The Rude Pundit makes a rude point here: two American soldiers have been captured by the bad guys in Iraq. I can, in good conscience, sit here and hope that they are treated in a civilized fashion by their captors, and are eventually released unharmed; this will, of course, make American treatment of Iraqis look beastly and barbaric by comparison. If they are abused and humiliated, smeared with excrement, photographed naked in degrading poses, attacked by dogs, or otherwise maltreated, I can again in good conscience condemn their captors as barbarous animals; I’m not sure what the right wing in this country will do. Sneer at the ineffectual frat-boy hazing? Hypocritically threaten to nuke the country in retribution? Sadly, the only thing that would unite left and right in opposition to their treatment is if those soldiers were killed, and the right is in the position of requiring a lower standard of behavior.
Thanks to the inhumane policies of our government, we are now in a lose-lose situation. There is no reason to expect or demand any kind of moral treatment of our captured soldiers when we aren’t willing to give such treatment to Iraqi prisoners.