Skip to comments.Abu Ghraib: To Hell with Apologies
Posted on 05/10/2004 9:04:36 AM PDT by mrustow
Last Thursday, Pres. Bush publicly apologized to Jordan's King Abdullah II for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib. I wasn't aware that Abdullah was the king of Iraq. Apparently, when America screws up, our leader must apologize to any and every Moslem in the world. I must have missed King Abdullah II's apology for the butchering of four American civilians in Fallujah. King Abdullah is a "moderate, pro-U.S." Arab, which means that his statements on behalf of genocidal terrorists are couched in restrained tones, and with an Oxbridge accent.
And while being abused by Congress during his testimony on Friday, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld offered his "deepest apology" to the abused prisoners.
The Arab Moslem world is obsessed with humiliating people, especially non-Moslems. All I have to say to President Bush is, You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din. (For some pictures of our Fallujah dead, see News Designer and Free Republic. Oddly enough, none of the 262 photographs of Fallujah that I found archived at google images, was of the American victims. On the other hand, google also has no pictures of the abuse at Abu Ghraib. So much for its claim to be "the most comprehensive image search on the web." Pictures from the Abu Ghraib scandal are available at the New Yorker.
Investigative reporter Sy Hersh broke the Abu Ghraib story, allegedly based on a 53-page, confidential report on the matter that was written by Army Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba, based on the latter's investigation. While Gen. Taguba recommended discipline short of courts martial for the officers implicated in the scandal, assuming Hersh accurately quoted from the Taguba report, it would be a miscarriage of justice, if only the current seven enlisted men and women suspects were to be prosecuted. (The seven suspects are: Staff Sergeant Ivan L. "Chip" Frederick II; Specialist Charles A. Graner; Sgt. Javal Davis; Spec. Megan Ambuhl; Spec. Sabrina Harman; Private Jeremy Sivits; and Pvt. Lynndie England.)
Hersh's reporting, if true, suggests the need for reorganizing the military prison system in Iraq. And yet, the hyperbolic editorializing that he tries to piggyback on his alleged reporting of the Taguba report, undermines his credibility: Hersh seeks, dishonestly, to erase any distinction between our camps in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and Abu Ghraib, respectively, and in a case of political correctness run amok, implies that Islam is morally superior to American norms: "Such dehumanization is unacceptable in any culture, but it is especially so in the Arab world." Hersh then quotes college professor Bernard Haykel, of NYU, who says that because of the sensitive nature of Arab culture, and Islam's outlawing of homosexuality, the degradation at Abu Ghraib was "all a form of torture." "Being put on top of each other and forced to masturbate, being naked in front of each other-it's all a form of torture." Somehow, I doubt the good professor spends much time publicly defending the outlawing of homosexuality in Greenwich Village.
Had the jailers been the products of sensitive, Arab culture and the prisoners American, we wouldn't need a college professor's mental masturbation to turn humiliation into "torture"; you'd have real torture, and instead of an investigation and prosecutions, the Arab jailers would receive promotions.
Sy Hersh made his name with an expose on My Lai, and as powelinelineblog.com noted last Thursday, " Hersh is back, trying to relive the glory days when he earned his chops on William Calley."
Like Democrats and Arabs, America's most corrupt newspaper is also demanding that the President prostrate himself before it. In its lead house editorial, "The New Iraq Crisis: Donald Rumsfeld Should Go," Friday's New York Times called for Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld's head. Surprise, surprise. The Times, which due to its compulsive dishonesty, is disgraced on a regular basis -- if its owners, editors, and staffers have any sense of disgrace -- claimed that Rumsfeld should be fired, due to the abuses uncovered at Abu Ghraib. And yet, the newspaper had sought to get Rumsfeld fired long before Sy Hersh broke the Abu Ghraib story. Abu Ghraib is a mere pretext for the Times, which always hated Rumsfeld for aggressively pursuing the Administration's policies. The newspaper apparently hopes that if it can engineer the Secretary's ouster, it would send Pres. Bush and Rumsfeld's successor a message to be more solicitous of the Times' opinions, to engage in political self-castration, to surrender in Iraq and to give up any chance of being re-elected, come November. In other words, Pres. Bush should be a figurehead, and Times publisher Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger Jr. should run the country.
Note that as a young man, during the War in Vietnam, Sulzberger supported the North Vietnamese communists killing as many American G.I.s as possible; he is now every bit the enemy of America that he was then. Sulzberger has done everything in his power to undermine the war effort, since before we even went to war with al Qaeda in Afghanistan. In fall 2001, just after 911, Sulzberger's lackeys spoke constantly of the "quagmire" awaiting us, and while they failed to harm our boys and girls in Afghanistan, they did everything to ensure that theirs was a self-fulfilling prophecy in Iraq. (By the way, could someone please explain to me, what female military personnel have been doing in forward areas the past two-and-a-half years?) Indeed, many of our problems in Iraq have been due to the Pentagon handcuffing American soldiers (e.g., not permitting American troops to impose martial law following the fall of Baghdad, and more recently in keeping them from leveling the mosques which are used by terrorists as ammunition dumps, gathering points, and sniper posts), so as not to enrage the Times and the socialist/communist street. (Or is it sensitive, suburban soccer moms about whom the Administration is so concerned?) During the Civil War, President Lincoln had all Northern newspapers critical of him shut down for milder rebukes.
