Tuesday, January 02, 2007
i'm a reasonable man, get off my case:
The Saddam hanging isn't just a watershed. It is a cause for celebration. No other event in Iraq has so completely stripped the moralistic veneer off the occupation and exposed the rotted core of the enterprise. Even with Abu Ghraib, there were those who thought the torture was a day at the beach. But with the Saddam execution, we have it all: the pornographic exercise of brutal power masquerading as justice; sectarian prerogative masquerading as lawfulness; a lynch mob masquerading as a government; and, finally, enforcers masquerading as American policymakers.

The reason why the spectacle is so grotesque to men like Christopher Hitchens is because the outcome is exactly what they wanted. It's just that the means to achieving it were and are barbaric. Here lies the significance: for the first time in Iraq, the administration has gotten everything it wanted. The evil man is dead. Only the bestial, subhuman instinct that guided it was on display on the gallows, turning a mass murderer into a martyr and granting dignity to one who denied it to his own victims.

Of course it's imaginable to have gotten to this point through a different path. But this is the way it has been, the way it is, the way it will be. Bush is asking for "sacrifice" so jeering hangmen can spit the name of Moqtada Sadr at their prey. This, America, and nothing else, is what you are being asked to give your sons for. So watch the Saddam video, again and again and again, and remember it every time you hear the war defended.
--Spencer Ackerman
And yet, on a certain level, this war effort is fueled by the same kind of people who view these videos as their own special brand of pornography, their ability to watch such violence married to a self-perceived willingness to tolerate it, as if pixels were the same as real life. They are disgusting cowards, and no amount of suffering or brutality will trigger an empathetic response.

I just learned that a family friend will be heading back to Afghanistan after only a few months brief rotation home. She is on a team that clears IEDs, and they already had several casualties during their past rotation. So I'm a tad angry.
Blogger James F. Elliott | 4:53 PM

Twice? Attaboy!
Blogger Weaver | 4:50 AM