Saturday, July 17, 2004

Worse Than We Knew

I was planning to chat about Martha Stewart, but she’ll keep. The Internet carries some news we simply can’t ignore. Parental guidance is advised -- I mean that.

A highly regarded Australian correspondent reports that Ahmed Allawi -- our handpicked prime minister -- drew his pistol and killed seven prisoners. This in front of American witnesses. An earlier report says he once called for a hatchet and chopped a prisoner’s hand off. But there is worse.

Sy Hersh told the ACLU about letters written by women prisoners begging their menfolk to kill them to end their shame. They had been forced to watch their young sons being sodomized before their eyes. Hersh says photographs of those crimes were withheld from the package released by the Pentagon.

When the torture story broke, George Dubya was shocked. But Gary Trudeau dug up a cartoon he’d drawn for the Yale News many years ago. Dubya was the fun-loving head of an elite fraternity, where the initiation included branding with a hot iron. Dubya said it was only a clothes hanger, and no worse than a cigarette burn. He’s presided over a lot worse since then.

Which confirms Barbara Ehrenreich’s observation that torture is as American as apple pie. True, but so is a belief in common decency. We’ve simply got to get rid of these sadistic brutes.