Friday, May 07, 2004

The Abu Ghraib - Guantanamo link

I find it interesting that most of the details of the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal were reported as early as Jan. 21, 2004 and yet there was no uproar until the mass distribution of the photos sparked by the 60 Minutes II television show.

Now we have fresh turmoil in Washington where fingers are being pointed and accusations are flying about who didn't tell whom about the brewing scandal. President Bush claims not to have known anything about it before the 60 Minutes show which raises a number of questions.

Is he really that poorly informed by his staff? Did they just not think it was a big deal?

Anthony Lewis in The New York Times today draws the obvious link between our refusal to honor the Geneva Convention accords with respect to the prisoners at Guantanamo and our leaders' seeming indifference to the mistreatment of the prisoners at Abu Ghraib.

More disturbing is the very real possibility that this issue was not taken seriously because it is all too common and par for the course in the netherworld that makes up our military intelligence gathering operations.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Disney censoring Michael Moore

Good news for Michael Moore, the Academy Award-winning documentary film maker, best-selling author and leftist rabble-rouser.

It looks like the clowns at Walt Disney Co. are trying to do the same thing for Moore’s latest film project that Bill O’Reilly and Fox News did for Al Franken’s book “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them.”

In the same way that the Fox News lawsuit created publicity and helped boost sales of Franken’s book, Disney’s efforts to prevent the distribution of Moore’s new anti-Bush documenatary "Fahrenheit 9/11" is sure to create buzz and drive up interest in the film.

I’m not a huge fan of Moore. I though he was an idiot for supporting Ralph Nader’s campaign during the 2000 elections. I liked his last film “Bowling for Columbine” for the most part, but I thought his interview with Charlton Heston at the end of the film went over the top. If Moore had simply done a straight-up interview with the celebrity icon turned gun nut it would have worked. But when he pulled out a photo of a girl killed by a gun accident and started hounding Heston with it I had to cringe. I came away feeling sympathy for Heston, and I don’t think that is the reaction that Moore had intended for the scene.

The problem with Moore is that while his in-your-face aggressive attitude is good for rallying the faithful, it does little to convert those on the outside and rather tends to drive them away. Still, it is not bad for the left to have a few folks like that around. The right has people like that coming out of their ears.
So while I don’t always agree with him, and I don’t like his style, I still want to see his new movie and Disney’s inept attempts at censorship only heightens that desire.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

The battle for the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people is over.

We lost.

NAJAF, Iraq (AP) -- Dhia al-Shweiri spent several stints in Baghdad's notorious Abu Ghraib prison, twice under Saddam Hussein's rule and once under American. He prefers Saddam's torture to the humiliation of being stripped naked by his American guards, he said Sunday in an interview with The Associated Press.

When you have people like this comparing us unfavorably to Saddam, it's no wonder they aren't throwing rose petals at our feet.

And 11 more U.S. troops were killed this weekend. Almost one year to the day since President Bush did his little "Mission Accomplished" victory jig aboard that U.S. aircraft carrier. It looks like May isn't going to be much better than April.