The Blame Game
© David Volk
Although we haven't been hearing much about it the last few days, the Iraqi prisoner abuse (abuse, hell don't let Donald Rusmfield kid you-that was torture and he knows it, regardless of what the meaning of is is), the scandal isn't over because there's still plenty of blame to go around.
While George W. would have you believe that it's just the misbehavior of a few people at the bottom of the food chain or even Donald Rumsfield when Bush eventually has to bravely cut and run.
The truth of the matter is Bush is to blame just as surely as if he'd stacked the prisoners in a pyramid himself. Granted, he may not have signed the papers ordering the torture and he may not have known about it himself (yeah, right), but he did something far worse. He created an atmosphere that allowed it to happen.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, at this point I know some of you are saying to yourselves, "of course David would say that. He's so anti-Bush he believes GW's behind the tall-venti-grande movement." Almost guilty as charged. (Actually, I think Dick Cheney had something to do with it because a Haliburton subsidiary is the main supplier of Starbucks cups), but hear me out here.
Just think about the run up to war.
First, Bush said Saddam Hussein met with at least one of the 9-11 hijackers and, thus, was alluded to the fact that he could have played a role in the horrendous event (even though he wasn't involved). This established his credentials as a bad guy.
Unfortunately, for GW, that wasn't enough to gain traction with the public. So, then he said Saddam wasn't complying with U.N. sanctions that ended the first Gulf War. Some people stood up and took notice, but not enough to support war.
Next, he said there were reports of the possibility of weapons of mass destruction and, later, that Saddam wasn't allowing weapons inspectors to do their jobs and look for WMDs (Weapons of Mass Distraction). Though patently untrue, it started to piss people off. Even so, it wasn't enough to change public opinion.
Then came the scare tactics.
WE KNOW HE HAS WMDS AND NOT ONLY COULD HE USE THEM TO KILL US ALL EVEN THOUGH HE WASN'T CLOSE ENOUGH TO LOB THEM AT US (DISTRIBUTION PROBLEM), HE COULD SELL PORTABLE WMDS AND DIRTY BOMBS TO TERRORISTS (DISTRIBUTION PROBLEM SOLVED)!
Finally, something scored with a scared public. We had to get him. Hussein needed to be gotten rid of and he needed to be disposed of right now.
The invasion and the hilarity ensued. Humvees were sent in without doors, soldiers sent in without Kevlar jackets, but shockingly enough, the U.S. won against tall odds. After all, they had American soldiers surrounded by what? Two men actually brave enough to fight for every 100 American troops? No surprises there, but, to be honest, not only were many of the people not necessarily all that happy to see us, we had trouble finding what we expected to find. No matter how hard they looked, no one could find the vaunted WMDs. George knew they were there (because he had the receipts), but...well...um...er..
We had saved the Iraqis from a brutal dictator and made the world safe for high oil prices and that's why we went in.
So, let's see, how many times does that mean we changed reasons for invading? Right now, I'm counting five, possibly more.
What does that add up to?
It adds up to a society where the ends justify the means, that's what. It adds up to a place where no sin is too great as long as you accomplish what you want. It adds up to a place where people look up to their supposedly righteous and moral leader and figure, well hell, if he can bend the rules to get the job done, why can't I? It adds up to a society where it is okay to force prisoners to eat ham and disavow their religion (No one ever expects THE SPANISH INQUISITION!) in order to break them. It adds up to a place where it's okay to commit atrocities as long as you accomplish your goals, no matter how questionable they are.
There are those who will tell you that it's only fair because the video of a beheading of an American shows that these people are unprincipled animals with no scruples or regard for human life, that the only way to fight fire is with fire and resort to their tactics because we are far more moral and righteous than they are.
So, let me get this straight. We're going to win hearts and minds and show how morally superior we are to the Iraqi oppressors by using the same tactics they used?
It just doesn't add up.
No wonder Bush wants to level the prison where it happened.
He wants to remove all the evidence. From a man who has reached the end to justify his means,
David G(lad to be home for a few days) Volk