June 06, 2006

Quote of the Day

"This horrible story from Haditha powerfully underscores the liberal vision, which is this. We are not angels: without sufficient moral and legal restrictions, and under conditions of extreme stress, Americans can be as barbaric as anyone. What's makes us an exceptional nation with the capacity to lead and inspire the world is our very recognition of that fact. We are capable of Hadithas and My Lais, so is everyone. But few societies are capable of acknowledging what happened, bringing the killers to justice, and instituting changes that make it less likely to happen again. That's how we show we are different from the jihadists. We don't just assert it. We prove it. That's the liberal version of American exceptionalism, and it's what we need right now in response to this horror."
-Peter Beinart, on the Huffington Post, talking some sense in this difficult time. Beinart's new book, "The Good Fight," is the next one off my shelf, and I can't wait to read it.

With Haditha, as with Abu Ghraib and the torture revelations and everything else before it, we're experiencing the exact same through-the-looking-glass right-wing spin: Sure, American troops may very well have slaughtered dozens of innocent civilians and then covered it up- but the real tragedy is that the media gave it too much attention! They're the real bad guys!

The companion to this nonsense is the idea that criticism of a possible massacre of civilians somehow adds up to a denunciation of the troops as a whole. It's an extremely simple distinction, that I can imagine any intelligent adult could make, but purposeful dishonesty has created this myth out of thin air. Sen. Dick Durbin specifically denounced those who committed abuses at Abu Ghraib- which the righty spin machine somehow turned into "Durbin compared the troops to Nazis!"

Meanwhile, for the left-wing version of war on terror lunacy that ignores any and all facts, check out the comments to Beinart's HuffPo post.

Posted by Stephen Silver at June 6, 2006 12:52 AM
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