Friday, May 07, 2004

Rampant Misanthropy

I think it's reprehensible that Jeff Jarvis would flippantly compare the torture of potentially innocent Iraqi civilians to the mistreatment of criminals on a fictitious TV show (Oz). Similarly, Rush Limbaugh has compared the torture to college hazing, claiming that we need to get over our concern because "these people are being fired at every day." So he explains:
I'm talking about people having a good time, these people, you ever heard of emotional release? You of heard of need to blow some steam off?
Additionally, he said, this is "just like anything you'd see Madonna, or Britney Spears do on stage." Not exactly, no, and and if they did, it'd be under their own volition. This may be the lowest I've ever seen Limbaugh descend. Does he really believe this stuff or is it all really only in pursuit of ratings? Either way, this self-proclaimed arbiter of right is morally adrift.

The torture we've seen described isn't remotely like hazing, which also happens to be illegal in many states. College students *elect* to join fraternities which engage in that sort of asinine behavior. That still doesn't justify the way they're treated. But these Iraqis didn't submit themselves to this abuse.

As many people have said: if it were Americans being treated that way by Iraqis--well, what would your response be then?

Futhermore, the argument that what we did isn't nearly as bad as what Saddam or others did is simplistic, juvenile, and morally reprehensible. I thought the United States was supposed to be a *good* example. Supposedly favorable comparisons against Saddam Hussein are irrelevant to the debacle at hand. If I tried to explain that, yes, I just robbed a bank, but I didn't steal as much as the last guy did, you'd think me insane or a simpleton. This is the reasoning of moral infants.

As Digby points out, these are the same people who were revolted by Bill Clinton getting a blowjob. But forcing Iraqi prisoners to masturbate themselves in front of women--that's OK? Just fun and games? A naked Iraqi man, prone on the floor, a leash attached to his neck, held by an American woman? You cool with that?

The hypocrisy on display about these events by some fringe-dwellers on the right--it's nothing short of nauseating. In fact, it's misanthropic. These are haters of mankind.

If the United States is to have any moral authority at all, it must be above this sort of horror. No amount of finger-pointing--look *they* did just as bad, worse--is going to cultivate that sort of authority.

I haven't been an American citizen for long. I don't want to be ashamed of that citizenship.

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