(Heck, some Timesmen -- and lefty scribes elsewhere -- hate the President so much, that they appeared to wish him dead, on the occasion of last year's secret Thanksgiving Day trip to visit our troops in Iraq.)
In case you think that by my defiant tone I seek to diminish the significance of Abu Ghraib you're right. While the abuses at Abu Ghraib are unacceptable, the notion that America owes the Arab world an apology is ludicrous. Abu Ghraib was not Auschwitz, it was not German soldiers shooting allied POWs in the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge, it was not My Lai, it certainly wasn't people being shredded alive, and it wasn't Hussein's Abu Ghraib. Abu Ghraib was regrettable, and those who engaged in misconduct should be courtmartialed and punished under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, but that is it. Compared to Arab prisons, Abu Ghraib was the Waldorf Astoria. No one should lose a moment's sleep over the matter. A nation that would wallow in remorse over an Abu Ghraib, is a nation that is unfit to defend itself. America is in a world war for its very existence, a war Sulzberger and Co. are doing everything in their power to cause us to lose. That is nothing short of treasonous, and that is what we should be concerned about.
In its second house editorial, "The New Iraq Crisis: The Military Archipelago," Friday's Times claimed that the abuses at Abu Ghraib were predetermined by the allegedly illegal, abusive system the Administration erected at its foreign detention camps at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and elsewhere, beginning in 2002. The Times asserted that interrogation methods such as depriving prisoners of sleep "violate American values, international standards of human dignity and the lawful rules of war."
The problem with the Times' criticisms is that they are lies, piggybacked onto lies the newspaper spread last fall, when it claimed that the detention center at Guantanamo Bay ("Gitmo") violated the Geneva Conventions. (The lies originated from Aryeh Neier, the far-left former director of Human Rights Watch and present head of anti-American billionaire George Soros' Open Society Institute, and from the anti-American, pro-Muslim Red Cross, but were echoed, without attribution, by the Times. Note that in his report on Abu Ghraib, Sy Hersh also echoes the lies about Gitmo, in passing.) The Times then sought to bury the federal court system and the War on Terror under an avalanche of politicized terrorism cases.
Heck, the image of Gitmo perpetuated by the Left is so fantastic, that I half expect propagandists to cite abuses by fictional heavies from the movie, A Few Good Men.
The Times' trick last October, in echoing Neier and the Red Cross, was to spread a counterfeit version of the Geneva Conventions, designed to cripple America's prosecution of the War on Terror, and empower her enemies. The counterfeiting starts with the notion that the Conventions are somehow "international law" and universally, unconditionally binding, though when one reads between the lines, one sees that in the Neier/Red Cross counterfeit version, the Conventions are unconditionally binding on the U.S., but not on her enemies. In fact, the Geneva Conventions have the character not of international law, which is a fiction, but of a treaty, even if this particular treaty has 188 signatories. Thus, the actual Geneva Conventions apply only to military conflicts between High Contracting Parties, say America and France; they do not apply to conflicts between a High Contracting Party and "illegal combatants," of whom terrorists are the classic example. Some of the characteristics of illegal combatants are the lack of a uniform or the equivalent ("insignia"), identifying them as soldiers; the refusal to openly carry arms; the lack of a commanding officer responsible for combatants' actions; and the refusal to follow the laws and customs of war. Illegal combatants do not receive the status or rights of prisoners of war.
In practice, many nations consider being a signatory to the Geneva Conventions as no more binding them to legal norms than their membership in the U.N. Any number of bloody, African kleptocracies are Contracting Parties, including Rwanda, Zimbabwe, and the Sudan. Neier, the Red Cross, and the Times would have, as per their counterfeit Conventions, each foreign terrorist either getting a federal trial, or facing a tribunal controlled not by the U.S., but by the Red Cross. It is no mystery why the likes of Sulzberger, Neier, and the Red Cross seek such a legal charade. They wish variously to free terrorists via the Red Cross, and to use the federal courts to put America on trial, to destroy her legal system, undermine the war effort, and to destroy her.
