All It Takes Is Some Broken Bones, Internal Bleeding, and an Abject Apology

Who says Iraqis don’t have true freedom of speech? They most certainly do — as long as they are willing to be beaten in custody, accept that their family members will be threatened with violent physical retribution, and — most important — publicly apologize for having committed such a “big ugly act” and beg forgiveness for having offended Dear Father Leader.

An Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at George Bush has publicly apologised and asked the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, to forgive him, Iraqi officials said today.

Muntazer al-Zaidi said in a letter that his “big ugly act cannot be excused,” said Yasin Majeed, Maliki’s media adviser.

In a plea for clemency, Zaidi added: “I remember in the summer of 2005, I interviewed your excellency and you told me, ‘Come in, this is your house.’ And so I appeal to your fatherly feelings to forgive me.”

73 Responses to “All It Takes Is Some Broken Bones, Internal Bleeding, and an Abject Apology”

  1. Kathy says:

    If Americans are running a puppet government, Iraqis can vote that government out in the 2009 Election.

    I am just stunned. Speechless. Really. I don’t know what to say to this.

    What do you recommend, and how would your recommendations play out differently for Iraqis in the short and medium term?

    I recommend that the Obama administration adhere to the SOFA just signed by the U.S. and Iraq. That will put the U.S. military out of all Iraqi cities and towns by June 2009, and out of Iraq in total by 2012. In fact, he should speed up that end date, to his campaign-promised date of 18 months.

  2. tas says:

    I am just stunned. Speechless. Really. I don’t know what to say to this.

    Way back when, during my teenager years when I started hanging out on the message boards of geek BBSes, I would leave messages with just “hehehehe” in reply to something I thought was funny. The commenters there pulled me aside, so to speak, and told me never to leave a message without substance. Since then I’ve stuck to their advice.

    Mostly.

    But in this case, read this line from you just makes me LOL. So.. Hehehehee!

  3. gcotharn says:

    I do not understand what you want done which is not currently being done. I do not understand why the things you want done will make any difference to the Iraqis who are currently frustrated with conditions in their nation.

    To the question “What do you suggest be done differently in Iraq?”, you give two answers:

    1. Continue what’s being done, i.e. follow the SOFA which is currently in place.

    How is this different from my suggestion to be patient and to democratically oppose the Maliki government? What else could be done which would not cause a new set of possibly serious problems for Iraq?

    2. Speed the SOFA withdrawals.

    What different results would occur which would not occur via following the SOFA withdrawals as scheduled? How might the Iraqi Government and people be positively or negatively affected by speeding the SOFA withdrawals?

    I am familiar with the state of play in Iraq. It should be easy to explain your ideas to me. I’ve endeavored to plainly and politely respond to your queries. Given the abuse you’ve subsequently heaped on me, I think it fair that you come out from behind “I’m speechless” and explain yourself.

  4. Kathy says:

    It should be easy to explain your ideas to me.

    Easy is not the point. Waste of my time is the point. I’ve already wasted too much of that on someone who just ignores my well-supported points and continues to ask stupid questions or ask for a response to stupid statements.

    This:

    “If Americans are running a puppet government, Iraqis can vote that government out in the 2009 Election.”

    is a stupid statement.

    I owe you nothing.

  5. Kathy says:

    Gcotharn,

    I’ll give you a hint. It’s about critical thinking skills. This:

    “If Americans are running a puppet government, Iraqis can vote that government out in the 2009 Election.”

    reveals an appalling lack of critical thinking skills. I can’t give you those if you don’t have them.

  6. tas says:

    This is why I’m all for telling him to fuck off and threatening to delete his comments immediately. I mean, I could argue with him (and have in the past, unfortunately) to come to exactly the same conclusion. He’s just a waste of time.

  7. gcotharn says:

    You asked for solutions, gleefully ripped those solutions, then offered nothing better.

