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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by skunk, Jun 23, 2004.
You know, this has been one of the sore points for me in the "war on terrorism". The administration and the media can't seem to get Iraq off their minds. But Afghanistan was the first theater for the 'war on terrorism" and those men and women are being forgotten. This is not to justify the torture of the detainees. Just a disappointment that we are not hearing more.
Stipulating that the taxi-driver's story is true: His deal was wrong. False accusations (proably due to possible communications problems) are wrong. Beatings are wrong. And there's a limit to how much humiliation anybody should endure.
Where there is a rational concern that a person has information which would in actuality help prevent further deaths, or uncover the location of a dangerous person, I can see some amount of harsh treatment--but stopping short of torture. Again, "rational concern", not, "He might know something, maybe."
I have difficulty with equating sleep-deprivation with the true torture of beatings. Or, from another story, forcing somebody to stand for four hours being equated with true torture.
I realize the moral aspects of not descending to the level of our enemies.
At the same time, it's sorta hard to get all that exercized about the level of torture we've allegedly perpetrated. As a society, we find foul language amusing; rudeness and discourtesy are commonplace. Our government supports irresponsibility for consequences of one's actions. Professors teach situational ethics.
Why is anybody surprised?
It gets to a point of where we are willing to give up our "liberty" or "freedom" for our "safety"?
Chip, that's already been decided. Of course we'll trade liberty for security. That was shown by the poll results after the Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta. Over half the respondents agreed that they'd make the tradeoff.
"Security" of whatever sort is the unending goal of most Americans. Doubt me? Just take note of how many TV ads, one way or another, focus on or hint at the idea that involvement with the product will make life more secure. Health, finance...
Why else would we tolerate the indignities of air travel?
Well of course the concerns for security tie into the basic instinct for self-preservation which of course is one of the most basic needs/drives of humanity. This instinctual drive tends to trump the more evolved intellectual/ideological ideals such as the concept of Liberty etc.
Where, however, is the realization of the Muslim/Iraqi/Afghani need for that same sense of Security with reference to nearly two centuries of Western intervention ranging from creating countries/drawing boundries to the imposition of western versions of morality and ideology to the bombing of various countries? Do they not have the right to define their security on their own terms (not ours)? Security can also be tied into the right to self-determination too, of course...
I realize, of course, that our need for security and their need for it may not reconcile well, as well as the fact that we may be too far gone in some ways to forgive and forget...
Just some ramblings...
Your government will also trade 20,000 dead foreign civilians for security. Therefore, Liberty=20,000 dead foreigners. Q.E.D. Interesting equation.