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November 24, 2003
Opinion Journal threatens Red Cross!

Okay, not exactly, but the column is the usual masterpiece of illogic and misdirection.

Apparently the Red Cross isn't allowed to protest USofA treatment of prisoners today because the Opinion Journal doesn't like how they didn't protest Nazi atrocities over fifty years ago. (As though the consequences of publicly condemning Nazi treatment of concentration camp victims and of publicly chastising the Bush Administration for the illegal and limitless detention of uncharged prisoners in Guantanamo were the same thing. The mind boggles. Or does the Opinion Journal know something we don't?)

Contrary to the claims of the ICRC, other activist groups and even some U.S. allies, the detainees are not being held "indefinitely."

That's just a lie. The Bush Administration has already announced that these people are subject to being held until the "end" of the "war on terror" and if that doesn't translate into "indefinitely," then I don't know what does.

The "war on terror" is not some perpetual struggle against international evil, comparable to the endless wars against crime and poverty. It is a conflict between the U.S. and al Qaeda, its associated groups and those states that choose to give it assistance. The war will end when al Qaeda is smashed and no longer capable of launching attacks against American targets. This may take years; wars often do. In previous conflicts, captured Americans have been held for years. Sen. John McCain, Adm. James Stockdale and their fellows spent much of their youth in the Hanoi Hilton.

There's so much wrong with that I'm not sure where to start, so let me start with the fact that in invading Iraq, we were not, in any way, shape, or form, attacking al Qaeda.

Also let me point out that excusing the Bush Administration's actions because they're just doing what the Viet Cong did is not only appalling, it's not likely to win you any friends among whatever intelligent, thinking people inhabit the current Administration.

The column goes on to say that we're treating prisoners better than they were treated in the 16th century and gets stupider form there.

Via James over at Outside the Beltway, a link to a Slate article that not only makes me increasingly grateful that I don't read "women's magazines" but that makes me even more embarrassed for those who do.

It's not that I think it's wrong to be interested in people and, after all, it's as sensible or more sensible than men devouring Sports Illustrated. It's just that it's all so...dumb.

Over at OxBlog, Patrick Belton once again tries to evoke the aura of JFK to cloak Bush's Administration in an air of reflected glory. Why do they keep trying that?

Okay, I lied. I blogged. It was my lunch break, okay? Now I really am gone until next week.

Posted by AnneZook at 01:41 PM


Minor historical note: the Viet Cong didn't have anything to do with what went on in Hanoi. They were the guerillas active in the South. Essentially a revival of the Viet Minh, ostensibly independent of the Hanoi government and claiming to be representative of the people of South Vietnam, they were actually covertly directly fully controlled by Hanoi, and after the war, most of their leaders were shot, and almost none ended up in the government. But neither at the time, nor in information subsequently revealed, did anyone have the notion they were in charge of the government of North Vietnam.

Posted by: Gary Farber at November 28, 2003 03:17 PM