Skip to comments.Handicapping Outrage By Frank Salvato
Posted on 05/19/2004 7:43:04 AM PDT by Bob J
It seems that all the pundits and politicos are in an outrage over the abuse of the prisoners of war in Iraq and rightly so. The treatment of anyone, enemy combatant or not, should never drop to that of the lowest common denominator. To its credit, the United States military has brought charges against those responsible, have been conducting investigations and making arrests with regard to reports of abuse for well over a year. They are doing things by the book, by standard operating procedure, as it should be. But through all of this one thing has been blatantly obvious, there are two standards being employed when it comes to outrage both in the Middle East and throughout the free world. That double standard is alive here in the United States as well. Ever since the CBS aired the pictures of the prisoners of war in Iraq, who they contend were abused at the hands of their US military captors, we have heard a steady litany of condemnation. We have heard how cruel and unacceptable it was for those prisoners to have been humiliated let alone disgraced throughout the Arab and free worlds. Pictures showing piles of naked Iraqi prisoners of war with their gleeful captors have engulfed the print and electronic media to the point that the late night talk shows have made them part of their monologs. President Bush has condemned as "disgusting" the events that took place at the Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad. Just about every politician has made a point of saying that they were sickened by what they saw. And Congress is kicking around the idea of convening yet another congressional commission to look into the actions that took place in the middle of the Iraqi war zone, this despite the fact the military has procedures for just such things and is conducting their standard investigations according to their rule of law.
What happened at Abu Ghriab, to say the least, is disturbing. But when all is said and done the prisoners in those photos are quite a bit better off than they could have been. They are alive, they are not marred in any way physically and the deepest wound they possess from the events that took place are psychological in nature. Some could argue that they would have experienced much worse at the hands of fellow inmates should they have been tried, found guilty and sentenced to federal prisons here in the United States. There, humiliating acts of degradation and horrific acts of violence, some ending in death, happen on a daily basis yet we hear no outrage about those events.
On March 31st of this year the mainstream media brought the horrific pictures of four murdered Blackwater Security Consultants in Fallujah to the people of the world. Americans, but for those pathetic creatures who cheer when our country suffers any kind of setback, were appalled and sickened to see the images of the four contractors as they were presented. Some but not all of us were outraged. They had been ambushed, yanked from their vehicles, stomped upon and set on fire. In one case the victim was still alive. While a crowd of cheering Islamic militants celebrated their "victory" in the streets the charred corpses of the murdered Americans hung from the support beams of the local bridge, cameras clicking, for the entire world to see. Al Jazeera and al Arabia broadcast the pictures of the burnt, mutilated bodies like NBC teases the finale of Friends.
People of the world expressed their consternation with the events that occurred in Fallujah that day. Most didn't question the response when US troops moved to quell the activities of the barbarous few that perpetrated these crimes against humanity. But their dismay was just that, it wasn't outrage. They shook their heads and talked about the humanity but there really wasn't any outrage about the slaughter.
This lackluster dismay wasn't just confined to nations other than the US either. There were those here in our country that touted the quasi-socialist line that the United States brought the atrocities upon itself with their actions in Iraq. These are the kinds of people who can find something wrong with anything that the United States does. They are Americans in name only, people consumed with a nationalistic self-loathing.
But the thing that is most disturbing about the response to the slaughter of the contractors in Fallujah was that people were more outraged by the broadcasts of the pictures than they were by the actual events that took place. People were more outraged that mainstream media outlets were publishing the pictures of the charred hanging corpses than they were with those who perpetrated the atrocities, atrocities that were committed in the name of a tyrannical status quo.
Now, the people of the Middle East, of the Arab world, want the rest of the world to understand their outrage over an act of humiliation.
Pardon me for not being politically correct but I can't find it within myself to place someone's humiliation ahead of savage butchery when it comes to outrage. The fact that anyone else can do so well, I find it outrageous.
Copyright © 2004 Frank Salvato
Frank Salvato is a political media consultant and the managing editor for TheRant.us. He has appeared as a guest on The O'Reilly Factor, The Kevin Matthews Radio Show (Chicago) and The Brad Messer Radio Show (San Antonio). His pieces have been recognized by the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention and are occasionally featured in The Washington Times and The London Morning Paper as well as other national and international publications. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frank Salvato " PO Box 583, Downers Grove, Illinois 60515-0583
The bottom line is, the "abuse" outrage has been so thoroughly abused that nobody is going to care in about fifteen more minutes.
The DEMO(N)cRATS have shot their wad on this, and it has failed.
November is going to be sweet.
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