explain exactly what awful thing was done to him by the Great Satan's minions. Shield your children, America, it's shocking reading:

Al-Shweiri, who was arrested by the Americans in October, said he was asked to take off his clothes only once and for about 15 minutes.

"I thought they wanted me to change into the red prison uniform, so I took off my clothes, down to my underwear. Then he asked me to take off my underwear. I started arguing with him but in the end he made me take off my underwear," said al-Shweiri, who was too embarrassed to go into too much detail.

He said he and six other prisoners — all hooded — had to face the wall and bend over a little as they put their hands on the wall.

"They made us stand in a way that I am ashamed to describe. They came to look at us as we stood there. They knew this would humiliate us," he said, adding that he was not sodomized.

"They were trying to humiliate us, break our pride. We are men. It's OK if they beat me. Beatings don't hurt us, it's just a blow. But no one would want their manhood to be shattered," he said.

So, in other words, it was sort of like a physical exam for the high school football team.

A little perspective with that outrage, please.