December 29, 2009

Released Guantanamo detainees did not respond to art therapy the way we were hoping.

They, apparently, went on to plan the Christmas Day bombing.

1. What does this say about art? Is art ineffectual or — think about it! — quite powerful? It seems to me that serious artists are not about using art to become serene members of the community. They try to make strong statements and shake complacent conformists. Épater la bourgeoisie. Terrorist ideology + art should = explosion.* Now, of course, it was probably incredibly lame art therapy, in which case it was laughably ineffectual. I just want you to think about what a despicable use of art this was all around. Whether it was weak art or strong art, it was not something to be prescribed to turn men away from terrorism.

2. These men — Guantanamo prisoner #372, Said Ali Shari and prisoner #333, Muhamad Attik al-Harbi (who for some reason has now changed the Harbi to Awfi) — were released in 2007, during the Bush Administration. So, that is Bush's fault. If Obama supporters want to take advantage of the argument that it's Bush fault, they must encourage Obama to take a harsher position than Bush did against the Guantanamo detainees. Could that happen? Hardly. But maybe Obama will toughen up about the detainees. He may have wanted to do that anyway, and the Flight 253 near-disaster gives him leverage for moving his position.

***

* I hope you haven't forgotten how some artists talked about 9/11. Here's an item printed in The Guardian on September 11, 2002:
The artist Damien Hirst said last night he believed the terrorists responsible for the September 11 attacks "need congratulating" because they achieved "something which nobody would ever have thought possible" on an artistic level....
"The thing about 9/11 is that it's kind of an artwork in its own right. It was wicked, but it was devised in this way for this kind of impact. It was devised visually."

Describing the image of the hijacked planes crashing into the twin towers as "visually stunning", he added: "You've got to hand it to them on some level because they've achieved something which nobody would have ever have thought possible, especially to a country as big as America.

"So on one level they kind of need congratulating, which a lot of people shy away from, which is a very dangerous thing."

Referring to how the event changed perceptions, he added: "I think our visual language has been changed by what happened on September 11: an aeroplane becomes a weapon - and if they fly close to buildings people start panicking. Our visual language is constantly changing in this way and I think as an artist you're constantly on the lookout for things like that."

AND: "Renoir said he painted his pictures with his penis... he did too, lovely pictures!" And Abdulmutallab attempted to create a "visually stunning" plane crash with his bomb-augmented penis.

95 comments:

Martha said...

Released Guantanamo detainees did not respond to art therapy the way we were hoping.
They, apparently, went on to plan the Christmas Day bombing.

Thought I was reading The Onion when I read that..........this is beyond ridiculousness.

Henry said...

Welcome back, Futurism. From the Futurist Manifesto (F.T. Marinetti, 1909):
"Come, my friends!" I said. "Let us go! At last Mythology and the mystic cult of the ideal have been left behind. We are going to be present at the birth of the centaur and we shall soon see the first angels fly! We must break down the gates of life to test the bolts and the padlocks! Let us go! Here is they very first sunrise on earth! Nothing equals the splendor of its red sword which strikes for the first time in our millennial darkness."

...

9. We want to glorify war — the only cure for the world — militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of the anarchists, the beautiful ideas which kill, and contempt for woman.

10. We want to demolish museums and libraries, fight morality, feminism and all opportunist and utilitarian cowardice.

Oligonicella said...

You know, one could describe the blood and gore spattered crime scene as "visually stunning" as well, but it would be stupid, sick and friggin' unintelligent to apply the words. Horrific comes to my mind, which states the same but with the proper context. These people are asshats.

Arturius said...

You make a good point in your post regarding these individuals being released from Gitmo only to go on and plan more terrorist attacks. If Bush was an idiot for freeing them, Obama is a bigger idiot for wanting to close the whole prison down.

I'm also not certain how closing down Gitmo and relocating them to a max prison in Illinois or wherever somehow improves our image. Maybe someone can enlighten me on that.

Oxbay said...

The deaths add up. A majority of Americans decide we want to win this thing for good. We go all William Tecumseh Sherman/George Patton/Harry Truman on them. From the Horn of Africa to Irian Jaya the world looks like a Sea of Glass. When that happens please oh, lord, please have Damien Hirst be visiting one of these soon to be ravaged lands. Hopefully he's participating in an "Art" project as a human shield. I think it would be beautiful to have him transormed into The New Wasteland, The Sea of Glass. The Sea of Glass, especially Saudi Arabia. Beautiful.

wv: lostud - my youth

AllenS said...

