Monday, March 06, 2006

Torturous Topic

Terrorists are scum. No doubt about it.

I break from some of my fellow liberals in saying that even if terrorists have legitimate grievances that need to be redressed (land disputes, etc.), their tactics are unacceptable under any circumstances, and de-legitimize their causes completely.

Even considering the character - and I use the term loosely - of terrorists and many terror suspects, I don’t think torture is appropriate in the name of a civilized society. Especially not in the name of an idealistic one like America, that hasn’t practiced what it’s been preaching for a long time.

The technicalities of “Guantanamo inmates have no legal rights, therefore, anything goes” and “Terrorists aren’t legitimate military of any country and therefore aren’t protected by the Geneva Conventions” seem self-serving and contradictory to our stated ideals.

The very fact that the Bush administration is actively seeking loopholes that will allow for the torture of terror prisoners (see previous link) is shameful. We should treat them humanely just on principle alone. Or have we lost those?

No, terrorists would never grant us the same courtesy in a million years; they’d probably cut off our heads, the bastards. But don’t we want to distinguish ourselves from their brutality? Don’t we want to show that we are in fact civilized, even in the face of such savagery?

And, as many have pointed out, information obtained through torture is highly dubious, as the subject will often talk just to stop the pain.

It’s frustrating having to remind the most rabid nationalists among us that people such as myself have no love or sympathy for terrorists, we just perhaps better understand the meaning of the words hypocrisy and humanity.

I hope we’re clear on this.

32 comments:

Bird said...

Well, off to a fine start this bright and shining Monday!

I don't think you're breaking from fellow libs at all. I suspect that the majority of us, though we may see that in some regards the people whom the terrorists claim to represent have legit grieviances, we nonetheless consider terrorist tactics unacceptable.

What we've got in our country are two diametrically opposed outlooks. Some of us feel that the process, the means, is important.and that the ends cannot be just if it is secured unjustly. I think the religious right and the Bushites think the ends justify the means.and a "righteous" end can be attained through unrighteous actions.

Whoa - way too much religious lingo here for me!

Who knows how this will work out. It sure does seem to just get worse and worse.

Pete Bogs said...

bird - I think most libs would agree with you and I... there are some far, far left people who take devil's advocacy too far... I'm thinking of Ward Churchill, for example... basically, I didn't to assume we all agree from the outset, and wanted to state my opposition to what I would call an extremist left philosphy... it's certainly not something I encounter very often, but it's there...

whatever a group's complaint is - whether for a real or perceived issue - it loses any legitimacy when their actions are so extreme...

long story short, there's no justification for broad, indiscriminant violence... and when you have something like the cartoon riots, it's also disproportionate to the offense, in my view...

Hellpig said...

Qur’an 5:33 “The punishment for those who wage war against Allah and His Prophet and make mischief in the land, is to murder them, crucify them, or cut off a hand and foot on opposite sides...their doom is dreadful. They will not escape the fire, suffering constantly.”

Qur’an 8:39 “So, fight them till all opposition ends and the only religion is Islam.”

Tabari IX:113 “Allah permits you to shut them in separate rooms and to beat them, but not severely. If they abstain, they have the right to food and clothing. Treat women well for they are like domestic animals and they possess nothing themselves. Allah has made the enjoyment of their bodies lawful in his Qur’an.”


Yeah I don't have a problem with the torture,keep up the good work.

Jack K. said...

Eloquently stated. I agree with you. What better way to prove how bad terrorists are by stooping to their level and behaving as they do.

Oops! I forgot. We are justified in our behavior towards terrorist prisoners because we are not aiming our responses on a wide scale. We are only effecting a very few at a time. And, we know that they are ALL terrorists. They wouldn't be held at places like Gitmo if they weren't. So there you have it. We are not taking our angry, self-righteous frustration out on an entire population. We are surgically applying our unique interrogation techniques on individuals.

It seems as though our elected leaders have decided that the ends do, in fact, justify the means. After all, once the dust settles we can take another look at the constitution, if it can be found.

(Watch out for the rascals. They may spirit it away and replace it with a counterfiet copy that puts a slightly different slant to it.)

Hellpig said...

The double standard may well be the most characteristic feature of the leftist cultural order under which we now live. A particularly revealing instance of the double standard was the media's wall-to-wall obsession with the Abu Ghraib abuses, combined with its refusal to show the tape of the savage beheadings of innocent Americans by Islamist killers. While conservatives complain endlessly (one might even say boringly) about the double standard, however, they have signally failed to understand it. One explanation may be that today's leftists deceptively describe their politics as “liberal,” a fiction to which conservatives have all too willingly subscribed.

