Friday, January 14, 2005

Republican Moral Values

Mainstream conservatives currently have to bend over backwards in attempts to rationalize Iraqi torture scandals. And I will use the word torture because any objective view of these non-consensual activities will find what happens at Gitmo or Abu Ghraib is clearly torture. American mainstream media never had any qualms about calling Soviet actions on detainees as torture. Actions that included use of military dogs and urination on their prisoners. On a side note this Tom Engelhardt article analyses the difference of media coverage on the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan and American occupation in Iraq.

Back to American torture Yoram Gat compiled this list of used torture from American official documents. This list is particularly damning after one has heard the particularly bizarre cheerleading defense of Sgt. Garner's lawyer. To paraphrase his statement- 'cheerleaders all over America are forming human pyramids' -alright but they are clothed and it is consensual. And cheerleaders are not forced to do the things that happened to the detainees. Such as being raped by a rifle muzzle, stunned gunned, mock executions, punched in the face, strangled and the topper being dragged by the neck until dead. I simply don’t see how a person can hold torture is an expectable moral value while use of an morning after pill is not or even better gay marriage.

These tortures are also fairly pervasive in Iraq and Afghanistan. One can see how a group of badly led, badly trained reservists might abuse their responsibilities as jailers and torture members of a religion and race with are so different from their own. But this does not explain the allegations against the Navy Seals and the USMC. These are elite organizations the pinnacle of the American military profession rather then low ranking reservist military policemen. This shows how the 'softening up' of prisoners is an accepted tactic that the Bush administration has pushed in its 'war on terror'.

Torture proponents are technically correct when they state that the detainees are not covered under the Geneva Convention but this is a dangerous slope. My great aunt who passed away quite recently was captured by the Gestapo in WW2 as she was a courier for the Polish Home Army. As it happened she didn't take her suicide pill correctly so did not manage to escape their tortures but she did survive the war. Now she wasn't under uniform and thus not covered by the Geneva conventions but this doesn't make her torture any more morally right. And most of the partisans in the forest such as my grandfather and his brother did wear uniforms but the Germans never recognized them as an army. Also with this argument you are indirectly saying that mercenaries who don’t wear a uniform are subject to torture. Man like Thomas Hamill who was a first fairly well treated by his captors but after the Abu Ghraib prison pictures were shown he treatment took a turn for the worst. Also large scale denial of Geneva Conventions to prisoners held by the American Armed Forces has no real precedent. Hell PJ wearing Viet Cong soldiers were afforded the Geneva Conventions along with NVA regulars. And this was at a time where the treatment of American soldiers by their Vietnamese captors could best be described as horrible.

Torture proponents always try to shift the focus to Saddam's tortures but this only show how futile their argument is. They are saying Saddam did horrible tortures and that’s bad. But they are okay with American troops administering tortures that might not always be as physically brutal as Saddam's albeit certainly more sexual humiliating. What’s more they are doing it in the same friggin prison- wow that looks great in Arab world. If you hate Saddam's torture of his enemies so much then why would you yourself allow torture on your enemies.

The best document I have seen which displays flawless rationale concerning torture and Alberto Gonzales appointment was written by twelve retired officers from all four branches of service.
These are not bleeding heart hippies but men and woman who have served their nation for over 25 years at the minimum. So if the Republicans really like the military then they should actually listen to the Generals when they are thinking of changing longstanding military policy. And if the Democrats want to prove they are not spineless whipping boys of the Republicans they should filibuster the appointment of Alberto Gonzales to the post of Attorney General. And they won’t filibuster because they seem to think they can get votes just for being Bush Lite.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home