My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.



In your mind, try to juxtapose these four images:

:The meat grinders in Saddam's prisons, through which he and his henchmen regularly fed limbs off of living people and children while their parents were forced to watch

:The images we have seen of the abuse of prisoners in Abu Graib; if you like, extrapolate out and make those images even worse

:Ted Kennedy on the floor of the Senate saying "Saddam's torture chambers are reopened under new management; US management"

:and the image of a screaming, writhing Nick Berg right before the third and ultimately fatal blow struck

Now, let's try to put these images on a scale of horrors from one to ten, ten being an inhuman act of barbarism, zero being normal behavior. Honestly, and not to belittle them, but do the pictures out of Abu Graib, next to the two others, even register a six or a seven? Five? Of course not. And what's the difference? The American authorities will throw the full weight of the military justice system at those guilty in Abu Graib, and the so-called "moderate Arabs" will say nothing and do nothing about the far more heinous crime committed against Nick Berg.

I wanted to wait 24 hours before commenting on Nick Berg (may God be merciful on his soul). I wanted to see how the story played out. And, having waited, my conclusion is this: we are not at all serious about this war. For a brief instant after 9-11, I thought we were serious. That is long gone. A quick review of a few different media today could make my point: one reliably lefty radio show was going on about how the murder of Berg was Rumsfeld's fault for not preparing better for the after-war; Chris Mathews had Lim Lehrer on, and five minutes into their conversation had still not asked about Berg but had spent five minutes on Abu Graib; the MSNBC website doesn't even have a story linked about the murder; and channel 9 news in Denver, after 6 minutes at the top of the broadcast, had not addressed the issue.

So half the country is wilfully ignorant and pathologically incapable of recognizing that they are in a death match against an enemy that is wholly without scruples, without boundaries, and without any common ground from which to negotiate. That half of the country also thinks if we just talked to them long enough they would leave us alone--against all evidence. And that half of the country has roughly half of the power to decide what direction this country takes.

Again, WE ARE NOT AT ALL SERIOUS ABOUT THIS WAR. And the problem is, it's entirely possible that the result of that may someday mean my daughters have to face a horrible death.

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