Conservatives have done this partly out of naïveté and partly out of a desire not to be polarizing, since their most basic need as conservatives is to affirm the harmony and cohesion of the existing order. Treating leftists as "liberals," they are constantly surprised and scandalized at the "liberals'" illiberal intolerance. They deceive themselves in regarding political correctness and the double standard as extraneous to liberalism, as a mistake or silly excess or regrettable hypocrisy, which, if pointed out to the "liberals," the "liberals" will renounce.

Hellpig said...

President John Adams, October 11, 1798:

“[W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Pete Bogs said...

HP - you seem to be invoking the long-disproven notion of a liberal media... the media overlook lots of things that are harmful to this administration, too... there's no accounting for them...

they don't show the images of dead civilians in Iraq, which do not speak well of Bush's war... seems like they're trying to either protect to the president, or to avoid the consternative "unpatriotic" label... they're also not allowed to show our flad-draped coffins... over 2000, but I've lost count...

in terms of violence, showing stills of guys smeared with crap or with women's underwear on their heads is not quite on par with full-motion video footage of a slow, methodical decapitation... I don't ever need to see those videos to be disgusted and outraged by those acts as well... but those acts are done by terrorists, which was my original point... whereas, the violence in the Abu G pics was done by the "good guys," meaning us... we can't pretend to be the good guys and do that kind of stuff... we could make no bones about it and say that we are breaking some eggs to make an omelet here; I wouldn't agree with it, but at least it would be honest...

Jack - thanks for your patronage!

Bird said...

Oh Hellpig, Hellpig, Hellpig,

Must I now go tromping through the Bible and regale you with quotes that will demonstrate how violent, vengeful, and bloodthirsty Christians and Jews are - or how Christians and Jews have supported slavery, forced prostitution, the ownership of women, corporal punishment(oh, I could go on and on and on)?

And so it's ok for us to do unto others not as we would wish them to do unto us, but as we worry they will do unto us, as they might do unto us, as some have done unto us?

This kind of thinking leads to blood oaths, crusades, and "holy" wars.

Jack K. said...

Pete :-)

You certainly know how to raise the right issue in the right way.

Patronage is an interesting term. I had never thought of me in that way. Admiration and support are certainly adjectives I would have thought of. I take your comments very positively, so thank you.


Bird :-)

You, as always, have a wonderful way of cutting through the crap. Your research is useful. Keep up the good works.

Now for a stream of consciousness comments about liberalism. I have always consdered myself as a liberal. But lately, thanks to tne neocons, I have begun to wonder if a new label may be in order. I haven't quite figured out what that might be. David Brin has coined the term Modernist. I need to read more of his writings before I make a decision. So far, much of what he says about politics resonate well with me. You might want to check it out.

Well, I've run out of consciousness, so I will stream on.

Hellpig said...

Bird said,Must I now go tromping through the Bible and regale you with quotes

See thats what I am talking about,christians and jews dont act out their scripture literally,here is a list of terrorTROP now scroll down to the "LIST"

Now you find me a christian list this century please

And so it's ok for us to do unto others not as we would wish them to do unto us, but as we worry they will do unto us, as they might do unto us, as some have done unto us?

Now in english please

Pete Bogs said...

Jack - that Modernists concept is intriguing... I'm not sure if I'm ready to cede the term "liberal" just yet... though, if it gets too toxic, there'll be no other choice... I love how there are no negative definitions of the word liberal, even though the Rovians have pretty successfully demonized it...

as always, your humble blogger...

fatty ~ said...

shouldn't the moral high ground that Bush takes in leading a war in terrorism be de-ligitmized by his actions in torturing thr said terrorists? I'm mean, its a idealistic principle - but the Guantanamo inmates are not 'terrorists' per se, but 'terror suspects'...

just throwing in a thought.

Pete Bogs said...

fatty - that was my implication... we can't be the good guys if we act like the bad ones...

ffff said...

The term 'terrorists' in your post, Pete, is meaning 'Islamic terrorist fundamentalists'. Is that right?
I mean the use of the term has now been bastardised to mean something to the neocons and something to Christians and something to each country and their leadership. Surely the actual terrorism could ( well from my liberal perspective) the MS13 group in the US or the Jewish attitude to the Palestinian children, or the leadership in China to their disenters, or the Americans bashing the shit out of David Hicks in Guantanomo Bay. OUR leader has done bugger all to help him whilst the Afghanis are back home, the Brits had gottent their detainees back and where is our one fellow? Still there after more than 4 years of being 'detained'. Now that is terrorism, isn't it?
So maybe we need another word for 'terrorist' as well since it has lost its stable meaning. George Bush sure terrorises me, but that is not the same is it? So how about we put another name on the loose group who represent a radical form of a religious organisation, in this case Islam.
Have to agree with Bird. the Bible is full of it. ANy being utilised now? Ask the recievers of the Israeli's firepower about holy land wars. ASk the homosexuals being terrorised and beaten as we speak, in the name of God. etc etc.

