Their own worst enemy

Fanatic opponents of George W. Bush and the war in Iraq are running headlong into a cul—de—sac. The prisoner abuse pictures at Abu Ghraib have given them a tool with which to attack, and they are intoxicated with the potential they sense. Gleeful that they at last have a hammer which feels heavy enough to shatter the bond between a wartime President and the people he leads, they are swinging away with abandon.

 

But they will soon be undone by their own passion. A vast gulf separates the sensibility of the Bush—haters from the mainstream —— at least 60% of the American public. Most Americans understand that we are in a fight for our survival. They also know that perfection is not a reasonable standard to expect of our military. Even a cursory reading of the history of previous successful and popular wars shows that mistakes, fiascoes, and abuses happen. Even the 'good war' against Hitler was marked by horrible foul—ups which cost thousands of needless deaths. And there are serious allegations  that atrocities against prisoners of war were not unknown at the hands of the 'greatest generation.'

 

Most important of all, hysteria over the Abu Ghraib abuse only gives a weapon to those who are seeking to defeat America in Iraq. It is entirely unnecessary for the President or any of his surrogates to make this point: the liberal press is gleefully doing so indirectly, in the guise of reporting the outrage of the 'Arab street' and in reporting condemnations of America itself from our enemies. Common sense, which ordinary Americans posess in abundance, but which is notably lacking among the self—styled elites who persist in looking down on the President, tells people that making this incident into a long—running scandal does not serve the interests of America.

 

There is nothing more fatal to a political movement than to be seen as serving the interests of our enemies. Never more so than when we are in a battle for survival.

 

There is a another fatal condition working to undo the hysterics of the war opponents. The normal feedback mechanism, which would tell them that they are going against mainstream sentiment, is short—circuited by political correctness. Almost no one is willing to stand up and publicly say that the abuse is not THAT big a deal. In fact, the homoerotic poses, the animal—like treatment with dog collars, the woman smirking at genitalia with a cigarette dangling from her lips are degrading and humiliating. Almost nobody outside the rarified circles of S&M aficionados would want to experience them. But generations of frat boys have voluntarily submitted to like humiliation and survived, even prospered.

 

So, expect the demands for a crippling purge of senior military and defense leadership to continue. Expect the normal allies of homoerotic art in public museums and 'different' sexual preferences to bray their outrage at the horror of these practices perpetrated on Iraqis held in a prison, at least some of them for committing actual atrocities — the kind where people (including our soldiers) die, are mutilated, or suffer other dire permanent physical injury. Teddy Kennedy is not going to let this one go.

 

Because of the suffocating blanket of political correctness, few people will tell them to shut—up, that they are only showing that they hate America,  that Abu Ghraib isn't really much to compare with real atrocities. But they will note who is interested in winning the war, and who is interested in winning the election, nevermind the consequences for our soldiers.

Fanatic opponents of George W. Bush and the war in Iraq are running headlong into a cul—de—sac. The prisoner abuse pictures at Abu Ghraib have given them a tool with which to attack, and they are intoxicated with the potential they sense. Gleeful that they at last have a hammer which feels heavy enough to shatter the bond between a wartime President and the people he leads, they are swinging away with abandon.

 

But they will soon be undone by their own passion. A vast gulf separates the sensibility of the Bush—haters from the mainstream —— at least 60% of the American public. Most Americans understand that we are in a fight for our survival. They also know that perfection is not a reasonable standard to expect of our military. Even a cursory reading of the history of previous successful and popular wars shows that mistakes, fiascoes, and abuses happen. Even the 'good war' against Hitler was marked by horrible foul—ups which cost thousands of needless deaths. And there are serious allegations  that atrocities against prisoners of war were not unknown at the hands of the 'greatest generation.'

 

Most important of all, hysteria over the Abu Ghraib abuse only gives a weapon to those who are seeking to defeat America in Iraq. It is entirely unnecessary for the President or any of his surrogates to make this point: the liberal press is gleefully doing so indirectly, in the guise of reporting the outrage of the 'Arab street' and in reporting condemnations of America itself from our enemies. Common sense, which ordinary Americans posess in abundance, but which is notably lacking among the self—styled elites who persist in looking down on the President, tells people that making this incident into a long—running scandal does not serve the interests of America.

 

There is nothing more fatal to a political movement than to be seen as serving the interests of our enemies. Never more so than when we are in a battle for survival.

 

There is a another fatal condition working to undo the hysterics of the war opponents. The normal feedback mechanism, which would tell them that they are going against mainstream sentiment, is short—circuited by political correctness. Almost no one is willing to stand up and publicly say that the abuse is not THAT big a deal. In fact, the homoerotic poses, the animal—like treatment with dog collars, the woman smirking at genitalia with a cigarette dangling from her lips are degrading and humiliating. Almost nobody outside the rarified circles of S&M aficionados would want to experience them. But generations of frat boys have voluntarily submitted to like humiliation and survived, even prospered.

 

So, expect the demands for a crippling purge of senior military and defense leadership to continue. Expect the normal allies of homoerotic art in public museums and 'different' sexual preferences to bray their outrage at the horror of these practices perpetrated on Iraqis held in a prison, at least some of them for committing actual atrocities — the kind where people (including our soldiers) die, are mutilated, or suffer other dire permanent physical injury. Teddy Kennedy is not going to let this one go.

 

Because of the suffocating blanket of political correctness, few people will tell them to shut—up, that they are only showing that they hate America,  that Abu Ghraib isn't really much to compare with real atrocities. But they will note who is interested in winning the war, and who is interested in winning the election, nevermind the consequences for our soldiers.