Yes, but the real question is whether he has a letter from his lawyer...

>> Thursday, April 23, 2009

ABC News is full of outrage over a recent incident in which Sheik Issa bin Zayed al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates, brother of the country's crown prince, Sheik Mohammed, allegedly "tortures" (depending on how that word is defined) a detainee. I'm not sure why ABC focuses on the wrong party, however: clearly the real wrongdoer in this whole affair of state is Bassam Nabulsi, a Houston businessman who (for obvious political reasons--he's a former business associate of the Sheik who had a falling-out with the man) leaked a document (specifically, a videotape) of the alleged incident for his own dubious purposes. Sometimes you have to simply walk away. If Sheik Issa in fact was forced, by the exigent circumstances he was caught in, to engage in any kind of forceful behavior (which, it should be noted, was almost certainly effective in its function, deterrence of criminal projects by enemies of the state), there is no point in dwelling on it--what's done is done, that was the past, and the United Arab Emirates is surely justified in continuing to look forward rather than obsessing over ancient history. And one can only imagine how divisive any kind of politically-motivated bickering might be, when Sheik Mohammed is rightly concerned with his nation's economic progress and has a full plate of foreign policy issues to cope with.

In any event, the UAE issued the following statement: "all rules, policies and procedures were followed correctly by the Police Department." This settles the issue for once and for all, obviously, and hard-left critics of the UAE who disagree have ulterior motives that should be questioned and re-questioned.

It's apparent from the video and the accompanying report that no lasting damage was done to either Mr. Nabulsi (who claims he was tortured) and the alleged detainee in the video. Mr. Nabulsi appears to be doing well in Houston, and one can obviously infer from the video that the detainee in the video also suffered no lasting or permanent harm. Anyway, lots of people are run over by SUVs and survive.

ABC follows up with a story titled, "Clinton Mum on UAE Torture Tape - Despite Pressure to Investigate, No Action Yet From State Department", which seems to have a vaguely-critical tone for some reason I can't quite understand. Again, the UAE has clearly stated that "all rules, policies and procedures were followed correctly by the Police Department." Surely such assurances are sufficient, and anyway why should the UAE be concerned with what foreigners--including Europeans who all-too-easily forget what the UAE has done for them in the past--think of them? There is a strong likelihood, after all, that many of those critical of the UAE are French. And socialists. And French. Anyway, I strongly hope that if Secretary Of State Clinton does show some kind of firm leadership on this politicized issue (that really isn't any of our business anyway), that it's a display of solidarity with a clearly kindred nation.


Nathan Thursday, April 23, 2009 at 8:29:00 PM EDT  

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make the first sentence of this post into...a complete sentence. This message will self destruct immediately after you fix the problem and delete it.


Janiece Murphy Thursday, April 23, 2009 at 8:35:00 PM EDT  

Eric, sarcasm is the lowest form of humor, you know.

But that doesn't keep me from laughing my ass off, though.


Eric Thursday, April 23, 2009 at 9:04:00 PM EDT  

Thanks for the catch, Nathan. I won't delete the comment--but anyone reading this and wondering what Nathan's talking about: I never finished a complete thought in the first sentence, and now I've fixed it.

I appreciate the compliment, Janiece (and yours, Nathan), and I know what you mean though "funny" may not be the right word. (I was furious, typing this post, if you couldn't already tell.) A big chunk of the point (beyond taking the piss out of the Cheneys and Limbaughs) is that our country has lost the ability to credibly take a moral stand against abuses in places like the UAE. What does ABC expect Secretary Clinton to say right now that wouldn't be horribly ironic and/or hypocritical?

It wasn't mere sarcasm, it was angry, outraged sarcasm.



Actually, puns are the lowest form of humor, closely followed by America's Funniest Home Videos. The hierarchy starts out (from the bottom): puns, AFHV, sarcasm... and goes up from there.

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