The Curmudgeon


Monday, February 07, 2005

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The Prime Minister has once again defended the methods of the liberatory coalition in the Middle East, after isolated and unconfirmed reports by several hundred Arab news agencies implied that inappropriate treatment of potential juvenile suicide bombers was taking place to the detriment of US policy in the region.

"We absolutely condemn all forms of torture and all methods of inhuman and degrading treatment, no matter how useful the information that may be gathered from their use," the Prime Minister told a press conference today.

He was responding particularly to concerns by Guardian columnists Preston Kettle and Tynee Pollyp that British troops may have been involved in non-official interrogation activities. Ms Pollyp in particular had raised the possibility that young and impressionable soldiers might be irremediably scarred by their experiences.

However, the Prime Minister emphasised that coalition forces could not afford to be "overly sentimental" in the methods they used to bring freedom to all oil-producing nations while winning hearts and minds despite the machinations of the forces of antidemocratification.

"We know that these ruthless terrorists heartlessly use human shields whenever they can, and that this heartless ruthlessness can have terrible results," he said.

"Such ruthless tactics have resulted in massive civilian casualties in almost every incidence of urban-oriented direct action by coalition troops. Nevertheless, despite the anguish and incomprehension aroused by such heartlessness in every fibre of our being, we must continue to see through the job we have begun."

The use of enhanced questioning techniques on selected pre-adult non-coalition human resources was a regrettable but potentially necessary possibility in a war situation, he continued.

"Senior military personnel have advised me that immature units are less likely to inflict physical harm on our troops even when subjected to questioning of considerably enhanced assertiveness," the Prime Minister said. "It is the Government's view that the priority of protecting our boys from harm must remain carefully balanced against the necessity of doing good to the natives."


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