Observations on the world today.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Liberal Conservative White Arab Guilt 

Yahoo! News - Powell: Arab Response to Berg Insufficient
Secretary of State Colin Powell scolded Arab governments Sunday for not expressing more outrage over the videotaped beheading of an American civilian in Iraq. He also pledged action against American military prison guards and perhaps others responsible for prisoner abuses in Iraq that have drawn worldwide condemnation.
Well, I suppose that's one way to keep the story of the Berg killing in the news. Albeit a stupid counter-productive way that panders to the conservative-American need to assuage our own guilt.

Why do the leaders of - say - the United Arab Emerates have to say more about the Berg killing? What culpability do they have in it? Why is Powell not demanding that the Japanese and the people of Brazil also repudiate it as vehemently? Could it be because they had nothing whatsoever to do with it? Why, yes, yes, I think it could be just that.

Tom Tomorrow had some interesting observations on this the other day.
The right wing blogs seem to be fixated on the Nick Berg story, and how little attention it's receiving compared to the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal.
The Nick Berg story, on the other hand--a terrible thing happened, it led the news for several days--there's not much more to say (unless you want to delve into the contradictory accounts of Berg's detention by U.S. forces, but somehow I suspect that's not the angle that interests the warbloggers). This was a terrible, terrible event. Anyone in this country who pays the slightest attention to the news has heard about this story, and is appalled and disgusted by it. What more is there to say? I am hardly an apologist for the mainstream news media, as anyone with the most passing familiarity with my work is well aware, but it's just not their job to open every newscast chanting "four legs good, two legs bad" over and over again.
The only thing that matters here is that the people of Iraq repudiate it. They have. Demanding that the whole Arab world make a public show of how wrong they think this murder was is the PR equivilent to if the Italians had demanded that the French repudiate the LaBianca murders.

How's that for a timely reference?


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