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South Park Creators Given Signed Photo of Saddam Hussein 1297

Posted by samzenpus
from the respect-my-authority dept.
Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of South Park, were given a very special gift by US marines: a signed photo of Saddam Hussein. During his captivity, the marines forced Saddam to repeatedly watch the movie South Park: Bigger, Longer And Uncut, which shows him as the boyfriend of Satan. Stone said, "We're very proud of our signed Saddam picture and what it means. It's one of our biggest highlights."

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South Park Creators Given Signed Photo of Saddam Hussein

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  • Huh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrMista_B (891430) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @01:00AM (#27514051)

    Had no respect for Saddam, but any lingering respect I has for the US Military just died. What a grotesque and reprehensible institution, if this is what they do behind closed doors - the fact that they do worse (torture legally defined in the US as 'anything less than organ failure') doesn't mean that something like this isn't just plain and simply slimy.

    • Re:Huh. (Score:4, Funny)

      by master5o1 (1068594) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @01:06AM (#27514109) Homepage
      I can't decide whether being forced to watch that South Park movie is better or worse than the crap done in Abu Ghraib
      • Re:Huh. (Score:5, Funny)

        by Architect_sasyr (938685) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @01:40AM (#27514333)
        Worse, obviously. Unless the US flew in Barbara Streisand - then all bets are off.
      • Re:Huh. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Demena (966987) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @03:08AM (#27514789)
        It would be legally considered torture. Deliberate and repeated humiliation.
        • Re:Huh. (Score:5, Informative)

          by AHuxley (892839) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @03:50AM (#27515035) Homepage Journal
          It is
          http://wikileaks.org/wiki/ICRC_Report_on_the_Treatment_of_Fourteen_%22High_Value_Detainess%22_in_CIA_Custody%2C_14_Feb_2007 [wikileaks.org]
          ..loud music played for twenty-four hours a day throughout..
        • Re:Huh. (Score:5, Informative)

          by Austerity Empowers (669817) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @11:24AM (#27518885)

          Let's try to keep this in some perspective. He was forced to watch a movie that a lot of the rest of the world paid good money to see.

          The man murdered people by the thousands. He was put to death by hanging. There's a a lot of injustice, immorality, pain and suffering in that range.

          I refuse to accept flushing the Koran or being forced to watch a movie which ridicules you, fits the definition of torture. If that is, then K-12 is state enforced torture for children, because honestly it's far worse and far more personal and you don't even get the escape of sweet, sweet death (usually).

          Thumbscrews, electrocution, iron maidens, anything involving fingernails...then we can talk.

          • Re:Huh. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Brian Gordon (987471) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @11:42AM (#27519179)
            What disgusting, barbarian thinking. We don't punish people to "get back at them." Hurting somebody doesn't even any scales of justice or undo any damage. The world is not a better place by humiliating Saddam; the world is a worse place.
      • Re:Huh. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by timeOday (582209) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @06:46AM (#27515967)
        What I thought was weird was how they consistently released photos and stories just to make him look bad - Saddam getting his teeth inspected, Saddam wearing whitey-tighties, Saddam likes Cheetos and Doritos - every release of information about him was carefully controlled to discredit him as a strongman. But the US govt always claimed these were all just unintended leaks, and they were going to "investigate" the leaks, but of course nothing was ever heard of those investigations again... and then (finally, the weird part), the media just uncritically passed along the derogatory information and the ruse of it all being accidental when obviously it was propaganda to weaken his support among Iraqis.
        • by roystgnr (4015) <roystgnr@t[ ]m.utexas.edu ['ica' in gap]> on Thursday April 09, 2009 @09:12AM (#27516997) Homepage

          Bush: "I find it very interesting that when the heat got on, you dug yourself a hole, and you crawled in it." [usatoday.com]

          A couple years earlier, a small group of murderers with a handful of commercial jets had managed to immediately drive Cheney into a hole^H^H^H^H^H undisclosed location and Bush into underground shelter. A couple years later, it just took a single report of an off-course plane to send Bush underground again [cbsnews.com]. Was it so tactically unreasonable to expect Saddam to hide from a hundred thousand men armed with the best military technology in the world?

          Even if this was propaganda for the Iraqis' benefit, it seems like condescending propaganda. Go for the root of the problem, and persuade people that a strongman ruler is illegitimate if he isn't democratically supported and/or if he violates human rights. Don't just cop out and try to paint yourself as the stronger man.

