Thursday, May 13, 2004

Rush has been making light of the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib. In talking about the abuse of prisoners cowering before attack dogs, he made a barking noise. But the damage done to whatever shreds of dignity we had left in Iraq isn't a joking matter. Joseph Heller says it well in Catch-22: "And if that wasn't funny, there were lots of things that weren't even funnier." I would list all the things that aren't even funnier in Iraq if the list weren't so interminable. The least funny item on the list, though, is that we're not getting out. "Combat-hardened public relations officers" (Heller's phrase), are still pretending that we can achieve, in Krauthammer's words this morning, "a decent, representative, democratizing Iraq." WE can't. Maybe the U.N. or NATO could. Maybe we should just turn it over to the mullahs and hope, as Krugman suggested. But WE can't control it. The neocons have systematically destroyed our moral authority in that country. It's beyond salvage now. But I don't see Bush taking any steps to change course.


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