December 04, 2005

Uday Was a Water-Boarder Too!

I had been in Iraq less than two weeks when Saddam's sons, Uday and Qusay, were killed in a safehouse in Mosul after an extended firefight with American soldiers. Uday in particular had been possessed of a psychotically cruel temperament. One of his former bodyguards, a bluff good-natured man named Emad Hamadi, told me a story to illustrate what it was like working for him. Uday was frolicking in a swimming pool one day with a group of young women. He summoned Emad, who was wading nearby in his swimsuit, to bring him a whiskey. As soon as Emad handed over the glass, Uday forced his head under water and pinned it between his knees. Emad knew that if he struggled at all it would be the end of his life, but the game went on and on, for half a minute, until he felt he was about to die anyway. Emad resigned himself to his fate, but as he started to lose consciousness his arm instinctively moved from side to side to indicate that he couldn't endure it any more. He felt himself released, and when he came to the surface, Uday was laughing along with his consorts. "You're a good man," said the heir apparent, and he insisted that Emad have a whiskey as well. Uday was probably the most despised man in Iraq--even more than his father, who at least had climbed on his own to the pinnacle of power and kept himself there with impressive mastery.

--from George Packer's excellent The Assassins' Gate, p. 163-164

Hey John Yoo, what's a spot of water-boarding among friends (or a 'slower-fuse high value terrorist', whatever that means!)?

P.S. Yes, yes--more serious treatment of Krauthammer to come...

Posted by Gregory at December 4, 2005 02:45 AM | TrackBack (2)

We all know Uday did worse things than hold someone's head underwater.

Posted by: Chuck Betz at December 4, 2005 08:29 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I guess Uday also raped women, like many American soldiers did alone or together in groups, in the Abu Graib prison?

Several Iraqi' women became pregnant in the prison and made later suicide. What fun? The sham was to big.

Read: Iraq Ablaze, by Zaki Chebab.

Uday used American method's. He was a real bad Guy, that Uday!


Posted by: Viggo Odin at December 5, 2005 04:04 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Ah - but I'll save John the trouble of pointing out that the man's life here was actually in danger. And, this was from his boss for fun, not in any 'justifiable' exercise. Finally, that sounds like Uday must have gone to too many boarding schools.

I'm not taking a position, just pointing out that it is not so much of a muchness.

Posted by: Patrick at December 5, 2005 09:32 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Torture is an end in itself.

There is no point in torture except the joy of making another person suffer. Torture can perhaps be a form of punishment, but that again is merely producing the joy making someone suffer the way you feel that you have suffered.

When this simple point is understood, then you can see that the nasty games of the spoiled son of a dictator are no different than the activities of the happy smiling "abusers" of Abu Ghraib.

All the responsible inteligence experts say that torture does NOT yield useful information. As usual, Krauthammer is being every inch the dilletante, making up reality to fit the politics of his masters.

Posted by: Daniel Van Riper at December 5, 2005 12:11 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

First off, what Uday did was NOT waterboarding (where's the fucking board?), second, you say "a bluff good-natured man named Emad Hamadi,".......WRONG USE OF THE WORD BLUFF I'd say.........geez, you need an editor prick.

Posted by: yousuck at December 5, 2005 02:27 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Bluff: adj. rough and blunt but not unkind in manner.

Seem like the correct use of the word in this case Mr YouSuck. Or is that Ms? God i love it when the idiots come on this page......

Posted by: Owen C at December 5, 2005 02:46 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

YouSuck, you need a high school education. Prick. Hope I used "prick" right.

Posted by: Nadderz at December 5, 2005 03:18 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to...

Ah, well, you know the rest.

Posted by: Steve at December 5, 2005 06:05 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to...

Ah, well, you know the rest.

Posted by: Steve at December 5, 2005 06:06 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The comment so nice, I posted it twice!


Posted by: Steve at December 5, 2005 06:07 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Could it be that waterboarding is a "gateway torture" that leads to more serious "hard" tortures like burning with hot irons or dropping into a plastic-shredding machine?

Posted by: drlemaster at December 5, 2005 08:57 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Why all the fuss about torture,
It must be a good thing or the moral majority would not approve of it. After all God is telling our leaders what to do. What do you mean ? God, through his only begotten son Jesus Christ taught
us to love our enemies I say. Well only if our enemy is a nice guy you say.
And anyhow he did not mean enemies of the United States.He meant like enemies who wanted to share the wealth and the fruits of the earth. We told them we would love them if they would only stop using condoms.and know their place and stop complaining about globalization and sell us cheap things made from slave labor.
And if they don't like slavery we can always torture them till they fall into line. Right! or as the preacher said we can take them out!
Imagine selling oil cheaply to the poor! who is this ugly commie Chaves anyway? They give christianity a bad name you say. For Christ's sake what will they do next.

Posted by: Andrew at December 5, 2005 11:50 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I am against war no matter how noble its goal is. One can never say who and when is right.

Posted by: Helen at December 12, 2005 10:23 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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