Is it easier to pick on a safe and accessible target, like the US soldier? Or an Israeli soldier? An Israeli Jew who lives in Gaza and Yesha?
Is it a calculation connected to money? salaries?
Is it connected to political aspirations? trying to influence the public opinion?
What the hell is wrong with cutting your own nose despite yourself??????
The possibility that you will never again have a nose to smell danger coming!
This article demonstrates the point. Please post other samples on this. Thanks.
Want a Different Abu Ghraib Story? Try This One
Saddam had their hands cut off. America gave them new ones.
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 cafÃ©. 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.