Saturday, May 08, 2004

Another take

There has been a lot of hyperventilation about Abu Ghraib. Politicians here and abroad have sought to capitalize on some illegal and unacceptable mistreatment which nevertheless in many cases sounds a lot more like fraternity hazing or a clip from "Jackass" than torture IMO. Interrogation is about getting people to say things that they would rather not disclose - before long we'll have people claiming that that alone is unacceptable because of the effect on the self-esteem and sensibilities of those subjected to it.

Now Charles Krauthammer has written this:
We think of torture as the kind that Saddam practiced: pain, mutilation, maiming and ultimately death. We think of it as having a political purpose: intimidation, political control, confession and subjugation. What happened at Abu Ghraib was entirely different. It was gratuitous sexual abuse, perversion for its own sake.

That is what made it, ironically and disastrously, a pictorial representation of precisely the lunatic fantasies that the jihadists believe -- and that cynical secular regimes such as Egypt and the Palestinian Authority peddle to pacify their populations and deflect their anger and frustrations. Through this lens, Abu Ghraib is an "I told you so" played out in an Arab capital, recorded on film. ....the abuse at Abu Ghraib is so inflammatory and, for us and our cause, so damaging. It reenacted the most deeply psychologically charged -- and most deeply buried -- aspect of the entire war on terrorism, exactly as Osama bin Laden would have scripted it.
(link via VodkaPundit)

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