Wednesday, March 02, 2005

I Don't Often ...

... take a crack at a Gary Younge piece, in the same way that I try to avoid hitting suicidal pheasants on the lanes hereabout. Fish, barrels, and all that. When he gets off the subject he was hired to write about he can be good.

But this is awful.

We're talking colonial oppression. I just can't be bothered to fisk it all (you can look at his Auschwitz comparison), but he does commit one gross outrage against truth.

" ... photographs from Camp Breadbasket showed British soldiers standing on Iraqis enmeshed in netting, forcing them to simulate oral and anal sex, feigning to punch them in the head and parading them around on forklift trucks. "

Yes. All very bad form. But atrocities ?

"... the truth is that the atrocities committed in Camp Breadbasket were not aberrant ..."

Gary, an atrocity is what happened in Iraq on Monday. The kind of thing that gets the editor of the Independent running into the room, trousers round his ankles, shouting "Hold The Front Page !"

Not taking photographs of someone 'feigning to punch them in the head'.

If feigning to punch someone, and photographing it, is an "atrocity", I look forward to Gary's take on this story.

A man told today how he was attacked by a gang on a London bus while an accomplice took pictures on a mobile phone.

Andrew Greenwood was asleep on the top deck after a night out in the West End when as many as five youths beat him up.

He said they took turns to punch him in the face "as if it were a game". One witness said a gang member captured the attack on his mobile phone camera - and police believe the assault may have been part of a violent craze where youths broadcast images of attacks on the internet and send them to their friends.

Mr Greenwood, who is 28 and works for Victim Support, suffered a fractured eye socket. His left eye is still closed and badly bruised and doctors fear his sight may be permanently damaged.

He said: "It's sick and disgusting people could take pleasure out of watching others suffer like that. They were bantering as though it was some kind of joke or a game."

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