Thursday, May 13, 2004

Condemnations of the Muslim thugs who beheaded an American are pouring in from all over -- from respected Muslim clerics.

In completely unrelated news, Rumsfeld has said today that Pentagon lawyers are preventing the release of the rest of the Abu Ghraib abuse photos:

In his talk with reporters earlier, [Rumsfeld] said, "As far as I'm concerned, I'd be happy to release them all to the public and to get it behind us. But at the present time I don't know anyone in the legal shop in any element of the government that is recommending that."

The government lawyers argue that releasing such materials would violate a Geneva Convention stricture against presenting images of prisoners that could be construed as degrading, Rumsfeld said.

So, if anyone demands public accountability for mistreatment of prisoners in violation of the Geneva conventions -- which necessarily involves discussing, describing, and presenting images of the mistreatment -- holding the miscreants to account would be itself a violation of the Geneva conventions, and cannot proceed. Brilliant! (Though perhaps too clever by half -- someone might notice that a concern for the dignity of the individual prisoners, were anyone to seriously believe that's the motive here, might be satisfied just by painting the faces out).

But that's the kind of brilliance we've come to expect from Rumsfeld -- this is, after all, the same guy who says that the Geneva Conventions don't apply at all to the folks we've been detaining for a couple of years now at Guantanamo, well, just 'cuz.

Meanwhile, back at home, a league of gibbering fools has mistaken the aforementioned Muslim thugs (and their delusional supporters in the Arab world) for the whole of Islamic civilization. And they're wondering why some people think it's news that American soldiers are acting like wanton thugs, but it isn't nearly so much news when wanton thugs act like wanton thugs.

It's because we're supposed to be better than that.

Meanwhile, in other developments, Bremer has rejected a Falluja-style deal for Karbala and Najaf, despite Sistani's endorsement, and hard fighting is underway -- with a historic mosque in Karbala already damaged, and within "oops, where was that tank's gun pointed?" range of major holy sites. I've been wrong before, but I've got a baaaad feeling about this...


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