The NABA Defense: That we're "Not As Bad As" so-and-so seems to be the defense echoed by the White House and the right, writes Slacktivist:
The American abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison, we are reminded, was Not As Bad As the abuses committed there by Saddam Hussein back in the day. The lawlessness of Guantanamo Bay, the president insists, indignantly, is Not As Bad As the kind of thing Joe Stalin used to do. And while more than 100 prisoners have been beaten and tortured to death in American custody during the past three years, that's Not As Bad As the death toll from the terrorist attacks of 9/11 -- the event that we have taken as license to adopt means that are almost, but perhaps Not (quite) As Bad As the means of the terrorists we rightly condemn as immoral.

I do not merely concede these points, I heartily embrace them. Take the whole sordid affair -- the Lynndie photoshoot, the torturing to death of innocents and adversaries alike, the "extraordinary rendition" of unknown hundreds or thousands on the slenderest of suspicions -- and it still doesn't put us in the same league as the A-list All-Stars of Evil.

But, good God, is this what America is now reduced to? Do we really have to go all the way over to Stalin or Saddam to find an example of someone whose behavior is reassuringly worse than our own? How are we supposed to maintain a shred of pride in our nation or in ourselves as a people when the best we can say for ourselves is that we're Not As Bad As the worst people we can think of? Do we really need Stalin in the class to blow the curve so we can pass this course?
(Via Peek.)

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