December 7, 2007
We were, of course, never at war with Eastasia.
May 25, 2007
Onward Christian soldiers
Despite what their spokesfolks told the Washington Post, God’s own Air Force and God’s own Army will still be saluting the troops for Jesus this Memorial Day weekend:
After complaints by a government watchdog group, the Air Force and the Army partially distanced themselves yesterday from a three-day evangelical Christian event this weekend at a Georgia theme park.
The Memorial Day weekend “Salute to the Troops” celebration at Stone Mountain Park is sponsored by Task Force Patriot USA, a private group that says its purpose is “sharing the fullness of life in Jesus Christ with all U.S. military, military veterans and families,” and whose Web site says “Christ is our Commander-in-Chief.”
In recent days, both the Task Force Patriot USA Web site and the newspaper of Robins Air Force Base, Ga., described the celebration as “an official U.S. Air Force 60th Anniversary event.” Along with speeches by evangelical ministers, church services and distribution of Bibles, the published schedule promised “hourly flyovers” by Air Force jets, performances by military bands, color guard presentations, a parachute demonstration by the Army’s elite Silver Wings jump team from Fort Benning, Ga., and exhibitions of Air Force equipment.
The promotional materials also said that an active-duty B-2 pilot, Air Force Maj. Brian “Jethro” Neal, would give Christian “testimony” during an outdoor worship service punctuated by a special flyover of B-2 “stealth” bombers.
A Washington-based advocacy group, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, sent letters yesterday to Air Force Secretary Michael W. Wynne and acting Secretary of the Army Pete Geren contending that the military’s extensive cooperation in the event would be unconstitutional.
“The Air Force and the Army have crossed the line here: A reasonable observer, upon examining the promotional materials, the Robins Air Force Base newspaper, and the current program schedule, could not help but believe that the Army and Air Force fully support and endorse the Christian substance of the celebration,” the letters said.
We’ve been here before.
April 1, 2007
Terry Jones on Iran
I share the outrage expressed in the British press over the treatment of our naval personnel accused by Iran of illegally entering their waters. It is a disgrace. We would never dream of treating captives like this — allowing them to smoke cigarettes, for example, even though it has been proven that smoking kills. And as for compelling poor servicewoman Faye Turney to wear a black headscarf, and then allowing the picture to be posted around the world — have the Iranians no concept of civilised behaviour? For God’s sake, what’s wrong with putting a bag over her head? That’s what we do with the Muslims we capture: we put bags over their heads, so it’s hard to breathe. Then it’s perfectly acceptable to take photographs of them and circulate them to the press because the captives can’t be recognised and humiliated in the way these unfortunate British service people are.
It is also unacceptable that these British captives should be made to talk on television and say things that they may regret later. If the Iranians put duct tape over their mouths, like we do to our captives, they wouldn’t be able to talk at all. Of course they’d probably find it even harder to breathe — especially with a bag over their head — but at least they wouldn’t be humiliated.
And what’s all this about allowing the captives to write letters home saying they are all right? It’s time the Iranians fell into line with the rest of the civilised world: they should allow their captives the privacy of solitary confinement. That’s one of the many privileges the US grants to its captives in Guantánamo Bay.
The true mark of a civilised country is that it doesn’t rush into charging people whom it has arbitrarily arrested in places it’s just invaded. The inmates of Guan-
tánamo, for example, have been enjoying all the privacy they want for almost five years, and the first inmate has only just been charged. What a contrast to the disgraceful Iranian rush to parade their captives before the cameras!
… It is [also] clear from her TV appearance that servicewoman Turney has been put under pressure. The newspapers have persuaded behavioural psychologists to examine the footage and they all conclude that she is “unhappy and stressed”.
What is so appalling is the underhand way in which the Iranians have got her “unhappy and stressed”. She shows no signs of electrocution or burn marks and there are no signs of beating on her face. This is unacceptable. If captives are to be put under duress, such as by forcing them into compromising sexual positions, or having electric shocks to their genitals, they should be photographed, as they were in Abu Ghraib. The photographs should then be circulated around the civilised world so that everyone can see exactly what has been going on.
March 9, 2007
Zell’s little soldiers
Finally, an anti-abortion message the religious right can really run with:
Zell Miller, the former Democratic Senator from Georgia who backed President George W. Bush in 2004 and spoke at the Republican National Convention, recently told an anti-abortion gathering that the “killing” of unborn babies was the cause of many of America’s woes, including its military, social security, and immigration problems.
“How could this great land of plenty produce too few people in the last 30 years?” Miller asked. “Here is the brutal truth that no one dares to mention: We’re too few because too many of our babies have been killed.”
Miller claimed that 45 million babies have been ‘killed’ since the Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade in 1973.
“If those 45 million children had lived, today they would be defending our country, they would be filling our jobs, they would be paying into Social Security,” he asserted.
Makes sense. In a parallel-universe, biblical sort of way.
Hat tip to The Hollywood Liberal.
January 23, 2007
When the deaths are countless…
Why bother to count?
MSNBC, at least, seems to have given up: one of its stories late yesterday was tagged “Scores killed in Baghdad blasts.”
But “scores” isn’t quite right: surely we should standardize on a measure that celebrates the presidential cause of those scores—say, a Bushel. One Bushel could equal one bombsworth, although we’d all have to agree on what constitutes a standardized explosion in downtown Baghdad…
Still, you can see where I’m going with this. And just think: no more counting those pesky, individually innocent Iraqis.
Anyway, yesterday we apparently lost two Bushels.
Are we proud yet?