28 September 2006

What the GOP doesn't get

President Thumbscrews and his rubber stamps in congress just don't get it. They don't understand that whether the US engages in torture says more about us than about our enemies.

As John Aravios so elegantly illustrates:


And when George W Bush stands up in front of the world and says "The United States does not toture," the rest of the world will know it is a lie, because they have been watching the open assault on the Geneva Conventions, and heard Bush say:

Common Article III of the Geneva Convention . . . says that there will be no outrages upon human dignity. It's very vague. What does that mean, "outrages upon human dignity"?
George, if you have to ask that is a sure sign that you are a true moral cripple. And your attempts to lawyer up the Geneva Convention make the US a moral cripple in the eyes of the world. And history will damn you for that.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Should he be turned over to a war crimes tribunal?

Dwezel said...

This is acually the first i heard of this. I havent watched the news or paid attention to the papers ever since Bush came along... I kept feeling like crying every time I did.

Henny said...

"They don't understand that whether the US engages in torture says more about us than about our enemies."

It's not about what it says about us, or how we look. It's about winning a war against people who don't wear uniforms, who blend into the civilian populace, and some of whom are in the US.

I frankly couldn't care less what the rest of the world thinks of us, as long as my daughter never has to wear a god damn burka or veil, and doesn't get stoned to death for being an artist who sculpts naked people.

We are in a war for the survival of western liberal values. Many people seem to be in denial about that.

It would have been nice if we had a better president when 9/11 happened, but we're stuck with the guy we got. I don't really understand why most of our recent presidents are so fricking mediocre. I think Clinton would have done much better as a post 9/11 president than any of the recent candidates (Gore, McCain, Kerry, Giuliani, Bush), but it's our bad luck that the smartest guy we've had in the white house lately presided over the lull between the cold war and the jihad war.

I don't like having to side with Bush on this, and he's not doing a great job, but we do have to win this war.

shadowfax said...

Henny,

There are two important points in response to your thoughts. First, from a simple pragmatic point of view, torture is a bad idea because it doesn't work. The information gained from torture is unreliable -- as the Inquisitors learned in the 16th century, the victims of torture will confess to anything and say whatever their interrogators want to hear in order to make the ordeal end. Also, how we look to the world does matter. When we are well-known to use torture (Abu Gharaib), this increases anti-American Sentiment and further motivates would-be jihadists to war against us.

The second point is more important, though. You say you don't want your daughter to wear a burka. That's because our culture has important values that matter, like equality and opportunity and freedom for females. The values are why we fight. Among those values are the presumption of innocence, the right to due process, and humane treatment for prisoners. When we compromise them in the name of winning the war, we give up the things about us that are better than terrorists. What else are you willing to give up to win this war?