Pete Bogs said...

alison - I'm referring to the conventional usage that I hear daily... and yes, it refers to Islamic radicals... this was really directed toward my consternative readers, who have a limited scope of the meaning of terrorism... therefore, I adopted their own language to talk to them...

terrorism takes many forms... some assholes steal planes and fly them into buildings, killing many... in response, we take everyone fitting the generalized description of a terrorist prisoner and terrorize them... well, everyone but the actual terrorists like Osama... it's so easy to pick the low-hanging fruit, isn't it?

ps: I tried to post a comment on your SHHH blog but it appeared incomplete(?)

Hellpig said...

Terrorism also takes the form of UNC graduates that try to run over students in the name of Allah.yet the PC MSM won't label him as such. why do you suppose that is?

Bird said...

If we are going to include the "Jewish attitude toward Palestinian children" - and I'm not quite sure what that means - under the terrorist label, can we please then include the Palestinian terrorists that walk into marketplaces, hotels, soccer matches, movie theaters, etc. and blow up Israeli children?

I weary of Israel being labeled as acting as a terrorist state toward Palestinians without also labeling as such the Palestinian suicide bombers who terrorize Israeli innocents. Hamas,now in control of the Palestinian government, still has as its mission the total destruction and anililaton of the state of Israel. Can we label that as terrorist as well? Or maybe, since Hamas is now part of a government, that's just military aggression. In which case, Israel's military actions are not terrorist actions either.

Hellpig - Muslims do not act out their scripture literaly per se - Islamic terrorists do (and contemporary Muslims will tell you that those Islamic terorrist have corrupted the religion). There is a difference between a Muslim and an Islamic extremist and a terrorist - all three identities are not synomous - but then,I'm one of those "modern" liberals destroying our nation (and I shall rock on).

I read somewhere that approximately 1700 American Muslims are serving in Iraq -they are Muslim- are THEY attacking the West?

Speak English? Splutter.Splutter.
Learn to read.
My statement was quite clear, grammatically correct, and in parallel structure. Follow the subjects and verbs.

And whatever you do, don't piss off the uptight,nerdy English teacher!

ffff said...

Fair enough bird, but that is all we ever hear of is the pro Israeli side I didn't mean to demean their plight either... bit of a difference between a nuclear state being funded by US and children throwing rocks... just another form of terrorism ok?
I would never want to piss off anyone let along an English teacher!

Just saying... terrorism comes in many guises.. always has always will..thats all.. this war on terrorism must be seen for what it is.... political expediency... and more than 3 thousand die from hunger each month, from stupid terrorism of stupidity in Zimbabwe and like states... etc etc.. I am tired of it too..enough

Blue said...

Torture is perpetrated by the losers. The winners 'interrogate'.

Its an important distinction.

presidentbobo said...

Good point bluebolt. It comes down to the hypocrisy of the right - not the moral relativism of the left. We can’t espouse the principles of liberty and justice while simultaneously acting in the same manner as a tyrant. In my experience with the rural south I can aver that many folks preach one thing and practice another. Let us picture it another way.
Think of the statue of liberty – standing there proud and welcoming with her torch held high. Now picture her as an interrogator. She screams, "Where is your cousin Hamza hiding?" Then she shoves that flaming beacon of liberty elbow deep up some prisoner ass. The prisoner is going to tell her anything - even make up stuff to get that burning torch out of his ass. Miss Liberty doesn’t care. She knows this guy knows something. She just has to get the flames hot enough to make piggy squeal.
Think of this image and you will understand why America should never use the same tactics as our enemies.

Pete Bogs said...

pres - well put... though, no matter what you say or how clearly you say it, some people will never buy in...

I am not a supporter of Israel or Palestine... I am supporter of Middle East peace... both sides have legitimate arguments, but both are doing some horrible things, too...

Hellpig said...

The only way the West can be saved

It is among the evils, and perhaps is not the smallest, of democratical governments, that the people must feel, before they will see. When this happens, they are roused to action—hence it is that this form of government is so slow.—George Washington to Henry Knox, 8 March 1787.

