The coming backlash against outrage
Looking at visual images from US-run prisons in Iraq, news watchers now find themselves in the midst of a jolting experience.
Looking at visual images from US-run prisons in Iraq, news watchers now find themselves in the midst of a jolting experience that roughly resembles a process described by Donald Rumsfeld: "It is the photographs that gives one the vivid realisation of what actually took place. Words don't do it. ... You see the photographs, and you get a sense of it, and you cannot help but be outraged."
Yet, unlike most of us, the Defence Secretary has a vested interest
in claiming that the grotesque real-life images have nothing to do with the US policies. In Iraq, Rumsfeld has reaffirmed, "I am convinced that we are doing exactly what ought to be done." Under the circumstances, it would be astonishing if he said anything different.
But hopefully most Americans are more willing to consider implications of the fact that the US government has been operating chambers of horrors that run directly counter to America's self-image as a righteous military force.
In the weeks ahead, we'll be encouraged to turn away from information surfacing about imprisonment and interrogation techniques that have held sway under the US authority in Iraq. Atrocities will be discounted, excuses made, messengers blamed.