More Abu Ghraib Agitprop

The British Propaganda Corporation, formerly known as the BBC, has just launched the latest Abu Ghraib revival, trying to squeeze the last little drops of faux outrage out of a very successful agitprop operation against the Iraq war. The Beeb hasn't discovered any news about Abu Ghraib -- just more cellphone photos. And BBC now knows that Evil SecDef Rummy was personally responsible for nailing the idiot who took those cellphone pictures. Wow. 

The establishment media constantly drop hints that Abu Ghraib showed a policy of American torture of captured Iraqis. Of course that has never been proven, or they would have launched impeachment charges against President Bush years ago. The reality is that Abu Ghraib just displayed the perverse operating procedures of America-hating leftists around the world -- summed up by the old Communist Party term agitprop

Agitprop is Sovietspeak for "agitation and propaganda." It means making up scandal stories to suit the Left. "Agitation" is now called "activism," but the root of those words is the same. ("Agitate" = provoke action, which is what "activism" really means).

Abu Ghraib got people all upset. That's the agitation. The propaganda part is who they got upset at --- the United States, for putting an end to the sadistic regime of Saddam Hussein, which shredded human beings in industrial plastic shredders, cut out the tongues of its own bureaucrats to silence opposition, murdered tens of thousands of little children and their mothers and tossed their bodies into mass graves, routinely raped women, gassed entire Kurdish villages, and generally acted as much like Hitler as any gangster regime has since World War Two. But the media made the war against Hitler good, while the war against Saddam was evil. Today, when Al Qaeda suicide freaks blow up car bombs in public markets, killing hundreds of ordinary Iraqis for the sake of jihad, nobody on the Left feels any outrage. It's their love and compassion for all of humanity.

The Abu Graib spin aims to turn America into the bad guy, thus ending up defending a massively evil regime. It was certainly the most successful agitprop operation in recent years. But any claim the Western Left ever had to a humane morality has thereby been flushed down the drains, along with those mythical Korans.

The agitprop nature of Abu Ghraib "scandal" becomes clear from the way the story was obtained. This was not a heroic media expose, achieved after much dogged journalistic shoe-leather investigation. On the contrary, the humiliation of prisoners in violation of US military law was already in the Army justice system by the time the newsies "discovered" it. The perps were being prosecuted under the US Code of Military Justice. They were in jail, and their MP unit commander had been relieved of duty and was on her way to being fired.

The establishment media only had to read the US Army crime docket to get their "expose."  They could do that on any given day in New York, Paris or Moscow, and easily picked up some pretty horrible sexual abuses. But that wouldn't suit the Party Line. So they did it in war-time Baghdad --- but only after the Saddam regime was overthrown. Uday and Qusay grinding up human beings in giant plastic shredders was just not "newsworthy." Instead, US military prison guards humiliating Saddam's torturers, without actually harming them, were the real news. In the media business this practice is called  "exercising editorial judgment." Honest.

Military Police should be taught about the Stanford Prison Experiment, in which Stanford undergrads who play-acted prison guards spontaneously abused their fellow students who play-acted the role of prisoners.  It is amazingly easy to make that happen, and when insufficient command discipline is exercised in prisons, we know prisoner abuse is actually predictable. Add the stress of war and constant danger, the truly evil nature of the prisoners, the urgent necessity to obtain actionable intelligence, and some pretty wild characters as MPs, and you get Abu Graib. It's bad, but by no stretch of the imagination does it show a deliberate policy of torture.

To push that line, the media have had to redefine "torture" to mean any effort to shame and embarass a prisoner. That's a pretty broad definition: It would include all the media's own efforts to shame and humiliate America and George W. Bush in the last seven years. But our news leftists would not call their own actions "torturing George W. Bush." They just flip the definitions to suit their agenda.  Honesty just isn't their thing.

Timing, timing, timing. There is no "news" in the BBC Abu Ghraib revival celebration, just picking over the decaying corpse of a fake  scandal. Timing is everything in this recycled agitprop. Why are the Beeb and its fellow travelers telling us this "new" information? Timing. Leftists around the world have to be  roused to the boiling point again. Millions of uped audiences have to be reminded of how evil America and President Bush really, really are. What's the reason for this Abu Ghraib Memorial Scandal at this time?

That's the only real news.

James Lewis blogs at