From the miniseries:

Conversation with a Convict
by
AllenS

Art instructor: "Nice crayon stick figure, Muhamad Attik al-Harbi, but why such a big penis?"

Muhamad Attik al-Harbi: "It's not a penis, it's a bomb."

Fin

chickenlittle said...

So, that is Bush's fault.

Bush's responsibility, but hardly his fault. Bush responded and acquiesced to forces clamoring for the total shutdown of Gitmo and release of all prisoners (and for civilian trials). To think or believe otherwise lets people like then Sen. Hillary Clinton completely off the hook. I suppose that is the point: the right's position on something must be destroyed before the left can subsume it.

Michael Hasenstab said...

"Art therapy" involved drawing schematic diagrams of concealed bombs.

Why are the civil libertarians who demanded freeing Gitmo prisoners getting a total pass? ACLU, hello?

And the Dems who demanded that Bush close Gitmo and repatriate most of the "innocents" who mistakenly got caught up in a combat area, why are they getting a pass?

exhelodrvr1 said...

"And Abdulmutallab attempted to create a "visually stunning" plane crash with his bomb-augmented penis."

So much for "the penis mightier than the sword" !

rhhardin said...

They probably didn't allow drawing guns or knives, which makes art boring to males.

I'd recommend writing classes myself.

A good prose style is a domestication of aggressiveness.

Domestication is the thing to go for.

J. Galt said...

The most important question is, of course, missing: Why did the BUSH ADMINISTRATION release these people?

Maybe Larry, who sorely misses Bush, has some wisdom.

Obviously, Althouse won't be saying anything on the matter.

David said...

Squirm though we might, we can't avoid the fact that the Bush administration let the two planners go. Yes, the atmosphere that lead to releases came from the left and from the inconstant congresscritters, but the ultimate decision was Bush's. Without doubt it was a bad decision. Bush was a man who knew how to maintain an unpopular position, and didn't in this case.

That does not get Obama off the hook though. If these two guys had not planned the attack, someone else would have. And perhaps done a better job. Obama and his Homeland Security secretary failed to initiate a review of security procedures, preferring to make the Gitmo closure and other show issues the priority.

Art therapy? What a ridiculous joke.

Scott M said...

The problem is a basic misunderstanding of human nature and how utterly vile it can actually be.

When your intellect is cultivated in an environment of normative relativism, it's pretty tough to accept that there is real evil in the world.

The Crack Emcee said...

"The thing about 9/11 is that it's kind of an artwork in its own right. It was wicked,..."

Yea, those two things - art and wickedness - always seem to go together in certain minds.

No wonder so much of it sucks.

ricpic said...

Notice that the last concern of Damien Hirst and his ilk is making a beautiful object. In fact that's the one no no if you want to make it in the art world. Gives the game away about what caca these creatures are.

miller said...

So obviously the Gitmo detainees should not have been released.

I will wait with bated breath to hear the man-child President announce that he, as opposed to Bush, will not release any more detainees.

Otherwise, it's silly to say "Bush did it" if, in fact, man-child President does it too.

Scott M said...

I think what would really take the piss out of these guys would be not to open Gitmo USA in Thompson, IL, but rather Reno NV.

Instead of art therapy, bring in some bonafide sex therapists and hire out the whores at tax payer expense. A few half-and-half's has got to be cheaper than billions in the war on terror and security measures at airports.

Fred4Pres said...

Look how well art therapy worked for Adolph Hitler!

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

Saudi officials concede its program has had its "failures" but insist that, overall, the effort has helped return potential terrorists to a meaningful life.

One program gives the former detainees paints and crayons as part of the rehabilitation regimen.

A similar rehabilitation program in Yemen was stopped because so many of the detainees quickly joined with al Qaeda or its affiliates, the official said.


HOW PATHETIC! Bush released the Guantanamo detainees to this? He certainly didn't have to, you know-- he's the "decider", remember? No matter how much you right-wingers want to grasp for ways to blame Democrats, this was done on Bush's watch and it was his decision. Deflecting that blame is just weak pathetic nonsense.

I wonder if Cheney approved. I can't imagine he did.

