May 11, 2004

Oh Boy, Oh Boykin

Patti reminded me that I wanted to say something here about Army Lt. Gen. William Boykin.

I don’t remember if I ever posted about this story, but do you remember a few months back, the administration defending Boykin for his remarks?

Appearing in dress uniform before a religious group in Oregon in June, Boykin said Islamic extremists hate the United States “because we’re a Christian nation, because our foundation and our roots are Judeo-Christians. … And the enemy is a guy named Satan.” […]

Discussing a U.S. Army battle against a Muslim warlord in Somalia in 1993, Boykin told one audience, “I knew my god was bigger than his. I knew that my god was a real god and his was an idol.” (CNN)

Yeah. And then he told a defeated Somali warlord “You underestimated our God.” or somesuch.

Here’s another take on Boykin:

“I don’t think the administration understands how much damage Boykin has done,” said James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, an advocacy group. […]

“When the administration is playing to its American supporters, it appears anti-Islamic; at the same time, it is trying to send a message overseas that we love Islam,” Haddad said.

A refrain I’ve heard over and over again from hawkish administration supporters is this: if you are ever considering the emotions of the Arab world when deciding how this country conducts itself in the war on terror, you ought to have your head examined. Now we see the genius of this approach.

Boykin’s name is popping up again with this Abu Ghraib mess. He’s the deputy to the undersecretary of Defense for intelligence.

“Somewhere at the bottom of this you’ll find Cambone and his deputy, Boykin,” said a former military intelligence official, referring to Army Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, Cambone’s top deputy. “I think Cambone and Boykin are reflective of the whole neoconservative philosophy that these prisoners are undeserving of treatment as prisoners of war.” (L.A. Times)

As Boykin said, the enemy is a guy named Satan. Who is going to argue with you if you’re leading Satan around on a leash, naked?

But I think they may have been mistaken about just who was holding the leash in that equation.

Posted by James at May 11, 2004 11:06 AM
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