Monday, May 10, 2004


So the Iraqi prison scandal is pretty scandalous. I've noticed all the pundits and newspapers using the term "prison ABUSE scandal." Don't you imagine that if the shoe were on the other foot--i.e., Iraqis were stacking naked American prisoners on top of each other while wearing empty sandbags over their heads, just to cite one example--the headlines would blare "Iraqis TORTURE American G.I.s". And Rush Limbaugh would not think of it as akin to a "fraternity prank," no, he and Sean Hannity would be foaming at the mouth to encircle more Iraqi cities and kill everyone indiscriminately until the Iraqis ratted out the "terrorists" who were doing this, etc.

Meanwhile, according to Bush and Cheney, Rumsfeld can do no wrong. Cheney really is aptly named (as the Matt Angus Thing tells us in the dead-on "President's Son")--he is a dick and if I may say so, a major league asshole--and I mean big time. I mean, he's so transparent. He actually comes out and says Rumsfeld is the greatest defense secretary of all time. This is said at a time when the generals are clamoring for more troops, but there really aren't any, so they tack extra time onto soldier's tours of duty; it's clear that the situation in the prisons maintained by the military is totally fubar, and oh yeah, they STILL HAVEN'T FOUND THE WMD RUMSFELD CLAIMED TO KNOW THE EXACT LOCATION OF!

I mean, how in the hell can Cheney possibly say with a straight face that Rumsfeld is "the best" secretary of defense? I'll tell you why--because he's out of his mind. He has lost all grip on reality. He calls Rumsfeld the best when it's clear that Rumsfeld is among the worst in a pathetic attempt to convince "the base" (isn't that just "al Qaeda" in English?) that everything's peachy and Jesus will smite whoever Dick says to smite. Or whatever.

And, seeing as how I've drifted far from my original point, I just wanted to agree with Alterman and Green when they point out in "The Book On Bush" that the Bush administration says one thing and then does the exact opposite. If the public would just start interpreting Bush's remarks through the "oppositizer", we might call it, they might start hearing the truth. Bush says we're sure Iraq has WMD--the opposite is true. Bush says the vast majority of my tax cut goes to the bottom--the truth is the opposite of that. And so on.

My Original Point
But my original point was going to be two things--the press is referring to these outrageous acts as an "abuse" scandal rather than a "torture" scandal, further illustrating the tendency of the American press to side with Bush for no good reason. It's one of Chomsky's recurring themes about the how hypocritically events are portrayed in the press--if we take over a country unprovoked, it's for their own good and we have only noble intentions but if someone else does it, they're rogue states--i.e., if we do the things to prisoners that have been talked about and have yet to be revealed, it's "abuse", but when they do it, it's "terror" or "torture". So, nothing new really, just more of the same. This prison torture scandal is just the latest example of that fact.

And the second part of my original point was related to something Chris Matthews said on "Hardball" the other day. He asked Howard Dean (probably playing devil's advocate, but then again maybe not) if such behavior toward Iraqi prisoners might not be necessary since we're trying to conduct a counterinsurgency and we have to get the "intel" by any means necessary to save our soldier's lives. My point is that of course we want intel if it can save our soldier's lives, but the best remedy for saving the soldier's lives is to get them the hell out of Iraq where they should never have set foot in the first place. And no offense to the soldiers--they're great and everything (except when torturing Iraqi prisoners)--but this whole escapade is a ruinous farce that will bring America to ruin if we let it. And one way to let it is to reelect Bush's no good ass (at least it never got any shrapnel in it).

Just to say it another way, why won't these pundits quit taking it as a given that we have to be in Iraq? Evey question and every conclusion seems to flow from that assumption. We should have never been there in the first place and certainly shouldn't be there now. Bring the boys back home!!!

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