          • by qbzzt (11136) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @10:44AM (#27518247)

            Go for the root of the problem, and persuade people that a strongman ruler is illegitimate if he isn't democratically supported and/or if he violates human rights. Don't just cop out and try to paint yourself as the stronger man.

            You mean, use arguments that work in the west, based on western culture, to convince Iraqis it is a bad idea to back Saddam and his Baath party?

            In Arab culture a ruler is not rendered legitimate by being elected, but by being so strong nobody could topple him. To tell Iraqis that Saddam is an unelected strongman would be as effective as telling people in the US that they should no longer listen to President Obama because he lost the Mandate of Heaven [wikipedia.org].

            Showing that the US is stronger than Saddam was a necessary first step in giving the democratically elected government the legitimacy it needs to rule. The second was handing Saddam over to an Iraqi court to be tried under Iraqi law and be executed by an Iraqi executioner.

        • Re:Huh. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by MightyYar (622222) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @09:48AM (#27517513)

          What I thought was weird

          Yeah, that's war propaganda... just sort of comes with war. People are very fickle and so you need to keep your side happy while trying to demoralize the other side. God help us if the US government ever started conducting foreign policy based on popular opinion.

    • Re:Huh. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Idiomatick (976696) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @01:11AM (#27514145)
      Watch his execution. Oh and if you had any lingering respect for the law. Read up on Saddam's trial. If he weren't so famous saddam would have gotten about 1000mistrials.... before he was hung. Yeah... hung, something you think we'd have given up a loong time ago. But I guess the rules don't apply if you REALLY don't like the guy.
      • Re:Huh. (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 09, 2009 @01:15AM (#27514179)

        Technically, the past tense of the word "hang" in regards to the execution of a person is "hanged," not "hung."

      • Re:Huh. (Score:5, Informative)

        by phantomfive (622387) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @01:28AM (#27514265) Journal
        Hangings still happen [wikipedia.org] in a few states. Agreed with your comment, however, it was distasteful and unnecessary what we did to Saddam.
        • Re:Huh. (Score:5, Informative)

          by adavies42 (746183) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @02:11AM (#27514477)
          hanging is a perfectly reasonable form of execution. it's probably easier to get right than lethal injection or electrocution, given some of the horror stories we've all heard. if the rope is long enough and positioned properly, death is instantaneous from a broken neck.
          • Re:Huh. (Score:5, Interesting)

            by eltaco (1311561) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @06:50AM (#27515979)
            you need just the right amount of torque to snap a persons neck by hanging, which takes a bit of math to determine how long the rope and how high the fall needs to be for a certain weight and height of a person.
            if the rope is too short, the executee will end up being strangled.
            if the rope is too long, the head of the executee will pop off like the head of a champagne bottle.

            as someone mentions below this post, popping the head off and breaking the spinal cord essentially leads to death in the same way (oxygenated blood cannot reach the brain / heart stops beating).

            hanging is easier on the eyes, but imho decapitation by guillotine might be a better way, as hanging can be botched up easily.

            fun fact:
            it can take up to a minute to lose consciousness after the brain isn't supplied with oxygenated blood anymore, although somewhere around 5-20 seconds is more common. so if you ever get your block chopped off, take a minute to savour the view.
            after that, brain death takes around 6 minutes.
        • Re:Huh. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by will_die (586523) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @03:34AM (#27514933) Homepage
          Hanging is one of the quickest ways to die. You can probably find the article if you search for it but some journalist asked a bunch of people who build and maintain execution machines and that all selected hanging as the method they would prefer to have applied to them.
          • Re:Huh. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Rob Kaper (5960) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @04:58AM (#27515429) Homepage

            Hanging is one of the quickest ways to die.

            How about a bullet straight through the head? It's ironic how a country so full of guns doesn't consider using them for the death penalty.

          • Re:Huh. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by D-Cypell (446534) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @05:42AM (#27515633)

            This has never made any sense to me.

            If you take an old and terminally sick pet to the vet, they are able to 'put them to sleep', quickly and painlessly. Does this process not work on humans?

            We are able to put people into such a deep sleep that we can open them up and switch their organs over, the person having this done to them feels nothing at any stage of the process. How are we not able to apply the same process, but simply end the life of the person that has been rendered into this 'virtual coma'? I do not know about the lethal injection used for executions, but I am assuming it does not go that smoothly if experts would choose hanging.

