By Kevin Dawson
Us Raise 1000 Contributions... Please Donate!
This week is our second quarter 2004
fund drive. Our goal is to bring in 1000 individual
donations before midnight on Sunday, May 16.
There is no minimum (or maximum) donation. Whether
you can spare $5 or $500, your contribution will
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When a few soldiers discovered Saddam Hussein holed up in
a, uh, hole, it wasn't spoken of as "the action of a few soldiers."
Nope, their Commander in Chief was right there accepting kudos;
his fellow conservatives continue to fill the "liberal media"
with self-praise about how "we" captured Saddam.
When a few soldiers rough up Iraqi POWs, however, it's nothing
more than the action of a few soldiers. Rush Limbaugh even
dismissed it as "a fraternity prank." After all, it was only
a minor indiscretion; no big-league criminal offense like
having consensual sex with an intern. But actual fraternities
have lost their charters for less.
Donald Rumsfeld, whose apologetic testimony has resulted
in his virtually being apologized to for having had to be
put through all this, has warned that worse images will turn
up. Really? If this was only a few isolated incidents perpetrated
by a handful of mischievous boys who probably just had too
much sugar for breakfast that morning?
At least Rummy has the perfect damage control: all he has
to do to prove he's not a capricious Iraqi-torturer is whip
out that 1983 photo of him shaking hands with his pal Saddam
Hussein. (If it were Madeline Albright - not that it ever
would have been - she'd be so fired now.)
Chances are that our great leader, who only a year ago stood
on the bow of the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, did his
little victory dance, and declared the "major combat" in Iraq
"over," won't be upstaging the troops to take bows for Abu
Ghraib, the blame for which is still, pardon the pun, up for
ghraibs. (Can they find a way to pin this one on Bill Clinton
somehow? Tune in tomorrow.)
Time alone will tell whether his unprecedented apology amounts
to anything more than "I said I was sorry, okay?" or the corporate,
"We regret your inconvenience," - which, you'll notice, assumes
no responsibility for whatever blunder on their part is causing
your inconvenience. On the campaign trail, will Bush express
genuine sorrow and regret? O will he say, "Yeah, but look
what the war's done for the economy!"
The public has registered its shame and disgust at the images,
even those who previously had accused the media of "comforting
the enemy" by publishing photos of American coffins (presumably
the same way that Memorial Day, which is coming up, comforts
the enemy), and "liberal spin" by reporting the daily death
count of American soldiers, as if it were a lie or an exaggeration.
Well, then, by that same logic, the photo of the naked POW
on the floor tethered to a dog leash should be a little morale
booster, shouldn't it? Look what's gonna happen to you if
you tangle with us Amurricuns! We go' whoop yo' butt good,
son! After all, it's evidence that "we" are winning the war,
Meanwhile, Osama bin Laden, who by all accounts is most directly
responsible for 9/11, far from quaking in his sandals at so
much evidence of American Might, is offering gold rewards
for the furtherance of his agenda.
Interestingly, accounts of horrors and abuse suffered by
American prisoners in American prisons is typically met by
the public with "Oh, boo hoo! They're in jail to be punished,
not to have a good time." Actually, simply being there is
Conservatives want us to believe that the American justice
system is so clean-cut - virtue vs. evil, us (good guys) vs.
them (bad guys) - so why is there no public satisfaction over
the atrocities of Abu Ghraib? After all, it's different when
we do it. (Conservatives are the experts at this kind of moral
duplicity: Democrats "lie," Republicans "misspeak"; Democrats
"commit crimes," Republicans "make mistakes.")
How much you want to bet that Mel Gibson's father doesn't
believe that the Abu Ghraib atrocities even happened?