Friday, March 30, 2007

Oh, Now Blair Is Disgusted

Tony Blair says it is "disgusting" that Iran is broadcasting videos of the sailors it is holding captive.

"I really don't know why the Iranian regime does this [show captives on TV]," because it just arouses disgust, he told reporters Friday.

So he is saying that the broadcasting of videos showing healthy, unfettered captives is loathsome, sickening, nauseous?

Oh, please.

Iran's taking of the sailors may be described as stupid, as provocative, as wrong, as frightening, as bullying, as counterproductive, as desperate, as playing on fear, as counter to God's desires.

But showing that those sailors are alive and well and that they are not - as were the prisoners in Abu Ghraib - chained, stripped, tortured, raped and otherwise abused, is hardly "disgusting."

No, "disgusting" is what was done in Abu Ghraib, what is being done in other Iraqi prisons and, despite the widespread outrage about alleged similar abuses in Guantanamo, what is being sanctioned by keeping that prison camp open and operating.

What is, perhaps, even more "disgusting" is the fact that approximately one-third of our female troops have been the victims of rape, or attempted rape, by their male "comrades" in arms. From a New York Times article on wide-spread Post Traumatic Syndrome exhibited by female soldiers:

"Much of what we know about trauma comes primarily from research on two distinct populations -- civilian women who have been raped and male combat veterans. But taking into account the large number of women serving in dangerous conditions in Iraq and reports suggesting that women in the military bear a higher risk than civilian women of having been sexually assaulted either before or during their service, it's conceivable that this war may well generate an unfortunate new group to study -- women who have experienced sexual assault and combat, many of them before they turn 25.

A 2003 report financed by the Department of Defense revealed that nearly one-third of a nationwide sample of female veterans seeking health care through the V.A. said they experienced rape or attempted rape during their service. Of that group, 37 percent said they were raped multiple times, and 14 percent reported they were gang-raped. Perhaps even more tellingly, a small study financed by the V.A. following the gulf war suggests that rates of both sexual harassment and assault rise during wartime. The researchers who carried out this study also looked at the prevalence of PTSD symptoms -- including flashbacks, nightmares, emotional numbing and round-the-clock anxiety -- and found that women who endured sexual assault were more likely to develop PTSD than those who were exposed to combat."

Rape is a fact of life in Iraq. In fact, several women soldiers have died of dehydration rather than risk rape by venturing out from their barracks at night for water when they were thirsty.

Given all we know about the lies and motivation to start the war, and the atrocities that have occurred because of the war, perhaps what is truly "disgusting" are the attitudes of Bush and Blair who began this odious war.

Yet, if it is also "disgusting" [i.e. sickening] for Iran to rub Blair and Bush's noses in their own sorry muck, then I stand corrected, because that is exactly what Iran is doing.

Iran is saying: "Look, we can take prisoners and treat them like human beings. We, whom you have labeled as 'evil' are behaving far better than you, who label yourselves as 'good.'"

Regardless of the fact that Iran is scaring the hell out of the families of the sailors whom it has taken, regardless that we are all frightened over possible outcomes both on behalf of those sailors and for what it means in the larger scheme, regardless that Iran has retaliated in a flagrant move to chastise Britain not just for the inhuman treatment of terrorism suspects but for the arrogance and stupidity of sending sailors into Iranian waters, anyone who is not completely blinded by his or her own ideology must concede that Iran is making a valid point or two here.

Despite how badly the war goes, Blair and Bush continue in their blind arrogance, one sending troops into Iranian waters, the other insisting that his "surge" will produce a miracle and transform the debacle that is Iraq into a peaceful nation.

God help all the troops - and the civilians - who suffer at the hands of these fools.

Politicians in glass houses really shouldn't throw stones. The fact that Bush has papered over his glass house so no one can see what's going on inside, is irrelevant. The fact that Blair tries to equate the broadcasting of Iran's videos with what we saw come out of Abu Ghraib, is pathetic.

It would be better for Tony Blair to admit publicly that Iran has made her point. Meanwhile, Great Britain has given Iran hostages to use as pawns in her desperate goal to get the West out of the Middle East.

God help the hostages, even if they are being well-treated.

Please pray for them. Affirm that they are released, safe and sound, and returned to their families.

Please pray that, somehow, we are guided to make amends for starting the War in Iraq.

And pray that we gain enough wisdom and love so that we never ever enter into another war with such arrogant blindness. Certainly war - and fighting - must be our last resort, if we resort to it at all.
The battle is not yours, but God's. 2 Chronicles 20:15


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