Scott M said...

@Julius

Just remember that having severe issues with the current resident's policies or lack thereof does not imply support for the former president's policies or lack thereof.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Away from my copy of A Clockwork Orange at the moment, but remembering Alex's scorn for the idea that slooshying a malenky bit of the old Ludwig van was supposed to calm him down.

rhhardin said...

Tim Blair

So much for the brutal tactic of watercolouring.

Rialby said...

J Galt said: Obviously, Althouse won't be saying anything on the matter.

Umm, didn't she just say something on it? That's why you are commenting on this post. Did I miss something?

The Crack Emcee said...

You can scream, "Bush did it", all day long, but I know why - it was you, and you know it - so nothing's changed:

He's still the good guy and you're still naive.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Julius - thank you for creating an excellent argument in support of B+ keeping the detainees imprisioned for the balance of their lives. B+ should never be as foolhardy as Bush was in releasing Gitmo detainees.

You totally nailed it.

vbspurs said...

Althouse wrote:

It seems to me that serious artists are not about using art to become serene members of the community. They try to make strong statements and shake complacent conformists. Épater la bourgeoisie. Terrorist ideology + art should = explosion.*

Ahhh. I get it. The Christmas Day attempting bombing on an airplane was not terrorism but a vernissage. That changes everything.

Fred4Pres said...

Obivously the wrong art was used. I am sure most Jihadis strongly identify with Frank Stella and his support of abstract art.

vbspurs said...

Damien Hirst said, when not making sharks into see-through objets d'art:

"So on one level they kind of need congratulating, which a lot of people shy away from, which is a very dangerous thing."

Excellent, I totally agree. And I go further! I say this artistry should immediately be employed by the Obama Administration in further bombings around the Gulf of Aden.

Think about it. Yemen plastered into oblivion, and all the terrorists inside it need not be an act of war, but a powerful artistic canvas in earth tones of bloody red, terrorist brown, and billious hatred black.

It's not revenge. It's the first geographical collage painting from artists in cockpits. Brilliant.

Cheers,
Victoria

PatCA said...

Well, terrorism is part spectacle. Even bringing down the WTC would not bring down our way of life; however, the fear and anxiety the event and its aftermath created might.

That being said, art therapy for terrorists is kind of like group therapy for pedophiles. It says more about the failure of imagination of its proponents than anything else.

AllenS said...

IIRC, after 9/11 didn't the airlines suffer severe economic hardship. Didn't Bush have to help bail them out?

exhelodrvr1 said...

"It is well that art is so terrible. We should grow too fond of it." General Robert E. Lee

edutcher said...

Granted, Dubya got a lot of lousy advice in his second term, but I have yet to see why these two lunatics were sprung. I've Googled the names, but simply gotten the basic facts. People have mentioned the ACLU and the Hildabeast, so I assume there's more to this than the usual Kos/Puffington marching orders of "It's Bush's fault".

Anyone with specifics, (I infer lawsuits may have been involved) I am willing to listen.

Michael Hasenstab said...

The more I think about it, the more enthusiastic I become regarding art in Yemen.

I'd like to see the entire desert country converted into a lovely glass Chihuly exhibit.

Arturius said...

IIRC, after 9/11 didn't the airlines suffer severe economic hardship. Didn't Bush have to help bail them out?

Them and if I recall, the 9/11 victims also received a taxpayer funded death benefit check as well. I never could quite understand that when on the same day I'm sure one or two people in the US died in horrific car accidents and their families didn't get a check from Uncle Sam.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

If Obama supporters want to take advantage of the argument that it's Bush fault, they must encourage Obama to take a harsher position than Bush did against the Guantanamo detainees.

Not necessarily. They could argue that the people in Guantanamo were peaceful, innocent Muslims, who were radicalized by their treatment there, and are planning attacks on us because we continue to abuse other detainees. All we have to do to stop these attacks is to release all of the prisoners. And pull our troops out of Iraq. And Afghanistan. And end our support of Israel. And convert to Islam.

virgil xenophon said...

edutcher, not sure about the nuts & bolts of why Bush let those particular two go, but the long and short of it was that he finally caved to the unceasing drumbeat of the PR campaign mounted by the left in it's entirety--the ACLU, academia, Hollywood, the MSM, independent "intellectuals" major politicians in the Donkey Party--you name it--that was calling Gitmo a modern-day "crime against humanity"/"war crimes", etc., and that most of the those held there were but poor misunderstood souls of dubious dangerousness who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Yes, I "blame Bush" for caving to these idiots, but the prime mover in all this was the collective weight of a successfully waged PR war by the above named leftist idiots in the court of public opinion--NOT Bush.

