And then the pigs flew by...
Posted by aogThursday, 10 November 2005 at 16:47 TrackBack Ping URL

Last night Radio Nation was on and I was trying to not pay attention, but I did hear part of the interview with Richard Stratton (listen) about his book Altered States of America: Outlaws and Icons, Hitmakers and Hitmen. I can’t say much about the book, but during the interview he expressed amazement over the media coverage of Abu Ghraib. In Stratton’s view (one I concur with), worse happens on a regular basis in American prisons without any Old Media circus. He also stated that Abu Ghraib was a result of how America runs its prisons (i.e., the guards just did there what they would have done here), rather than some evil neo-con or military plot. Marc Cooper, the interviewer, didn’t disagree. Wow.

Comments — Formatting by Textile
cjm Friday, 11 November 2005 at 14:11

funny how male rape is the mechanism used to keep (most of us) “honest”.

bink Friday, 02 December 2005 at 11:37

So relative comparison is the standard by which America should judge itself?

Heck, then fire up the ovens and just burn off their legs. We’d only be half as bad as Hitler—in fact, we’d be twice as good! Go America!

If an ideal is not worth defending with our lives, our conscience, and our souls, then we definitely need to stop pushing our agendas in other parts of the world. Isn’t that our justification that somehow democracy and freedom is better than radical theologies or crazies who strap bombs to themselves and pull the string in shopping centers?

We should be ashamed—not because someone else could or does something worse, but because it was shameful and beneath America. The newfound inability for Americans to find shame in their actions is undoubtedly one of the foremost reasons for many of our societal problems.

True evil mate sate itself, but lack shame prevents the conscience from ever attempting to take corrective action. What are you teaching your children about right and wrong? Cheating just a little is OK? Stealing just a little is OK? Raping just a little is OK? These are not matters of interpretation for a grey scale—they are black and white, and the conviction by which our children defend or protect such ideals will determine the fate of America and future generations to come. They’ll learn that from you, their parent, their Dad. And, logic does not belong in the realm with ideal—ideals have more in common with faith than logic.

And, I’m not saying “man the ships with religious fanatics,” I’m saying that in the eyes of your children, and your friends, and your family, condoning it, not condemning it, and doing it yourself holds much the same value. So, unless you are saying that would have happily done all of that on your own, then you need say “Shame on us. I will not condone such behavior my name, as an American who elects the people making such disgraceful decisions.”

The ends cannot justify the means.

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 02 December 2005 at 12:01

No, but a realistic standard is better than a utopian one.

Also, you might keep in mind that the purpose of pushing the American agenda is to promote the national security interests of the USA. That it also benefits the recipients is nice but not essential.

My point here is that the massive outrage over Abu Ghraib is about American bashing, not true moral concern. As noted, that kind of thing goes on in American prisons, on a much larger scale. Yet where is the outrage? It’s the selectivity of the outrage that demonstrates its pretentiousness. People like you seem to only get incensed over things of nature when it is damaging to the USA or its government. You’re not trying to confront evil, you’re just trying to point out stains.

P.S. If you asked me what I was most ashamed for on behalf of my nation with regard to Iraq, it would be the abandonment of the southern Iraqis in 1991. Abu Ghraib is a mote in the eye compared to that.

bink Friday, 02 December 2005 at 12:18

I did not address the lack of prison outrage becaues the ideal needs defending, not universal media coverage. I agree that the media is infatuated with whatever story sells most, but don’t dismiss the underlying issue because of a media focus or lack thereof. The relative comparison to other events, whether prisons in the US or abandoning someone in Iraq in 1991 is irrelavent. Defend the ideal in all applications, be gracious for any coverage that reinforces it, and push for coverage in other instances. But don’t relatively apply your stance. And FYI, we’ve gone through years of coverage on the conditions in U.S. prisons, perhaps those articles did not interest you.

Post a comment