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Thread: Want a Different Abu Ghraib Story?

  1. #1
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    [b]Want a Different
    Abu Ghraib Story?
    Try This One
    Saddam had their hands cut off. America gave them new ones. [/b]

    BY DANIEL HENNINGER
    Friday, May 14, 2004 12:01 a.m. EDT

    By now, some Americans may feel the need for respite from the images of Abu Ghraib and the five hooded barbarians standing behind Nick Berg. This week's column will try to provide some measure of respite.

    It is the story of Americans, in and out of the U.S. government, who moved mountains to help seven horribly maimed Iraqi men. It is not always pleasant reading, but there are rewards to staying with it, especially now.

    Quite obviously it has been decided, as the handling of the Abu Ghraib story makes plain, that when America stumbles, we are going to have our faces rubbed in it. And rubbed in it and rubbed in it. As far as I can make out, the purpose of this two weeks of media humiliation is that we--the president, all of us--are being asked to morally prostrate ourselves before the rest of the world. Some may choose to do so, but this story should make a few Americans want to simply stand up straight again.

    As perfect justice, the story in fact begins in Abu Ghraib prison, in 1995. With Iraq's economy in a tailspin, Saddam arrested nine Iraqi businessmen to scapegoat them as dollar traders. They got a 30-minute "trial," and were sentenced, after a year's imprisonment, to have their right hands surgically cut off at Abu Ghraib prison.

    The amputations were performed, over two days, by a Baghdad anesthesiologist, a surgeon and medical staff. We know this because Saddam had a videotape made of each procedure. He had the hands brought to him in formalin and then returned to Abu Ghraib. Oh, one more thing: The surgeon carved an X of shame into the forehead of each man. And the authorities charged the men $50.





    Last year, after we liberated Iraq, a veteran TV news producer named Don North--who has worked for major U.S. broadcasters--was in Baghdad with the U.S. to restore TV service. Iraqi contacts there brought him a tape of the men's amputations. Mr. North says dismemberment was common in Saddam's Iraq and that if one walks down a crowded Baghdad street one may see a half-dozen people missing an ear, eye, limb or tongue. He decided to seek out the men whose stubbed arms represented the civilized world's lowest act--the perversion of medicine.
    He found seven. Mr. North determined to make a documentary of their story and get medical help for them. How he found that help, if one may still use this phrase, is an all-American story.

    An oil engineer from Houston, named Roger Brown, overheard Mr. North's tale in a Baghdad café. He suggested Don North get in touch with a famed Houston TV newsman named Marvin Zindler. Mr. Zindler put him in touch with Dr. Joe Agris, a Houston reconstructive surgeon, who has worked in postwar Vietnam and Nicaragua repairing children.

    Mr. North sent Dr. Agris a copy of the videotape of the surgical atrocities, and Dr. Agris said: Send me the men; I will fix them.

    But flying seven Iraqi men out of Baghdad is easier said than done. In this case, prodded by Don North and government friends, the famous U.S. bureaucracy gave itself a day off. Paul Bremer wrote a memo authorizing their departure. Paul Wolfowitz told the Air Force it could fly them to Frankfurt. Homeland Security waived visa requirements.

    Continental Airlines donated passage to Houston. There, Dr. Agris enlisted a fellow surgeon, Fred Kestler, to assist. The Methodist Hospital donated facilities, and the men arrived in Houston in early April.

    Dr. Agris saw that the Abu Ghraib "surgeries" were a botch. They'd cut through the joining of the wrist's carpal bones, "like carving a Turkey leg." Saddam's doctors did nothing to repair the nerve endings, which left the men with constant real and "phantom" pain. Drs. Agris and Kestler had two preliminary tasks: Repair the nerves, and, alas, take another inch off the men's lower arms, to leave a smooth surface for attaching their new prosthetic "hands." They worked for two days operating on the seven men, who then took a week to recover before receiving their new hands.

    Those devices were donated by the German-American prosthetic company Otto Bock, at a cost of $50,000 each. They are state-of-the-art electronic hands, with fingers, which respond to trained muscular movements. The rehabilitation and training is being donated by two other Houston companies, TIRR and Dynamic Orthotics. The Iraqi men are in Houston now, spending five hours a day learning to use their new right hands. And oh yes, the brands on their heads were removed.

    Don North completed his documentary on what happened to these men in Iraq. I watched "Remembering Saddam" this week. Several of the men insisted on seeing Saddam's home video of the atrocity, and so it's in the film--a bizarre, almost dainty image of forceps, scalpel, surgical gloves and green operating-room garments. Nothing like it since Dr. Mengele. Watching his hand come off, Baasim Al Fadhly says: "Look at this doctor, who considers his career noble and swears to God to be a noble person. Let everyone see this film."





    This crime deserves condemnation from international medical societies, such as the U.N.'s World Health Organization, or the Red Cross. And Don North's film indeed should be seen--but may not be. After two months of trying, no U.S. broadcast or cable network will take it. This is incredible. TV can run Abu Ghraib photos 24/7 but can't find 55 minutes for Saddam's crimes against humanity?
    On May 23, the American Foreign Policy Council will bring the restored men to Washington. They will visit maimed GIs at Walter Reed Army Hospital. It wouldn't be surprising if they said something positive about the U.S. soldiers who have not been on television the past two weeks.

