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  • WHOSE OX?, II

    Filed at 7:29 am under by dcobranchi

    OK, Scott–

    How ’bout the US Government slamming the Australian press for broadcasting new (old) photos of Abu Ghraib?

    American officials have said the pictures should not have been released, with Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman telling The Associated Press their airing “could only further inflame and possibly incite unnecessary violence in the world.”

    Australian Prime Minister John Howard, a staunch ally of the U.S., was quick to defend Washington on Thursday, saying the Bush administration had already dealt with abuse at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison.

    I’d say that the station was a whole lot more courageous than Jyllands-Posten . So, what say you? “Courageism” or not?

    13 Responses to “WHOSE OX?, II”


    Comment by
    Roger Baldwin
    February 16th, 2006
    at 9:01 am

    Do you understand the difference between verbal debate and physical violence?

    Let us know when the US government burns the Australian Embassy in DC.


    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    February 16th, 2006
    at 9:12 am

    Do you understand that Scott claimed that the act of publishing the cartoons was courageous?


    Comment by
    Scott W. Somerville
    February 16th, 2006
    at 11:54 am

    Daryl, I am honestly confused by your position, just as you seem to be confused and/or annoyed by mine. I hope this whole thing is going to end up with us understanding one another better. To that end, let me try to respond, very honestly and openly.

    Do the Abu Ghraib PICTURES demean Muslims? Do they tend to inflame Muslim anger, leading to possibly violent reaction? If so, printing those pictures would seem to have many of the same negative effects that printing Mohammed cartoons would have.

    Is it newsworthy to print the Abu Ghraib pictures? Probably. The real degradation took place in the prison; the pictures are only the record of it. Publishing the pictures shames the guards. The prisoners have already been humiliated: this is their vindication.

    Does the same rule work for the Danish cartoons? I don’t think so. I’ve examined all 12 pictures that ran in the Danish paper, and I don’t think the cartoonists or the paper have any reason to feel ashamed of what they drew or printed. If anybody should be ashamed, it should be the Danish imams who allegedly had to make up some REALLY blasphemous stuff in order to fire people up.

    If I were a newspaper editor, I would DEFINITELY run the “pig-squealing” picture that the imams allegedly included in their pack of blasphemous photos. I would say, “This picture, which has nothing to do with Mohammed, was included by the imams on their tour of the Middle East. They represented this to be a picture of Mohammed.” I would have also printed another of the bogus pictures. Then, in order to tell the story fairly, I would print TWO of the other cartoons to show the difference between what the Danes really printed and what they were misrepresented to have printed. (I would have shown the “we ran out of virgins” cartoon and the very innocuous guy in the desert pic.)

    That, in my opinion, would be responsible journalism.


    Comment by
    sam
    February 16th, 2006
    at 1:38 pm

    I saw the Australian pictures a few days ago and really would rather they not be real. Having said that, I don’t doubt at all that they are. I don’t want that kind of crap being representative of American foreign policy. We as Americans should be the most outraged at this kind of treatment of anyone. The printing of the pictures is not the problem and in fact, we need the daylight that the foreign press can shed. It’s really sad when Americans can be more upset by the printing of pictures than the evil evident in those pictures.


    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    February 16th, 2006
    at 4:54 pm

    Do the Abu Ghraib PICTURES demean Muslims? Do they tend to inflame Muslim anger, leading to possibly violent reaction? If so, printing those pictures would seem to have many of the same negative effects that printing Mohammed cartoons would have.

    Yes, they are demeaning. And if “publishing” them served no other good, I’d agree that they should stay hidden. But there IS a greater good– reminding us what our military has done in our name. So far, no higher-up has really faced any kind of accountability moment over the whole incident. I don’t believe (and most of the rest of the world doesn’t believe) for a moment that these kinds of activities weren’t sanctioned somewhere up the military chain-of-command.

    Is it newsworthy to print the Abu Ghraib pictures? Probably. The real degradation took place in the prison; the pictures are only the record of it. Publishing the pictures shames the guards. The prisoners have already been humiliated: this is their vindication.

    I agree. And it shames the military. It SHOULD shame John Yoo and Alberto Gonzales, but I’m afraid they may be beyond shame. This issue should not be buried without truly getting to the bottom of it. Sadly, with the state of Congress being what it is, that’s not likely to happen anytime soon.

    Does the same rule work for the Danish cartoons? I don’t think so.

    EXACTLY!!! There was no greater good served by publishing the cartoons. Glad we’re finally seeing eye-to-eye. I said that the Australian TV station showed more courage because they’re taking on two governments who would just as soon have Abu Ghraib disappear down the memory hole.

    I’ve examined all 12 pictures that ran in the Danish paper, and I don’t think the cartoonists or the paper have any reason to feel ashamed of what they drew or printed. If anybody should be ashamed, it should be the Danish imams who allegedly had to make up some REALLY blasphemous stuff in order to fire people up.

