Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Gulag Goulash: Dat Ole Debbil Librul Media at Work

So AP puts out a story detailing the plight of innocent teenagers -- children -- swept up by American forces in Afghanistan. They were beaten, bound and tortured, then packed off to the George W. Bush Memorial Concentration Camp at Guantanamo Bay. There, many of them were again beaten and abused, and held -- sometimes for years -- in the sinister limbo of Bush's arbitrary "enemy combatant" status.

OK, let's recap: Bush rounds up innocent children, tortures and cages them for years. That's what the story is about. So what's the headline?

"Gitmo Teens Say Taliban Stole Youth."

That's right. Not a whiff, not a hint of criticism of our Dear Leader and his GULAG system. (What is it again? A GULAG! Can't hear you. GULAG! Say what? GULAG! But gosh, isn't that an "unfortunate exaggeration" or an "inapt turn of phrase," as so many furrowed-browed "progressives" are telling us? Er, no; it's a highly accurate and highly effective way to convey the moral horror of a system where people are "disappeared" without charges, tortured, beaten and killed. Say it loud and say it proud -- or rather, say it with a sense of overwhelming bitterness and shame that such a monstrosity would be constructed in our name: GULAG!)

Instead of alluding to these unpleasantries, the headline-writer plucks out the fact that these youths were press-ganged into the Taliban's service -- which of course only underscores their innocence, and heightens the horror of their treatment at Bush's hands. But anyone skimming the headlines would simply register it as one more story of Taliban dastardry, and probably move on without reading it. Or else read it through the prism provided by the headline: "God, weren't those Taliban so terrible! These poor boys, to suffer so at the hands of those devilish foreigners." And yes, of course, the Taliban were (and are) terrible, as are all extremist groups who seek to impose their vision on the world through violence and repression. But what the facts of this particular story tell us is that this terrible suffering was compounded, extended and magnified by the moral insanity of Bush's gulag system of violence and repression.

The reporter, Paisley Dodds, does a fine job. But someone at AP has undermined this important story – either wittingly or more likely unwittingly, in an unthinking regurgitation of "conventional wisdom" (Muslim swarthies bad; Dear Leader good), a reflexive flinching in the face of unpalatable truths.