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DIDGE - The View From Down Under

An Aussie’s ridgy-didge view of world affairs and popular culture.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Over a year later and the downplaying continues...


The other day I was at the right-wing website People Political, and came across an article titled Why The World Is Supposed To Hate America. The article listed several ridiculous theories on why the world supposedly hates America, including the America-hating liberal media.

“Could it be because when the leftists at the New York Times come across a story of a couple of night guards at a prison for suspected terrorists who, gasp, put panties on their enemies' heads they run the story on their front page -- as if it were the second coming of the Holocaust -- for 44 straight days…”

Yes, once again it is a conservative downplaying the abuses at Abu Ghraib. I’ve seen it many times and it never gets any less sickening. It takes only a true idiot to continually refer to the abuses as “just panties on the head of a man” when many infamous photos of disgusting abuses have saturated the public domain. Only delusional psychos could maintain the only thing that happened was the placing of underwear on a man’s head when so much evidence, including statements made by their own President, exists to the contrary.

Some examples of conservatives downplaying the seriousness of Abu Ghraib:

Radio host Rush Limbaugh had a cavalcade of crap on the subject, saying that the abuses were very simular to things you’d see at a Madonna or Britney Spears concert (!) Hmmm, must of missed those famous concerts were Madonna was attacked by a dog or Spears was beaten to death. He also compared the abuses to university pranks: “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 ever heard of need to blow some steam off?” Hmmm, well I know people do exercise, or listen to music, or do yoga to unwind but I must of missed the self-help book Rape: The perfect way to unwind after a stressful day.

Fox’s John Gibson hosted a television tie-in with his book Hating America. Gibson asked why the world didn’t give two hoots when Nick Berg was beheaded but the world gets up in arms when a man has underwear placed on his head.

And then we have Fox News Channel’s resident monstrosity that is known as Sean Hannity. On an American daytime talk programme: “There was underwear on the head of one of them. We're not raping and killing anybody.”

Psychopath Michael Savage continued with the panties: “There was nobody worse today than Senator Mark Dayton, Democrat of Minnesota as he calls putting panties in the head of cold blooded murderers atrocities.” Damn, these conservatives are obsessed with underwear…

Then there was Charles Grainer’s lawyer, defending the American soldier’s participation in the abuses, by saying cheerleaders often form human pyramids. Um… yeah… just that cheerleaders do it consensually… and, um… not naked.

And when conservatives actually admit that abuses happened their argument is that these people are evil terrorists, so who cares? Who cares? Aren’t we supposed to be better than terrorists? Aren’t we supposed to be better than thugs and killers and rapists? Then why degrade ourselves by sinking to their level? Even if the people in Abu Ghraib were the worst of the worst of criminals (and reports suggest that as many as 70% of Abu Ghraib prisoners committed crimes no worse than car theft) that doesn’t give the military the right to infringe their basic human rights. It’s what America should stand for but sadly doesn’t any longer.

But should we be surprised at all that Abu Ghraib happened? I think we need to keep in mind that numerous American soldiers have raped their fellow soldiers. So if fellow soldiers are fair game just imagine what they must be like when around the Iraqi people, who, we must remember, have been dehumanised by the US military.

The conservatives like to say they are moral people, but where is the morality when serious war crimes have been committed and they try to sweep it under the carpet? One wonders what the outrage would have been had Iraqi soldiers tortured Americans the way the U.S. soldiers did at Abu Ghraib?

The debate about the Iraq invasion can never be a real debate as long as conservatives distort and flat-out ignore the cold hard proof of things. But why would anyone bother to debate serious issues with people who see men naked and piled on one another, and smiling American soldiers over the corpse of a dead Iraqi but only see a man with underwear on his head.


The Abu Ghraib Prison Photos (Warning: Graphic)

People Political: Why The World Is Supposed To Hate America By Evan Sayet

The New Yorker: TORTURE AT ABU GHRAIB by SEYMOUR M. HERSH

Limbaugh on torture of Iraqis: U.S. guards were "having a good time," "blow[ing] some steam off"

Oliver North: Iraqi prisoner abuse "the kind of thing that you might find on any college campus nowadays"

Talk radio host Michael Savage: "I commend" prisoner abuse; "we need more"

Limbaugh returned to downplaying Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse as "hazing" and "an out-of-control fraternity prank"

Limbaugh: Most of Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse was "not torture"

Hannity debated Rosie O'Donnell on Abu Ghraib abuse: no torture or rape, just "underwear on the head of one" prisoner

Beneath the Hoods - Many of the tortured at Abu Ghraib were common criminals, not terrorists

Thirty-seven female G.I.'s report rape by fellow American soldiers - (Iraq)

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