Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Ann Coulterization of American Foreign Policy

I know HuffPost has this, but I think I'm gonna be sick:

The suicides of three Arab detainees at Guantanamo ignited new calls on Sunday for the United States to shut down the prison camp but a U.S. diplomat called their hangings a "good PR move" to gain attention.
Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry identified the two Saudis as Manei al-Otaibi and Yasser al-Zahrani but gave no further details. Pentagon documents show Zahrani was 21, meaning he was sent to Guantanamo as a teenager.

Saudi Arabia, a staunch U.S. ally, asked for the return of the bodies, and said it was stepping up efforts to repatriate more than 100 Saudis held at the prison so they could be tried "based on our laws and regulations."
What can you say about an Administration that puts the Saudi regime in the position of claiming the moral and legal high ground? And the best part: this "US diplomat" didn't speak to FoxNews or Bill O'Reilly; oh now, they went seriously public with this one:

Colleen Graffy, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for public diplomacy, told the BBC World Service the suicides were a "good PR move to draw attention."

"It does sound that this is part of a strategy in that they don't value their own life and they certainly don't value ours and they use suicide bombings as a tactic to further their Jihadi cause," she said.

Graffy coordinates efforts with Karen Hughes, a former top aide to President George W. Bush who is now a special envoy charged with trying to improve the U.S. image abroad, especially in Islamic countries.
Which explains why Ms. Hughes' PR efforts paid off so handsomely.

"If [the Guantanamo detention facility] is perfectly legal and there is nothing going wrong there, why don't they have it in America?" Britain's Constitutional Affairs Minister Harriet Harman asked on BBC television.
Well, apparently, because we believe Hannibal Lecter is a real person, and that everyone in Guantanamo eats fava beans and Chianti with their American pie:

"There are some ruthless and fanatical terrorists that are in our custody and we just can't turn them loose," Sen. Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat, told CNN's Late Edition. But he said: "We should recognize that as long as Guantanamo exists, it is a source of international attention and concern."
Sen. Reed puts it mildly. And yes, the reference to lost innocence was intentional. The problem now is, we are clinging to it as an excuse to be brutal in our naivete. Take, for example, our President, who says he's concerned about Gitmo, but still waiting for this:

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule this month on the legitimacy of special military tribunals set up to try those charged with war crimes, and to clarify what rights the prisoners have in U.S. courts.
Which is the most disgustingly transparent and legalistic smokescreen since Bill Clinton said "It depends on what the definition of 'is' is." But at least no one died because Bill Clinton didn't want to admit he'd engaged in oral sex in the Oval Office. The rest of the world understands this. The rest of the world is outraged by this. It will take some time to make Americans understand, and some effort. Maybe we can start with just considering how unashamedly, jaw-droppingly stupid our public officials now are.

UPDATE: It just gets worse.

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