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Underminer in Chief [Updated]

April 25, 2009

What in the world – or must I say ‘in the international community’? – does Obama think he is gaining from undermining his own military? Does he believe it is a good thing to toss over a pile of photographs which show alleged abuse of detainees through US soldiers – who are already under investigation and will receive their sentence – to people who hate the USA from within and without and actively work to harm her, be it through influencing ‘public opinion’ or through suicide attacks? Is this also supposed to make America reach that “moral authority” that Obama says he needs to establish before he can tell the leadership in Iran, North Korea and their likes not to terrorise their own citizens and those outside of their borders?

The written descriptions of what has taken place when those pictures were taken have already been made public and the persons involved have already been or will be held accountable. So what purpose does the publication of the photographs serve? To make a campaign against the US military that much easier, of course. People who wouldn’t bother to read memos on prisoner treatment – and why would they, it might even show that the incidents were rather mild – will be bombarded with pictures of alleged abuse through newspapers, TV, and the Internet.

The release of those picture will serve only one purpose: to taint the image of the US military all over the world and to strengthen the myth that American soldiers are variably rapists or torturers. It appears that the Obama administration felt sorry for having deprived al Qaeda of what was, according to the administration, one of their favourite recruitment tools when they published the ‘torture memos’ and wanted to replace it with something at least as effective to give the terrorists a chance to win, too.

Where is the visual proof of the heroism and selflessness of US soldiers, you ask? Easy: it doesn’t exist, because there is no camera around when a soldier throws himself on a grenade in order to save the lives of his brothers in arms or when one risks his own life to save an Iraqi child from bullets. There are no easy-consumption snap shots of the stories of those who have received medals for their heroism and on whom the mainstream media is not half as keen to report as they were on the Abu Ghraib abuses.

Those are wars going in Iraq and Afghanistan and there are only so many saints around. Heck, if you want a neat and clean war then you’re living in the wrong reality. Does any of this excuse genuine abuse of detainees? Obviously not, and anyone who accuses those who are against the release of the photos for trying so is not serious. As mentioned before, the soldiers who have committed abuse against detainees have already been or will be prosecuted. There are not so many nations where this is done or even considered in the first place.

But the ACLU has already declared what they intend to do with those photographs: to make everyone believe that the US military is all about Abu Ghraib-like abuses. So thank you, Monsieur le Président Obama, for so readily providing material for a smear campaign against your own military. As for the ACLU, they should engage in some introspection and reconsider their priorities in light of the opportunity costs of what they’re doing: is leading a witch hunt against what is easily the best military this crooked planet has to offer really more important than standing up against criminal and oppressive regimes of which there is no shortage even in the age of Obama?

Update:

Just to add some perspective:

Those we were detaining (rather than summarily executing in the field, mind you) were being locked away at a time when beheadings were commonplace, men were being killed by slowly lowering them into 55-gallon drums of acid, and teens refusing to join al-Qaeda in Iraq were being crucified — literally crucified — in the public square and given just enough water to keep them alive and their public suffering great enough to serve as AQ’s example to the rest. The children of resistant families were baked in ovens, folks.

And the ACLU goes ape sh*t about US soldiers pointing guns at illegal combatants caught on the battlefield rather than mowed down.

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