Friday, May 07, 2004

Shifting the Blame

While, Rush Limbaugh says the soldiers just need some "emotional release," conservative columnist Linda Chavez awkwardly tries to place the blame for the mistreatment of the detained Iraqis on the presence of women in the military.

Her considered conclusion:
But if we want to prevent this type of conduct from ever occurring again, we not only need to punish those responsible but also look at all the possible factors that might give occasion to such abuses -- including the breakdown in discipline and unit cohesion that have gone hand in hand with gender integration in the military.
I think it has a lot less to do with women in the military than it does the human tendency to treat "the other" as something less than human. Misanthropy knows neither national nor gender boundaries. Thankfully, I haven't found a conservative--yet--who's blaming these incidents on gays in the military.

And Cal Thomas wants to blame the Muslims:
Some Arab commentators are repeating the myth that the West has, once again, humiliated Muslims. If there has been humiliation, it isn't the fault of the West. It is Muslims' fault. They took trillions of dollars in oil money, and instead of building a culture dedicated to elevating their people, including women, they have squandered it on agendas and adventures that had the opposite result. Like communism, which blamed the West for its failure to produce a better life for people forced to live under that system, Arab dictatorships must have an external enemy to keep people from blaming their leaders for the misery they have created.
What relevance this has to American military personnel stripping Iraqis and forcing them to masturbate while getting photographed, I'm not sure.

Update 050704: And the Wall Street Journal's James Taranto says the academic left is to blame.

And, of course, someone blamed Bill Clinton. Washington Times writer Joel Himmelfarb in an interview with NPR's Juan Williams:
Now, certainly one thing I will say is that I believe, as, as a lot of folks on the, on the political right believe, that our military has been undermanned for many years, and it's very, very difficult to fight a war like this with a, a military that basically is, is Bill Clinton's military and a military that basically was formed during the days when we were all talking about the "war is peace" dividend.
(Via Eschaton)

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