Thursday, June 23, 2005

Defining Barbarism Down

Andrew Sullivan has a very measured and articulate post on the reaction of many conservative's to Gitmo, and Dick Durbin's recent bout with foot-in-mouth disease.
I supported this war in large part because I wanted to end torture, abuse and cruelty in Iraq. I did not support it in order, two and a half years later, to be finding specious rhetorical justifications for torture, abuse and cruelty by Americans. I'm sick of hearing justifications that the enemy is worse. This is news? This is what now passes for analysis? They are far, far worse, among the most despicable and evil enemies we have ever faced. Our treatment of their prisoners is indeed Club Med compared to their fathomless barbarism. But since when is our moral compass set by them? The West is a civilization built on a very fragile web of law and humanity. We do not treat people in our custody as animals. We do not justify it. We do not change the subject. We do not accuse those highlighting it of aiding the enemy. We do not joke about it. We simply don't do it.
Except for his initial support for the war, I agree with him in toto.

I support staying in Iraq now. Unfortunately. We broke it, we fix it. Nature abhors a vacuum you see, and if we leave what do you think happens in a country with three opposing factions? Personally, I think to leave would be inhumane now.

So, when I hear about some folks, who were eager to go to war, and now are eager to pull out, I can't help but think that they're not allies of those who initially opposed the war at all; they're just not particularly concerned about the welfare of people who aren't Americans. They didn't care about the welfare of th eIraqi people when we went to war. They're probably not too concerned about the welfare of people in American detention facilities either. They're just not concerned.

I recognize that I'm speaking in generalities, of course, and I'd be more than happy to be proven wrong on this particular point.

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