Friday, March 23, 2007

Slate's article; what we already knew

Amnesty International USA

Not to diminish the fact that this was written, but consider why all these blogs have signed up to be against torture; Torture Is Counterproductive (The response to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's confession proves it) Click on the title for the full article, as usual, here is an excerpt:

The Daily Telegraph, normally the most pro-American newspaper in Britain, wrote that it hardly mattered whether he was guilty, since whatever the conclusion of the military tribunal that will try him, "the world will condemn the procedures by which the verdicts were reached." Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung concluded that "the Bush administration has nobody but itself to blame for the fact that the actions and motives of the perpetrator are now playing second fiddle to the practices used by the Americans in fighting terrorism."
In another article, Anne Applebaum writes about the torture myth:

Given the overwhelmingly negative evidence, the really interesting question is not whether torture works but why so many people in our society want to believe that it works. At the moment, there is a myth in circulation, a fable that goes something like this: Radical terrorists will take advantage of our fussy legality, so we may have to suspend it to beat them. Radical terrorists mock our namby-pamby prisons, so we must make them tougher. Radical terrorists are nasty, so to defeat them we have to be nastier.

Perhaps it's reassuring to tell ourselves tales about the new forms of "toughness" we need, or to talk about the special rules we will create to defeat this special enemy. Unfortunately, that toughness is self-deceptive and self-destructive. Ultimately it will be self-defeating as well.

Which brings me back to this self image I feel Americans have in the face of external criticism; those with all the bravura attitude of toughness are like the little children or bullies we see who feel the need to prove themselves. It is a sign of immaturity, true immaturity, and lack of experience. Especially when it comes to war on home turf, and the fear that comes from being occupied.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ingrid, you forgot to mention it's a sign of Republican chickenhawks, who have not clue what war costs in terms of humanity when they don't have to do the fighting.


12:09 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

You said it. I couldn't agree more. It is very sad.

8:01 AM  

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