Monday, May 23, 2005

What They Do and What They Say

From the BBC and other sources:

The U.S. military says it will "aggressively" investigate how the photos of Saddam Hussein's underpants got in the newspapers. Military and legal experts say the pictures may breach Geneva Convention rules on the treatment of prisoners of war.

Interesting how the American military gets all concerned about Geneva Convention rules when a former head of state is involved.

President Bush said he did not think the photos would encourage insurgents in Iraq.

"I don't think a photo inspires murderers. I think they're inspired by an ideology that's so barbaric and backwards that it's hard for many in the Western world to comprehend how they think."

No doubt it's equally difficult for many in the Muslim world to comprehend how Mister Bush thinks--how, given the backdrop of U.S. abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and Afghanistan, Bush can accuse another culture of being "barbaric." This is especially puzzling when Newsweek and others have revealed that the dismissal of Geneva Conventions in the War on Terrorism was approved by Mister Bush himself.

They key to understanding the Bush administration's hypocrisy is its adherence to the concept of "moral equivalence." The moral equivalence argument goes that you can't equate Bush atrocities and anyone else's atrocities because everyone else's atrocities are far worse than Bush's.

This is the exact equivalent of your teenage son saying, "Johnny shoplifted a hundred-dollar catchers mitt. I just stole a three-dollar baseball. Why am I in trouble?"

It's sad that so many Americans who wouldn't take this kind of thing from their kids will tolerate it from their national leaders.


The other sides of their mouths

Funny how the Bushies blamed Newsweek for the violence in Afghanistan, but don't think the Hussein picture will stimulate any violence in the Muslim world. Could that have something to do with the fact that the Hussein picture ran in newspapers owned by Bush supporter Rupert Murdoch?


Hap-hap-hap-hap-hap-hap happy talk...

In the post-blame game joint press conference with Presidents Bush and Karzai, it was hard to say who topped who in the delusional rhetoric department.

Bush complemented Karzai for "showing the countries next to you what's possible."

What would that be, Mister Bush? See, you too can become an out-of-control narco-state?

Karzai said that the Afghan people appreciated the American people. I guess that accounts for all the pro-America pep rallies we've seen in Afghanistan lately.

My favorite remark was President Bush's answer to a question regarding progress against the terrorists:

"I think they're being defeated," he said, "and that's why they continue to fight."

So if they stop fighting, that means they've won?


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