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May 26, 2004


"I believe one of the major failings in Western society is a failure to police your own"

Western hell. Hello Islam.

Obviously when community and loyalty are in opposition to moral clarity, the former nearly always win. Which is why we make fairy tales and movie scripts out of the people who choose the latter.

I've seen a meme in the blogosphere that Joseph Darby ought to get a medal for what he did ((quick duh - though I certainly saw it discussed in the blogosphere, the origin of these meme was probably an article in the Washington Post, which mentions that the army is "considering giving Darby a medal" but can't say when)).

A while ago there was a post by Moe asking for "definitions of nutbar", and as I remember, one I came up with was "If everyone on Obsidian Wings seems to be of the same political complexion, you're probably a nutbar."

Abu Ghraib is one of those things that filters out the nutbars: because I could not tell, till I got to the bottom of the page, which one of the ObiWing gang was writing it. (Well, Katherine R would probably have linked to more sites, but that's because she's Research Queen.) It could have been any one of you. Trent Lott is a nutbar.

And can anyone advise if public pressure to get Joseph Darby a medal will speed things up? Because I really think that publicly honoring the ones who spoke up early and without support against the atrocities at Abu Ghraib is the right thing to do on practically any level you can name. I'm not up on army protocol: who's the right person to write to, anyone know?

(The friend I might have asked is currently in Iraq with limited access to e-mail and is dealing with her own reaction to the Abu Ghraib horrors - the worst personal thing for her seems to be that she's been part of teams who took Iraqis to Abu Ghraib - and she has no idea which of them may have been tortured, but she was directly responsible for taking them to that hell. "Acting under orders" isn't a good consolation for some people, and neither is "I didn't know" - because even though she didn't know, she was responsible. I wish Donald Rumsfeld had that kind of conscience. I wish my friend were safe out of Iraq.)

With the usual caveat about if words being accurately reported... he's up for re-election in 2006; it'd be a wonderful thing if he didn't even make it past the primaries, no?

Lott and those in the Congress who agree with him--many former Dixiecrats and Wallace Democrats--are Exhibit I for why I could never be a member of the Republican Party.

That having been said I think he's a pretty good barometer for Jacksonian opinion. His is an exaggerated form but Jacksonian opinion is a legitimate and significant part of the American scene. Such views will become stronger over time.

I propose we punish Lott by making him chair of the Senate Rules Committee.

My idea of a better future is if Trent Lott was a lone idiot saying these things. He has too much company from Sen. Nickles of Oklahoma to the Limbaugh's and Savage's of the media. There's a nest of these sad sacks who make things more partisan than we should be. We have so much more in common as human beings but when fundamentalists take power they divide because it's 'their way or the highway'.

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