Thursday, May 06, 2004

Leave it to Rush

I was wondering if any conservatives were going to try and play down the actions of American military personnel (and private citizens, it seems as well) who abused prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison. And sure enough, if anyone would try, it's Limbaugh.

From the May 3 show:

LIMBAUGH: And these American prisoners of war -- have you people noticed who the torturers are? Women! The babes! The babes are meting out the torture.

LIMBAUGH: You know, if you look at -- if you, really, if you look at these pictures, I mean, I don't know if it's just me, but it looks just like anything you'd see Madonna, or Britney Spears do on stage. Maybe I'm -- yeah. And get an NEA grant for something like this. I mean, this is something that you can see on stage at Lincoln Center from an NEA grant, maybe on Sex in the City -- the movie. I mean, I don't -- it's just me.
And from the May 4 show:

CALLER: It was like a college fraternity prank that stacked up naked men --

LIMBAUGH: Exactly. Exactly my point! This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation and we're going to ruin people's lives over it and we're going to hamper our military effort, and then we are going to really hammer them because they had a good time. You know, these people are being fired at every day. I'm talking about people having a good time, these people, you ever heard of emotional release? You of heard of need to blow some steam off?
Stunning. Conservative comedian Dennis Miller has apparently said that worse things happen in frat houses.

I had a feeling that someone would try and blow off the atrocities as no big deal -- just our boys and girls having a little deserved fun, right? I saw it coming, but it's still shocking. Would Limbaugh and Miller feel the same way if it were AMERICAN prisoners of war being subjected to the same treatment from their Iraqi captors? Just imagine if Al Jazeera started running pictures of American POWs naked and on leashes, stacked into piles, simulating sex acts. (I bet the American press would refuse to show the pictures, which is rather hypocritical, but that's another discussion.) Conservatives would be up in arms! "Those animals!" they'd say. "The barbarians should be strung up for such immoral behavior!"

Unfortunately, it may happen. The Department of Defense is tight-lipped about it, but there probably are American POWs in Iraq right now. And there will probably be more taken in the future. If I were a soldier in Iraq at this moment, I'd be less afraid of being killed than of being taken prisoner. By treating POWs so poorly, we've basically ensured that American POWs will be treated as poorly or worse.

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