May 13, 2004

Oh, no!

From today's Chicago Tribune (registration required):

LONDON -- The abuse of Iraqi prisoners is causing staunch U.S. allies to re-examine their relationship with the Bush administration and is providing America's critics with dramatic and damaging evidence.


German and French officials and citizens express vindication for their decision to stay out of the Iraq war, and they are beginning to question their overall security relationship with the United States, analysts said.


The brutality has "confirmed everyone's worst fears, and confirmed feelings, in France and Germany especially, that they were right to stay out of this mess," said William Drozdiak, director of the German Marshall Fund's Transatlantic Center in Brussels.

"More and more Europeans are openly expressing their fear of getting too involved with the U.S.," Drozdiak said. "They are questioning whether a security relationship with the U.S. is becoming a negative instead of a positive."

Oh, no! Now the Europeans don't like us! That's so different from the way things were last week / last year / ten years ago!

Any time the Euros want to change their security relationship with the U.S., wherein the U.S. provides the all security and they provide all the bitching and snide condescention, they are heartily invited to do so.

"In normal circumstances, I could condemn the slaughtering of the American, but we are living in abnormal circumstances. I cannot condemn it now," said Egyptian columnist Nour al-Huda Zaki of Al-Arabi, who told The Associated Press that most Arab newspapers would avoid any coverage that implicitly condemned the beheading.


Sawsan Al-Masri, a 24-year-old Gaza mother of one, smiled when asked about the beheading.

"He deserved it," she said of Berg. " . . . Do you think what the Americans did to the detainees was less ugly?"

Oh, no! You mean the Arabs and Palestinians hate us now too? That is so different from the way things were last week / last year / ten years ago!

Again, not to minimize what happened at Abu Ghraib, which should not have happened, but worrying overmuch what anybody else in the world thinks about us is a waste of time. Do you think that if we had run that prison like the Four Seasons that it wouldn't have been something else everybody was screaming about? The only way we could make everybody like us would be to totally disarm, make a gift of the entire country to the rest of the world to divide up how they see fit, then commit mass suicide by marching into the sea. And then they'd still complain that we didn't tidy up more before we left.

We shouldn't worry about Abu Ghraib because of what anybody else thinks, but because of what we think of ourselves.

Posted by Mr Green at May 13, 2004 12:26 PM

People keep asking, "What makes the U.S. any different from Saddam?" or, "What makes the U.S. any better than the people who beheaded the U.S. hostage?" Well, here is what makes us better: After learning of these incidents of abuse, decent Americans everywhere have not only expressed sorrow and shame over the treatment of the inmates, but we are publicly demanding a full scale, open investigation to determine everyone who was responsible; public hearings to assign responsibility; and assurances from our government that this kind of behavior does not happen again. Sadly, Saddam never allowed this kind of reaction to his torture chambers in Iraq, which is a large part of what led us to intervene there. It would seem that few people in the Arab nations are willing to look at the brutal beheading of a U.S. citizen with the same sense of moral outrage. It seems to me that would lead people to support all the more the cause the U.S. and her REAL allies have undertaken in Iraq.

Posted by: Mrs. Green at May 14, 2004 11:11 PM