Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Unreason among Arabs

Fouad Ajami condemns the "moral emptiness" of "official" Arab life, and its "great silence" regarding Zarqawi’s terror is Iraq. He praises the Shiites for their "attachment to sobriety" and he thinks that will continue. The op-ed is both a plea to the U.S. to continue its work, and a reasonable optimism about the outcome. He is persuaded that a new order for the region is being drafted.

Discussions - 12 Comments

The man(and anyone who swallows this pablum)is a fool. Moral emptiness? Perhaps you’ve heard about all of our noble warriors trading grisly pictures of dead bodies so they can get free pornography? I guess that must be moral virtue. Or perhaps just "a few army guys." And now will come the usual vapid responses of "war is hell" and "small price for democracy." I’d post the url for the death-for-porn site, but it would be a perfect excuse for Moser to engage in censorship.

Well, I’ll give Mr. Moser the benefit of the doubt that he’ll at least allow links to the few news stories that have discussed this repulsive trading game. It’s worth noting too that a now-archived article in The Australian discussed this NON-porn site where soldiers have posted photos of the maimed and the dead with lots of "funny" captions (they just don’t trade the pics for pics/subscriptions to see naked girlfriends or wives). Disturbing, to say the least.

Yes, let’s all play the "moral equivalence" game. A few sadistic soldiers in our corps balance out the culpability of an entire civilization of Arabs...and they are guilt of sitting on the sidelines and allowing terrorism to happen. But, yea, I get it. I’ll bet if you try real hard you could dismiss the atrocities of Stalin by noting how we treated the American Indian. That’s the ticket, right boys? Just a few fuzzy comparisons and some squinting and poof! Amerika is the global Satan. Just as you like it.

Some American military personnel posted overseas during WWII committed thefts, robberies, assaults, rapes, and even murders. There was even a fatal firefight between US Army soldiers and Australian soldiers in Brisbane after sexual taunts and insults were exchanged at a railway stop (it was notoriously known with grim waggishness as "the Battle of Brisbane"). American troops, especially in the Pacific theater, were known to collect and even sometimes send home gruesome souvenirs taken from dead Japanese.

Obviously, on HDT’s "logic," this means that fighting in WWII was a huge mistake. We should have spent the early 1940s gazing into our own navels and flailing ourselves (or posturing at it in order to score cheap rhetorical points against politicians and fellow citizens we didn’t like) over our collective "moral emptiness." Hitler never attacked us on December 7th; he had nothing to do with Pearl Harbor, yet we made Europe the top priority almost immediately when only Japan had assaulted us (Hitler was attacking US ships in the Atlantic, it’s true, but we had provoked him w/ Lend-Lease and other help for Britain).

Of course, thank God at the time Americans would have no truck with such idiocy and we did take the field to help defeat fascism after all. Now we have a new brand of fascism to defeat. I’m sure that not all Americans, even in our great military, are saints and choirboys. FTR, I’d just as soon they weren’t swapping pics of dead people. But Islamofascism still has to be taken on and defeated. As they say in the Middle East, "the dogs may bark, but the caravan moves forward."

Just posting a link on the Battle of Brisbane. I can’t confirm the detail of taunts at a rail station, but it was a major riot involving US soldiers in an Allied city. Hundreds were hurt over two days of violence, and a US MP shot one Aussie soldier to death in a scuffle. All in all, a very ugly incident, and evidently completely censored by US authorities during the war:

To add a bit more to the theme of particular misconduct and what it may (or may not) say about a war’s overall justice and wisdom, readers might want to check out the passages on widespread pillaging by American Continental Army troops and patriot militia during the New Jersey campaign of 1776-77 in David Hackett Fischer’s "Washington’s Crossing." And the Civil War of course is rife with incidents: consider the needless Union mistreatment of Confederate prisoners at Elmira, NY, or the massive war profiteering that went on, esp in the North. None of it very nice, but does it render the Civil War an unjust war that ought never to have been fought to a victorious finish for the Union?

So trading pics of corpses for porn doesn’t qualify as "moral emptiness"??

Dain, if the "entire civilization of Arabs" is the problem, then wouldn’t you endorse a far more thorough military onslaught? Why not use nukes and all that, and take no regard whatsoever for civilians??

The fact that we are talking about the "moral emptiness" of trading porno for horrific pictures proves that our culture is not empty in a moral sense. No one here condones this...but to be fair I’m sure this is a relatively small number of troops.

When I say Arab culture, I am not condemning everyone in it, only the cultural rules they live under. Such rules can change, and indeed need to change, if the Arab world (and the Islamic world in general) is to peacefully coexist with the rest of us. Cultural change does not require genocide, which is what you are suggesting, Craig.

Dain, you dolt, you said "entire Arab civilization," but now you’ve backpedaled it to "(not) everyone in it." I’ll just let your idiotic interpretation of what I said - that my ironic question was somehow a "suggestion" - speak for itself.

Craig, you "embessil" (thanks, Buggs!), you’ve got it wrong. Arab civilization has many nations and subcultures...that’s all I meant. And you WERE the one who said "let’s nuke ’em," not me. You lefties sure are quick to resort to the nuclear option!

So, about the claim in comment 3 that "A few sadistic soldiers" are swapping pics of human carnage for porn pics, or whatever else "a few" soldiers are doing to spoil the noble and honorable work of the other 99.99999999% (a line that Dain’s been pretty redundant with for some time now), this article points out that some West Point boys (that bastion of radical leftism within our otherwise unblemished, sterling military!) serving in Iraq have observed that "...abuse of prisoners was widespread and that officers weren’t adequately trained in how to treat detainees" and that violations of the Geneva Conventions are "systematic, and the Army is misleading America." The one West Pointer, a Christian, went to Human Rights Watch and "authorized them to make public his allegations, along with those of two sergeants, of widespread prisoner abuse they witnessed when they served in Iraq in 2003 and 2004 as members of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division." (emphasis mine)

This sure doesn’t fit with that whole "few bad apples defense," now does it?

Interesting stuff, "Daln." I’m waiting to hear from Dain about it, but right now I can only hear crickets.

Well, it looks like the guy who ran that website where folks could trade pics of Iraqi corpses for access to porn pics has been arrested. Interesting.

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