Thursday, June 02, 2005

Bill O'Reilly excuses child abuse

We've known for a long time that the worst Abu Ghraib photos remain unseen. Seymour Hersh has described videos involving horrific child abuse:

The women were passing messages saying "Please come and kill me, because of what's happened". Basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys/children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. The worst about all of them is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror it's going to come out.
This quote comes from a speech given by Hersh during an ACLU function. For the past two years, the ACLU has sought the release of the still-censored material.

Murdochian blowhard Bill O'Reilly has come down in favor of continuing the policy of censorship, on the grounds that releasing photographic proof would result in the retaliatory killing of American soldiers. Needless to say, this all-purpose excuse can justify an infinitude of cover-ups. If exposure of crime becomes impossible, then crime will go unchecked -- just as robberies would increase at any convenience store that got rid of its surveillance cameras.

To buttress their pro-child-abuse stance, conservatives point to the mythic relationship between the Newsweek Koran-in-the-toilet tale and deadly riots in Afghanistan. "Mythic," because we now know from many sources that puerile abuse of the Islamic holy book has occurred, and that the cause of the riots had much more to do with the insensitive behavior of the American military toward the Afghan populace.

By O'Reilly's logic, any criticism of this administration's policies or of the military's conduct is tantamount to treason. He tells his audience that only people who "hate America" want the truth.

To love America is to love the lie. So sayeth Bill.

A few observations:

1. Any number of right-wing websites, particularly those catering to fundamentalists, feature rhetoric and imagery which Muslims might well find offensive. Offense could lead to violent reaction. If O'Reilly is to be consistent, he should call for censorship in such cases as well.

2. As Al Franken pointed out, suicide bombers in Iraq may also have taken offense at the images -- widely seen in the Murdoch press -- of Saddam Hussein in his underwear.

3. When Clinton took action against Milosevic, neither O'Reilly nor any other right-wing propagandist called for a moratorium on rhetoric or revelation embarrassing to the administration.

4. Nothing justifies protecting the guilty at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere.

5. The Iraqis know full well what is going on; the only people O'Reilly hopes to keep in the dark are the Americans. Exposing crimes does not cause retaliatory violence; committing crimes does.

6. The insurgents are motivated, first and foremost, by the fact that an Islamic country remains under the rule of an occupying force, a force alien to their culture. Both the insurgents and the "friendly" Iraqis know that Bush invaded Iraq to steal oil, not to topple a dictator. If our objective were to spread democracy, we would topple Uzbekistan instead of allying ourselves to that bloody regime.


Admin said...

You know..this whole Abu Graib thing isn't over. I can feel it. There are ALOT more scandals out there. I know it...This year is going to be VERY VERY HISTORICAL.

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Anonymous said...

As offensive as the initial claims of the right-wing machine were -- that these abuses were mere fraternity pranks -- such claims stopped abruptly when congressman started going in for private viewings of material not released to the public. Sodomy is probably the reason why.

O'Reilly knows full well that the Republicans will lose the "values" card in 2006 if these recordings come out, and that even Bush won't be able to remain unbeshitted by the outrage. And it's a perfect image of the exercise of American power in the world -- a soldier sodomizing a child.

Now if we only had a genuine opposition party, with the moral authority to condemn the whole miserable adventure....

Anonymous said...

Tangentially (it's thread creep, but it's crucial):

You know, we've lost the war in Iraq. We lost in Vietnam, creating the "Vietnam Syndrome" that President Bush the First falsely said we'd kicked.

Now don't you get the feeling that the Saigon-style Baghdad endgame has arrived? Not as dramatic as helicopter lifts off the Embassy roof, perhaps, but just as final, just as conclusive. The only problem is that we have a government incapable of admitting it.

So how much longer can the agony go on?

We've lost the War in Iraq. Spread the word. Maybe we'll get our kids out before they get killed. That's the only REAL patriotism.

Anonymous said...

No, I disagree. Any additional evidence should be pursued in closure, though objectively and aggressively.
Think of a rape victim.

Barry Schwartz said...

* It is not an insurgent movement, it is a resistance movement. Don't let the predominantly Bushist echo chamber pick your words for you.

* Oil is involved, but the toppling of Saddam also is involved. G. W. Bush doesn't give a rat's ass about oil. The PNAC monsters do, but Bush does not. For him, this is about beating Poppy Bush at his own game, and in a way that provides sadistic excitement.

* Of course the war is 'lost', because _there is no mission in Iraq_. There are no goals there, short of simple land conquest. Wishing the resistance would just put down its guns and go away is not a goal. Name me one goal there aside from taking and holding land.