June 21, 2005

IF WE DON'T FILL MASS GRAVES THE TERRORIST WIN?:

The Right Conversation for America (Fred Hiatt, June 13, 2005, Washington Post)

[T]he Post has published more editorials criticizing Donald Rumsfeld than Abu Musab Zarqawi. That's partly because, to the extent that editorials are meant to educate or explain, there isn't all that much to say about Zarqawi's evil that isn't evident to most Post readers; and to the extent that editorials are meant to influence, there's no point in addressing messages to the beheaders of the world.

But there's more to it. The Post has criticized the administration for failing to give detainees hearings as called for under the Geneva Conventions; for writing memos that toyed with the definition of torture and undermined long-standing Army restraint in questioning prisoners; for prosecuting low-ranking soldiers while giving the brass a pass; for allowing the CIA to hold prisoners beyond the reach of the International Red Cross or any other monitor; and for refusing to empanel a truly independent commission to examine accountability for prison abuse up the chain of command, up to and including the White House.

Rumsfeld does not accept The Post's assessment of these events. But even if he did, as I understand his comment, he would point out that none of these offenses, even if accepted as true, is as heinous as filling a mass grave.

But just invoking such a comparison, even implicitly, amounts to a loss for the United States.


There's no point addressing the beheaders if you're us, but treat them like gentlemen if you're you.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 21, 2005 11:14 AM
Comments

So it's not enough to be better than our enemies, we must strive to be perfect or we lose?

The Red Sox had a disappointing year last year. They lost THREE games in the ALCS.

Posted by: Brandon at June 21, 2005 11:57 AM

"[T]he Post has published more editorials criticizing Donald Rumsfeld than Abu Musab Zarqawi. That's partly because..."

...we hate Rumsfeld & Bush more than we hate Zarqawi.

Posted by: b at June 21, 2005 1:23 PM

Since the comments on this are all in agreement, I'll throw in my two cents.
I think it is regrettable that we look towards the standards that the terrorists hold in justifying our behavior, instead of the standards of the first world, or even the standards we hold for our own federal/state prisons, or war prisons in the past.
We're better than the terrorists. Whoopdeef***indoo.

First of all, we should be able to defend our actions without engaging in arguments of moral relativism. If we're at that point, something's already been f***** up.
Second of all, we should compare ourselves to a nobler standard, not to a f****** reviled one.

Posted by: hanoverkid at June 21, 2005 2:35 PM

Ooh, you said the f-word. Y'know something, Mr. Potty Mouth, I do get outraged by Guantanamo and other news from the WOT. I am absolutely furious that US soldiers are under orders to wear gloves when handling copies of the Koran that we give the psychopaths detained there, when who knows how many soldiers and Marines were killed and wounded by weapons either stored in or fired directly from mosques. I am angry that we do not follow the Geneva conventions and execute every single one of these scumbags for violating all accepted protocols for differentiating combatants from civilians. I am outraged that we have developed weapons that are so lethal and with the ability to hit their targets with such unparalleled precision that critics say they are too horrible or 'unfair' for us to use. I am furious beyond words that the left has such a stranglehold on the Democratic party and, yes, hates George Bush far more than they hate Zarqawi, bin Laden, and Saddam. Manzikert comes to mind, or would if the left hadn't abandoned the military long ago for cushier positions in academia (where they are mostly harmless) and the media (where they are not).

Posted by: b at June 21, 2005 3:09 PM

hanoverkid:

OK ,let's talk specifics.

For example, the statement:
'The Post has criticized the administration for failing to give detainees hearings as called for under the Geneva Conventions' displays IGNORANCE of the fact that the detainees in question have NO Geneva Convention rights -- to give them these rights would serve to WEAKEN the convention ('why sign it, I can behead my captives and if I evere get captured, they'll treat me as if I DID sign it!')

another:
'..or writing memos that toyed with the definition of torture' -- what does the Post recommend the Admin do to decide how far to push detainees to get info from them. I.e. to set up the exact parameters of the interrogations - internal discussions? oiuja boards? reading the entrails of sacrificed small animals?

'I don't think we should burn them with hot pokers, but maybe if we hold back on the dill sauce on their fresh fish dinners they'll talk.'

the problem with the Post (and the Dems) is that they are FUNDAMENTALLY UNSERIOUS!

Posted by: jonofAtlanta at June 21, 2005 3:18 PM

Why couldn't you be the editor of a major newspaper, b?

Posted by: kynna at June 21, 2005 3:20 PM

I'll add to b's comment, with regard to comparing Gitmo to our own federal/state prisons - how many of the Gitmo prisoners have been anally raped? That's common enough in USA prisons to be a staple of humor and cultural references. When the whiners going on about Gitmo complain as much about that well known fact of American prison life, I'll believe they actually care about the prisoners instead of just hating Bush/Cheney/America.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at June 21, 2005 3:20 PM

hanoverkid:

standards of the past? You'd prefer that we'd just nuked Baghdad?

