Jay Maynard (jmaynard) wrote,
Jay Maynard
jmaynard

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Embarrassed Arabs

Tom Clancy posted the following today to the Usenet newsgroup alt.books.tom-clancy, where he is a regular reader and occasional contributor...

Humiliating helpless people is not the least bit admirable, and those guilty of this violation will be dealt with, probably with a degree of harshness for embarrassing their country.

But the hysteria in the news media is a little disproportionate. The Arab culture places a higher value on body-modesty than, say,
Hustler magazine, but what it comes down to is that some Arab prisoners were embarrassed, and gratuitously so. To do that is contemptible, but it is not a major felony under American criminal- or even common-law.

This humiliation falls short, however, of being murdered, as several American civilian contractors were recently (remember?) then to have their bodies abused in ways that can only be called barbaric.

The selectivity of outrage over this tawdry incident shows a 'blame America first' mind-set that is not morally defensible. I personally have little love for the SecDef, but demanding his resignation for the action of some reserve enlisted personnel is, to put it mildly, absurd, and clearly motivated more by political motives than by any objections based on common morality, which is not to be found in abundance in the United States Congress in any case. The same people who are calling for Rumsfeld's head said that Clinton ought not to be impeached over a trivial sexual impropriety.

Politics pollutes everything it touches.

The soldiers who misbehaved will be court-martialed, and probably dishonorably discharged, with loss of rank and priviliges. Maybe even some brig time. That sort of slap on the wrist leaves broken bones, which is more than what those Iraqis suffered.

Everyone take a deep breath and think things through, okay?


I'm not sure I agree that it was mere embarrassment the Iraqis suffered, as the effects will be felt for a long time. Still, Tom's central point - that many of those complaining about the abuse of the Iraqi prisoners have forgotten about the much worse abuse of the American civilian contractors at the hands of Iraqi insurgents - is quite valid.
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