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May 21, 2004

Model Behavior

The woman giving the thumbs up sign, above the dead body packed in ice. She's hot. Very good looking. Could be a model - in more ways than one.

David Scott Anderson asks, like many of us with morals and a conscience not directed solely at America's collective genitalia, "
What Happened to Decency?"
The Bush Administrations worst flaws have been exposed. It's shallowness, arrogance, incompetence and unwillingness to admit mistakes and seek compromise. I am watching a White House Press Conference right now. What continues to amaze me is the state of denial. The question is being asked about The President's view of Chalabi's credibility. The White House Spokesperson refused to answer the question, simply repeating again and again. "It is up to the Iraqi people to decide who their leaders will be." Which had NOTHING to do with the question or REALITY. Did the Iraqi people decide to invite Chalabi back in the first place? Will the Iraqi people have a say in who will take over on June 30th?

There is only one way I see Bush beginning to turn this around, and that is unlikely. It involves him showing some humility and behind closed doors if necessary, asking for help from our allies. But it also involves him reengaging in Israel and letting Colin Powell do his job, instead of dictating a right wing agenda to him. As strange as it may seem to the uneducated, the key to success in Iraq runs through Tel Aviv.
You know what I find funny in all this? When there's a sick and ugly photo of Palestinians (for example) rubbing blood on themselves or, Jesus, holding body parts, generally the right pans the whole people as a bunch of savages. However, when it's these few soldiers (and I agree it is a few), well it's not indicative of the American military or the American people. Which it's not.

Funny that, ain't it?

Sure, there are many Palestinians who do not do anything to combat that ugliness. But, think on this - if the right had their way, those on the left who are pointing out how sickened they are at the American military's behavior - well, they're talking TOO MUCH about it they are being told. As if there's a fine line of decency that demarks where there's TOO MUCH outrage about a sickness that, it appears, is part of human nature in general and part of the American prison system in particular.

I think the Military justice sustem is working pretty well on punishing those who need to be punished (although 1 year for 1st-class asshole Specialist Jeremy Sivits, 24, seems a lenient sentence for what would have got him 5 to 10 in civilian life (you know, where you and I live).

I base this partly on the fact that two prominent Republicans who used to be Justice Advocate Generals (Lindsey Graham is one, can't tihnk of the other) have been saying - yes , we need to get this solved. We need to absolve ourselves of our sins through intense investigation and prosecution.

It's working pretty well, except for the so far succesful attempt to point the finger higher. The person highest up, that the military and the civilian administrators of the military seem willing to point their finger at is Brigadier General Janice Karpinski (By picking this link and its inherent typos I do not endorse it's contents but I did find it interesting). I'd quote Ann Coulter's comments about her, but she only said them so others would. Coulter does not believe them.

The Taguba Report called for her dismissal and/or her discipline. Her bosses declined as, it seems, civilian interogators and military intelligence had full run of her prison, without her control. Karpinski remains commander of the 800th Military Police brigade.

Karpinski could also be a model, but I haven't figured out what for, yet.