            All of this stuff sounds like it *should* be very easy to achieve. So I suspect that the reason that (in some countries) we persist in running electricity through people etc, is because we believe they *should* suffer a little bit. If that is the view somebody holds, then they are entitled to it, but they should say it, and so should the state sanctioning the execution.

            I live in a country that does not have capital punishment, but I believe that it is warrented in certain cases (not going to express my criteria here), but I believe it should be used because that person can never be allowed to roam free, and letting them rot in prison is an expensive and pointless endevour, but I see no need to cause physical pain during the execution process.

        • Re:Huh. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by DrBuzzo (913503) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @04:53AM (#27515403) Homepage
          As far as executions go, hanging is a just as good as any other. If it is done properly (as it was with saddam) the person dies painlessly and it doesn't take more than perhaps a few seconds at the most. It's been the standard method in such circumstances.

          But there is a greater reason for it. It has a very long tradition and very strong symbolic value. The firing squad is how you execute a soldier who deserted or turned against you or a spy. It's the way of executing a military offense. Hanging is for the common criminal thug.

          That might sound like a technicality but it's actually more deeply seated than one might think. Hanging says that he was just a criminal in it for himself and without honor. This was a big thing at the Tribunals after the Second World War. One would probably think that if you're being executed the method hardly matters, but for some like Herman Goering, the outrage was that he was to be hanged and not shot. (He actually managed to poison himself before that though).


          The end point being that Sadam Huseine was a simple murderer and thug and not a disobedient soldier or traitor. He didn't simply commit war crimes but crimes against individuals and crimes against humanity. For that reason he was hanged.
      • Re:Huh. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by kisak (524062) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @05:59AM (#27515723) Homepage Journal

        Actually, the most ironic thing is that watching Saddam's hanging gave you respect for the man. The shiit thugs killing him were shouting and making fun of a man that was about to die, but Saddam answered them calmly and with more courage than I expect Bush or any of the other people behind the Iraq war would have knowing they are about to die in a minute.

        (I remember watching Wolfowitz [wikipedia.org] scared shitless trying to keep it together in front of the cameras after his hotel had been hit by mortar fire in Baghdad. What contrast to the arrogant self-assurance Wolfy had when orchestring a war on false pretenses, a war that he should have known would cause thousand of innocent people and US soldiers to die.)

        Then Saddam is hanged before he is able to finish his last prayer to God, a perfect ending to an execution that encouraged Saddam loyalist and ensured that the brutal dictator was transformed into an Iraqi martyr. And again, the beautiful irony that Saddam finally manages to create a picture of himself as a religious leader, after having problems saying the muslem prayers correctly in propaganda shots earlier in his career. Even Saddam's mortal enemy bin Laden must have been proud of the propaganda value of that last prayer cut short.

        The thing many people in the US have a problem to understand is the shear stupidity that lies at the bottom of many of the Bush gangs decitions. Bush supporters think "Saddam hanged, yeah!" and consider it done in a manly way. But the fact is because of the incompetence shown in how the trial is performed and how Saddam's life is ended (like so many of the other "manly" things Bush wanted to do) US is instead shown as weak and the opposite message and result of what was wished for is achieved.

      • Re:Huh. (Score:5, Funny)

        by Mordaximus (566304) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @06:23AM (#27515859)

        He was hanged. I'm sure I don't want to know if he was hung.

    • by SlappyBastard (961143) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @01:13AM (#27514159) Homepage
      Real torture would be making him watch the last few seasons of The Simpsons.
    • Re:Huh. (Score:5, Funny)

      by Al Al Cool J (234559) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @02:12AM (#27514487)

      This story raises many difficult and complex moral questions. What we need to do is take a step back, and calmly ask ourselves, "what would Brian Boitano do?"

    • Re:Huh. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @03:34AM (#27514935)

      Uh.... as much as I get up in arms about due process and rule of law, this is really a tempest in a teapot. Psychological torture is real, but making someone watch a rather silly cartoon is not torture. Unless they set him up like in A Clockwork Orange, calling this torture is stretching the definition to the point of breaking.

      There were a ton of other things wrong with his trial, but this wasn't one of them.

