Thursday, May 03, 2007

That pesky Red Cross (Llama)

So I was having a beer and a game of pool the other night, and got to talking with this fellow that had a Hispanic look about him. Dark hair, dark skin, and, when he spoke, an accent that I couldn't place but new was at least near the US. So I figured south Texas, first generation immigrant maybe. But I was wayyy off.

Turns out he's from Hawaii. Mentioned that I had a friend at school there... "Old U of H" he says. "Can't imagine a better place to go to school," I offer. "Expensive!" he replies. He's in Bangkok for R&R, on leave from Iraq. He's in the Army Corp of Engineers. Complained a bit about how, even though he's part of the army, he still has to pay taxes (apparently most Army folks do not).

I asked him what he was building over there... mostly military projects or more infrastructure? He says he's building a prison. He builds lots of prisons. "What we really need to do is get the Red Cross out of there." Hmmm? The first thought enters my mind is this is one of those pro-Bush, pro-Torture, anti-human rights, America-is-Iraqs-savior-so-why-are-they-complaining type guys. Then he elaborates. "They need this, they need that. They need cigarettes. They need lighters... the Red Cross says we have to give prisoners lighters! And then what do they do with them? They burn down the prison. They burn them down as fast as we can put them up!"

So... hmm. I have lots of thoughts on this little story, but most are contradictory. And none are particularly enlightening. So I'll just leave you with the story, and let you form your own opinions.



pacatrue said...

I don't know. It's a hard to believe story. It's easy to imagine such a scenario with the first prison, but not so much after it's burnt down. But who knows?

Mamaebeth said...

it is my professional experience that there are people who do not like interference, of any kind, even if it is benign or benevolent... so they over exagerate issues or concerns to try and get sympathy.

writtenwyrdd said...

I don't believe they'd actually give lighters to prisoners. Ever. But you never know. I used to think we elected our Presidents, too...