Beth said...

I'd like to see the entire desert country converted into a lovely glass Chihuly exhibit.

The whole country, and all the people in it? All those people, who aren't Al Queda, who in fact are asking for our help to rid them of Al Queda?

Yeah, let's just blow them up. They're all alike. Fuck 'em.

Richard Dolan said...

"It seems to me that serious artists are not about using art to become serene members of the community. They try to make strong statements and shake complacent conformists. Épater la bourgeoisie."

When I first read that, I thought that it was, oh, about a century out of date. Given the emphasis on pure formalism in painting and music for so much of the 20th century, the "strong statements" and attack on "complacency" were mostly an exercise in art talking to itself, with the result that art history became an even more self-referential affair than it had been before. Perhaps the "epater" idea still applies to video, photos or any artform using narrative techniques. But I suspect that, for all of these artforms, the audience for contemporary art is too jaded to recognize anything that is truly shocking anymore, making it impossible to "epater" anyone likely to see or hear it.

There are always exceptions, and Damien Hirst is certainly one. Shock-value seems to be his main aesthetic, except that his work is too weak to achieve it -- it only manages to be gross and convey bad taste, definitely not the sort of thing one wants to linger over.
Althouse seems interested in that category nonetheless, and over the years she has come up with some doozies. One that still sticks in my mind is her post about "fetusbird" from Aug 2005, where the artist had grafted the head of a human fetus onto a bird's body. Anne ended that post: "Don't you understand art?" Well, don't you?

vbspurs said...

OT: WaPo has a great article on the lonely online postings of "Farouk1986", yep, you guessed it, our young Umar the Soiled Panty Terrorist.

It seems that we have back-to-back lonelyheart Muslims trying to live up to their religion by offing as many people as possible...to cure their loneliness?

Cheers,
Victoria

cokaygne said...

Looks like this is W's responsibility. We were warned about this turkey on Bush's watch and nothing was done about it, and Bush released his teachers. That said, there is nothing so far in the records of Holder, Napolitano and BHO to show that they would have done things differently. Think of the parallel of Bush and the Medicare drug benefit fiasco and Obama and the 'health reform' fiasco.

The lesson is, don't trust the gummint. It is up to each of us and all of us collectively to take action when there is a threat.

wv sings. Let's hope the undiebomber does so.

Oligonicella said...

Althouse --

"It seems to me that serious artists are not about using art to become serene members of the community."

So say you. Rockwell, Whistler, Moses and many, many other successful and 'serious' artists disagree.

That attitude taken as the primary function of art is not that old. Nor is it true, despite the repeated utterances by second rate artists who feel that society has yet to recognize their blazing glory.

It's always been no more than the hacks way of self-elevation. The truth of their beliefs is shown by their avoidance of making art that would irritate any of those who would actually take physical offense.

wv: laick -- "Laick, you know, it's so very edgy to mock Christianity."

traditionalguy said...

Listening to one's muse sometimes leads to hearing strange messages like the The Son of Sam heard. To bad that the Art Therapy Classes in Yemen must have included knitting custom underwear.

Henry said...

@Oligoncella: Whistler?

You need a better list.

Matt Eckert said...
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Matt Eckert said...
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Oligonicella said...

Why Henry? He produced quality art that wasn't really shocking.

Whistler was a leader in the Aesthetic Movement, promoting, writing, and lecturing on the "art for art's sake" philosophy. With his pupils, he advocated simple design, economy of means, the avoidance of overly-labored technique, and the tonal harmony of the final result.

Not exactly Piss Christ.

Matt Eckert said...
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Fred4Pres said...

Jihadis just have a very strong commitment to art. Peformance art in particular. A little unappreciated fact.

Henry said...

O -- Just read the first page of John Updike's essay Whistler in the Dark and his position as one of the "serene members of the community" can be immediately dispensed with. Here's just the first phrase of a single packed sentence:

"[Frederick R.] Leyland enlisted himself in the ample ranks of Whistler's enemies by balking at his price (two thousand guineas) that the artist asked for proliferating decorations..."

