Saturday, May 21, 2005

The Y-front affronts 

The Underpantsgate scandal continues to unfold, with Saddam now threatening through one of his legal representatives to sue the British tabloid for his unwanted exposure:
"We will sue the newspaper and everyone who helped in showing these pictures," said Saddam Hussein's chief lawyer Ziad Al-Khasawneh, speaking from Jordan.
"The Sun" is unrepentant:
The Sun newspaper said it would fight any legal action and said it planned to publish more photos on Saturday...

The Sun's managing editor Graham Dudman defended the decision to publish the images.

"People seem to forget that this is a man who is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children and all that's happened to him is someone has taken his picture," he told BBC Radio 4's PM programme.

"This is a sort of modern-day Adolf Hitler. These pictures are an extraordinary iconic news image that will still be being looked at the end of this century."
Many of my readers, I'm sure, will argue that the facts the military authorities are treating this matter very seriously and that one of the most disgusting characters of the late twentieth century will launching a legal action to protect his dignity, allow for only one conclusion: the world has gone mad. On the other hand, one could think that for all the apparent absurdity of the situation, this is precisely what makes us different - that even in the midst of a struggle against people who blow up women and children, videotape beheadings and slaughter infidels, we don't forget who are or what we stand for. Not that we get any credit for it, either from their or our own home-grown critics.

The reactions in Iraq to Saddam Unplugged have been predictably mixed: "Some Iraqis said the photos were just the latest in a series of insults to Arabs and Muslims. Others said the humiliation is just what the imprisoned 68-year-old former dictator deserved." In the former category, the previously quoted Ziad al-Khasawneh said the photos "add to acts that are practiced against the Iraqi people, and of course we remember what happened in Abu Ghraib and we remember what happened in Guantanamo."

Sadly, he's right. "We" - the world - don't remember and couldn't give a shit about what Saddam "happened" to do to over a million Iraqis, Iranians and Kuwiatis, or for that matter what "happens" every time Islamofascists have any power. All that "we" care about is what a few dozen idiots have done in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.

The Arab media - with the exception of Al-Arabiya - has been very squeamish about broadcasting the pictures:
Jihad Ballout, a spokesman for the Al-Jazeera network, said his network did not show the pictures because it had ethical and professional concerns. "The photo is demeaning to Iraqis," he said, adding that "from the professional side, it is not news."
It might or might not be news - what isn't these days? - but I'm happy that after years of broadcasting violence and mayhem directed against the infidels, Al Jazeera is finally concerned about hurting people's feelings. I take it that next time jihadis release a video of a hostage begging for his or her life before being executed, Al Jazeera will can it as demeaning to the Westerners. Pictures of a 68-year old in his underpants are demeaning to Iraqis, pictures of naked Iraqis on a leash aren't. Go figure.

I'm not the one to make fun of other people's surnames - although hey, been on the receiving end often enough - but Jihad Ballout? Particularly commenting on scandal involving underpants?


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