Lee P Butler

Senator Durbin's Gulag Is A Liberal Crescendo Of Rhetorical Absurdity

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 Senator Durbin’s Gulag Is A Liberal Crescendo Of Rhetorical Absurdity

6-20-2005

“More than 1700 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq and our country’s standing in the world community has been badly damaged by the prison abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo,” Senator Dick Durbin (D) ranted. “I will continue to speak out when I disagree with this administration.”

Throughout many sectors of the country Senator Durbin’s name is now synonymous with that of Hanoi Jane Fonda or Baghdad Jim McDermott. He decided he would use outlandish and completely absurd language of equating American soldiers in Guantanamo Bay with Nazis, Stalinist Soviets, and Pol Pot as a way of ‘disagreeing with this administration’.

It seems as though he may have been emboldened to follow this tact, because of the outrageous allegation spewed by Amnesty International who earlier had labeled Gitmo as the ‘gulag of our time’. Of course, this exaggerated assertion entirely disregards the torture and rape camps of the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, which took place during ‘our time’.

But, then, Senator Ted Kennedy had already leveled his own Durbinesque rhetoric against our military men and women about Abu Ghraib prison when he equated their activities with that of Saddam’s henchmen by stating that the prison had ‘re-opened under new management’.

In all three cases, the perpetrators of these accusations are disregarding, not only, the effect their mendacious statements have on the emotional well being of our troops and their families, but the fact that those words, spoken by political leaders of America, will encourage the enemy whose terrorist activities are resulting in the very deaths Senator Durbin referred to.

And for what?

So they can launch a misguided attack against President Bush and his administration. That, ultimately, is the saddest aspect to this ridiculous debacle. Certain Americans would care so little about the safety of American military personnel that they would risk emboldening the enemy by denigrating our military men and women in an attempt to score political points.

Ah, but the plot thickens. Senator Durbin wasn’t finished. He then issued a categorical slap in the face to those he had defamed. “I sincerely regret if what I said caused anyone to misunderstand my true feelings: Our soldiers around the world and their families at home deserve our respect, admiration and total support,” he stated blankly. Then he went right back on the attack, “My statement in the Senate was critical of the policies of this administration, which add to the risk our soldiers face.”

He got one thing right, his ‘statement in the Senate’ can ‘add to the risk our soldiers face‘.

What about the assertion that his statement was actually being critical of this administration and it’s policies, not of the troops?

Let’s examine the evidence. On the Senate floor, Senator Durbin said, “If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime -- Pol Pot or others -- that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners.”

First of all, why would anyone believe that when he asserted, ‘this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime -- Pol Pot or others’, he was referring to the President and his administration, when in fact Durbin made a point of making sure everyone knew who he was talking about by adding, ‘This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners’.

Second, the ‘Americans’ he alluded to are soldiers in our military, not administration officials, and he directly connected their actions with those of Nazis, Soviets, and Pol Pot where 9 million people were slaughtered by Hitler, 2.7 million died while actually being tortured in the Soviet gulags, and 1.7 million killed by Pol Pot.

It’s a pretty big exaggeration for Amnesty International to compare Guantanamo Bay or even Abu Ghraib, for that matter, to a ‘gulag’ and it’s reprehensible for an American Senator to equate our soldiers to torturous despots, even if they are just trying to malign President Bush.

“Clearly, that’s over the top. That is not what is happening at Guantanamo Bay,” said Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas). “What is happening at Guantanamo Bay is we’re trying to treat people humanely, recognizing that these are terrorists.”

Republican Senator from Virginia, George Allen went even further, “Senator Durbin’s statements are deplorable. He should ask for forgiveness, forgiveness from our troops, from their families and all of us who are trying to win this War on Terror.”

The recalcitrant Senator Durbin wasn’t about to back down and decided to turn to the old faithful Democrat tactic of attempting to divert the attention to ‘the right-wing conspiracy’. “Now, sadly, we have a situation here where some in the right-wing media have said that I have been insulting men and women in uniform. Nothing could be further from the truth,” Durbin intoned.

Durbin clearly stated, “This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners.” What is further from the truth, Senator, is your accusatory statement about our troops, and your newfound buddies at the terrorist friendly Al Jazeera news network agrees with your sentiment so much they are proudly reiterating it for all the Arab world to see... including the terrorists attacking our troops.

Even Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid was unsure how to react to Durbin’s equivocation, much like he did with Howard Dean. Is the shrill echo growing? “The more the popularity of the President plummets, the more the people downtown try to play the game of attack,” Reid said. “This is all an attempt at distracting us from the officials before us... Do we have a problem with the issues [Durbin] is discussing? Yes, let’s focus on them.”

So the right-wing attack machine is called into play again as Durbin’s fellow Democrats try the same diversionary tactic he used by asserting the problem is not what Durbin said, but the fact that some in the media... pointed it out!

You can call Gitmo a ‘gulag’. You can call President Bush a terrorist. You can even say that turning the air conditioning up really high is torture. But you better not ever make an issue out of what a liberal actually says, because what they said is not really what they meant to say.

Gitmo isn’t really a ‘gulag’, it’s just the ‘gulag of our time’. President Bush isn’t really a terrorist, he’s just terrorizing terrorists. Our military personnel aren’t acting like Nazi’s, President Bush’s policies and his Administration are.

Have the assaults by liberals on our military reached a rhetorical crescendo? We’ll just have to endure the prisoner abuse at Gitmo of eating one orange glazed chicken dinner at a time to find out.

Lee P Butler

Copyright 2016 Lee P Butler. All Rights Reserved.