The wages of sin is death, and the wages of long-standing indifference to the informing genius of a culture is—not just the death of the culture, but the pain and fright that attend death.—L. Brent Bozell, Mustard Seeds

I keep saying that the West must endure much more suffering and horror, many more surrenders and losses, before it will abandon its liberalism and start to defend itself from Islam—if it ever does. But no matter how many times I’ve said this, I realize I haven’t yet got to the core of the problem.
We must focus our attention on the fact that the key to this unfolding disaster is LIBERALISM. I am not speaking of liberalism in the classical sense, as constraints on the power of government, as free speech and free inquiry, as a single rule of law for all citizens, as individual rights. Nor I am not speaking of liberalism in the New Deal sense, as the use of government to correct imbalances in the economy. I am speaking of liberalism in its pure, modern sense, the sense in which it is most authoritative and active for us today—liberalism as non-discrimination, liberalism as non-judgmentalism, liberalism as the belief that individual rights and individual freedoms constitute the defining content of our society, the principle that rules all other principles. All of which comes down to the belief—for us, a sacred belief—that we must not define ourselves as a group, a collective whole, and therefore must not define any other group as fundamentally different from our group.

This is the belief that led the West to admit millions of unassimilable, hostile, and dangerous aliens into the West, and this is the belief that even now makes it impossible for Westerners to think critical thoughts about Islam as such, let alone to take effective action, or even imagine taking effective action, against it. In April 2001 I wrote an article called “America No Longer Exists,” by which I meant that America no longer sees itself as a nation, culture, and people, and therefore is unable to respond to obvious threats to itself as a nation, culture, and people. The same state of spiritual non-existence is much further advanced in Europe, especially Britain. Liberalism, by taking over the minds and hearts and souls of the Western peoples, has literally dissolved them as peoples. Having done so, it is now leading them to their political and civilizational destruction as well .

Now, what can turn this hideous situation around? There is only one thing that can do it: Westerners must feel the horror that liberalism has wrought. When they see their societies progressively taken over by Muslims, when they see Muslim sharia being implanted and enforced in more and more parts of their country, when they see Islam being taught in their children’s schools and promulgated in the mass media, when they see Muslim imams in the councils of state, when they hear the Muslims’ increasingly strident demands for every more Islamization, when they see Muslim razzias (a.k.a. riots and “random” murders) grow in intensity and audacity, when they see the government paralyzed even in the face of the most palpable crimes and threats, and when, most importantly, they feel the horror and despair and pain and humiliation of all this, and when, finally, they see that this situation was brought about by and is sustained by LIBERALISM, by the liberal belief that the acceptance of alien cultures is the highest virtue of society, then, only at that point, they will see that LIBERALISM, which they had imagined to be the fairest good, is the darkest and most disgusting evil, the smiling destroyer that has seduced them to their ruin. Then, and only then, will they be ready to repent of their liberalism and start defending themselves and their civilization.

Hellpig said...

This story is from our news.com.au network Source: Reuters

Guantanamo 'better than Belgian jails'
From correspondents in Brussels
March 07, 2006
INMATES at Guantanamo Bay prison are treated better than in Belgian jails, an expert for Europe's biggest security organisation said today after a visit to the controversial US detention centre in Cuba.

But Alain Grignard, deputy head of Brussels' federal police anti-terrorism unit, said holding people for many years without telling them what would happen to them is in itself "mental torture".

"At the level of the detention facilities, it is a model prison, where people are better treated than in Belgian prisons," said Mr Grignard.

He served as expert on a visit to Guantanamo Bay last week by a group of politicians from the assembly of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).complete story

Pete Bogs said...

do you think Alain had unfettered access to the prison? don't you think everyone was on their best behavior for visitors? I remember when my teachers would wear suits to school when state evaluators came through... they never got a true sense of what the school was like; it was all a show...

Hellpig said...

How do you know were you there? no you weren't so don't speculate which you have no clue.


"The Liberalism is strong in this one use the force Luke use the force"

Pete Bogs said...

it's very simple - this administration doesn't allow any independent, open investigations of anything... it's Bush's mode of operation... it'd be almost unheard of for him to do otherwise...

"This is not the blog you want to mess with, hellpig... it can go on about it's business..."

Hellpig said...

"I will go on about my business"

Hellpig said...

By BEN FOX
Associated Press Writer

Some Gitmo Prisoners Don't Want to Go Home

March 6, 2006, 6:46 PM EST


SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Fearing militants or even their own governments, some prisoners at Guantanamo Bay from China, Saudi Arabia and other nations do not want to go home, according to transcripts of hearings at the U.S. prison in Cuba.complete story : HERE

Imagine THAT !!!!

Pete Bogs said...

well, Cuba is a lovely tropical isle and not a sandcastle, which is what they're used to living in...

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