|About word games and honesty...
||[Jun. 25th, 2004|08:48 pm]
So... the Bush administration's come up with their official line.|
"We never spoke the precise words 'Saddam Hussein had a connection to the 9/11 attacks', so you can't blame *US* for having hammered Saddam Hussein and Iraq, and the 9/11 attacks together for so long that people thought we *were* claiming a connection".
And, I have to admit... that is a pretty slick trick. No, they never *did* specifically say there was a connection.
Let's play that game then.
Bush said that prisoners taken have been treated "in accordance with the Geneva conventions", *BUT* he's also said that they don't have any standing under the Geneva conventions. He could treat them as he wished, and claim it was in accordance with the Geneva conventions since he's already stated that they're outside of it.
Bush said he never ordered torture, but his Justice department said that it wouldn't be torture until it was pain akin to organ failure, iminent death, etc., and that it wouldn't be torture if the intent wasn't simply to cause pain. He *could* abuse people far past the limits of international law, and far, far past the expectations of a civilized society, and since he *only* claimed it wasn't torture, not that it wasn't horrible, abusive, etc..
Did Bush specifically say that no intelligence officers could possibly have given the soldiers in Abu Ghreib any ideas? Did he specifically say that there were no intelligence officers who were abusing prisoners there, possibly signalling that the rule forbidding abuse were no longer in force? He didn't say that? Then we have no reason to trust him, do we?
See, that's the thing... once you want to claim your responsibility only extends as far as you can play wordgames, suddenly you can't be trusted if there's *any* wordgames you could still be playing.
That must really suck.
It must suck almost as much as going back to NATO allies with memories of Freedom Fries and "for security reasons, only people from countries who supported the war will be allowed to bid on reconstruction contracts, despite the fact that this means we might have to pay more money, accept inferior work, or both" still sticking around.
Especially when there are people who were shocked that people didn't believe in Diplomacy 101: hug your friends in public, and snarl at them *BEHIND* closed doors. This goes *double* when your friends are running democracies.
I mean, *damn*... just think of how much easier this would have been had "Freedom Fries" been met with Bush, or Cheney, or hell, Powell - *use* his reasonable image! - jumping down the throat of the people doing it, saying that we love our allies, and honorable friends can have disagreements?
Imagine of that speech had contained something prophetic, like "Think about this: *Someday*, the French will be right, and *we* will be wrong. Think about how you'd like them to treat us when that day comes."
If someone had made a little speech like that, and Bush made the mildest of apologies to the French for being mistaken in the rush to war, and it would be a matter of national pride for the French to show how big hearted they could be... otherwise, they'd be less gracious than the big, bad, arrogant US of A. Of course, if someone had been making speeches like that, maybe there wouldn't be a *need* for apologies, and we'd already have French and German troops on the ground, helping to train Iraqis and provide security, because it was all about Iraq. They wouldn't have to explain to their populace that, yes, they *are* doing what the crazy cowboy in the White House wanted, but it really is for a good cause. They'd just have to say "Our friends need our help, and so do the Iraqi people; when our friends need our help, we supply it."
Sigh. Anyone who thinks that if Bush-bashers had their way, Saddam would still be in power, remember: you can hate the methods while approving the goal.