Tuesday, May 11, 2004

"We" Said Bring 'Em On And They Did 

Tresy tells you (up) about this terrible tape. The commentary on the tape indicates the group aligns itself with Al Queda, and apparently there is some question about whether the group is made up of Iraqis, the spokesman's accent is being tentatively identified as Egyptian; he says exactly what you'd expect, that this outrage is revenge in blood for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners.

The young man has been identified as Nick Berg; he may actually have been what one thinks of when the word contractor is used, someone who was looking for business in wireless technology, although the reporting is incomplete here.

Fox is showing the part of the tape where Nick Berg identifies himself, and names members of his family; I couldn't make out what he was saying, but it does bring home the reality of the horror this young man must be experiencing. The anchor at Fox then goes on to describe in exact detail a particularly horrifying form of decapitation.

I'm glad Fox decided to be clear and open about what goes on on that tape. And I felt that Shepard Smith's outrage on behalf of Berg was genuine, and as yet, unpoliticized, as it ought to be.

Berg's family has been notified.

This is a horror and an outrage. There is no other way to describe it, and no need to find any other way. Nick Berg did not deserve to be abducted, held, or, most importantly, to be tortured to death, because that is surely the only way to describe what the tape reveals. Nor did his family and friends deserve to have to live through this horror.

I feel loathing for the men who carried this out, loathing and disgust for Al Queda, and all its off-shoots.

Those feelings only serve to focus my own determination to defeat an administration that has proved itself, again and again, utterly and completely inadequate to the task of protecting this country at home, and advancing the true interests of America abroad.

I don't have to tell you what the right in this country will make of this tape. It will become another way to divide Americans, another way to dump on huge swathes of this society, i.e., everyone who doeesn't agree with them. Jonah Goldberg will find evidence that he was correct that publication of the prisoner pictures weren't necessary, since investigations were already underway, and now those pictures have probably contributed to the gruesome death, so much worse than anything done to Iraqis, of an innocent American. Which will be nonsense, of course. As if a jihadist group like this one required actual pictures to justify bloody revenge, as if the mere descriptions of what was being done in Abu Ghraib wouldn't have done the trick.

Denis Prager will contrast the inadequacy of outrage about Nick Berg with the surfeit of outrage on the part of the those Americans who love to hate America.

Well, that didn't take long. I went back to check on what was happening at Fox and just heard the most demented discussion between Shepard Smith and one of Fox's resident Middle East experts Mansoor whathis name, Ijaz, I think, you've seen him if you've ever watched Fox. Shepard's outrage needs an outlet, and politicizing it comes naturally. Will this tape have the effect of bolstering America's resolve, he asks. Yes, it must, replies, Mansoor. Resolve to do what? To re-engage in Iraq on a heightened military basis. To go after the terrorists in Iraq, even more than we have. And if Iraqi civilians get in the way? The questions remain unasked. So much for hearts and minds.

In other words, with this tape, Iraq is once again the front line on the war against Al Queda.

If any one person shares some responsibility for Nick Berg's death, besides the people who carried out their ghastly task, and let's be clear, they bear all of that responsibility, but surely the man who said "bring 'em on" has something to explain to the rest of us. I jest, of course. He has no inner life save Jesus. No, I'm not making fun of his religion, I am expressing contempt for it.

Think about this for a moment. How is it possible that we have not been able to do better against these fundamentalist jihadists, who are so utterly inept, except in the brutality they are willing to bring to any situation. I can assure you that this tape will not be cheered by Iraqis. It will infuriate most of them; clearly these are outsiders trying to take advantage of Iraqi suffering. Iraqis will be fully aware of the way that these jihadists have potentially damaged the case Iraqis wish to make against the way the US is handling this occupation. And this administration will jump to the bait and drive a further wedge between this country and the Iraqi people.

One last prediction; watch Andrew Sullivan spin around in place and pretty much wind up where he always does. Yes, it seems Andrew has had one or two dark nights of the soul, because of those pictures. This will no doubt stiffen his spine, and enhance his amnesia. Andrew, this is your Iraq-as-flypaper in action. Goody, goody, we get to fight them over there, so we don't have to fight them here. Remember? Did anyone else notice that Arab anchor on one of the two networks who interviewed Bush last week, ask the President specificaly about the morality of inviting Al Queda to join him in Iraq for a dance to the death, or words to that effect? They noticed, Andrew, they noticed that the occupiers thought it just nifty as hell to turn their country into a battlefield. And their lack of delight at that prospect? Iraqis just aren't equal to our task. God help us all.

corrente SBL - New Location
~ Since April 2010 ~

~ Since 2003 ~

The Washington Chestnut
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