Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Winning is the point

So says Andrew Sullivan. Ryan Sager at RealClearPolitics isn't quite sure he's buying:

OK, I'm not here to defend torture, but can Andrew Sullivan and the reader he quotes approvingly here really say what they're saying with straight faces?

After reviewing the reader's statement, this: We shun torture to preserve our own dignity as a society, not because we expect mercy from the enemy. They will show us none. To pretend otherwise is naive and morally blind.


For good measure, he notes that Andrew offers some clarification on the subject. For my money, the second comment is as stupefying as the first:

It qualifies as such by the Geneva Conventions definition. And Rumsfeld's own explicit guidance for interrogation techniques allowed the unethical use of medical and psychological records to devise specific torture methods for individual prisoners. Yes, that violates Geneva. But we already know what Rumsfeld thinks of Geneva. I should also pre-empt the flood of emails about this post by simply saying: a) yes, al Qaeda would torture captured American soldiers whatever our policies are; and b) yes, even the worst forms of torture we have employed cannot be measured up against the Jihadists' barbarism. But torture is always wrong; and this war is both military and ideological. Before the Bush-Cheney torture policy, the U.S. could protest the abuse of its soldiers in enemy captivity and be supported by its allies and their populations. Generations of American soldiers had cemented the concept of America as a decent country for whom torture was unthinkable. No longer. And so the enemy gains in the long war; and we lose. That's the point. Winning is the point.

1) Geneva doesn't apply. It never applied in this fight. Insurgents and terrorists don't fight in a uniformed military belonging to a state. It doesn't apply.

2) If winning is the point, lets do it. Let's win. Unfortunate as it might seem, that means fighting like you mean it.

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