Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Honoring the dead


20 months ago, the WaPo reports, the Pentagon decided that 15 Chinese Muslims, Uighurs, being held at Guantanamo had either done nothing wrong, at least not to us. They haven’t been released because they can’t be sent back to China. My favorite detail: nobody bothered telling them for some months that they had been cleared. My favorite new piece of military jargon: the Justice Dept says it has the right to hand on to them under its “wind-up power,” the power to hold onto POWs for a while at the end of a war while making arrangements to return them.

The Post also has a lively story about a near major prison break by Iraqis held by the US, who dug a 357-foot tunnel, involving the removal of 100 tons of dirt. Full of great details. Only took 5 months for anybody to tell us about it.

Bush has responded to Cindy Sheehan after all, by a slight change in rhetoric. Seeing that the death of her son gave her so much moral authority, he has taken to trying to give himself stature by standing on top of his much higher stack of corpses, even going so far Monday as to say out loud for the first time the number of dead. Suddenly they’re useful to him, even Casey Sheehan, as the basis for an argument that the dead need to be “honored” by continuing the war. “We will finish the task that they gave their lives for. We will honor their sacrifice by staying on the offensive against the terrorists etc etc”. We’re here because we’re here because we’re here because we’re here...


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