Second, anti-torture is pro-troops. The rank and file military opposes torture because soldiers who might be captured want the protections of the Geneva convention. If we're willing to blue line the Geneva convention, there's no check at all on enemy regimes.
Third, don't vote Luca Brasi. Don't vote for Sonny Corleone, for that matter. It's not possible to be more ruthless or barbaric than Al Qaeda. It's a waste of time trying to match them evil for evil. They can be out-thought and out-planned. They can be isolated and cornered. Harried until they are eradicated.
Here's another bad analogy. If you've got mice in your house, you want to get rid of them. One way would be to chase after the mice with a hammer, smacking each one you find. Muy macho, but ineffective. Mice can hide in places you just can't reach. Here's another way. Figure out what draws the mice into your house. Put your food in plastic containers. Figure out how they get into the house and patch the holes. Then set traps wherever you find mouse poop.
Here's the thing -- I'm not going to pretend to enjoy emptying the mouse traps, but my home will be mouse-free while the guy with the bloody hammer is still rolling around in the crawlspace.
I suppose I have to respond to this one since it is my comment. The comment, if read fully, was geared at illustrating why complaining about the "torture" of enemy combatants by liberals really hurts their cause. So here goes...
First, I have to dispute that Americans are actually torturing anyone in the normal, non-ACLU, sense of the term. They are using proven psychological and physical techniques to get information. There have been numerous studies on what works and what doesn't so I will leave it to the professionals. I am not in a position to second guess the military or CIA. I believe that they go with techniques that will gain them the most accurate and reliable information on a case by case basis. For instance, take Alaeda's deadliest killer, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 911 and the "brain" of Al Qaeda. When he was caught KSM demanded to be questioned by Americans, not by Saudis or Egyptians. Why do you think that is? According the left us Americans are ruthless torturers akin to Pol Pot, the Nazis and the Russion Gulags. Right? Turns out Saudis' and Egyptians' actually torture people. KSM didn't want that. So the Americans take him. He is awakened each day at the proper time so he can pray to Allah. He speaks with the same few CIA agents at every meeting. The time and duration of the questioning varies to keep KSM from anticipating questions and preparing answers. In exchange for small favors-- a plate of dates, perhaps-- KSM speaks with his questioners. This is how the CIA treats the one of the biggest piece of shit mass murders of all time. Its not because they like him, they probably like nothing better than to kick the shit out of him. It is because the technique they have carefully chosen is working. Bottom line-- you have to use what works. Liberals don't want the CIA or military to have the full toolbox--they can only have what doesn't offend their liberal sensibilities. I trust the professionals with all the tools.
I don't get the Hitler thing. He didn't torture the people he suspected? Good for him I guess. Seems like Hitler's a pretty good guy, but I don't see the relation to this discussion.
When did Al Qaeda sign on to the Geneva Convention? I didn't realize that sawing a person's head off while he screams in agony on a live video feed complied. The Geneva Convention applies to the guys who wear uniforms and fight on the battle field--not the cowards who target innocent civilians for extermination.
I agree that it is not possible to be more brutal, dispicable, ruthless or barbaric than Al Qaeda. I agree we have to be ten times smarter then they are if we are going to get the better of them. We are. Its obvious we can't and won't "match" them because a civilized people doesn't target innocent civilians for mass extermination. We could go one step down from Al Qaeda and target for murder only the known family members of terrorists. It would be very effective. But again, we don't kill innocent people. I agree with that.
The mouse analogy-- I have toolbox for killing mice. In that toolbox is a hammer. I use that hammer to go around killing every terrorist mouse in plain site. Its kind of a rush. But these mice get wise and go underground. So I get some cheese out of the toolbox. I give that cheese to the mice who don't have blood on their hands to gather information about where the mice I want are. Then I find some of these mice that are little lower on the totem pole. I take an electric cattle prod out of tool box and I start zapping these mice until they tell me where the big fish...err.. mice are. Then I pull out this really tiny cross bow that shoots back in the cracks and crevices where they are hiding. They don't know what hit them. I do get some mice picketing in front of my fridge about my brutal and barbaric tactics. I hit them with the hammer.
Movie Analogies-- In the "Untouchables" a street wise Irish beat cop talks about the "Chicago Way". "They bring a knife, you bring a gun, they put one of yours in the hospital, you put one of their's in the morgue". Take a look at "Missippi Burning" when Gene Hackman says "we do it my way, with my people" and the scene with the big black man speaking with the White supremicist about testicles in a cup--classic. Who comes out on top in those films? Speaking of "The Godfather", as I recall Michael C. has all his enemies murdered at the end. Maybe if the ACLU was Don they would offer them "therapy and understanding".
By 2:06 AM, at
The U.S. government, apparently, has acknowledged the torture of prisoners. I would think that would be good enough for both of us.
According the left us Americans are ruthless torturers akin to Pol Pot, the Nazis and the Russion Gulags. Right?
Actually, no. Durbin talked about specific FBI reports and said the conduct described would be expected of a totalitarian regime, but unexpected for a democracy. Sadly, this democracy has elected leaders who choose to use unproductive, barbaric tactics which should be beneath a civilized people.
You can either fight the war on terror to win it, or fight the war to kill as many of them as possible. I think we should try to win a peace.
You suggest a one tiered approach. I support a two tiered approach. We should kill as many terrorists as possible. I am not going to back off that or the methods used to do it. But we should also reach out to the Muslim world and try to change attitudes. Diplomacy clearly has its role. It was encouraging to see that opinion regarding Americans in Indonesia and other muslim areas struck by the Tsunami had improved greatly due to our relief effort. I just hope we continue to help now that the media coverage has died down. Americans seem to have shorter and shorter attention spans. We have paid for it in the past (think Afghanistan).
We need to put pressure on Saudi Arabia and other countries to stop indoctrinating youth to hate Israel and America. There are schools where all these kids learn is to recite the Quran and hate the "little Satan" and the "big Satan". That has got to stop.
I am alarmed at the election of a hardliner in Iran. Its a little ironic that the moderate was cleric and the hardliner was not. It is a big set back for that country. We need to be smart diplomatically if we are to open up Iran.
By 10:27 PM, at
I think your tiers are at cross purposes.
I think in the present world -- if not forever -- pure diplomacy rarely works. The only thing that works is diplomacy plus consequences. Those consequences could be military action, which I would rarely support, or could be economic.
One problem is that Bush, Cheney, and Rummy have so bungled the invasion of Iraq that we have no credible military threat. If we're in Iraq for another 12 years, Bush will have destroyed the military and bankrupted the treasury to fulfill his neo-con fantasy.