Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Friday, May 07, 2004  

Have you cracked the Times yet this morning? The paper of record is now officially on the record for wanting Rummy's head--and more. After a lot of yowling from the right about the bias of the Times, now we have an example of how powerfully the paper can voice its views when sufficiently incensed.

Ted Conover: My Life as a Guard
What we do know about the treatment of prisoners in this "war on terror" (of which Iraq, we are told, is a part), is that the Geneva Conventions don't always apply — the prison at Guantánamo Bay, filled with hundreds of "enemy combatants" (who are not afforded the protections of P.O.W.'s) being Exhibit No. 1. Is Guantánamo different from Abu Ghraib? The administration would say yes. Then again, the new head of Abu Ghraib, Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, was in charge of the interrogations at Guantánamo until just recently.

President Bush may indeed have felt "deep disgust" upon seeing these torture photos. Then again, the man who sets the tone for the entire war effort has never claimed to be the prisoner-protection president.

Antoine Audouard : When Liberators Become Tyrants

Can the echoes of the valley of Dien Bien Phu be heard in the streets of Falluja, at the prison of Abu Ghraib? Forty years ago, French friends of America tried to warn Washington about the pitfalls of Vietnam. The French themselves repeated their mistakes in Algeria. In Iraq every day even the best of intentions are cruelly put to test by the miseries and sorrows of war. As the promoters of a modern, "clean" war would have it, torture, humiliation, rapes, the killing of innocents, useless destruction are now avoidable.

But to go to war is to go to the bottom of the pit: what if those tragedies are not "collateral damage" but war itself, the essence of war? And when the damage is done, the pain and the shame are there to stay, and the dead (those bastards, my pals) keep coming back like ghosts.

Anthony Lewis: A President Beyond the Law

Again and again, over these last years, President Bush has made clear his view that law must bend to what he regards as necessity. National security as he defines it trumps our commitments to international law. The Constitution must yield to novel infringements on American freedom....

There was a stunning moment in President Bush's 2003 State of the Union address when he said that more than 3,000 suspected terrorists "have been arrested in many countries. And many others have met a different fate. Let's put it this way: They are no longer a problem for the United States."

Editorial: Donald Rumsfeld Should Go

It is time now for Mr. Rumsfeld to go...

We now know that no one with any power in the Defense Department had a clue about what the administration was getting the coalition forces into. Mr. Rumsfeld's blithe confidence that he could run his war on the cheap has also seriously harmed the Army and the National Guard.

This page has argued that the United States, having toppled Saddam Hussein, has an obligation to do everything it can to usher in a stable Iraqi government. But the country is not obliged to continue struggling through this quagmire with the secretary of defense who took us into the swamp. Mr. Rumsfeld's second in command, Paul Wolfowitz, is certainly not an acceptable replacement because he was one of the prime architects of the invasion strategy. It is long past time for a new team and new thinking at the Department of Defense.

posted by Jeff | 8:19 AM |
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