I haven't said anything about Abu Ghraib because I don't have anything non-obvious to say. Lots and lots and lots of people are doing quite good jobs at expressing appropriate moral and political outrage -- what else could I say? We don't aim to be a comprehensive source of news or commentary (and God help you if you use OxBlog that way), so I don't really feel any need to issue pro forma denunciations of things that lots of other people are doing perfectly good jobs denouncing.I feel rather the same way, but the issue ties in to other stuff i am interested in posting about, so i’ll talk about those, peripherally mentioning Abu Gharib as relevant.
I was sad that i didn’t have a chance to attend any of the conference thingy at the Chapel last weekend but hi, i was kinda busy.
You are invited to a simultaneous webcast of a conference on EVIL in HUMAN LIFE Sunday-Tues., May 2-4. Sponsored by the Office of the Chaplains.I was especially interested since that weekend was when the Blogosphere started talking about Kofi Annan’s involvement in the oil-for-food scandal. (InstaPundit.com has a whole lot of posts and i’m not going to link to every single one.) Roger L. Simon, for example, wrote "Maybe it's just me, but I find unbelievably contemptible the actions and pretences of a man who did little or nothing to save hundreds of thousands from genocide in Rwanda, yet fights tooth-and-nail to hide the most hideous de facto pro-fascist corruption in his own organization." InstaPundit writes "It's funny that people who are calling for Rumsfeld's -- or Bush's -- resignation over the Iraq prisoner abuse incident still worship Kofi Annan, who turned a blind eye to genocide."
Hon. Kofi Annan will be the keynote speaker Sunday at 7:15 pm. Details attached.
with keynote speaker Hon. Kofi Annan
May 2-4, 2004
Webcast at Bodman Lounge (lower level), Smith College Chapel
Trinity Institute’s 35th National Conference, May 2-4, 2004, “Naming Evil”
All members of the community are invited to drop in to this conference at any time. The Office of the Chaplains will provide beverages and webcast facilities in our lounge.
Sunday May 2
7:15 - 9:00p.m. - The Honorable Kofi Annan, Sec’y-Gen of the U.N., “Naming Evil”
Monday, May 3
9:30 - 12:00 N.: Seyyed Hossein Nasr - “Whence Evil: To Confront and Overcome Evil in Human Life” & Michael Sandel - Socratic Dialogue
1:30 - 4:00 p.m. Jon Levenson - “Jewish Reflections on Evil, Cosmic and Moral” & Michael Sandel - Socratic Dialogue
Tuesday, May 4,
9:30 a.m. - 12:30p.m. - Joan Chittister: “The First Lesson of History: The Good of Evil,” plus Joan Brown Campbell: Socratic Dialogue & Interfaith Worship.
The torture of Iraqi prisoners by American officers should be denounced by America. The complicity of various UN officers’ complicity with Saddam should be denounced by the UN. It is not okay for certain people to do bad things and/or cover up bad things just because you happen to like said people. Didn’t we all learn this in kindergarten or something?
Another double standard is that CNN has "more coverage of prisoner abuse in a week than they gave Saddam's torture and mass murder in a decade."
Instapundit also notes that there is no big media outcry over the regular mistreatment of prisoners in America (or elsewhere). *points to today’s Boondocks*
Stephen Green talks about how bad things are going to happen even in just wars, because that’s the nature of war, and that’s how it’s always been, but that doesn’t mean war isn’t worth it.
Oh hey look, "Kosovo UN troops 'fuel sex trade' ". What, but i thought the UN was all that is right and pure in the world. *feigns shock*
Apparently NATO won’t start helping in Iraq until after this November’s U.S elections. What, saying “America is le suck and we don’t wanna support them in any way shape or form” is more important than helping the Iraqi people? Schmucks.
In other news, a solid explication of why the Iraq war was a good thing, and why this sort of action is generally a good thing. Andrew Sullivan explains why "if I knew before the war what I know now, would I still have supported it? [...] My tentative answer - and this is a blog, written day by day and hour by hour, not a carefully collected summary of my views - is yes, I still would have supported the war. But only just." He continues: "And then, when November comes around, we have to decide whether this president is now a liability in the war on terror or the asset he once was. How he reacts to this crisis - whether he is even in touch enough to recognize it as a crisis - should determine how the country votes this fall. He and his team have failed us profoundly. He has a few months to show he can yet succeed." Jacob Levy has a roundup of thoughts.
Oh and lastly, my father asks, "If this was a war for oil, where the **** is the oil?" acknowledging that "The obvious logical possibility is that the Bush people wanted to "steal Iraq's oil" but are bleeping incompetent. And one can adduce certain pretty uncontradicted facts: The Bush people did not realize what bad shape the Iraqi oil industry was in, being held together with the metaphorical chewing gum and baling wire. A lot has to be invested to get a lot of oil out. But there are people with the motive, means, and opportunity to screw up new investment--blow things up, threaten Iraqis who work with the Americans."