May 25, 2004

anti-american inflammation

last week a friend who edits the daily universe opinion page asked me if i would help her out. she hadn't been receiving very many letters to the editor during the lazy BYU spring term and needed someone to say something incendiary to start them rolling in.

i was happy to oblige. my piece appeared in the print version of the universe last wednesday, and has apparently generated at least one very raging, bitter response. i'm told the author even addresses me personally. so, that's something you can all look forward to reading when the letters are published again tomorrow. i'll fisk that when it appears online (probably thursday or friday) and link to it here. in the meantime, you can read my article and try to pick out what provoked the angry letter. my unedited version is in the extended entry.


Some of you have seen the infamous video. Others have perhaps clicked through a few pictures. The rest of you may wish you could avoid the story completely. I am talking about the grisly deed that--internet search engines are reporting--has been at the top of their list of queries for the past week. The horrifying decapitation of an American civilian in Iraq last week has elicited a variety of responses in America. Some might say it has exposed a widening rift in American politics.

The event, recorded by the very terrorists who committed the act, holds many similarities to the events of September 11, 2001. At least for meÖand for the sane half of America. But this murder, combined with the news of prison abuses at Abu-Ghraib, seems to have brought out the worst in some Americans. They hold up the video and say, "thatís what you get for going to war!" and say "Nicholas Berg died for the sins of George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld." Blame seems to fall everywhere except on those disgusting creatures who committed the act of brutally removing Nick Berg's head. In a recent edition of the L.A. Times, Bruce Herschensohn exposes the stupidity of this line of thinking with a history lesson ,

Our victory in World War II was not achieved by trying to win the hearts and minds of Germans and Japanese. We did not dominate the newsreels with pictures of those things a few American troops did to captured enemies. We did not call for an end to domestic profiling. We did not demonstrate against our military involvement. There was not the outrageous political complaint that "I support the troops but oppose the war."

The anti-Americanism of the American political left is appalling. And those who excuse the Berg murderers deny the facts. If it was an act of retaliation for American abuses of prisoners at Abu-Ghraib, what justified the gory beheading of American journalist Daniel Perl years ago? Was it a pre-emptive strike, perhaps?

On the opposite side is what I like to call sane America. They see evil for what it is. They donít revel in the carnage like irreverent gawkers, but they want America to see the true face of the enemy with whom we are engaged, so we may unite and eradicate it from the earth.

They must do this because half of America still wants to bring their country to its knees in the face of Islamic militants. They want to bring down the Commander-in-Chief and the Secretary of Defense, when we should be more worried about our very safety in the face of our determined foes. On the day after news broke of the sickening Berg murder, the news media continued to play politics. Greg Taggart is quoted on the website, saying

I just listened to the CBS news on the local CBS radio affiliate. Here is an accurate but abbreviated form is CBS's report: Item one: Rumsfeld in Iraq-because of the "growing" outrage over the prison photos. Item two: Kerry called and spoke with Berg's family. Item two: Berg's family is blaming "the Bush administration" for his death. I'm not making this up. CBS managed to place everything at the feet of George Bush. They even turned Nick Berg's death into an opportunity to make Kerry look good and a reason to bash Bush.

A caller to a Salt Lake City radio show on Monday morning called the publicizing of the killing "an attempt to drum up support for Bush". Please. The sane half of us is fighting for the freedom of all Americans, here, not just that of the Republican party. Even if you're a liberal, it is in your best interest to support the war on terror. Think of it this way: If we lose and Islamic militants take over the world, there will be no place for your abortion clinics, your homosexual marriages, or your libraries with tax-supported internet pr0n. Yikes! Maybe it's time to support our troops AND our cause.


Posted by travis at May 25, 2004 11:19 AM | TrackBack

Gosh, Travis...the world of media has gone ape shit over the prisoners at Abu-Ghraib, who were there for a very good reason, they were criminals of one sort or another, yet where was the media when Saddam was dunking normal, law abiding citizens of Iraq, into Acid Baths, Big Boy Shredders, etc.?

I hear nothing but silence on this regard. I think the reason your position was attacked was because most liberals have a formidable hurdle to clear when faced with facts and they resort to personal attacks as a result because their narrow minded mentality cannot fathom that they may be wrong. I just attack back and go for the jugular every time.

Posted by: James at May 25, 2004 04:26 PM

The disgusting photos of prisoner abuse are an outrage, and any attempt to disregard them is folly. Although the attempt of many Democrats to make political hay of the issue is nauseating as well.

I also would take issue with the complaint that the media didn't cover Saddam's prisoner abuse. Is there anyone who needs to see pictures of tortured/decapitated/shredded bodies to know that Saddam was a madman?

We hold ourselves to a higher standard, and are trying to convince the Iraqis that our standard is better than Saddam's. So when the U.S. military is treating prisoners in direct violation of the Geneva Convention, it is something that has to be dealt with.

But I digress...

I think Travis' larger point isn't that prisoner abuse is OK (or excusable in any sense), but that the media and much of the Left fail to acknowledge the evil we are fighting. And in such failure, they play the part of terrorist pawns, essentially seeding doubt and distrust in the just cause against Islamic fanaticism.

Posted by: Doug at May 25, 2004 10:46 PM

I totally agree! I wonder though, is it that the media fails to see the other side, or are they so bent on getting Bush out of office they refuse to see the other side?

Posted by: Al at May 26, 2004 12:48 AM