Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Another Moment Of Surreality

Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom has answered the question posed by The Rude One that Mojo referenced earlier.

Writing a few days ago— before the bodies of Pfc. Thomas Tucker and Pfc. Kristian Menchaca were recovered in Iraq, and after imagining many of the horrible alternative scenarios by which that story could have played out— The Rude Pundit asked:
And what about the good right-wing punditry? Would Rush Limbaugh look at the photos of the nude, cowering Americans and say it looks like fraternity hazing or some such shit? Would others dismiss it as a media fabrication? Or would they just pathetically overlook everything done in our American names to Iraqis, Afghanis, and others, calling madly for the heads of the captors, not even thinking about the irony of such a statement?
Wonder no more, Rude One, for Jeff Goldstein— mild-mannered house-husband and professor of hermeneutics by day and masked crusader for conservatarian justice and the soul of "classical liberalism" by night— has your answer:
This is horrific news—but that doesn’t mean it comes without instructions for how properly to grieve.

For instance, if you are a supporter of the Bush plan to fight terrorism, you are allowed to express regret over the death of these soldiers—but sadly, you lack the moral authority to be outraged over the barbarity of their killing, or the fact that the two soldiers were tortured and their remains booby-trapped. Because you surrendered that right the moment you pledged your support to an administration that would allow prisoners of war to be “humiliated”—interrogated by topless women, splashed with fake menstrual blood, lied to, made to strip naked, shown pictures of Jackie Mason, etc.—not to mention, an administration that is listening in on your grandmother’s phone calls and simply won’t support gay marriage, no matter how much Andrew Sullivan demands it! In short, you practically slaughtered these soldier yourselves.
Isn't that charming.

He is, of course, striking a pose for the purpose of mocking [the monumentally mockworthy] Andrew Sullivan. Let's leave aside for the moment that, in his enumeration of the degradations he chooses to dismiss as trivial with scare-quotes around the word "humiliations," he never once touches upon the gruesome reality on display in this infamous image:

Goldstein could not care less whether you think he "lacks the moral authority" to be outraged over the barbarity of the latest operation by the Mujahideen Shura Council. He mocks the idea that pledging your support to the Bush administration's policies that facilitate the torture and degrading treatment of prisoners in American custody should imply you've no cause to be outraged in the hypothetical event that American soldiers should be subjected to identical treatment by Iraqi insurgents.

It does not bother his beautiful mind that some non-negligble fraction of those Iraqi prisoners who were tortured, abused and/or humiliated while in American custody— before being set free after no grounds for charging them with a crime or any other reason to continue holding them could be manufactured— were almost certainly, along with their families and friends, transformed into militant insurgents power-motivated to risk their lives to fight the American occupation. And why should it? It's not like all the damned hodgies don' got it coming to them, right?

It completely fails to register with him that more Iraqis and Afghanis have died in American custody since September 11, 2001 than American servicemen who lost their lives while enjoying the generous hospitality of the Mặt Trận Dân Tộc Giải Phóng Miền Nam, also known colloquially as the Viet Cong. And why should it? It's not like anyone remembers how the Viet Cong were vilified for their barbaric treatment of American POW's.

The proprietor of Protein Wisdom continues:
And of course, because you were willing to torture your own troops, it follows that there is ample reason to believe that in response to the next terror attack against Americans, you’ll support US soldiers abducting and torturing Muslims, then leaving their bodies festooned with explosives near public utility plants. Rumsfeld would happily do it himself, of course, but he’s too busy losing the war in Iraq and being an all around arrogant prick to his “Old Europe” betters.

But make no mistake: had U.S. military guards not flushed Korans down Gitmo toilets (I know, I know. But let’s pretend they did), these two soldiers would have been treated in accordance to the Geneva Convention. For instance, Nick Berg’s head was only asked its name, rank, and serial number once it was sawed from its body by a now-dead terror leader who was practically invented by the US; and Daniel Pearl’s head is still being fed three meals a day and allowed to play ping pong and go for nice long walks around the terror compound in the wilds of Pakistan, if you can believe the glowing reports from Human Rights Watch. So don’t you go believing any of this garbage, which is likely just empty bravado—and doesn’t express how al Qaeda really treats its captives. To whom they provide dates and sesame candies, and women with sinfully painted toenails who dance for them like Salome.
There you have it, in a nutshell. Moral authority is fo' suckas. This is how properly to grieve.

Gentle reader [yes, I realize there is only one of you], I hope you caught the underlying theme in Goldstein's response to The Rude One. It's not the barbaric behavior that's outrageous— it's the body odor of the barbarian that makes the difference. If the barbarian is carrying an American passport or military ID, e.g. the cheerful looking white guy from Appalachia pictured above and the untold number of likeminded ratfuckers who have not yet been brought to justice for war crimes similar to his, then the behavior is an unfortunate statistical outlier at worst. Better to just quietly pretend it never happened and that the worst that can be said about those people is that they shouldn't have let the pictures of their kinky frathouse games escape into the hands of the Evil Liberal Media. On the other hand, if the barbarian is an Iraqi insurgent, well then— no amount of brutality in retaliation for their barbarism can ever be enough.

It isn't barbarism Goldstein abhors. He just hates the hodgies because they don't smell like pork and beans.

Somebody stop me before I make a project out of this child.

p.s. I've complained about Goldstein before. His ejaculation in response to my earlier post is here. If you're reading this, Jeff— try to pay closer attention. There are three of us writing here. I'm s9. The other two are Mojo and Hebisner. And, for the record, now that I've figured out precisely what flavor of "protein" you're serving over there at your place, I'm unsurprised that you can't keep us disambiguated in that finely tuned analytical engine that passes for your mind. I suppose when you figure out whether each of us is male or female, it will be easier for you to follow along. Oh and Jeff, here's a hint: I'm neither male nor female. I'm a meat popsicle.

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