Memo to Andy: your beloved administration has derided the Geneva Conventions as “quaint”. They have sanctioned not gentle questioning, but waterboarding, sleep deprivation and stress positions for prisoners captured in a war, Iraq, where Geneva was allegedly never in doubt. Where were you then? And now Iran is in the dock for giving British prisoners treatment that those in Gitmo and Abu Ghraib can only dream of?
Don’t people realize that this is what this episode is partly about? Iran, that disgusting regime, is showing much of the world that it treats prisoners more humanely than the U.S. That’s the propaganda coup they are achieving. And you know who set them up to score this huge victory in the propaganda war? Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld, who authorized all the abuse at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere throughout the war. And McCarthy, who defended and enabled them. Tehran never had a better friend than George W. Bush. He has given Islamist thugs the moral highground.
All well and true, of course. The reason for those pictures of the kids sitting around on a rug giggling is to do precisely as Sullivan suggest- to try to show adifference between by the Iranians and American treatment of captives. But what Sullivan misses is the belligerence in the opeing grafs of McCarthy’s piece:
For what seems like the millionth time since 1979, the Islamic Republic of Iran has perpetrated an act of war against the West, reaffirmed its hostile, revolutionary intentions, and demonstrated that it is a rogue state which scoffs at the civilizing impulses of international law, including the laws and customs of war.
For what seems like the millionth time in just the last few months, the Iranians have shown that their word is worth nothing.
So will our diplomat class suggest, yet again, that perhaps more negotiations will bring them around?
Sure, the hypocrisy about the Geneva conventions is breathtaking and worth noticing, but what is truly frightening is how quickly McCarthy and others are ramping up the rhetoric. This is little more than the widely ridiculed “We have been at war with Iran since 1979″ nonsense that was peddled just a few weeks back, and now this meme is so widespread that McCarthy doesn’t even break rhetorical stride when mentioning it. According to the lunatics, the case has been made- that we have been at perpetual war with Teheran is just a known fact.
It is all there- the advocating for war, the sneering condescension aimed at ” our diplomat class” (just go ahead and call ’em pussies, McCarthy), the revisionism- one convenient package designed to advocate for the next war. It is only made more frightening when you examine it in the context of the state of our current military- stretched to the breaking point in Iraq.
That should scare the shit out of you, because the nuts are still in charge for two more years.