Skip to comments.Newt Gingrich: Let's not forget brutality on other side
Posted on 05/10/2004 11:26:40 AM PDT by Eurotwit
THE media coverage of the violations of American law against Iraqi prisoners is in peril of setting a dangerous double standard for the US and the Arab world. The Bush administration must be very careful in explaining how Americans feel and what Americans will do. Otherwise our enemies will use our own words as an excuse to exploit this double standard.
To be clear, a very small number of Americans did a terrible thing at Abu Ghraib. And because we live under the rule of law, and we take protecting the US constitution seriously, the accused will be investigated and, when guilty, punished. The incidents themselves are to be condemned.
Some have called for Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to resign. However, he has led the process of exposing the wrongdoing and investigating the charges. Moreover, he will see to it that the accused get a fair and honest trial, in which there is a presumption of innocence until guilt is proved and the guilty are punished. That due process is something Americans should be proud of and unequivocal about. In view of Rumsfeld's significant contribution to US security, this incident will be but a footnote.
Explaining our anger at these misdeeds and our determination to punish the wrongdoers is appropriate. Appearing overly contrite or overly apologetic, however, will be a big mistake.
Not surprisingly, the anti-American Left in the US, Europe and Australia - with its selective memory, remembering forever any American mistake while forgetting every anti-American and anti-human atrocity by others - is on radio and television exploiting this as an opportunity to condemn the US.
The pan-Arab media, with their selective outrage, honour and give prominence to terrorists and barbaric mobs. The smallest American error is given banner headlines, but is, in contrast, excoriated. It is suicidal to reinforce this double standard.
One needs to point out that the pan-Arab media said nothing when the Syrian dictator Hafez al-Assad destroyed Hama and killed more than 10,000 of his own innocent people, or when Saddam Hussein used poison gas on Iraqis and created 300,000 anonymous graves. Nothing negative was said by the pan-Arab media when Americans were burned, mutilated and dragged through the streets of Fallujah or when two Palestinian gunmen ambushed a pregnant woman early last week in her station wagon and, at point-blank range, methodically killed her four children ages two to 11 and then killed her.
It is worth remembering that Eason Jordan, a CNN executive, wrote an article admitting that his network had deliberately covered up and ignored Saddam's atrocities to retain access to Baghdad - a policy of caution that, of course, is not reflected in the network's present coverage of charges against the US.
One American newspaper, with a half-page dedicated to the allegations of brutality in Iraq, referred to last week's killings of a mother and her five children as "violence marred the Sunday Likud election". No outrage, no shock, no horror, just another day of viciousness and brutality by our enemies.
We should firmly denounce any American acts that violate our values. But while we publicly uncover and explicitly demonstrate our commitment to punish the guilty for their crimes under our rule of law, we should not play into any double standard under which the US is allowed to be condemned by anyone who accepts Arab viciousness, terrorism, mutilation and barbarism as normal behaviour.
With equal firmness we should demand of the Arab governments and the Arab media their condemnation of barbarism, brutality and terrorism in their own communities.
Finally, we should angrily reject anyone who would smear the 200,000-plus courageous decent men and women who have risked - and are risking daily - their lives for a free Iraq. Any effort by the anti-American Left or the Arab media to generalise the acts of a few into an attack on the US, or on the US armed forces, should be repudiated and condemned.
Newt Gingrich is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. This is reprinted with permission from The Wall Street Journal.
The Bush administration must be very careful in explaining how Americans feel and what Americans will do. Otherwise our enemies will use our own words as an excuse to exploit this double standard.
There was a history buff that called into the local radio station who said that if you look back into history at all of the wars the U.S. has been involved in, only the U.S. has been held to the Geneva Convention standard...the other side always gets a free pass no matter what they have done to our soldiers.
So true. And you can bet that Queen Hitler is now busy as a bee trying to smear them with all of her might.
It is the only way to be respected by the uncivilized.
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