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  Gustav
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Sunday, December 05, 2004

A moral leader?

Andrew Sullivan sees a culture of abuse in the US military-- a direct result of the Bush administration's ends-justify-the-means policy.

And the Bush administration has already made it absolutely clear that no one of any consequence will be held responsible. They make me ashamed.

Me too. Bewildering that after so many cabinet members have been discarded, Rumsfeld remains safe and sound. A travesty.

Sullvan cites this article as more evidence, as if we needed any.

Please tell me again how this is keeping us safe from terrorism.

Some might argue that such behavior is inevitable during war. My answer: exactly, which is why I and so many others were against it in the first place. We knew this kind of thing was bound to happen (although we perhaps didn't expect it on this scale, and so well documented), while Wolfowitz was harboring hallucinations of rose-petal-strewn streets in the heart of Bagdad.

Four more years. ugh.

3 Comments:



Blogger wafflestomper said...

Some might argue that such behavior is inevitable during war. My answer: exactly, which is why I and so many others were against it in the first place._

it seems to me that if you concede that abuse is inevitable, then that next sentence should read 'are against it' instead of 'were against it'. unless there are special circumstances when you willing to accept abuse, i'd say that sounds like pacifism. most pacifists object to the killing, not the pictures of prisoners in hoods...

the linked article doesn't provide any details of the events depicted in the photos. the armed forces were seals, not prison guards, and the photos taken in the field, not in prison. if the seals were being shot at, and they used enough restraint to capture rather than kill, perhaps a moment of stupid, juvenile behavior wouldn't be so hard to accept. maybe the prisoners should have the choice: martyrdom or humilating photos. this scenario is of course linked to a critical assumption that the prisoners were not innocents, which if they were, i would suspect charges will filed against them akin to the seven at abu graib.

you hit on something that so many of the anti-war crowd ignore. it is the actions of the top officials that should lead to their resignation, not the actions of others. rumsfeld shouldn't resign if prison torture occurred; he should resign if he knew about and did nothing, or took no new precautions to see that it ended once he was aware. so many want these officials to be responsible as if they were the parent of a child, and the offenders lacked the mental capacity expected from adults. if abuse were to occur (and what do you think) in an american prison, the calls for the governor's resignation sure are muted. similarly, if a store manager at mcdonalds was embezzling money, you don't ask the ceo to step down.

i don't think the linked article supports any conclusion except that a culture of abuse might be prevalent in the us military, and for that, we need to be able to understand the standard we hold ourselves to. for sullivan to tie a bush policy to the abuse events is, in my humble opinion, a travesty of logic. i bet the abu graib defense lawyers are busy right now trying to prove that 'ends/means' is the u.s. policy, and that implicitly allows abuse for fun.

12/07/2004 05:24:00 PM  


Blogger Gustav said...

it seems to me that if you concede that abuse is inevitable, then that next sentence should read 'are against it' instead of 'were against it'. unless there are special circumstances when you willing to accept abuse, i'd say that sounds like pacifism. most pacifists object to the killing, not the pictures of prisoners in hoods...Right stomper. What I meant to say was "were against going to war in the first place."

And yes, I'm still against it. But I'm not a pacifist. There is indeed at least one circumstance when I am willing to accept a level of abuse-- when our national security depends on going to war (and whether Iraq is an example of that is something I suspect we could go on and on about-- in fact, we have). Please understand, I am not condoning abuse, only ready to accept such horrid behavior (and killing, which I am also generally against) as an inevitible result of necessary war. If we know such things will most likely happen, it's even more important that we only go to war when absolutely necessary. Of course, I also believe we should do our best to limit such abuse, however possible.


it is the actions of the top officials that should lead to their resignation, not the actions of others. rumsfeld shouldn't resign if prison torture occurred; he should resign if he knew about and did nothing, or took no new precautions to see that it ended once he was aware.Well, I think these criteria were fulfilled. I seem to recall that Bush gave Rumsfeld a good "talking to" (he seems to be getting a lot of those lately) back in April when the story broke, for not conveying the seriousness of the abuse. My inkling is that he didn't convey said seriousness simply because he didn't think it was that serious. These new pictures prove that it hasn't been taken seriously in the military either (and who is the leader of the military?). I would also add that such behavior could have easily happened (and did) 50 or 100 years ago. In today's media environment, it is of utmost importance that the SoD understand how easily such images get out, and that he make it a priority to limit such actions from ever happening.


if abuse were to occur (and what do you think) in an american prison, the calls for the governor's resignation sure are muted.I think that there might be calls for the State Corrections Director to resign. Indeed, if such pictures came out of Michigan, I would sure wonder about Ms. Granholm's style of leadership. Is she giving the impression that such things will be tolerated? If she didn't fire the SCD after the first instance of this abuse coming to light, she might be sending that message.

12/08/2004 09:26:00 PM  


Anonymous Penny Stocks said...

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Penny Stocks

6/26/2009 01:39:00 PM  

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