Thursday, May 20, 2004

No rest for the holy warrior 

Remember Lieutenant General Boykin - the one that the left had so much fun with some months ago when he proclaimed at a Christian group meeting that "God is 'bigger' than Allah, who is a false 'idol', and... the war on terrorism is a fight with Satan"?

Well, now thanks to Sydney Blumenthal (remember Sydney Blumenthal - the one who had spent so much time defending Bill Clinton from the vast right wing conspiracy? (remember Bill Clinton - the one... Sorry back to the story)), who popped up his head in London "Guardian", we know that the prisoner abuse in Iraq can be linked directly to the nefarious influence of the holy warrior himself:

"[He] was at the heart of a secret operation to "Gitmoize" (Guantanamo is known in the US as Gitmo) the Abu Ghraib prison. He had flown to Guantanamo, where he met Major General Geoffrey Miller, in charge of Camp X-Ray. Boykin ordered Miller to fly to Iraq and extend X-Ray methods to the prison system there, on Rumsfeld's orders."
I always knew it was those damned Christians. Blumentahl continues:

"There can be little doubt that [Boykin] envisages the global war on terror as a crusade. With the Geneva conventions apparently suspended, international law is supplanted by biblical law."
Which says what? "Love thy enemy?..." It really says something (but sadly nothing new) that a respected mainstream publication automatically and unquestioningly assumes that the application of "biblical law" to real life situations will result in carnage, torture and mayhem.* I know, I know, there are some abhorrent examples of what happens to defeated peoples in the Old Testament, but that doesn't affect my argument about the media making blank (negative) assumptions. Just about everyone in the mainstream media would argue until they're blue in the face that Islam is a religion of peace that is occasionally perverted and misused by some extremists - why not at least give the same courtesy to Christianity?

When the Boykin-Abu Ghraib story broke a few days ago, some predictable reactions resulted:

"Congressional aides and Arab-American and Muslim groups said any involvement by Lt Gen Boykin could spark new concern among Arabs and Muslims overseas the US war on terrorism is in fact a war on Islam.

" 'This will be taken as proof that what happened at Abu Ghraib (prison) is evidence of a broader culture of dehumanising Arabs and Muslims, based on the American understanding of the innate superiority of Christendom,' said Chris Toensing, editor of Middle East Report, a US-based quarterly magazine."
Still waiting for the news story:

"Congressional aides and Arab-American and Muslim groups said any involvement by Osama bin Laden could spark new concern among Arabs and Muslims overseas that the war of terror against the US policies in the Middle East is in fact a war on Christianity."
* It might shock Blumenthal to discover that international law has got its origins in the work of some very Christian philosphers and legal scholars.


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