Arturius said...

The whole country, and all the people in it? All those people, who aren't Al Queda, who in fact are asking for our help to rid them of Al Queda?

Are they asking for our help? Did we miss a Million Muslim March demanding an end to radical Islam and terrorism?

Quite frankly, considering that the number of Muslims who are dying at the hands of their co-religionists by the truckload, I would have thought we would have seen that so called Muslim Street demanding and end too this violence. Back in the 80s when AIDs was the rage, I remember the slogans 'Silence=Acceptance'. Perhaps the Muslim world should start speaking out.

Beth said...

Arturius, the top link on Drudge goes to a story citing Yemen's foreign minister asking for help with intelligence and training counter-terrorism forces.

Henry said...

O -- To elaborate, the idea that art is powerful, that it has the ability to shock, is not some affectation of avante-gardism. Nor is it the demon baby of Romanticism. It goes back 2500 years to the birth of humanism. Catharsis comes from Aristotle's Poetics, where it justifies the emotional extremes of tragedy.

Rockwell and Grandmas Moses are illustrators. Talented and beloved, yes, but hardly a counterargument to, say, Michelangelo and Bernini.

Gabriel Hanna said...

You can't have it both ways. If you spent 2002 - 2008 hollering that the camp at Guantanamo Bay and no-fly lists are outrageous intrusions on civil liberties, and then you have no credibility left to holler about how Bush should have been tougher on them.

It makes you a partisan hack and the American people are not fooled.

The worst thing that could happen for civil liberties and Muslims in America is another 9/11. The sand-into-glass people will take over foreign policy, and at home it's going to get a lot worse than no-fly lists and taking off your shoes at the airport. The extremists will argue; we tried it your way and look what we got. Nobody in this country is going to listen to the ACLU any more. Is that what you want?

The ACLU and its fellow-travelers need to start taking a more moderate and reasonable position on dealing with threats; not only for their own self-interest but for the interest of the people they want to protect.

Fred4Pres said...

The terrorist was sad? Well that explains everything. We should let him go because being sad is obviously an affirmative defense to any crime.

I am glad that is clearned up. We need to seriously combat sadness amongst teens and young adults.

Scott M said...

The real story about this Nigerian jackass will be when he's let off using a defense that it was, in fact, Grand Theft Auto that caused him to attempt violence.

The scandal, though, will revolve around the fact that he's actually Tripp's real dad trying to get out of child support AND his violent tenancies were actually caused by Hello Kitty Island Adventure.

Matt Eckert said...
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Smilin' Jack said...

The whole country, and all the people in it? All those people, who aren't Al Queda, who in fact are asking for our help to rid them of Al Queda?

I'm getting pretty tired of the argument that we can't take sterner measures in places like Yemen because of the risk of collateral damage to all the "good" people there who aren't AQ. If there are so many "good" people there, why don't they step up and deal with AQ themselves? Because they're afraid of AQ, and they'd rather Americans died fighting their battle for them?

Courage is a virtue, and people who tolerate AQ in their midst out of fear aren't all that "good."

Scott M said...

The whole country, and all the people in it? All those people, who aren't Al Queda, who in fact are asking for our help to rid them of Al Queda?

You have to admit, however grudgingly, that it has the advantage of elegant simplicity. Sure, sure, the rest of the world will hate us...yadda, yadda, yadda. At least it will be a stand up fight and we can full "explore the space" and be the knuckle-dragging war-mongers they all think we are anyway.

Besides...benevolent empire is the only way to go :)

LarsPorsena said...

"The ACLU and its fellow-travelers need to start taking a more moderate and reasonable position on dealing with threats; not only for their own self-interest but for the interest of the people they want to protect."

And just, who are the people the ACLU wants to protect?

Gabriel Hanna said...

The whole country, and all the people in it? All those people, who aren't Al Queda, who in fact are asking for our help to rid them of Al Queda?

What happened to Germany and Japan in 1945? Oh, yes, large numbers of people were converted to bone-flecked ash. Even in FRANCE, thousands of civilians were killed by the Allies. After ten years of sitting on their hands because no one wanted another war. They got one, and they finished it, at the cost of millions of lives when had it been done in 1936 it might have cost 10,000.

