Words of one syllable dep’t

Why we ought to be paying more attention to Abu Ghraib than to the Berg murder.

Why is the American press paying more attention to the Abu Ghraib horrors than to the Berg murder?

I’ll say this slowly, because I know many of the people asking this question most insistently were dropped on their heads as children and have difficulty grasping even simple concepts:

Our … troops … work … for … us.

Their … acts … are … our … acts.

We … are … res – pon – si – ble … for … what … they … do.

We … get … to … vote … on … their … boss.

But …

Arab … thugs … do … not … work … for us.

Their … acts … are … not … our … acts.

We … are … not … res – pon – si – ble … for … what … they … do.

We … do … not … get … to … vote … on … their … bosses.

There! Is that clear now? Or is there some word you’d like explained more slowly?

Update: David Adesnik agrees, though he cheats by using words of substantially more than one syllable. (I suppose he needs to make that Oxford education pay somehow.)

We have known for a long time now that Al Qaeda has no shame and no respect for human life. No matter how gruesome, the beheading of Nick Berg did little more than confirm that fact.

In contrast, the events at Abu Ghraib have severely tarnished America’s reputation as the foremost defender of democracy and human rights. In order to restore that reputation, we must ruthlessly pursue justice and punish those responsible for the abuses in order to ensure that this never happens again

American power rests just as much on its reputation as it does on its military and economic might. If we want to continue to use that power to promote American values, then we must restore our reputation.

Shore talks purty, don’t he?

Seriously, Adesnik earns kudos for being willing to annoy the folks on his side. I hope they’re listening. Remember: When you’re the good guys, you have to act like the good guys.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

One thought on “Words of one syllable dep’t”

  1. Speak Slowly

    Mark Kleiman clears it up for the slow kids. Our … troops … work … for … us. Their … acts … are … our … acts. We … are … res – pon – si – ble … for…

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