Friday, June 18, 2004

More at The Corner (this is really bad) 

Lest you think I was exaggerating, or perhaps misreading the last post: here's a Cornerite who clearly and explicitly blames Democrats and the New York Times for the latest atrocity. I post it because this is the type of post The Corner sometimes takes down.
Every time you parade the Abu Ghraib photos, every time you parrot the patently ridiculous pretension by these repulsive murderers that decapitations are motivated by what those photos depict -- rather than by a belief system that exudes hatred and murder -- you are guaranteeing that there will be more Daniel Pearls, Nick Bergs and, now, Paul Johnsons. You are telling these monsters that they get a free ride: They get to kill, which they would do anyway, and they get to have you tell the world that the proximate cause of the killing is the U.S. government rather than militant Islam. Scorecard: al Qaeda - win, win; America: lose, lose; Americans: die, die.

There are two possible story lines here: choice (a) Paul Johnson was viciously beheaded today, becoming just the latest of thousands of victims slaughtered by a menace that cannot be managed, need not be culturally understood, and must be totally eradicated; or choice (b) Paul Johnson died today; an Arabic website, upon first breaking the news, explained that his death was retaliation for the scandalous abuse of Iraqi prisoners by occupying U.S. forces in Baghdad, where the Bush administration is alleged to have employed harsh interrogation tactics -- in violation of the Geneva Conventions -- in order to press for intelligence about weapons of mass destruction which have yet to be found.

Anybody have the slightest doubt which choice we'll be reading and seeing?
What can I say in response to this? What sort of person would write this - blaming fellow Americans for the worst sort of atrocity? Why would any sane person claim that our enemy doesn't have to be understood?

I truly think and hope and pray that this is not the typical response of conservatives - to blame coverage of the US-Iraqi torture scandal - and Democrats in general - for this outrage. (Of course, the actual torturers remains blameless.) But outside of Andrew Sullivan I have seen little conservative outrage over the torture scandal; I have seen plenty of outrage over the outrage. Can someone point me to some? (This is a serious question - just because I haven't seen it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.) Or do most supporters of Bush's foreign policy in general agree that we (Democrats, I guess) are over reacting - even if you don't take it to the insane level that Mr. McCarthy does? Is there an instinct in Bush supporters to blame the left for this? I don't know.

I just think it's sad that our discourse has fallen to the point where a semi-respectable publication is offering up the opinion that a horrific beheading by insane religious radicals is the fault of Democrats and the left. This is really an awful, hurtful and offensive thing to say.
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