Pres. Bush and his advisors have not helped matters, regarding the counterfeit Geneva Conventions. Secretary Rumsfeld has gone on the record as stating that suspected terrorists are not covered by, that they are being treated in accordance with the Geneva Conventions, and saying that all prisoners at American facilities abroad (Gitmo, etc.) are being treated in accordance with the Geneva Conventions. Does this mean that we are granting all the rights of the Geneva Conventions to illegal combatants who are not entitled to them, or that, as per the Geneva conventions, we are not granting to illegal combatants the rights that are accorded only to regular soldiers? The first option seems unlikely, since in that case, if a prisoner simply repeated some terrorist equivalent of his name, rank, birth date and serial number, we'd have to give up on interrogating him. Thus, in asserting that we are following the Geneva Conventions, the Administration has improperly given moral ground to America's domestic and international enemies, who as Cornell scholar Jeremy Rabkin has noted, continue to make mischief with international law, it has sowed confusion as to what the Geneva Conventions really say, and it has missed out on a "teachable moment." I doubt anyone at the New York Times, with the possible exception of William Safire, has read the Geneva Conventions, but has anyone in the West Wing bothered reading them?
In speaking of a "military Archipelago," alluding to Nobel Laureate Alexander Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago, the Times seeks to equate the Bush Administration with Soviet totalitarianism. But considering that the Times is published by a communist supporter of totalitarianism, is that really a criticism or a compliment?
In a third editorial piece on Friday, "A President Beyond the Law," retired Times columnist Anthony Lewis continued the theme of painting the President as a dictator. "Mr. Bush has refused to comply with the Geneva Convention. He decided that all the Guantánamo prisoners were 'unlawful combatants' - that is, not regular soldiers but spies, terrorists or the like." And so, they were. And so, in that respect, the President was complying with the Geneva Conventions.
"There was a stunning moment in President Bush's 2003 State of the Union address when he said that more than 3,000 suspected terrorists 'have been arrested in many countries. And many others have met a different fate. Let's put it this way: They are no longer a problem for the United States." [Sounded great to me when I heard the SOTU, and it still sounds great to me! - N.S.]
"In all these matters, there is a pervasive attitude: that to follow the law is to be weak in the face of terrorism. But commitment to law is not a weakness."
Lewis would have us sending soldiers -- no doubt under U.N. control -- around the world carrying handcuffs, instead of guns. Were any terrorists to end up dead, he'd have our soldiers prosecuted via the anti-American International Criminal Court (ICC), which would more accurately be called, the International Kangaroo Court. If any handcuffed American soldiers were to die at the hands of "suspects," Lewis would say that that was a cost of our international legal system. For Anthony Lewis, the Constitution is a suicide pact, and wars are to be run by judges, and foreign judges, at that. I cannot emphasize enough the fictional character of Anthony Lewis' claims about the Constitution and the Geneva Conventions.
(Note that we have already harmed our soldiers by putting outrageous power in the hands of military lawyers. In one case, during the war in Afghanistan, one of our attack drones had drawn a bead on Taliban leader Mullah Omar, but a military lady lawyer forbade the generals from doing their job. As a result, Mullah Omar is still alive and well somewhere in Afghanistan.)
In treating terrorists as regular soldiers, Lewis, Neier, Sulzberger and Co. would turn the laws (more accurately, Anglo/European/American traditions) of war upside down. Of course, they also support the ICC, which would treat American soldiers as terrorists, and are angry that we have not signed on to it.
Just so you get the context of Lewis' supposedly universal, transcendent prescriptions, when George H.W. Bush was president, Lewis was a pacifist. For Lewis, there was no good reason for America to enter a war -- any war. That was then. The moment Bill Clinton was elected president, Lewis became a warmonger who couldn't wait to send American troops into third-world quagmires - all for humanitarian reasons, natch.
Anthony Lewis is married to Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Margaret Marshall, who last November projected a fictitious right to same-sex marriage onto the Massachusetts State Constitution. And so, as much as the members of the Lewis-Marshall household may huff and puff about the law, its members are hypocrites who hold the law in contempt.
The two house editorials and Lewis' op-ed piece were clearly coordinated. The Times (read Sulzberger Jr.) apparently saw in them the opportunity to kill three birds with one stone: Create synergy among the pieces, in demanding Rumsfeld's dismissal, in reiterating and psychologically reinforcing the lies the newspaper had previously spread about the Geneva Conventions, and of course, in helping the campaign of confessed war criminal John Kerry.
While all "sage" pc commentators and editorial pages talked about what a fatal blow American prestige had suffered in the Arab world as a result of the Abu Ghraib scandal, a lonely voice dissented. Appearing, of all places, on PBS' Lehrer Report, Johns Hopkins professor Fouad Ajami pointed out that Arab outrage over Abu Ghraib was entirely affected - these people hated us just as much before Abu Ghraib as they do now, and there is nothing we could do to get them to stop hating us.
Ajami could just as well have been talking about Pinch Sulzberger's New York Times.
Kind of like the way people make demands, and instead of saying, "This is my political bias," say "It's required by international law!"
For real? Do you have a link to that story?
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