Posted by: oj at June 21, 2005 3:43 PM

Summarily execute Jihadis not in uniform?

Posted by: David Cohen at June 21, 2005 3:59 PM

Have survival rates like Andersonville for POWs?

Posted by: oj at June 21, 2005 4:07 PM

AOG:

Supermax, executions...

Posted by: oj at June 21, 2005 4:23 PM

Provide them with free cigarettes?

Posted by: David Cohen at June 21, 2005 4:26 PM

What's the ACLU's position on the government handing out Korans?

Posted by: Bob Hawkins at June 21, 2005 4:27 PM

Kosher meals...

Posted by: oj at June 21, 2005 4:31 PM

Well, I guess that just about covers it. Now we're right back to using loud crappy music.

Posted by: AllenS at June 21, 2005 4:40 PM

March to the sea, burning as we go?

Posted by: David Cohen at June 21, 2005 4:55 PM

Provide them w/free smokes but charge them for the blindfolds, bullets and time and material for the clean-up.

Posted by: Sandy P at June 21, 2005 5:07 PM

Free fire zones?

Posted by: David Cohen at June 21, 2005 5:52 PM

smallpox infected blankets?

Posted by: oj at June 21, 2005 6:15 PM

Fire bombing?

Posted by: David Cohen at June 21, 2005 6:37 PM

In peak wind conditions...

Posted by: oj at June 21, 2005 6:44 PM

Bombing the Chinese embassy?

Posted by: David Cohen at June 21, 2005 7:55 PM

Shooting down an Iranian passenger jet...

Posted by: oj at June 21, 2005 7:58 PM

Bombing aspirin factories?

Posted by: David Cohen at June 21, 2005 9:33 PM

cluster bombs

Posted by: oj at June 21, 2005 9:37 PM

Napalm

Posted by: MB at June 21, 2005 9:49 PM

segregated untis

Posted by: oj at June 21, 2005 10:15 PM

Agent Orange.

Posted by: David Cohen at June 21, 2005 10:33 PM

Bikini Atoll

Posted by: oj at June 21, 2005 10:35 PM

The Trail of Tears?

Posted by: David Cohen at June 21, 2005 10:53 PM

Operation Paperclip?

Posted by: oj at June 21, 2005 10:56 PM

The WRA?

Posted by: David Cohen at June 21, 2005 10:57 PM

I think you've driven him away, whimpering.

I would mention mountains of skulls, but Harry will leap in for sure.....and Durbin didn't compare us to the Mongols (at least, not yet).

I will note that the prisoners at Gitmo eat better than probably 90% of Cubans, maybe 95%. Certainly better than 95% of North Koreans. Better than 75% of the Russians and Chinese. Better than 99% of Zimbabweans. And on and on...

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 21, 2005 10:59 PM

Operation Phoenix

Posted by: oj at June 21, 2005 11:01 PM

My Lai?

Posted by: David Cohen at June 21, 2005 11:04 PM

No Gun Ri?

Posted by: oj at June 21, 2005 11:06 PM

Prisoners tossed from helicopters for refusing to answer questions?

Posted by: David Cohen at June 21, 2005 11:11 PM

Inventing crack to fund the Contras?

Posted by: oj at June 21, 2005 11:14 PM

Supplying Saddam with anthrax.

Posted by: David Cohen at June 21, 2005 11:18 PM

Supplying Hollerith punch card technology to Hitler?

Posted by: oj at June 21, 2005 11:27 PM

Targeting Admiral Yamamoto?

Posted by: David Cohen at June 21, 2005 11:34 PM

Forced repatriation of Russian soldiers after WWII?

Posted by: oj at June 21, 2005 11:38 PM

CIA-backed coups against "agrarian reformists"?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 22, 2005 6:26 AM

Embargoes on oil and scrap iron to, uh, certain Oriental nations?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 22, 2005 6:31 AM

Taking half of Mexico when they insisted the border was the Neuces River and not the Rio Grande?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 22, 2005 6:36 AM

Andrew Jackson and the Creek Indians?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 22, 2005 6:40 AM

Enron!

