Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The Wrongdoers of Abu Ghraib

From the archives: August 5, 2004

How appalling, how tragic, how deeply infuriating to all Americans of conscience and fair-minded, freedom-loving persons everywhere it must seem that a perverted few in an MP company at Abu Ghraib prison should have brought disgrace upon America's noble mission in Iraq! Oh, how we seethe when we look upon the despicable images of degradation staged by these ghouls for their own amusement, presumably as "snaps" to be taken home as souvenirs! The president rightly denounced them as "wrongdoers" (an epithet only slightly less powerful than "evildoers," which, of course, the president reserves for foreigners, especially the hordes of invisible Arabs it is our bounden duty mercilessly to crush). And Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld spoke for us all this morning when he concluded his denunciation by calling down the worst curse on their heads our vocabulary provides us. What they did was "un-American."
No one has more eloquently expressed the disgust we all must feel than Christopher Hitchens. (Slate, May 4) Look, he writes, at what "this bunch of giggling sadists has done." They "defiled one of the memorials of regime change," Saddam's chamber of horrors, Abu Ghraib prison. They have "profaned the idea of women in the military." Worst of all, what they did was "like a shot in the back to the many soldiers..who fought selectively and carefully," always seeking to spare the innocent while stamping out terrorism in the streets of Iraq.
What, then, should be done with these goons? Perhaps, Hitchens writes, they were "acting on someone's authority." But if they were acting on their own, "they are the equivalent of mutineers, deserters, or traitors in the field. This is why one asks wistfully if there is no provision in the procedures of military justice for them to be taken out and shot."
To which one can only respond with a soft but heartfelt "hear, hear."
Perhaps the most shocking aspect of this whole dreadful business is the fact that the central figure (at least in the pictures) should be a fiend in petite female form, the infamous piece of trailer-park trash, Pfc. Lynndie R. England, a five-foot mighty-mite of evil, an instant symbol of wickedness as surely as Pvt. Jessica Lynch is of heroism. Taken out and shot? That would almost be too kind. Let this pregnant little whore and her paramour Gaynor be stoned to death by an Iraqi mob!
Would not such a salutary spectacle establish in the minds of the most hardened of Iraqi skeptics the truth of the president's words, "They didn't act for America"?
It would also do much to remove the moral stain of Abu Ghaib from the tens of thousands of soldiers and marines in Iraq who have lived up to America's highest standards of humanity and heroism. The men of the First Marine Division, for example, who went into Fallujah to avenge the murder of four innocent mercenaries and in doing so killed as many as seven hundred thugs and assassins. The brave Air Force pilots of F-16 fighters and F-14 and F-18 fighter-bombers who flew over Fallujah raining down on the city three dozen laser-guided 500-pound bombs in 48 hours. The courageous crews of the huge, slow-moving AC-130 gunships (fat targets for shoulder-launched missiles fired from holes by rat-like killers) avenging America's dead with the overwhelming firepower of their howitzers, turning cars and trucks into so many crushed beer cans with--it is to be hoped--burned corpses in them. And finally, the nerveless, steely-eyed pilots and gunners of Army Super Cobra helicopters blasting apartment blocks into bricks and dust with Hellfire missiles.
Yes, it is brave men and women like these whose honor would be restored by the sacrifice of the wicked few in their midst. Kill the Abu Ghraib wrongdoers!