Al Qaeda may not be the Muslim world's fault, but it sure as hell is their problem. They can deal with it in their way, or we can deal with it in ours.

I don't want to see it come to sand-into-glass. But if the Left can't get behind what we've been trying to do, there will be another 9/11 and it WILL come to that.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@LarsPosena: And just, who are the people the ACLU wants to protect?

Humanity in general, I presume, that's the only way to interpret Constitutional protections for Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

I give the ACLU credit for good intentions and I'm glad they are out there. I want them to be reasonable.

LarsPorsena said...

"....I give the ACLU credit for good intentions .."

Do you know what the road to hell is paved with?

Big Mike said...

The scary thing is that Said Ali Shari and Muhamad Attik al-Awfi were thought at the the time to be among the ones safe to release. The ritual protestations by civil liberties lawyers that the remaining detainees are really peaceable folks who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong notwithstanding, the ones left in Guantanamo must really be nasty, hard core jihadis.

Oligonicella said...

Henry --

So Whistler set up a road block to keep from painting geegaws. Not the context of Althouse's comment, m'thinks.

I didn't say art wasn't powerful, nor that it couldn't shock. Just that those things being its primary purpose is a recent affectation. It's a canard to avoid technique and skill.

Selling one's art to be used as a cover does not lessen one's artistic abilities.

I have my doubts that Michelangelo or Bernini would have viewed blowing the shit out of a few thousand innocent people as an artistic expression. They most certainly did have technique and skill though.

I also think they rather fall into the category I was proposing: those who produce quality work instead of shock shit.

wv: mitra - Mithra without the lisp.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@LarsPosenaDo you know what the road to hell is paved with?

One of the same ingredients as the road to heaven. Both roads require other ingredients as well.

The ACLU is not a nest of traitors. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, and they supply some of that. I just want them to be reasonable and not reflexive.

Henry said...

O - I think you're creating a false dichotomy. Perhaps Althouse is as well, to a lesser extant.

Many artist do strive to shock and yet produce great art. Consider Courbet, Caravaggio, Eakins. Others may be less pugnacious, yet all, I think, desire to create work of power and importance.

Althouse's phrase "shake complacent conformists" does seem to indicate the avant-garde model, but dwelling on that, I think you miss the bigger point -- that art is not a mechanism to turn murderers into saps.

Matt Eckert said...
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Gabriel Hanna said...

@MattEckert:

Never have I seen a more concise list of self-refuting cliches. Moby is proud.

William said...

This painting with your penis sounds like a cool hobby. I've dabbled with finger painting, but I've never worked with oils.

Matt Eckert said...
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Ignorance is Bliss said...

This painting with your penis sounds like a cool hobby.

Only if you have a lot of free time. It took me forever, and my house really isn't that big.

Penny said...

And I suppose this "art therapy" was suggested by the same groups who say that we can get more information from gentler and kinder approaches to interrogation.

It seems obvious that someone misinterpreted the meaning of some pretty pictures coming out of Guantanamo.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Beth - I agree. Well said.

Theo Boehm said...
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Matt Eckert said...

Make a dessert and call it pie.

former law student said...

Note that the released detainees were Saudis, the art therapy program was provided by the Saudi government, and the Saudi government said the detainees were rehabilitated.

Why do none of the conservative commenters here recognize these as provocations demanding that the US declare war on Saudi Arabia? Why does this lot of Islamoids get a free pass from so many patriotic Americans?

Matt Eckert said...
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Matt Eckert said...
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Gabriel Hanna said...

@fls:Note that the released detainees were Saudis, the art therapy program was provided by the Saudi government, and the Saudi government said the detainees were rehabilitated.

Why do none of the conservative commenters here recognize these as provocations demanding that the US declare war on Saudi Arabia? Why does this lot of Islamoids get a free pass from so many patriotic Americans?

Yeah, you'd get right behind that. Keep trolling with Matt Eckart.

Why is it that leftists like you always support Some Other War than the ones already at issue?

Oh, I see, you don't actually "support" war with Saudia Arabia. You're attempting "reductio ad absurdum", or maybe you're trying to say that conservatives are hypocrites and that therefore their opinions are invalid, or something.