Posted by: Mike Morley at June 22, 2005 6:45 AM

Pretend Katyn never happened?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 22, 2005 6:46 AM

Joseph Kennedy ambassador to Britain?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 22, 2005 6:50 AM

1950's CIA giving LSD to unsuspecting Americans?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 22, 2005 6:57 AM

Crushing of Filipino independence movement?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 22, 2005 7:05 AM

Bombing civilians in Tripoli and killing Qaddafi's adopted daughter?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 22, 2005 7:14 AM

Hell, as long as I'm briefly sounding like Howard Zinn...overthrowing the poor, persecuted Grenadian communists?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 22, 2005 7:15 AM

The annexation of Hawaii?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 22, 2005 7:47 AM

The court-martial of Charles McVay?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 22, 2005 7:49 AM

Wounded Knee

Posted by: oj at June 22, 2005 7:49 AM

Add to above: Sending the Indianapolis into waters known to contain Japanese subs and denying the request for an escort?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 22, 2005 7:53 AM

Iran-contra.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 22, 2005 7:54 AM

Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 22, 2005 7:56 AM

Haiti

Haiti

Haiti

Haiti

...

Posted by: oj at June 22, 2005 8:10 AM

Trail of Tears.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 22, 2005 8:10 AM

Whoops, already done. Let's try: Gulf of Tonkin Incident and subsequent Resolution.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 22, 2005 8:17 AM

Government resistance to the American Indian Movement rather than just giving them the whole state of South Dakota?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 22, 2005 8:35 AM

Grossly-excessive sawing off of limbs during the Civil War? Without anesthetic?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 22, 2005 9:03 AM

The Mayaguez affair (rued by lefties because Ford supposedly ordered an attack on Cambodia after being told the ship would be returned).

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 22, 2005 9:06 AM

The occupation of Cuba and the Platt Amendment.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 22, 2005 9:07 AM

The encouragement by Jeffersonians of the Baltimore Riots during the War of 1812.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 22, 2005 9:27 AM

Salem witch hunt.

Posted by: Dave W. at June 22, 2005 11:00 AM

hanging of teenagers for what we would today call "victimless crimes".

Posted by: at June 22, 2005 11:03 AM

Roberta Flack, "Killing Me Softly." Our greatest atrocity. Right, OJ?

Posted by: Mike Morley at June 22, 2005 11:25 AM

Kent State

Posted by: Dave W. at June 22, 2005 1:25 PM

1903/04 Panama Canal land grab.

Posted by: Dave W. at June 22, 2005 1:31 PM

1850 Fugitive Slave Act.

Posted by: Dave W. at June 22, 2005 1:33 PM

"Nits become lice."

Posted by: David Cohen at June 22, 2005 2:26 PM

Refusal to bomb Nazi concentration camps?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 22, 2005 6:42 PM

Addendum to above: the crematoria, not the inhabitants themselves.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 22, 2005 6:43 PM

Beast barracks?

Posted by: David Cohen at June 22, 2005 6:53 PM

American participation in suppressing the Boxer Rebellion? Resulting "permanent" garrisons at Tientsin and Peking?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 22, 2005 7:50 PM

The color barrier in professional baseball.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at June 22, 2005 7:56 PM

The designated hitter rule!

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 22, 2005 10:17 PM

Cold beer.

Posted by: David Cohen at June 22, 2005 10:37 PM

Alcohol-free beer.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 22, 2005 11:39 PM

Billy Beer

Posted by: Dave W. at June 23, 2005 12:20 AM

That motor oil known as Guinness.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 23, 2005 1:26 AM

Mat: Alcohol free beer would be the winner, if we weren't fighting Muslims. But I take umbrage at your Guinness remark as it's (a) British and (b) fresh from the tap, the malt beverage of the gods.

Posted by: David Cohen at June 23, 2005 8:09 AM

Wrapping the bodies of our enemies in pig skin.

Posted by: David Cohen at June 23, 2005 8:10 AM

David Cohen:

British motor oil is still motor oil. It's Quaker State on tap.

How about our alliance with the evil, racist, Nazi, criminal Israeli government that a Lebanese-American friend of my brother's keeps talking about? You're in on the whole conspiracy, right? The voices tell me so. ;-)

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 23, 2005 3:19 PM

Matt: The only point about it being British is that this thread has been exploring American atrocities. Let the British get their own thread.

As for the other, [TRANSMISSION CANCELLED]

Posted by: David Cohen at June 23, 2005 8:09 PM

The 1st & 2nd Seminole Wars.

Posted by: Dave W. at June 23, 2005 11:53 PM

The 1815 navel bombardment of Algiers.

Posted by: Dave W. at June 24, 2005 12:14 AM

David Cohen:

Actually, now that I think about it I believe Guinness is Irish. And plenty of Irish came to America. And plenty of Americans drink that swill. It's roundabout but it'll work.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 24, 2005 3:25 AM

Eisenhower's execution of Eddie Slovik.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 24, 2005 3:29 AM

Burning Toronto.

Posted by: Peter B at June 24, 2005 5:14 AM

W.H.H.--The butcher of Tippecanoe.

Posted by: phil at June 24, 2005 12:08 PM

Trading with South Africa?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 24, 2005 3:16 PM
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