    Again, agreed. There are no winners here. But, you started off this conversation basically trumpeting the actions of the Danish paper as courageous. They weren’t. Neither were the imams, nor was the Danish prime minister who refused to sit down with them prior to their going to the ME. There was plenty of stupidity to go around.


    Comment by
    Roger Baldwin
    February 16th, 2006
    at 6:51 pm

    There was a greater good served by publishing the cartoons, and it is this:

    Europe is now aware of the of how much the extremest hate them. The hatred runs deep. It is an invaluable lesson. Crucial to their future.


    Comment by
    COD
    February 16th, 2006
    at 9:58 pm

    I would say it was an unintended consequence, but yes, Europe starting to understand that you can’t placate terrorists by placing them on the welfare roles is a very good thing.


    Comment by
    Scott W. Somerville
    February 17th, 2006
    at 9:13 am

    Daryl, I think you missed my point. I said:

    Is it newsworthy to print the Abu Ghraib pictures? Probably. The real degradation took place in the prison; the pictures are only the record of it. Publishing the pictures shames the guards. The prisoners have already been humiliated: this is their vindication.

    Does the same rule work for the Danish cartoons? I don’t think so. I’ve examined all 12 pictures that ran in the Danish paper, and I don’t think the cartoonists or the paper have any reason to feel ashamed of what they drew or printed. If anybody should be ashamed, it should be the Danish imams who allegedly had to make up some REALLY blasphemous stuff in order to fire people up.

    The “rule” I was addressing was not “is this newsworthy,” but “does this shame the person responsible for the picture.” Printing the Abu Ghraib pictures shames the US. Printing the Danish cartoons (in my opinion) does not shame the cartoonists.

    There are cartoons that shoule shame the cartoonists — overtly racist cartoons prove the cartoonist is a racist, lewd and sexually explicit cartoons prove the cartoonist is a sexist, etc. Naturally, viciously racist or sexist cartoonists aren’t likely to BE ashamed of themselves, but the best way to shame them is to show their offensive pictures over and over, saying, “Look what this racist/sexist drew!”

    Publishing the Danish cartoons over and over will NOT have any such effect. Instead of a growing conviction that these cartoonists are evil people, mass publication of the pictures would persuade people that the cartoonists were right on the money. (9 of the pictures could not offend ANYBODY who did not start with a religious obligation to be offended, and the remaining 3 suggest that Islam is a violent or opppressive faith. If Muslims respond with violence and/or oppression, the Muslims prove the caretoonists’ point!)


    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    February 17th, 2006
    at 9:30 am

    So if I say that conservative Christians are just a bunch of over-bearing weenies who have no sense of humor my point will be proved by your reaction? Good to know.

    BTW, you’ve now switched from justifying publishing the cartoons, to justifying drawing them. And do you know for a fact that the publisher ISN’T racist?

    And, finally, if there ever was a story (about censorship), the paper could have easily run it without printing the cartoons. They could have even done some investigative journalism and commissioned them WITHOUT publishing them.

    Scott, I believe you’ve dug yourself a deep enough hole with this “couragism” thing. Remember the first rule…


    Comment by
    David
    February 20th, 2006
    at 9:11 pm

    So if I say that conservative Christians are just a bunch of over-bearing weenies who have no sense of humor my point will be proved by your reaction? Good to know.

    I don’t get this at all. I’m a conservative Christian, but I’d like to think I’m not overbearing, and I’ve been told (even by non-Christians) that I have a sense of humor. Is your link supposed to fill me (or any other Christian) with rage?

    If so, your view of Christians is entirely too narrow. As I said, I may be confused. Do you really think that conservative Christians are in the same class as the Muslim extremists that are rioting across the world?

    the paper could have easily run it without printing the cartoons

    But then you wouldn’t know just how overblown the protests really are. It’s true that no cartoon justifies the violence that has occurred, but when you see the cartoons, it really puts it in perspective.


    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    February 20th, 2006
    at 9:18 pm

    The comment was aimed at Scott.

    But then you wouldn’t know just how overblown the protests really are. It’s true that no cartoon justifies the violence that has occurred, but when you see the cartoons, it really puts it in perspective.:

    This makes no sense at all. The Danish paper published the cartoons and THEN came the protests. Scott stated that the story they were trying to cover was that cartoonists wouldn’t draw Mohammed. They proved that story false by recruiting 12. The only reason to publish them was to inflame the Muslim minority.


    Comment by
    David
    February 20th, 2006
    at 9:51 pm

    OK. A misread on my part. I was focusing on reprints of the cartoons following the protests.

    Although, was the story that the artists wouldn’t draw a Mohammed cartoon or that they wouldn’t draw a cartoon that would then be published? I mean, it doesn’t take nearly so much courage (if I may) to draw an offensive cartoon if you know it won’t be published.

    So I guess I take issue with your assertion that the only reason to publish the cartoons was to inflame the Muslims.


    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    February 20th, 2006
    at 10:21 pm

    The story was that a children’s book author (of a book on Mohammed) was having a hard time finding an illustrator. The paper decided to solicit the cartoons to see if artists were self-censoring.