I hate to say it, but the video showing the beheading of an American civilian in Iraq came right in the nick of time--just when a bunch of lefties in the US and around the world were starting to get all squishy over photos showing Iraqi prisoners being ‘abused’. Forget about the fact that there was no context to these photographs. Who exactly are these poor ‘victims’? Either they have information that could help thwart further violence in Iraq against civilians and coalition troops, or they’re insurgents who would love nothing more than to have US soldiers sent home body bags.
But none of this stops the media from painting US troops, and their Commander In Chief George W. Bush, as the villains. The mainstream media is, quite obviously, looking for any flimsy, pathetic excuse to do so. For example, a French cable TV network used images to depict a story of US troops in an Apache helicopter shooting and killing three “innocent” Iraqis on the ground. It was as though the poor guys were having a marshmallow roast, when the big, bad Americans showed up and unleashed a hailstorm of bullets on them. What was missing from the story was context: The soldiers in the Apache saw the men unloading from a truck what looked like a rocket-propelled grenade launcher or a surface-to-air missile. Show me someone who wouldn’t have done the same thing in those circumstances, after being given permission to engage by their operational commander, and I’ll show you an idiot (likely a dead one). It’s a little detail that the vehemently anti-war and anti-American French, whose government benefited greatly from their oil-for-food deal with Saddam prior to the war, conveniently chose to leave out of their story.
Some of the prisoners are also believed to possess information related to the location of weapons of mass destruction. Now before someone out there fires off an email to me with the typical “there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq” line, let me point out that the artillery projectile containing deadly sarin nerve gas that exploded in the faces of US troops just a few days ago was one of those things that Saddam Hussein claimed to have destroyed before the 1991 Gulf War. Couple that with the fact that US soldiers are uncovering, on a regular basis, large caches of weapons in the possession of people suspected of planning and carrying out attacks against coalition forces, and it makes it difficult –- and even irresponsible -- to give these guys the benefit of the doubt.
It’s unclear whether the photos taken at Abu Ghraib prison depicting such things as female soldiers pointing to the genitals of Iraqi prisoners were for real, or if they were setups used in psyops to obtain information about future attacks on coalition forces. Either way, if pointing out a few wee-wees saves the lives of US soldiers, I’d say it’s a pretty damn good trade off.
Let's compare "abuse" tactics, shall we? So far, we have Iraqi prisoners being photographed making naked human pyramids and lying on the floor with leashes around their necks. One prisoner complained about having to “wear rose coloured panties with flowers on them”. I’ve seen of all the photos, and they look more like what passes for a good night at any college frat house in North America than actual “abuse”. Perhaps they should just break out the naked "Twister" or naked "Slip n’ Slide" at Abu Ghraib and change the prison’s name to “Abu Kappa Gamma”. Heck, the authorities in Vancouver, Canada perform full strip and cavity searches on folks admitted to the local jail on minor, non-drug related misdemeanor offenses. It’s a well-known fact, and no one even blinks.
By contrast, let's see what the Iraqis have been up to with their own torture tactics, which have been largely ignored and overshadowed by the media’s attempt to stick it to President Bush in an election year:
26-year old Nick Berg was a small-business owner who went to Iraq independent of any organization to help rebuild communication antennas. He was there of his own volition to help the Iraqi people rebuild their country and their infrastructure. He wasn't a soldier or there to cause trouble. He was nothing more than a good-hearted civilian who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was captured by thugs linked to Osama bin Laden associate Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and later beheaded by al-Zarqawi himself live on video. Now for all of you out there who have had some difficulty up to this point connecting the dots between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, does this make it clear enough for you? I would venture to guess that it doesn't. In fact, I received a nasty email from some flake last week who felt the need to remind me that there is indeed no connection between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. And this was only a couple of days after the release of this gory video showing bin Laden's henchmen killing an innocent American civilian in Iraq, in the name of Iraqi prisoners.
In the al-Qaeda snuff video, five men wearing headscarves and black ski masks stand over Berg while he reads a statement. They then splay him out on the floor, his hands bound behind his back, and al-Zarqawi saws Berg’s head off with a knife as he screams in agony. The animals performing this act then hold Berg’s head out in front of the camera before tossing it onto his decapitated body.
True, the USA should hold itself to a moral standard and code of conduct that’s well above that of the Arab world. After all, coalition authorities went into Iraq for very moral reasons—one of which was to stop the very real torture and murder of prisoners under Saddam Hussein’s regime. However, people need to get real about what actually constitutes abuse—and use their own brains to differentiate it from what’s being used by Bush Administration detractors as political fodder during an election year. Just because the media tells you that something is “abusive” doesn’t mean that it really is. Use your own brain to make a determination.
When their guys don’t think twice about lopping off the head of innocent civilians on our side, and dragging the bodies of dead soldiers through the streets in a morbid sort of parade, I’d say these people have little license to whine and complain. What’s next? When Saddam Hussein is tried, convicted and hung in Fallujah, will the soldier who places the noose around his neck be court marshaled for making the noose too tight? Let’s get real.