Kerry blames Bush for Iraq abuse

by on May 11th, 2004

In the latest installment of the “Let’s Blame Bush” game, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry all but accused President Bush of leading American troops to demean and degrade Iraqi prisoners held by American forces in Iraq, much as he had in invading Iraq.

Kerry touted the “arrogance” of Bush policy as reason for the actions of American troops.

He also said that the actions of troops were “an insult to the Iraqi people.”

But in a quick change of heart, Kerry stated that the videotaped beheading of an American contractor in Iraq was merely senseless.

“I’m horrified and deeply saddened by the senseless murder of Nicholas Berg,” he said.

Both instances can arguably be classified as torture of one over another, but what gives? Why in one instance does Kerry classify an act as senseless and in another place the blame on Bush? Surely he does not seriously buy into the idea that Bush should be held accountable for every military aberration while he happens to be president, nor desired those acts.

And to suggest that the Bush foreign policy–of “arrogance,” apparently–dictates that American troops need torture and demean captured Iraqis is no less than absurd.

Or maybe he does believe it. I’m not sure which frightens me more–blatant political posturing or a delusional presidential candidate willing to say just about anything as long as it in some way results in mud on Bush’s face.

According to John Kerry, the actions of one are not equivalent to the actions of another; one seems to deserve our anger while the other warrants bewilderment, and not the ones you might think. Indeed, Kerry’s choice of words–“insulting” for troops and “senseless” for Iraqi terrorists–leaves a lot to be desired.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan puts the videotaped beheading into perspective.

“This shows the true nature of the enemies of freedom,” he said. “They have no regard for the lives of innocent men, women and children. We will pursue those who are responsible and bring them to justice.”

To his credit, Kerry said that “America stands together against [the terrorists responsible].” But as to standing against the American troops responsible for degrading Iraqi prisoners, well, that just won’t do.

I ask Kerry why America cannot stand together against the American troops who took it upon themselves to commit such atrocious acts. It’s not American, and no one in their right mind condones it. Yes, President Bush included.

Update: Backcountry Conservative has quite the Nick Berg roundup. And Paul of Wizbang points out that the left is uncharacteristically silent on the matter. Wizbang also has a bunch of links to the video. And there’s some more discussion here.

Etalkinghead Staff