Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Politics — Rick Moran @ 5:55 pm

What is it about Senator Dick Durbin’s remarks that is so difficult to understand? Did 8 years of having a President parse even the word “is” so inure us to not taking words at face value that, like living a nightmare existence in a world created by Jacques Derridia, all meaning in language has been lost?

One more time. Here’s what the Senator said:

If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime—Pol Pot or others—that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners.

Does “This was the action of Americans…” mean something other than what was said immediately prior to this phrase was “action of Americans.” What am I missing here?

This is deliberate self-delusion on the part of the left to try and claim that Durbin was saying anything other than our soldiers act like Nazis. Even Durbin himself is now trying to get out from under the mess by saying that “Americans” didn’t necessarily mean soldiers…it meant civilian contractors:

I called Senator Dick Durbin’s office this morning at (202) 224-2152 and, after being on hold for a while, laid out the reasons why I think Durbin should resign from the Senate. His staffer told me that as of this morning, he is standing by his statement comparing American soldiers to the Nazis, the Communists and the Khmer Rouge. There was one caveat, however: the staffer told me that Durbin never actually said “American soldiers,” and that there are also contract interrogators at Guantanamo Bay. I asked whether Durbin was trying to claim that everything bad about Gitmo was the fault of civilians, and the army has nothing to do with it. She backtracked quickly and denied that this was Durbin’s theory–it would, of course, be an absurd claim since the military runs Guantanamo Bay and sets the policies there. Her evasion shows, though, how deeply dishonest Durbin’s position is.

Just to show the “civilian contractor” theme was not an isolated remark by some idiot staffer, another Powerline reader also called the Senator’s office and got a similar response:

My husband, who is Jewish, lost family members in the Holocaust. We have a niece now serving in Iraq with the US Air Force and a nephew soon to be deployed to Iraq with the US Army. I phoned Senator Durbin’s office today to tell him, in light of this background, how deeply offended I was by his comments equating Guantanamo with Nazi death camps and US troops with Nazi thugs. The staffer with whom I spoke claimed that the Senator wasn’t REALLY maligning US troops … the problems at Gitmo are all the fault of civilian contractors. Like you, I asked whether that means the Senator believes civilians - as opposed to the US military - are in charge of Guantanamo. Quick backtracking and dissembling for the remainder of the call. The Senator has backed himself into a corner. But will there be consequences? Will he lose his leadership position or be censured? Not likely, IMHO.

This referencing civilian contractors is no accident. On Tuesday evening, PBS will broadcast a Frontline Special that will absolutely savage the military, the Pentagon, the Bush Administration, and the private security companies employed by the military and others in Iraq. Entitled “Private Warriors,” the synopsis is sure to raise the hearts and spirits of lefties everywhere:

FRONTLINE returns to Iraq, this time to embed with Halliburton/KBR, and to take a hard look at private contractors like Blackwater, Aegis and Erinys, who play an increasingly critical role in running U.S. military supply lines, providing armed protection, and operating U.S. military bases. These private warriors are targeted by insurgents and in turn have been criticized for their rough treatment of Iraqi civilians. Their dramatic story illuminates the Pentagon’s new reliance on corporate outsourcing and raises tough questions about where they fit in the chain of command and the price we are paying for their role in the war.

Haliburton! Corporate Outsourcing! What isn’t there to gladden the soul of the anti-American left. And cannily, Durbin is tapping into this support as you can be sure the program will be the talk of the lefty Shadow Media on Wednesday.

And you can always tell when the left is starting to lose an argument; they suddenly switch tactics and take the moral high ground:

Remember, this is not an ideological issue. Liberals are always against torture (and were consistently against Saddam’s torture when the US was financing him). Conservatives are against torture as well. Remember, it was one of their justifications for this war.

What we have are not conservative trying to justify the torture — or even celebrate it — it’s blowhard partisans.

Meanwhile, Kevin Drum (whose hilarious “8 Questions for Conservatives About the Iraq War” was his earnest attempt to understand conservatives) has once again challenged conservatives to come up with an analogy other than Nazi Germany to describe what’s going on at Gitmo. Is he kidding?

The Commissar:

Kevin asks for Conservative input on what to compare the abuses at Guantanamo to? He specifies “which evil regime,” and if phrased that way, his otherwise legitimate question turns into choosing your poison. “Would you rather we compare Gitmo to Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Torquemada, Genghis Khan, etc.?”

How about these comparisons? To a Cook County jail. To a Mossad interrogation center? How about to Connecticut’s infamous Newgate Prison, where we kept British POWs during the American Revolution (and not a very pleasant place)?

Perhaps those seem minor and small-scale, lacking the news impact of comparison to Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia? Well, yes, and that is exactly the point of this response. On any reasonable scale of atrocities and brutality, the problems at Gitmo are “minor and small-scale.” Just because al Jazeera and Dick Durbin liken them to Auschwitz does not make it so.

This is the real difference between the left and right. How is it possible to confuse turning off the air conditioning with dunking captured pilots into ice water to see how long it would take them to die? Or turning up the heat compared to putting 6 million people in gas chambers? The left’s complaint is that there “is not enough difference” between us and the Nazis hence calling the US murderous thugs on par with Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot is perfectly rational.

With that kind of stupidity, I see no hope for dialogue. Therefore, the Durbin issue not only won’t die, it will grow in intensity as Durbin and his apologists seek to find some way to justify their outrageous statements.

It will be interesting to see if more Republican Senators actually start calling for Durbin’s resignation from his leadership post as Trent Lott was forced to after his ill concieved remarks praising former Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond’s run for the Presidency in 1948 on a segregationist platform.

The difference, I imagine, is that Republicans saw that what Mr. Lott said was wrong. Liberals see nothing wrong with comparing their country to the most murderous regimes in history. Nor do they see anything wrong in those words giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

So much for the “Reality Based Community.”


  1. I found and pulled that Kos quote myself, and, after reading it again, I wonder if I would be putting words in Kos’s mouth by say that, while he may have not approved of Saddams torture when the US was financing him, Kos sure seemed to approve of torture when Bush started the process to go to war with Saddam, and certainly as the war progresses.

    Comment by William Teach — 6/21/2005 @ 3:35 pm

  2. Except the U.S. never “financed” Saddam. We sold him less than 10% of his weapons more than 20 years ago. Any case for the U.S. as partially culpable for Saddam’s behavior is laughable.

    To say Kos is an asshat, un-American, nincompoop would be too kind.

    Comment by Fresh Air — 6/22/2005 @ 1:56 am

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