Somehow the interrogation logs of Saddam Hussein have found their way onto the web. Here’s a sample:
Interrogation commenced: 0330 hours
Woke SH quite early to catch him off-guard and groggy. I asked, “What’s your first name?” and he said, “Saddam.” Again I asked, “What’s your first name?” and he said, “Saddam.” I kept asking, “What’s your first name?” and he kept saying, “Saddam.” Once I had a rhythm going, I quickly asked, “Where are the WMD?” and he said, “Saddam.”
Interrogation terminated: 0338 hours
No, they’re just meant to be funny.
You have any idea if those are real?
Just out of curiosity, have you seen some of the interigation photos of the Iraqi prisoners of war? I hesitate to provide the link to the images, they’re pretty disturbing. I’ll understand if you remove it. Makes me wonder what the hell the U.S. is thinking.
Yes, those are downright sickening. I’ve heard that several commanders have been relieved of command and at least 7 soldiers face multiple criminal charges. I can’t believe Americans would do such a thing so base.
I just kind went off, or rambled on, to my brother Jon about this — to wit: I think people see in these what they were looking for originally. I saw a news report saying that the damage to the U.S. image might be irreparable, but anyone who lets the actions of a few determine their attitude towards a whole military or a nation isn’t being fair or rational, really. I think we could also find seven people, or however many end up being involved, who have served nobly and honorably, so if we let them set our whole attitude, it’s a good attitude, and I think if we look at the whole picture we come out ~OK~. I could go on lots longer (just ask my brother Daniel). But my original point: people see what they want to — pro-US see an aberration, anti-US see what they’ve always suspected.
Really, Cameron? You can’t believe that any people amongst all people born in the U.S., and the thousands serving in Iraq, might do this? As Americans, are we all supposed to be better than other humans? What nationality would you expect to do this? I guess I don’t see so much difference between races/nations, but rather a whole mass of humanity with more positive and negative potential than we generally acknowledge. Granted, they’re extremes, but they exist. Is this really worse, or any more base than sexual abuse of children, even one’s own children, killing a spouse or child, or one’s own child? And we see these around us every day. Or do we think that people capable of doing such things are not in the military, when they appear to be in most every other branch of society?
Granted, they’re horrible (worse than Saddam? … who killed thousands and who knows what else he did, because there wasn’t a free press allowed to report on any of it) but if we think horrible things don’t happen, or not to/by Americans, or not in my backyard (And why not? Whose back yard should they happen in?) I think we’ve got an incomplete view of humanity. But I’m also not as pessimistic or cynical as this all might sound. Can there be the potential for great, great good without the corresponding potential for great, great evil? And we can look right at ourselves for evidence of this — do I sometimes do good things? Do I sometimes do bad things? And how might someone act who hasn’t had such a soft, lovely life as I have?
On NPR today I listened to an interview with Phillip Zimbardo who conducted The Stanford Prison Experiment where emotionally stable students from around the US were assigned to be inmates or guards by the toss of a coin.
If I remember correctly, within four days the guards were forcing the inmates to do inhumane things with each other, and the research was halted. Three of the students assigned to be inmates had nervous breakdowns.
The researcher explained that it’s not that the soldiers were necessarily bad, it’s that the situation they were put in led to that behavior.
And this was supposed to be a funny post.
Oh yeah — this did start out as a funny post, but once the current news and actual photos were mentioned, I guess we took it in another direction. Sorry to have redirected your funny post, but it kinda got me going, as you perhaps noticed. :)
Oh I noticed alright, but I don’t mind a good discussion.
David, I understand your point, and I believe there were just a few bad ones, but what they’ve done will sound much louder than the actions than others.
As for expecting Americans to be better? Yes, I absolutely believe that — not necessarily better than any other race, but better than Saddam and other uneducated, ignorant people (and please note that ignorant is a factual, not insulting word). People who know better should act better. Period.
Yes, but need it be so, at least in our own minds/perceptions? I think/hope not necessarily. I’m happy that you’ve continued on this thread apparently evenly and not negatively impacted by my comments, and replying to yours directly. I worried a little bit, after having written, that I’d been too pointed or personal (and/or rambling and such …).
I agree that Americans and others with more knowledge SHOULD be/act better, and on the whole I think we do OK, but if we expect 100% application of the added knowledge people have to their behavior, I think we will always be disappointed by someone. Playing the percentages, I think society comes out as we might expect — I think downsliding, but maybe still OK in comparison — but to think that every individual will live up to and apply all that they know they should do, I think will always disappoint.
… I’m still ruminating on this, and I think it’s an interesting philosophical issue/question — are we humans inherently good or inherently bad, and I think the answer is yes, but I’ll wrap up here and save any readers my excessive rumination …
Obviously, a society where everyone is 100% responsible and knowledgeable of their actions would be ideal, but I don’t see that as happening anytime soon. What we have is a disparity in the world between those who know better and those who don’t. As you point out, we are human, and irregardless of our inherent nature (I like to think people are good), we are imperfect. Some lact control, and some are going to act in abhorrent manners, which unfortunately, and unfairly, impact the majority of “good” people.
I think the people who are truly shocked by this fail to understand human nature. Humanity has a dark heart, and all it takes is a loosening of the restraints of society to let it come out. You will see these sorts of things everywhere that civilization has lapsed, no matter where the people came from.
In the study I mentioned above, they found that the guards acted the worst when they thought no one was watching.
Phillip found that people do awful things when they believe they won’t be held accountable for their actions, or that no one will know they about it.