Friday, May 27, 2005

Of books and toilets.

A few points about the Koran desecration story:

Even before we knew it was true, it was so believable. After Abu Ghraib, nothing is out of the question, and frankly desecration of a holy book doesn't hold a candle to beating prisoners to death.

The way the administration lied about it is outrageous and yet it has the same ho-hum business-as-usual feel to it as the desecration story itself.

The ultimate statement, I think, of the truth of this is the lameness of what's passing for defense. I've read in more than one place, "it can't be true because it's hard to flush a book down the toilet." Gone are the days of "our troops wouldn't do something like that." I don't hear them using the "terrorists deserve it" line anymore. The "no worse than a college hazing" foolishness has passed. All that's left is "books don't go down toilets."

I think if you ask an American soldier to Get The Job Done, our fine men and women in uniform will figure out how to do it. If we hadn't taught our four-year-old daughter to respect books and not to flush arbitrary objects down the toilet, I think even she could figure out the solution to this vexing problem.

Do it a page at a time.

It's a better way to humiliate the prisoner anyway! Why waste a whole book with one flush when you can stretch the tragedy over an hour or two?

Then again, after the initial desecration, how much worse is the second or hundredth? I'm feeling the same way about America right now. We've been manipulated, lied to, atrocities committed in our name, for years, and this is just another one.
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