    You asked: what are solutions for w,x,y,z problems which Iraqis have? I politely and concisely proffered best solutions I could think of. You ripped me, i.e. condescending, pretentious, arrogant, presumptuous, too stupid to respond to. Then you offer as solutions: nothing. w,x,y,z remain: you offer no solutions. You offer only complaints and criticism directed at me. This is no way to converse. This is not even conversation. Conversation is equitable give and take. This is some type of manipulation which offers some type of payoff or satisfaction for you.

  8. tas says:

    If I may interject here.. Well, not like anyone can stop me.

    Tharnbag, when you base conversation points off fantasy — like Iraqi’s having enough democracy to throw Americans out of their country — there’s really no place to move conversation forward from there. You are so detached from reality that it’s not funny. Of course, if I, or Kathy, or anybody else make this point, you’ll retort with, “You ripped me, i.e. condescending, pretentious, arrogant, presumptuous, too stupid to respond to. Then you offer as solutions: nothing. w,x,y,z remain: you offer no solutions. You offer only complaints and criticism directed at me,” and blah blah blah. But it’s reality. If you want to have an intelligent conversation, you have to have an intelligent, reality-based point of view — something which you continually lack. As you’ve thoroughly displayed in this comment thread (and umpteen other comment threads on this blog).

    Trying to “converse” with someone whose points are false isn’t a conversation at all. That’s why you can’t have actual conversations. Compendre?

  9. gcotharn says:

    First, I’ve reread the later part of this thread, and I think my last comment might have been unfair. Kathy was not submitting Iraqi problems to be solved. Rather, she was trying to justify why Iraqis might legitimately say “I hate America.”

    My response to that is: Iraqis should consider the big picture before saying “I hate America.” Their future is brighter now than it was under Saddam. Perspective = relief from emotional hatred.

    I think we all understand each other’s opinions on this subject at this point.

  10. gcotharn says:

    Second, re tas comment

    Iraq cannot throw America out, and I never said it could.

    Third: the puppet government thing

    Puppet government is a nuanced term. There are puppet governments and then there are PUPPET GOVERNMENTS. I thought you were talking about a puppet government.

  11. tas says:

    Uh, tharnbag? “If Americans are running a puppet government, Iraqis can vote that government out in the 2009 Election.”

    And you wonder why people can’t hold conversations with you.

  12. Kathy says:

    Trying to “converse” with someone whose points are false isn’t a conversation at all.

    For me, the frustration is not so much that his points are false. I can deal with that by demonstrating, with substantive information and facts, why his points are false. But then I would expect him to take those points into consideration when he next responds. But he doesn’t. He acts like the points haven’t even been made, and keeps repeating the same falsehoods and distortions without providing any additional information or evidence that takes into consideration the information *I* have just provided. In short, his replies do not move the conversation forward. They just keep the wheels spinning in the mud and moving nowhere.

    That’s what drives me crazy.

  13. tas says:

    Yeah, the guy’s been doing this since he started commenting here. He’s like a GOP talking point machine. There’s really no conversing with him because he will not recognize any empirical evidence — especially if it doesn’t fit into his narrow world view.

    As I’ve mentioned before, I’m all for avoiding this run around and just outright deleting his comments. 🙂 He’s been given a few months to clean up his act but he’s obviously not going to change, so I don’t see any point in allowing him to leave comments on here anymore. He’ll only end up driving potential decent commenters away.

  14. matttbastard says:

    For me, the frustration is not so much that his points are false. I can deal with that by demonstrating, with substantive information and facts, why his points are false. But then I would expect him to take those points into consideration when he next responds. But he doesn’t. He acts like the points haven’t even been made, and keeps repeating the same falsehoods and distortions without providing any additional information or evidence that takes into consideration the information *I* have just provided. In short, his replies do not move the conversation forward. They just keep the wheels spinning in the mud and moving nowhere.

    In other words, he is trolling. Because he is a troll–a wordy, so-passive-aggressively-civil-it-makes-your-fucking-teeth-itch-like-a-heroin-addict-3-days-straight troll, but a troll none the less. In fact, the next time one of my non-net-addicted friends asks me to describe a ‘troll’ or ‘trolling’, I will link them to this comment.

