Reader Jim Mason called my attention to this piece by Alex Hinton, a professor at Rutgers University, that appeared in the Christian Science Monitor and was picked up by Real Clear Politics. Hinton warns that our government’s prosecution of the war on terror is causing us to become like the Khmer Rouge, the criminals who ran Cambodia at one time. Their rule saw the mass extermination of ordinary Cambodians in the name of a crazed Communist ideology. So Hinton must have evidence that the Bush administration has killed Americans pursuant to the war on terror, right? Of course not. Nor does he present evidence that we have intentionally killed foreign terrorists in our custody — you know, the folks who actually are trying to exterminate Americans. Hinton does point to abuses at places like Abu Graib. But it’s obscene to compare the disgusting but non-lethal tactics of the rogue guards at that prison to genocide. For the most part, the reported tactics did not even involve the infliction of physical pain.
Genocide has taken place in Iraq. But the perpetrator wasn’t the U.S. government, it was Saddam Hussein, the fellow our soldiers overthrew and captured. Also, while it may have escaped Professor Hinton’s notice, the U.S. has brought about free and fair elections in Iraq and Afghanistan. I don’t recall the Cambodian analog to these shining events. Hinton, however, may think he sees one when he refers to the “era of new fanaticisms.” Perhaps he regards President Bush’s quest to promote democracy in the Middle East as fanaticism.
It would be nice to think that Hinton’s piece represents off-the-chart lunacy. However, he’s far from the only leftist to have compared Bush to Hitler — for example, moveon.org found merit in two such amateur campaign ads. If Hitler, then why not Pol Pot? Perhaps that’s what the Christian Science Monitor thought when it published the piece, a decision that further shows that Hinton’s lunacy is not necessarily outside the hard left mainstream.
The hatred of folks like Hinton for the U.S. knows no discernible bounds.
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