  • by Roskolnikov (68772) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @01:01AM (#27514067)

    I recall watching this movie in the theatre, in some strange life imitating art moment a grandmother brought her grandsons and apparently their friends in for the wonderful cartoon..... Making it through the bribe a drunk for movie tickets and the earthen root heart transplant she decided it was just too much when Saddam and the Devil had their musical bit with a floppy dildo...

    Up until now I felt that nothing would top that in regards to this movie.....

  • by inzy (1095415) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @01:18AM (#27514191)

    well done america, another reason to gain respect from the world

  • I always thought (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Weaselmancer (533834) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @01:28AM (#27514257)

    ...we were supposed to be the good guys?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 09, 2009 @02:30AM (#27514601)

    I am very surprised to see people getting up in arms about this. Is showing a prisoner a satirical movie which mocks him really torture? Not in my book. Hell, going to a regular American prison, and potentially getting raped, for committing a non-violent crime (drug possession for instance) seems much worse than being shown potentially insulting films. Give me a fucking break.

    Abu Gharab, Guantanamo, Secret CIA Prisons: all very bad, very wrong, and very embarrassing for the US. Actual torture (waterboarding, sleep deprivation etc.): also very bad, wrong, and embarrassing. It is not a human right not to be mocked. Especially if the person you are mocking is the kind of person who would have had you killed had you done so in his old dictatorship. "How dare they hurt Saddam's feelings like that! What a deplorable, inhumane atrocity!" Oh the shame...

    If this article is what made you embarrassed to be an American, then you obviously haven't been paying attention. Yeesh.

    • by Quothz (683368) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @05:30AM (#27515569) Journal

      Is showing a prisoner a satirical movie which mocks him really torture?

      Over and over again? No, it isn't torture, but it's mean, petty, and unprofessional. It reflects poorly upon the soldiers as soldiers, Americans, and human beings. It reflects poorly upon America in general, reinforcing the "drunken frat boy with a shotgun" image we've managed to mint for ourselves. But no, it isn't torture.

      Not in my book. Hell, going to a regular American prison, and potentially getting raped, for committing a non-violent crime (drug possession for instance) seems much worse than being shown potentially insulting films.

      Stabbing out both of your eyes would be much worse than just one. So you don't mind if I stab out one, right? Not that I'm comparing the movie to eye-stabbery; the point is that "not-as-bad" is not the same thing as "good".

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @03:54AM (#27515061)

    Cartoons have been a tool of propaganda for about as long as they exist. Take all the WW2 comics, from Bugs Bunny fighting and making fun of Japanese soldiers instead of Elmer Fudd or Donald Duck in the infamous Der Fuehrer's Face [wikipedia.org]. Sure, that was as much propaganda as that Southpark Episodes (and the movie). It makes waging war easier when you see, in a comical setting, that your enemy is something despicable, horrible, and generally wrong.

    I just couldn't imagine these movies being shown after the war to the prisoners in Nuernberg. Or even the Tenno. It was propaganda, it was supposed to boost moral at home, and when the war was over it was over.

    What happened to decency? Isn't it enough to hang people in a mock trial after you beat them? And don't come with the question whether he "deserves" it. I don't frankly care. It's not about Saddam. It's about your own set of morals and decency. I know it's something I wouldn't do because I would feel like I did something wrong.

    A war isn't over until it's over in the head. I'm quite glad, as an European, that the US didn't have the same revenge and hate mindset back after WW2. I like the US, and I enjoy the idea that I can go there and consider the country a 'friendly' nation towards mine. I guess I wouldn't be so lucky if the war didn't end in their, and our, heads in 45.

  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @04:03AM (#27515123)

    We (the US) pretty much pissed on international law the way we treated another head of state (regardless of what you think of Saddam). Throw in the kangaroo court we used to get him executed without the troublesome details of how we helped him establish a chemical weapons program coming out. Yes, the same one we chastised him for and used as a rationale for our bogus invasion.

    I would expect the two self-important dolts who created Southpark to relish in the acknowledgment without using their own eye for satire to see what's so very wrong with the whole situation.

  • From a vet (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hkb (777908) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @11:23AM (#27518865)

    If true, as a vet, I find the Marines' behavior unprofessional and embarrassing to the uniform. I can only hope an investigation occurs, and if guilty, that the Marines responsible are made an example of.

    Saddam was a shitbag, but that doesn't mean we need to lower our moral standards and professionalism.

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