Saturday, May 22, 2004

Neo-Con Alert

Wrong-wing, Neo-Con mouthpeice Deroy Murdock wrote an incredibly offensive op-ed, "Abu Ghraib prisoners no choirboys," in today's Arizona Daily Star. This is my letter to the editor in response. I suggest you write about your reaction, too.

"Deroy Murdock's editorial in the May, 22 issue, joins him to the chorus of moral relativists seeking to defend the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Though he never plainly states it, he implies we were justified in torturing these prisoners simply because they were our country's enemies. He points out that the victims were "lethal" insurgents and "foreign fighters." Even so, the Fourth Geneva Convention contains no clause releasing us from the obligation not to murder, torture, or humiliate prisoners because they are our enemies, or because they may have operational intelligence. Just the opposite, in fact."

"Mr. Murdock would excuse what happened based upon our need to fight the insurgency with all available means. I submit that torture is not an available means if we wish our government and armed forces to remain devoted to the same moral principles that the American people cherish. Torture is not an available means unless we wish to ensure that our troops will be murdered, tortured, and raped should they be captured by an enemy."

"Mr. Murdock would have us become our enemies in fighting them. To avoid this fate, those who committed, ordered, or abetted these crimes must be punished, without regard to partisan considerations. Those who truly love America will uphold her principles even at grave cost to themselves. Those who seek to avoid paying the price a forceful national repudiation of these crimes will cost, are willing to indelibly stain the honor of our nation solely for partisan advantage."

What I wanted to incude, but did not, was a final sentence: "In short, they are traitors to our troops and our nation." Funny how we liberals hesitate to call our fellow citizens, no matter how misguided or malevolent, unpatriotic, America-hating, traitors, even though in our hearts we believe it is true.

In contrast, the Wrong have no hesitation pulling out such slurs at the drop of a hat. The worst tendencies of the Wrong in this respect are aptly demonstrated by the current set-to between Nancy Pelosi and Tom Delay. Pelosi questioned Bush's competency in running the war and, in response, DeLay called upon her to "apologize for her irresponsible, dangerous rhetoric." He claimed that, "[s]he apparently is so caught up in partisan hatred for President Bush that her words are putting American lives at risk." If ever there was a hyperbolistic and irresponsible charge, you just read it. If DeLay pisses you off as he does me, perhaps you should give his opponent some money.


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