Sunday, May 16, 2004

Jessup


Last post and then to bed — the boy and I are set to play some wiffle ball in Central Park and, as they say in Boston, he wakes up wicked early.

Liddy, Haig, Arnheiter and Calley: I am unaware of any of them getting caught for issuing illegal orders in the military. Well, Arnheiter is close and a complete freak. Actually, Calley did get caught and tried for issuing illegal orders in the military. Geez — what did G. and Al do?

I guess the fundamental difference between the Arnheiter and Calley cases and the cases of Jessup and Abu Graib is this: Arnheiter and Calley committed their acts during actual conflict. Not on prisoners. Not on their charges.

Abu Graib was shelled, but is, by and large, safe. Same as Guantanamo.

I know, weak argument. It's hard to defend or differentiate monsters such as these. I can directly speak to the liberal view of the soldiers being forced into service — I've encountered it recently and, as a military brat whose dad and sister earned their degrees as a result of military service — it's an all volunteer army. Even though we're at times of peace, conflicts can spring up in the Middle East at any time, so think twice before enlisting (right, Brian?).

Mostly, though, I think I'm going to go with you about the causes. It sounds like a lot of the abuses are also being documented around the US (the next time James Brown refuses to pull over for a cop, I'm gonna side with him!). It also sounds like the concept of a chain of command is dead, whether from the cases you mention above or not. Does the buck stop anywhere any more? Can we please kill the concept of five bosses (I thought Office Space would have gotten rid of that...)? It sounds like a lot of peer pressure was put into play and a lack of leadership let bad elements in.

Elements like the CIA and its contractors, mostly.

We count on peer pressure to build teams. We get Columbines as a result (which is not so different from the Shahids or whatever, except sans deity) on one end of the spectrum and on the other, Abu Graib. And the Holocaust.

See, if geeks and nerds ran the world, this wouldn't be happening. Only we have the power to employ a limited form of peer pressure — the same one that keeps "The Theory of Evolution" being taught like it's some kind of fact. Ha ha ha ha ha!! The joke's on everybody except Kansas and Georgia!!
Geez, when did this turn from catching up on some posts to a 2am screed?

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