    Then Don North and Joe Agris will fly with the men back to Iraq, to survey the rest of Saddam's dismembered population. "The practice of prosthetics is very archaic," Mr. North says,"for a country where this is such an affliction." Dr. Agris hopes to survey the hospitals and bring in some modern equipment and supplies. "If they let me, I'll do some of the kids," he says. "Let's show the good side of what we can do."

    Sure. Why not?

    Mr. Henninger is deputy editor of The Wall Street Journal's editorial page. His column appears Fridays in the Journal and on OpinionJournal.com.

    [img]http://www.hanoijohnkerry.com/images/KerrysGang.jpg[/img]

  2. #2
    so because we aren't as bad as Saddam that makes what went on in that prison Ok?

  3. #3
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    This is where Conservative thinking lets me down:

    Just because we do good, does not forgive us when we do bad.

    Just because we are better than saddam, or our evil acts are less severe that saddams, does not forgive us for those crimes.

    Just because it was "just a few crazy soldiers" did the act does not mean we can ignore it or fail to correct it.

    Right leaning folks want to sweep this issue under the rug and forget it happened. Left learners want to forget all the good we are doing and concentrate ONLY on this issue. Both are wrong.

    We should remember that it WAS only a few soldiers, WAS less evil than Saddam and IS being investigated and the proper punishment WILL be handed down.

    It should not be used to slam Bush or Rumsfeld, UNLESS there is proof they were behind it by giving such orders (either real or implied).

    But it MUST be investigated and dealth with. Then (and ONLY then) can we move on.

  4. #4
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    That's not the point at all...this is where the liberal media fails America. They consistenly want to talk about American abuses at Abu Ghraib but has anyone seen this article on any news outlet?

    Has anyone seen, except for a few lines in the Times that the people in Najaf are protesting against Al-Sadr, telling him to get his army out of the area?

    Has anyone seen, again except for a few lines in the Times, that groups in Najaf have killed members of Al-Sadr's Mehdi army because they hate what he stands for?

    Did anyone see where hundreds of Iraqi's marched last weekend to rally [b]for[/b] the Japaneese troops in their nation and what they've done for the people? (it was a 30-second blurb on CNN)

    Everyone *****es about gas prices...is anyone aware that, after factoring in inflation, gas prices are basically at the same level as where they were in 1950?? (again, a 30-second blurb on CNN)

    Again, this just shows how the liberal media does it's best to stir the sh!t pot rather than cover the entire story.

  5. #5
    [quote][i]Originally posted by Warfish[/i]@May 16 2004, 11:34 AM
    [b]This is where Conservative thinking lets me down:

    Just because we do good, does not forgive us when we do bad.

    Just because we are better than saddam, or our evil acts are less severe that saddams, does not forgive us for those crimes.

    Just because it was "just a few crazy soldiers" did the act does not mean we can ignore it or fail to correct it.

    Right leaning folks want to sweep this issue under the rug and forget it happened. Left learners want to forget all the good we are doing and concentrate ONLY on this issue. Both are wrong.

    We should remember that it WAS only a few soldiers, WAS less evil than Saddam and IS being investigated and the proper punishment WILL be handed down.

    It should not be used to slam Bush or Rumsfeld, UNLESS there is proof they were behind it by giving such orders (either real or implied).

    But it MUST be investigated and dealth with. Then (and ONLY then) can we move on.[/b][/quote]
    This is America. A country in which the people are accountable for their actions. A country in which wrongs are righted. The point of the Abu Graib story is that when officials learned what was going on there it was corrected. The perpetrators of those crimes will be punished. The actions of the few soldiers at that prison does not reflect this countrys values or ideals.

    The arab world as well as the EU are hoping we fail in our mission. They revel in anything that makes us look bad. They focus only on the negatives while completely ignoring the positives. The worst part is that the leftist media and lefties in this country also feel that way.

  6. #6
    that t shirt is wrong..
    the terrorists want Bush to win..They do business with Bush..everyone knows that there was a state sponsor of 9-11...Some members of the Suadi royal family helped facilitate 9-11...
    the same people Bush calls friends..

  7. #7
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by bman[/i]@May 17 2004, 10:07 AM
    [b] that t shirt is wrong..
    the terrorists want Bush to win..They do business with Bush..everyone knows that there was a state sponsor of 9-11...Some members of the Suadi royal family helped facilitate 9-11...
    the same people Bush calls friends.. [/b][/quote]
    Yeah!

    If Kerry gets elected, we won't buy oil!

    Thank God Kerry doesn't have any wealthy supporters.

  8. #8
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    When is perky Katie Couric going to do 3 weeks worth of shows on these pictures:

    [url=http://prolife.jackandsusie.com/abortph1.html]http://prolife.jackandsusie.com/abortph1.html[/url]

  9. #9
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    Let's assume our military captures guys they think knows where munitions are stored or terrorist safe houses are. Both endanger the lives of our military and civilians alike.

    But guys like this would drive a carload of explosives into something and blow themselves up -- apparently physical harm is no deterrent.

    If taking a picture of them of a female soldier laughing at their naked bodies or leading them on all fours on a dog leash would humiliate them enough to supply interrogators with intelligence to prevent even one soldier from being killed...

    ...would the lefties and moderates prefer that to the death of military personnel they claim to care so much about?

    Torture, beatings and murder are wrong and those few examples should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of our laws. As a matter of fact, the only Geneva Convention in this whole out of context episode was broken by the media publicising the pictures.

    There is no moral equivalent. They cut heads off, we cover heads in panties. Cry me a river!

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