Thursday, May 06, 2004

what's a little torture among friends?

Wow... Bush chastized Rumsfeld over his handling of the American abuse of Iraq soldiers... he was specifically upset that he first heard the news while watching '60 Minutes'. Don't these people have meetings?

I'm a little surprised that Bush even bothered to respond... his voting block are treating the whole abuse thing like it's just business as usual... we're the good guys, after all, so any number of indications to the contrary can be overlooked. Rush Limbaugh summed it up pretty well when a caller commented that the pictures of US soldiers arranging Iraqis into a "stack [of] naked men" was "like a college fraternity prank":

"Exactly. Exactly my point! This is no different than what happens at the skull and bones initiation and we're going to ruin people's lives over it and we're going to hamper our military effort, and then we are going to really hammer them because they had a good time. You know, these people are being fired at every day. I'm talking about people having a good time, these people, you ever heard of emotional release? You of heard of need to blow some steam off?"

I do think it is exceedingly strange that people are getting more upset over this issue (the poor treatment of living opposition soldiers) than they do over the killing, but then again I guess it just goes back to the whole deal where we need to continuously justify our status as the Good Guys: killing them is ok, because we are Good and we are fighting Evil, but abusing them is not ok because it makes it seem like maybe we aren't as Good as we thought.

BTW, yesterday Bush announced that he wants an additional $25 billion for next year's war coffers, a figure that even the House Budget Committee has concluded is only about half of what is needed. Presumably he'll ask for the other half after the elections? The guy can't lose, at this point: either he is re-elected, which will convince the Republican congress that there is a 'mandate' from the people to justify the whole thing, or he loses, and whoever replaces him gets remembered for all time as the loser who had to clean up the mess: if they pull out, they are thought to be weak, and if they stay there, it's the same old can of worms. I can't figure out why anyone would want to run in this election... it's a losing battle.