Ross Mackenzie spouts the GOP line
This is starting to get to me:
First, recall these things:
In the Afghan and Iraqi conflicts, battlefield successes cast as mistakes. Genuine mistakes - Abu Ghraib, under-manning, underestimation of Iraqi (and Afghan) readiness for self-government, insufficient rhetorical rallying of the American people - played up. Defeatism. Doubts about the mission and whether the reasons for it (e.g., WMDs) were genuine or bogus. Doubts about the reliability of post-Saddam Iraqi forces. The curiously short shelf-lives of the grim deaths of Mike Spann, Daniel Pearl and Nick Berg; a sarin-filled rocket; the Chalabi betrayal; Saddam's mass graves.
There is so much talk about how while Nick Berg was murdered brutally, Abu Ghraib has gotten all the coverage. Why is this? Well, there are a few reasons. First, the Abu Ghraib situation has a lot more to it: what are we going to do to the offenders, is Rumsfeld guilty/should he resign, who knew about this and when, and whether or not it is just if we are getting information from the detainees. The Nick Berg story is this deep: Nick Berg was beheaded by some huge assholes. That's pretty much it. Aside from tin-foil hat theories coming up from the left about inconsistencies in the video, there's not much to it. There is another reason, and it also applies to situations like the killing of the four military contracters whose bodies were put on display. It's a matter of expectations. When we see al Qaeda members kill someone, that's expected. They aren't good people. We knew that a lot of Iraqis hate our presence, and since they have witnessed brutal treatment as a form of punishment for decades, seeing them do these kinds of things is expected. However, watching United States soldiers, who many of us admire in many ways, degrade other people, essentially sinking to levels we hold ourselves above, it causes an uproar in people's minds. Is it embarassing? Brutal? Necessary? With so many arguments and new pictures and stories coming out every few days, how can you not expect a media frenzy?