I just happened to have MSNBC on at the end of Keith Olbermann’s show when I caught the lead-in for Joe “What dead intern?” Scarborough’s show. He had a guest host. He was leading in a report about the torture and killing of the two American soldiers (one of whom was a 22-year-old from nearby Madras, Oregon) in Iraq. Enjoy the strawman goodness:
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, GUEST HOST: Right now in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY: Two U.S. soldiers brutally tortured and murdered in Iraq. How should America respond? And I want to know why are all those critics of so-called American torture not speaking out about the torture of our guys today?
…But first: A militant Islamic Web site claims the new leader of al Qaeda in Iraq personally carried out the killings of two soldiers found dead in Baghdad last night. Those bodies showed signs of torture. They were killed in a, quote, barbaric way, and American troops had to literally fight their way to the bodies, which were booby-trapped with explosives.
It?s a horrific story, and as I watch it unfold, I have to ask myself where are the people who worked themselves into a lather about the naked pyramid pictures at Abu Ghraib or those who wanted trials at The Hague because we played Christina Aguilera music a bit too loud for the detainees down at Gitmo. Tonight in America, some are no doubt sitting in barcaloungers kvetching over which American soldiers will next be put on trial for alleged war atrocities, and meanwhile, these dirtbags they’re thinking about whose head they want to chop off next.
OK, my liberal (and not so liberal) brothers and sisters, raise your hands if you think Americans piling up naked prisoners, shoving glowsticks in their rectums, forcing them to stand in uncomfortable positions for long periods of time, waterboarding, peeing on their Korans, smearing shit all over them, and beating them until they die are bad things. Let’s see… 1, 2, 3, 4,… yup, looks like all of you. OK, put your hands down.
Now, raise your hands if you think Iraqis torturing and decapitating American soldiers is a bad thing. Let’s see… 1, 2, 3, 4,… yup, looks like all of you again.
Idiot blowhard. NOBODY thinks it was OK for our boys to be tortured. NOBODY thinks our torture was as bad as their torture. But some of us hold America (you know, the good guys) to a higher standard. Mr. Blowhard seems to be saying, “hey, our low grade torture of them is perfectly justified because of their high-grade torture of us!”
What Mr. Blowhard and the wingnuts refuse to acknowledge is that BushCo (Gonzalez, particularly) set the bar for torture when they decided the Geneva Conventions were “quaint anachronisms”. They decided that captured Iraqis weren’t “prisoners of war” deserving of trials, lawyers, justice, or decent treatment. The chickens are coming home to roost. We are reaping what we have sown.
That’s not to say that these murderous terrorist bastards wouldn’t have used torture anyway, even if we did follow the rules of war or made Gitmo a four-star luxury resort. But we can never know that now. For us to complain now about their disgusting tactics makes us the master stonethrowers of glass house land. We can — and should — scream to the high hills about the atrocity perpetrated on our troops… but only if we follow it up with action to treat our prisoners humanely, afford them lawyers and open trials, shut down Gitmo, and impeach/imprison the war criminals who made this vile state affairs possible.
Now I know some winger is reading this and thinking, “see, no matter how bad the enemy is, all you liberals can do is blame Bush!” Well, why shouldn’t we; he is “The Decider”, after all. I blame insurgents for torturing our soldiers; I blame Bush for putting those soldiers in harm’s way for no good reason.