COMPARE AND CONTRAST: Newt Gingrich, in the The Wall Street Journal looks at Abu Ghraib and business as usual in the Middle East:
Not surprisingly, the anti-American left in our own country and in Europe–with its selective memory, remembering forever any American mistake while forgetting every anti-American and antihuman atrocity by others–is already on radio and television exploiting this as an opportunity to condemn America.
The pan-Arab media, with their selective outrage, honor and give prominence to terrorists and barbaric mobs. The smallest American error is given banner headlines, but is, in contrast, excoriated. It is suicidal to reinforce this double standard.
One needs to point out that the pan-Arab media said nothing when the Syrian dictator Hafez al-Assad destroyed Hama and killed more than 10,000 of his own innocent people, or when Saddam Hussein used poison gas on Iraqis and created 300,000 anonymous graves.
Nothing negative was said by the pan-Arab media when Americans were burned, mutilated and dragged through the streets of Fallujah, or when two Palestinian gunmen ambushed a pregnant woman last Sunday in her station-wagon and at point-blank range methodically killed her four children ages two to 11, and then killed her.
It is worth remembering that Eason Jordan, a CNN executive, wrote an article admitting that his network had deliberately covered up and ignored Saddam’s atrocities to retain access to Baghdad–a policy of caution that, of course, is not reflected in the network’s current coverage of charges against America.
One American newspaper, with a half-page dedicated to the allegations of brutality in Iraq, referred to the Sunday killings of a mother and her five children as “violence marred the Sunday Likud election.” No outrage, no shock, no horror, just another day of viciousness and brutality by our enemies.
On the one hand we’re asked to believe that torture is something truly awful, but on the other that the prospect of being tortured will be a recruiting tool? If the worst thing these guys can imagine is being led around on a leash by G.I. Jane then why would they risk going to war with us? Meanwhile, there’s the argument–offered here–that the Arab world believes this is how we act all the time, but this confirms it. If they believe it already then so what?
Apropos of nothing, it’s also worth considering the double standard of the press–the Abu Ghraib photos being shown endlessly, versus the almost immediate blackout of the images of 9/11.