    Seriously, though — anyone who spews specious treacle like this:

    Puppet government is a nuanced term. There are puppet governments and then there are PUPPET GOVERNMENTS. I thought you were talking about a puppet government.

    Is not worth wasting energy, time and precious sanity on. All you are doing is validating his ego, and encouraging him to continue manipulating you into tendering a response (attention: the air that trolls breathe, food to nourish their pathetic, empty lives).

    Do. Not. Feed.

  15. gcotharn says:

    Much of what you claim is “proven”, is not, yet you are attached to the idea that it is proven. I try to steer clear of those areas in which you are attached to your opinions. There is no sense in discussing those issues. I try to move by that, and focus on areas where we might have a chance, however slim, of finding agreement.

    Some examples:

    I agree with some of your narrative about torture. However, torture sometimes does provide valuable information. To say it has never, ever worked is to delude yourself. Would it benefit you and I to argue this point? It would not. I should avoid this subject.

    “Puppet government” is manure. Is there any possibility whatsoever that you would be persuaded by reason on this point? There is not. I should avoid it.

    This is why it seems to you that I ignore your “evidence” and “proof”. I’m trying to move past it, b/c we will never agree in those areas.

    OTOH, I thought there was a slim chance you would be persuaded about this:

    America is an imperfect yet definite force for democracy and human rights in Iraq.

    I figured I might broach that a bit, since you were asking questions in that area, and were probing my opinions. I figured it would be the decent thing to respond to your queries. Didn’t work out so well.

    MB, you may have already figured this out, and it may be part of what you detest, but: the polite thing is not an act. It’s not some type of suck up, it’s not some type of strategy, and it’s not an indicator of timidity or weakness. It is me doing my best to be open to God’s love, and to think and write as best I can in these comments. Criticize accordingly. In my best moments I am way imperfect. Yet, know this is genuinely how I am – except during the recurring moments when I close my heart to God and act worse.

    Also, know that eternal life is available to you. God loves you at all times, no matter the circumstance. He is with you always.

  16. gcotharn says:

    Note: I am against torture, except in the most horrific ticking clock situation. POTUS should make the individual, specific call in such a rare and horrifying situation.

  17. Kathy says:

    All you are doing is validating his ego, and encouraging him to continue manipulating you into tendering a response

    You’re right, but I’d rather just discipline myself to ignore his comments than delete them. I just don’t like to delete comments unless they are truly over the line (i.e., threatening, racist, homophobic, etc.).

    I’m just not going to respond anymore after it’s clear there’s no point.

  18. tas says:

    Would anybody mind if I left his comments as is but made some creative new handles for him? Like changing his name to “ROCK HARD AND TROLLING!” or “MORE STUPIDITY FROM FUCKFACE!!” ? I used to do that with trolls at Loaded Mouth — got rid of them quick. Heh.

  19. tas says:

    Though this still ranks as the all time funniest way to creatively deal with trolls.

  20. Kathy says:

    Would anybody mind if I left his comments as is but made some creative new handles for him?

    You know MY answer to that, tas.

  21. tas says:

    You’re ecstatic, right? Heh.

  22. matttbastard says:

    MB, you may have already figured this out, and it may be part of what you detest, but: the polite thing is not an act. It’s not some type of suck up, it’s not some type of strategy, and it’s not an indicator of timidity or weakness. It is me doing my best to be open to God’s love, and to think and write as best I can in these comments. Criticize accordingly. In my best moments I am way imperfect. Yet, know this is genuinely how I am – except during the recurring moments when I close my heart to God and act worse.

    Also, know that eternal life is available to you. God loves you at all times, no matter the circumstance. He is with you always.

    When is ‘turn the other cheek’ analogous to ‘kiss my ass’? *points up*

    Words fail.

    Anyway, back to ignoring.

  23. Kathy says:

    mattt, that was my thought exactly.

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