Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Colin Powell is a liar. He is such a liar!
Instead of trying to maintain a shred of his always-exaggerated integrity by spanking the president and Rumsfeld and giving them a good talking-to about reponsibility, Powell played lying public relations hack for the administration by doing his part to "spin" the Abu Ghraib prison story into an attack on how horrible Arabs are and how they don't deserve any pity.
The beheading of Nicholas Berg came at a very convenient time for the Bush Administration, and the supporters of the war didn't waste any time exploiting Berg's death, shamelessly rationalizing that the torture at Abu Ghraib was acceptable because the Iraqis are just bad people who hate freedom and have nothing better to do than roam their own country, looking for peace-loving American contractors to kill.
And worse, the entire Arab world is culpable for the death because they weren't outraged over the beheading incident.
I've seen some letters to the editor and a typically stupid cartoon by Michael Ramirez about the absence of any protest from the Arab world, but Powell has been the primary administration mouthpiece in criticizing the Arabs: "I would like to have seen a much higher level of outrage throughout the world, but especially in the Arab world, to this murder."
In addition, Powell set the accepted standard for outrage in this statement: "What we saw with this horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible murder should be deplored throughout the Arab world."
The Berg murder rated four 'horribles'. Which means that anyone who describes the murder with fewer 'horribles' clearly isn't sincerely outraged enough. (I was unable to discover the number of 'horribles' assigned to the atrocities at Abu Ghraib.)
Powell also said: "There's no excuse for silence on this kind of murder."
THE SOUND OF SILENCE
Powell is a very busy man, having to memorialize all those lame rationalizations and make people think that he believes them. But he's still a liar. It took me about two seconds to find the following statements on the Berg murder.
"We are against such acts of extreme violence and despicable actions towards human beings."
-Amr Moussa, secretary-general of the Arab League
"There is no doubt that killing detainees and mutilating the remains of the dead are acts which are condemned by all religions and contrary to the morals of all nations and peoples."
"The Al-Zarqawi group is a criminal, deviant and un-Islam group, allied with bin Laden and the criminals of al Qaeda who are killing even Muslims and Arabs for no reason."
"Accordingly, it is not out of character for them to commit acts that violate the teachings of Islam, a noble religion that deplores such acts."
-Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan
"Jordan strongly condemns the barbaric act committed against Nick Berg, a U.S. contractor in Iraq, by the terrorist group headed by Abu Al-Zarqawi ... Jordan has issued a death sentence against Al-Zarqawi for his terrorist activities which threatened to kill thousands of Jordanian citizens and for plotting attacks against U.S. and foreign interests in Jordan."
-Jordanian embassy press release
"We are ashamed because these terrorists carried out this revolting and inhumane act in the name of our religion and culture ... This disgusting brutality can never be justified and has nothing to do with Islam or with our Arab values."
-United Arab Emirates Information Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan
(Funny how the so-called "liberal media" didn't publicize these and other statements all over the place so Powell and his fellow spin-masters wouldn't look like such liars for ignoring them.)
(By the way, I am expecting a bunch of neocon rationalizations about how these statements don't mean anything because Muslims and their governments are just evil. Don't disappoint me! I get so much amusement from lame neocon rationalizations.)
HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, ETC.
It is clear that the Arabs just aren't outraged enough! They should have used 'horrible' five times! Or eight times! Or twenty times, just to show they are really outraged!
I got to thinking about it from the Muslim perspective, (something that should have been done by SOMEBODY in the Bush Administration at some point before attacking Iraq and Afghanistan). After all, Nicholas Berg was a sort of a dilletante adventurer/contractor (for our purposes, we can ignore the weirdness of his whole story and his connection to Zacharias Moussaoui), a guy who went to Iraq voluntarily, seeking adventure, his fortune, a humanitarian experience, etc., fill in the blank.
His death was horrible. I mean, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible to the nth power!!!! (Top that, Powell! No one is more outaged than me!) I even had a nightmare about it, where the hooded guy with the knife was coming at me. I woke up, covered in sweat, before the executioner even got close to me.
But there are a lot of people dying in Iraq. Not just Americans. Not just evil insurgents. People who live and work there, going about their lives and trying to survive in a chaotic, violent Iraq. And thousands of civilians - men, women, children - have been killed by the American war effort.
It may come as a shock to some Americans to find out there are civilians in Iraq (and in Afghanistan, by the way. Remember Afghanistan?) The so-called "liberal media" never mentions this horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible aspect of the war. Estimates of civilian dead in Iraq range from 4,000 to 12,000.
The U.S. military doesn't keep track of civilian dead in Iraq. Nor does the "liberal media." A Fox News anchor said, "civilian casualties aren't news." The lame rationalization is that civilian casualties are a part of war and are not newsworthy. (Unless the dead civilian is an American whose death can be exploited for political purposes.)
Twelve thousand civilians killed in Iraq? And it's not news? That is an outrageous lie! We all have a lot to be outraged about. Abu Ghraib, dead American soldiers, thousands of blind, armless, and legless American wounded. The complete lack of accountability in the Bush Administration. Thousands of dead Iraqi civilians that we never hear about.
I have never heard Colin Powell express his outrage about any of this.
Maybe he doesn't have enough 'horribles'.