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December 05, 2006

Thanks To Technological Advancement, Pictures Of U.S. Officials Shaking Hands With Murderous Thugs Now Much Higher Quality

One thing always bugged me about that picture of Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam: it was so fuzzy. Fortunately, better technology now allows us to see our leaders shaking hands with blood-spattered maniacs in fine-grained detail. E.g., Abdul-Aziz Al-Hakim of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq:

SEE ALSO: Robert Dreyfuss on Bush's Meeting with a Murderer

Posted at December 5, 2006 12:59 PM | TrackBack

Hey, is Al-Hakim wearing a ring on his right hand in this photo? Does anybody here know a) if the Koran forbids men to wear gold jewelry, or b) if that ban exists, whether it is followed? I'm curious to have an informed opinion on this topic.

Posted by: Aaron Datesman at December 5, 2006 01:19 PM

Yes, there is a verse saying men should not wear either silk or gold. Al-Hakim's ring may be silver (sometimes the way light reflects in photos can play with the color of metal). I am Sunni however and don't know if it is culturally different among Shia. In Sunni countries men wearing gold is very much frowned upon.

Posted by: Anna in Portland (was Cairo) at December 5, 2006 03:28 PM

I like the Christmas decorations in the back.
Very festive!
(I wonder if death squads leaders sing Jingle Bells.)

Posted by: Bernard Chazelle at December 5, 2006 03:35 PM

of course their hands are soft, they don't do any work

Posted by: Susan at December 5, 2006 06:18 PM

Of course you could just have easily substituted the word "Iraqi" for "U.S." in the title of your post.

Who is responsible for more murders, Bush or Hakim?

If you follow the principle articulated by American war crimes prosecuter and former Supreme Court justice Robert Jackson at Nuremberg that agressive war is "the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole," which I do, than clearly Hakim's crimes are subsumed under Bush's responsibility.

This is so whether or not the Badr Brigades' death squad activity has been encouraged by the US, which given Negroponte's formative role in the occupation and the quite open chatter about the "El Salvador option," I rather suspect it has.

And even if one rejects both of the above, I would bet that Bush still beats out Hakim if one were to tot up the grisly scorecard of death.

Posted by: Rojo at December 5, 2006 08:08 PM

Bush wins, he's still behind Saddam, however - but not by that much.

Posted by: Susan at December 5, 2006 09:22 PM

Al-Hakim should be ashamed and embarrassed of himself for having the indecency to meet with that murderous thug Bush.

Posted by: anon at December 6, 2006 04:48 AM

Well, can't see anything wrong with two murderous thugs shaking hands. Although they're in entirely different leagues: 600,000+ dead on one side many on the other?

Posted by: Pepito at December 6, 2006 12:25 PM

Yeah, but... do we count in the ones that are going to die?

I mean, death squads kill you and your family and move on... Depleted uranium, on the other hand... Can a death squad guy go on death squadding for hundreds of years?

But I guess I'm being too picky on this matter...

Posted by: Uncle Bob at December 7, 2006 04:55 AM

I had no idea about that gold/silk thing. No Muslim male appears to worry too much about it here in Malaysia - especially the silk. The "official" dress for most not-so formal festive occasions, from the Prime Minister down, is a batik silk shirt. And there seem to be plenty of men who wear gold rings and have gold studs to their Malay national costumes.

If this Qu'ranic verse about it, no one seems to have told the Muslim men here. Women, of course, wear a lot of gold. It is the traditional way of maintaining your savings if you are a woman.

Posted by: glenda larke at December 9, 2006 07:16 AM