Saturday, May 08, 2004

They. Them. Not Us.

i've been sparring with bush supporters over the torture revelations for the last two days. i've also strolled through several forums and blogs popular with them. to be truthful, the response to this horrific news hasn't been one of universal denial, but i think i can honestly state that attempts to deny or minimize the torture are a dominant theme in the staunchly pro-bush camp's reaction.

a lot of them seemed more disappointed that the photos and the as yet unrealeased videos gave liberals something to throw in their faces. i'll admit that i liked throwing it their faces. many of us who opposed this war said that it would make us more vulnerable. we said that there would be war crimes.

now we know that we were right. our country is going to pay a heavy price for this. our soldiers are going to pay for this. iraq will pay for this.

too many americans think that legitimacy can be assured through superior fire power. i think that nothing else highlights more the disjoint reality between actual moral behavior and the appearance of moral behavior that characterizes the neocon ideology. in this case, our country has failed in both. it's going to be a long time before america can claim any moral authority where human rights are concerned.

in anger, i posted a comment at political animal to the effect that america really needed its face rubbed in the reality of what we've done over there. i said that i wanted every last one of the people who gave support for the war to have to sit at the dinner table and answer their child's question, "Is this what the good guys do?" i wanted them to know exactly what they were flying all those damn flags for.

the conservative response was, "i question your patriotism."

have we gotten to the point where americans care more about how it will hurt our national pride to acknowledge without reservation, without equivocation, the atrocities that were committed in our names, by our troops than they do about the atrocities themselves? bush is infamous for his inability to admit mistakes and to apologize. it seems that a large contingent of his supporters also suffer from this failing of character. it's as if they think this is all about them.

the conservative websites i visited over the last week are rife with statements like, "this will give our enemies ammunition against us." the militarized vocabulary is striking... and chilling, because i don't that 'enemies' means just 'terrorists.' it means 'muslims,' and even more frightening, it also means 'liberals.'

this war isn't just a war of america against terrorists. it's a crusade against muslims, and it is also an internal war.

why is that right wingers hate the government so much when it comes to social spending that benefits american citizens, but it can do no wrong when it engages in military actions that result in tens of thousands of deaths on foreign soil? why?

more comments from the bush supporting contingent over at political animal: "the middle east needed cleaning up. who cares what the arab street thinks? how can you call for rumsfeld to resign when you don't know the whole story. most of the prisoners probably weren't innocent. our culture is superior and they know it. this is world war three. they are coming for us."

they. them. not us.

another commenter from political animal trotted out the following, "no one has apologized for 911. palestinians danced in the street when they heard about 911. palestinians blow up innocents in israel. the taliban!"

again, the war supporters define this war as a war against muslims, whom they see as an undiffereniated brown horde of murderers and barbarians at our gate. i can't count the number of people who still seem to think that iraq was an islamic dictatorship akin to the taliban. saddam's government was a brutal and bloodthirsty regime, but it was not a theocracy. women were allowed to work, drive, go to school, and walk down their streets unaccompanied.

jay severin recently advocated genocide against muslims, and there was hardly a peep in the press.

they. them. not us.

No comments: