Well, I'm sorry. I couldn't. When I see This:
the only thing I think is
"SadDAM. You don't have to put on the red light. Those days are over you don't have to SELL YOUR BODY TO THE NIGHT!"
That or "Either Saddam's hung like a horse or we've found the WMD." *
Is this what it's come down to? We're sympathizing with an evil dictator because he got photographed in his tighty whities? I mean that happens to normal people all the time. Women fall out of their tops and hear the clicking and whirring of cameras. Locker rooms are invaded with hidden wireless video. It's embarrassing, but if being photographed in your panties is torture then those guys from Porky's were budding Mengeles.
Saddam was a horrible man, there's no disagreement about that. While I don't think his crimes make it okay to torture or abuse him, I find it pretty hard to sympathize with a man who used to videotape women being raped to death and show the proceeds to their family. In some ways it's a good thing that he's been photographed like this. The Butcher of Baghdad (You can tell it's really him because he's clearly still got some sausage on his person) still inspires fear in many of his victims and for awhile Iraqis were afraid he would be broken out and return to power. Showing him in his U.S. issue tighty whities helps to dissipate that fear, put a final end to the Saddam God Myth his state apparatus spread, and bring him down to the level of human. I would not be against Saddam's sentence being to live the rest of his days in a plexi-glass jail cell, where people could come and see him and yell just how they felt about him where he could hear. I think that public display and humiliation are punishments that fit crimes and may help prevent people from getting caught up in cults of personality.
But Al-Jazeera is pissed about this. Real shocker there. They refuse to show the pictures because they are "demeaning to Iraqis" (Who apparently were not demeaned by decades of rape and torture.) They have no problem saying that Jews are descended from rodents and other animals (Possibly true, but if so not limited to Jews) but god forbid they show a guy in his BVDs.
So this is what it comes down to. In the Arab world it's okay to blow people up. It's fine to torture kill and maim (except when the torture killing or maiming is done by non-Arabs) and it's A-OK to fire up racial invective and anger against a people who just 60 years ago were facing extermination at the hands of a madman. God forbid, though, GOD FORBID that you show a mass murderer's preference in underwear or flush a book down the toilet. THAT'S the real outrage.
Has there ever been a culture with crazier priorities? Are they just play-acting outrage for their own purposes? Are we supposed to actually buy any of this?
Anyway, if this sort of thing is what really gets the Arabs dander up then we're going about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan all wrong. We keep talking about sending more troops in, or deploying better hardware, that sort of thing. It's not working. What we need is to develop a weapon so devastating, so dangerous, so powerful that the resistance would be forced to give up or face it's wrath. I'm talking, of course, about the Swirlybomb
A bomb that would drop from the sky above a city and unleash a cluster of head-seeking toilets, which would fall slowly to the ground (using parachutes) until spotting an enemy head, at which point they would plummet on top of it and flush repeatedly. This would so humiliate the victims, reminding them of the old days in the Madrassa, that they would flee.
Then we would send our shock troops in to find Al Zarqawi and deliver unto him a WET WILLIE. I could see the CNN broadcast now.
Anchor: In Iraq and Afghanistan insurgents continue to stream out of the country as the American troops utilize their new battle tactics to defeat them. Captain Ahab, of the 51st Marines, can you tell us about how the war has changed?
Ahab: Yeah. We've recently started using a new attack method called the wedgie. What we do is we sneak up behind an insurgent, we slip a pair of fingers into the elastic band of their underpants, and we yank upwards, wedging the material deep in between the buttocks. By using this nonlethal technique we've absolutely devastated morale over there. Recently we were able to obtain a top secret cache of weapons, code named "Lunch Money," so things are going well.
Anchor: Is it true that the Army has developed an atomic variant of the wedgie?
Ahab: I can neither confirm nor deny.
It's like these people stepped straight out of grade school on to a giant oil well.
Photographing a dictator in his underpants is not a crime against humanity, it's a crime against fashion. Why don't we focus on the whole torture murder thing and not worry so much about about the candid snapshots and the books? Just a thought.
*Also "Not publishing those photographs would be a cruel and unusual act...for the ladies."