Monday, June 06, 2005

Should We or Shouldn't We ???

This isn't about moral superiority, it's about protecting our country.

That isn't to say morals have no place in the matter. I don't think torture precisely appeals to anyone except nut jobs and sadists. I know from experience that the majority of those who torture do so not out of sadistic pleasure, but out of a desire to protect our country from future attacks.

There's only one problem with this: torture generally doesn't prevent future attacks.

These terrorists tend to be absolutely insane, and I believe many of them will not give up information no matter what. The real problem with torture is that torturing is essentially the same thing as posting "Join Al Qaeda" signs in neighborhoods of those undecided between extremist Islam and moderate Islam. Bin Laden prospers off the ignorance of the people in his country, and he uses their ignorance to be able to point to America and say, "They are the reason for all of your suffering."

If we torture captured Iraqis, it will only reinforce his message that we're all devils. And think about that message in the light he's portraying it for a second: it sounds quite sane and rational.

Big bad America invaded us, we shot at them to protect and defend our country, and now they're torturing our soldiers.

You could argue that this is irrelevant because Bin Laden can put whatever spin on things he needs to, even outright lie. True as this may be, I don't for the life of me see how feeding the fire could be helpful.

So when you think about it in these complex terms, not torturing may actually benefit our national security and our troops overseas more than torturing would.

A big problem with America is that we tend to take many more prisoners during combat that any country in the world. Other countries without embedded reporters on the front line have a higher enemy casualty rate when they engage. I have a real problem when you do everyting in your power to kill an enemy solder, before he kills you, then run up and yell "MEDIC" to save his life! When every shot we fire is broadcast on CNN and Al Jeezera that afternoon, this is the world America lives in.

With that in mind, I say that there are times when torture is appropriate. When you capture a man whom you know, without a doubt, knows something vital to our security, then should torture be allowed, nay demanded.

Not assumptions, not "he must know it, he's so high-ranked", but certainty (such as in a case where you have a fragment of a letter by a man with a detailed plan to bomb America).

Torturing under any other circumstances is foolhardy

And to say a few words about the Geneva Convention, I would like to remind everyone that it offers protection for those solders who fight for an established, recognized country, whose solders serve in uniform and in an organization with rank and structure.

To the man, those in our overseas detention facilities are terorrists who fight in civilian clothes, often hiding behind women and children. They serve themselves, and are often mercenaries from neighboring countries, being paid by warlords, druglords and just plain thieves to disrupt the politcal environment.

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