Monday, May 10, 2004


According to the rhetoric of the last few months, our goal in Iraq was to bring Democracy, elections, free markets, Burger King , and all that good stuff to those poor, benighted folks in the Middle East. We were going to make them more like us.

Instead, we’ve become more like them.

No longer do we hear noble-sounding phrases of America as a shining light of freedom and liberty – a force for good in the world.

Instead, we are told that at least we aren’t as bad as Saddam Hussein.

Well, pardon me for asking, but when the hell did Saddam Hussein become the moral standard that we measure ourselves against?

Those folks who were abused and tortured in prison? According to the Red Cross, 70-90 percent of them were arrested by mistake.

The Red Cross saw “detainees” (that’s “prisoners” is Newspeak) being kept stark naked for days in total darkness. When they asked those in charge what was going on, they were told that it was just “part of the process.”

Just part of the process. Just another day at the Abu Ghraib office. Just the way things are done in Bush’s America.

The Talahassee Democrat had a truly harrowing article today. Here's an excerpt:

Pictures of abuse and humiliation of Iraqis, taken with digital cameras, were burned onto CDs that circulated widely among prison personnel, said Sindar, 25. Peeks could be had in the chow hall.

"It was like a commodity," Sindar explained. "Whatever pictures you had, whoever had the most foul picture out there, everyone wanted to see what it was."

Brutality was also in the air. Sindar recalled a 14-year-old Iraqi with a broken arm being hurled to the ground and then mocked by U.S. soldiers as the boy wept and wet himself in the prison intake center.

From the MPs' accounts, it's clear that problems at Abu Ghraib extended beyond just a few bad apples to a leadership system that failed to temper the outbursts of poorly trained and war-wearied soldiers.

"The thing with the soldiers there, they think because we're Americans, you can do whatever you want," said Spc. Ramon Leal, 25, of San Jose, Calif.

Abuse of a 14-year-old boy with a broken arm. Soldiers were passing around pictures of torture as though they were a valuable commodity.

Bush must go. If we willfully place this person back into office, our position among the family of nations will finally be completely destroyed. The entire world will believe that we, as a nation, condone these horrible things.

If America is ever again to hold its head up among the people of the world - if we are ever again to be viewed as a nation to love and emulate – then Bush must go.

If we as a nation are a moral people, Bush must go.

This cannot - must not - be tolerated.

There is a cancer on the Presidency, and our apathy has allowed it to grow.

America must eradicate itself of this disease.

And the sooner the better.

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