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December 16, 2003
But What Does Lauryn Hill Think About It?

More nonsense from the See, this time in regards to the capture and treatment of Saddam Hussein:

[Cardinal Renato] Martino said he felt "compassion" for Saddam, even if he was a dictator, after seeing the video of the ousted leader having his mouth probed by a U.S. military medic. The tapes showed "this destroyed man" being "treated like a cow, having his teeth checked," Martino said, using the Italian word "vacca."

And if we hadn't bothered to give him medical attention, what would the Vatican have to say about that, Cardinal? [sigh] All this fuss and bother over a tongue depressor. I guess the Vatican is concerned that a routine dental and oral examination is somehow equivalent to this:

Punishments short of death were meted out according to a clear hierarchy, he said. Those who stole had their fingers or hands cut off. Those who lied had 18-pound concrete blocks dropped on their backs. Informers who gave inaccurate information had hot irons put in their mouths, he said, and army deserters had their ears sliced off.

Ali said one fellow Fedayeen member had his tongue cut off for repeating a comment someone else made comparing Uday's shiny clothes to women's garments, while another who disobeyed an order had his fingers cut off.

Yes, I understand now how tragic it was for Saddam to be forced to open wide and say, "Ahhhhh." It's deeply insulting for the genocidal tyrant to receive medical attention, especially after the loving care he gave the citizens of Iraq under his leadership:

An Iraqi soldier, who according to the facility's records witnessed the beatings, said interrogators regularly used pliers to remove men's teeth, electric prods to shock men's genitals and drills to cut holes in their ankles.

In one instance, the soldier recalled, he witnessed a Kuwaiti soldier, who had been captured during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, being forced to sit on a broken Pepsi bottle. The man was removed from the bottle only after it filled up with his blood, the soldier said. He said the man later died.

"I have seen interrogators break the heads of men with baseball bats, pour salt into wounds and rape wives in front of their husbands," said former Iraqi soldier Ali Iyad Kareen, 41.

The next subject for the Vatican will be to ensure that Saddam is humanely and fairly treated during his interrogation and trial. Funny that we don't recall the Vatican making this much noise while justice in Iraq meant this:

The interrogators said separately to both husband and wife that they would cease the torture if they signed confessions admitting to be collaborating with the oppositionists. They refused. The wife was stripped naked and cigarettes stubbed out on all parts of her body whenever she refused to implicate her husband. She was beaten and thrown around the interrogation room. Her children were forced to watch the torture. She was eventually released, having been told that her husband would continue being tortured until she returned to confess. She was arrested again two weeks later and the same pattern of torture was repeated, leaving her a psychological wreck.

During his interrogation, the husband’s arms were tied behind his back and he was then suspended in the air using a hook hung from the ceiling. This caused intense pain as his shoulder muscles and ligaments were torn. After a period, the interrogators entered the room and the husband was unhooked and placed in a chair in the middle of the room. From close range, he was then shot at with a pistol whenever he refused to agree to sign his confession. Sometimes shots were fired which missed his body, at other times the pistol muzzle was placed against his fingers, toes or arms and fired so as to mutilate these areas.

Over the following two weeks further interrogations occurred at intervals, following periods of food and water deprivation. Eventually the husband’s and wife’s wider family paid a bribe to an Iraqi Intelligence officer and both the husband and wife were released. They subsequently escaped from Iraq.

As Atomizer says in his post at Fraters Libertas, these are moments when I am embarassed to be a Catholic. Unfortunately, as recent revelations about our Church have shown, current Roman Catholic leadership seem more intent on averting their eyes than facing down true evil.

The Vatican acts to protect the oppressors of our age by speaking out against action to defeat evil, and then protecting the evil once they have been brought low. How can such cowardly and craven Church leadership hope to inspire its membership to oppose evil? When Christ returns, peace will rule the day and the evil in our world will be utterly cast down. Until that time arrives, we must oppose evil, and the nature of evil is such that talking nice doesn't stop it. Turning the cheek only works when the oppressor has some emotional connection to decency.

That's why Gandhi was successful, by the way; the British saw themselves as bringers of civilization, and when resistance inevitably led to the massacre at Amritsar and other such events, the British saw that they could not be both civilizers and oppressors. Gandhi would not have lasted two weeks against Hitler or Saddam, and would only have been rescued by those who use force to oppose force. It's also the reason no one volunteers to be human shields on Israeli buses or Israeli restaurants; it's a tacit recognition that one side avoids civilian casualties and the other side could care less.

Whose side is the Catholic Church on, anyway? They cannot be neutral in the fight against evil, or else it is an admission that they no longer believe evil exists. Has the Catholic Church embraced moral equivalency?

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 16, 2003 12:41 PM

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