I’ll look the other way, a little.

John Kerry asked today (paraphrased) “How high up the chain of command should blame for mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners go? Harry Truman didn’t say ‘The buck stops at the Pentagon’.”

What a self-righteous, arrogant thing to say. This from a man who admitted to committing “war atrocities” including burning villages, participating in free-fire zones, etc. in Viet Nam.

So if he can be self-righteous and arrogant, I’ll take a little of that license myself. Submitted for your viewing pleasure, why “I’ll look the other way, a little”:

Pictures have been published of American soldiers humiliating and degrading Iraqi prisoners in the Abu Ghraib prison. A female American soldier with a cigarette in her mouth, smiling and pointing at a naked Iraqi is crass, and frankly, unnecessary.

But I’ll look the other way in this case, and here’s why:

That Iraqi man’s family might see him on TV or in the local paper, and feel shame and anger that he was treated that way. So what? Why’s he in prison, anyway? Was it because he was attacking US troops, maybe? Hmmm? Those outraged seem to be experiencing A.D.D. Or maybe they’ve just misplaced their righteous anger at the fact that just a few weeks ago, we saw American contractors torn limb from limb, dragged naked through the streets, and eventually strung up from bridges. For what? For being American, despite the fact that they were there to help the Iraqi’s (sure, at great personal profit, but also at known risk).

I’ll look the other way, when an Iraqi man appears naked, cowering on the floor, with a dog leash around his neck. Why? I haven’t forgotten what US & British pilots looked like when they were shown on Iraqi TV during the Gulf War. Those people were beaten.

Rumsfeld has announced there are more pictures, and videotape of greater atrocities than simple humiliation, yet to be seen by the public. Torture, beatings, etc. From those things, I will not look away. Those things are beyond what I can accept, and I demand justice in those cases, as an American – as a citizen whose national identity is tarnished by the misdeeds of others.

But for a little humiliation of people who tried to kill US soldiers and citizens? I can sleep at night just fine, knowing about that.

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