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Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Let the hearings begin! And the courts-martial! 

A terrorist website has posted a video showing American civilian Nick Berg being beheaded.

This kind of blatant prisoner abuse should not be tolerated. But you see, that's the difference between us and our enemies.

When they cut someone's head off, it's only news for a day or two, because it's what we expect of such people. They release a video, with their brave faces invariably covered, and they disappear back into obscurity until their next atrocity.

When Americans strip someone naked it creates outrage for weeks. Arabs become shocked and angry. (More so than their baseline level of anger, one would assume from the news coverage.) Americans become shocked and angry, as they should. Senate hearings are televised globally. The military justice system is set in motion to take the perpetrators to trial in a process that's open to the whole world.

The difference in the reaction and the media coverage tells me all I need to know about the relative morality of us vs. them.

The silver lining in the abuse case is that it's a chance to show the Arab world exactly how democracy and the rule of law work. They too can see the difference between America and their own societies all too clearly.

UPDATE: A reader passes on this comment from The Command Post: "Thank God they didn't put a pair of panties on Nick Berg's head. Then it would have been an atrocity!"

Yep. At least they didn't humiliate him, and just slaughtered him like decent human beings.

Scott Ott has more.
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