It wasn't "conservatives" who were complaining about the no-fly list or demanding that the innocent shepards in Cuba be released. That's you and and your ilk. But keep trying to dodge responsibility, it's hilarious when you and your ilk have the Presidency and supermajorities in both houses of Congress.

Firstly, war is not always the answer. Secondly, I know of no "conservative" who gives Saudi Arabia "a free pass". In fact, you find quite a lot of them sounding like Matt Eckart, who is clearly a Moby troll.

Matt Eckert said...
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RebeccaH said...

Art "therapy" is intended to give an outlet of expression to traumatized or developmentally delayed children (or some developmentally delayed adults). To say it can be used to "rehabilitate" rage-and-ideologically motivated adults is beyond stupid. The fact that our own government is listening to people who advocate this kind of thing for terrorists is beyond frightening.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Matt Eckert: Dude I am surely a troll but not a Moby.

I reluctantly conclude you are not a moby; are you happy to know that when somebody on Kos dredges up comments to prove Ann is a fascist, they'll be putting up yours?

Seems to me you'd do our side more good if you kept the extremism to yourself for a bit. Or you can keep inadvertently getting Democrats elected and see where that gets you.

Matt Eckert said...
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former law student said...

The fact that our own government is listening to people who advocate this kind of thing for terrorists is beyond frightening.

Our own government? Art therapy is a Saudi government program.

Hanna: Countries make war. Insurgents make civil war. Clubs of random thugs cannot make war on their own.

Let us attack every country that aids and abets these thugs.

Matt Eckert said...

Screw it. You just can not educate the uneducatable.

Beth said...

Michael, either you missed my sarcasm, or I'm missing yours. Either is likely. And none of it matters.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@fls: Hanna: Countries make war. Insurgents make civil war. Clubs of random thugs cannot make war on their own.

Fine so far...

Let us attack every country that aids and abets these thugs.

So you are in favor of wars with Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Sudan, Iraq (until 2003), Iran, Dearborn... it's not plausible that you believe any of that.

Doesn't matter what shell I turn over, I will never find the shrivelled pea of the war you're willing to support. Why play?

Funny that you think Guantanamo Bay and the Patriot Act are such abominations but you have no problem with consigning innocent Saudi civilians to a fiery death. You expect anybody to believe that?

No doubt you can produce the offical Saudi documents authorizing aid to Al Qaeda terrorists, or those for Pakistan, or whatever imaginary war you're willing to get behind? The people who aid Al Qaeda do so behind plausible deniability, informally and unofficially. Only the Taliban made it official policy. Have you thought about this at all?

Ah, but you count on mailmen not to deliver absentee ballots to their customers who have died...

Penny said...

"Michael, either you missed my sarcasm, or I'm missing yours. Either is likely. And none of it matters."

Exactly!

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

Sounds like the Gitmo detainees could use some "Renoir" therapy.

Oligonicella said...

Henry --

"but dwelling on that, I think you miss the bigger point -- that art is not a mechanism to turn murderers into saps."

Why on earth would you think I missed that? I was addressing something entirely different.

Oh, this might help with why I think these folks are asshats -> here.

That's what you wind up with when your thought processes are such as the quoted artist. Dipshits.

Oligonicella said...

Henry --

"Consider Courbet, Caravaggio, Eakins."

You know, I've considered them. I've also run through a bunch of their work just now. Standard, non-shock stuff (except for that crotch shot of Courbet's). And, oddly, all done with talent and fine technique.

"yet all, I think, desire to create work of power and importance."

And I strive to write the next great American novel. This means what exactly?

showbiz111 said...

I though Islam was against most forms of representational art. So the former detainees were most likely not drawing serene scenes of rivers and trees, but geometric or post modern art (throwing paint at canvases) which I doubt would lead them to inner peace and tolerance. Maybe they did photographs, like dunking crosses in urine? Maybe they did diagrams of the best places to place explosives in airliners?
As both Auschwitz and the Titanic show, music/art does little to soothe the savage breast and may become the accomplice to mass murder in the wrong hands.

Henry said...

O, if you think Courbet is standard non-shock stuff, I'm not sure what else I can say.

former law student said...

I though Islam was against most forms of representational art.

Both Jews and Muslims took the proscriptions of Exodus 20:4 to heart.

Liz said...

An art therapist's response:

http://www.lizbeck.net/2009/12/29/bad-press-artx-and-the-rehabilitation-of-terrorists/