Friday, April 11, 2008

Condi Rice and torture - a clerihew

Condoleezza Rice
seemed so smart and nice,
but I'd have to say she's flawed
if torture gets her nod.

(Rice was the head of committee - than included people like Cheney and Powell - that reportedly approved in specific instances methods of torture that at the least violated human rights, and may have violated U.S. and international law.)


Anonymous said...

If Rice agreed with waterboarding to get three high-level terrorists leaders to give up information that perhaps saved thousands of lives--and that's what is actually meant by those who use this scare word 'torture'--then she'd be back on my list of potential VP and possible Presidential candidates. It'd show that she has something sorely needed in present day politics--backbone. (Alas, I suspect she doesn't.)

Consult Chesterton's article in the August 15, 1908 issue of the Illustrated London News, where he discusses the importance of understanding the "why" behind news stories. The "why" behind this hysteria about torture has nothing to do with human rights. Clinton routinely lobbed cruise missiles at innocent targets (a drug factory in Africa) and sloppily bombed Serbia from high altitude to reduce our pilot losses but resulting in many civilian deaths. He didn't draw this same ire. This isn't about human rights. If you can't see that, don't read papers.

The "why" here is to discredit Bush, the Iraqi War, and the Republican party. Those involved would look with favor on a terrorist incident in the US that could be used to discredit Bush, secretly gloating in the deaths of innocent women and children. If you believe anything else about those who champion abortion on demand up to birth, you are naive beyond belief.

It has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with human rights. FDR tossed 110,000 innocent Japanese-Americans in concentration camps without doing a bit of harm to his present-day reputation. JFK agreed to the assassination of the leaders of South Vietnam, a nation that was our ally. He still remains a liberal icon.

This has nothing to do with human rights. This 'torture' was a carefully applied, measured use of a psychological technique that's quite effective at getting people to talk. The opponents, I stress again, have no problem with vastly more pain inflicted far more often (think of the pain the baby undergoes in abortion.) They simply want Bush to fail to prevent a major terrorist event in the US, so a liberal Democrat will win the White House later this year.

Don't be naive and particularly don't cover naviety with an aura of morality. If Obama or Hillary wins in 2008, they'll have a license from the press to do things vastly more like torture with not a quiver of complaint from most of the media.

Sorry to be so harsh over a little clerihew, but one reason Chesterton go so much of his politics right is because he knew how to filter the news he heard with appropriate skepticism. It's something you'd do well to learn. You can't live in this world with a second-grade Sunday School morality.

By the way, I just heard that the most respected group in Iraq by far is the US military. How does that fit with 99.999% of what you're reading the the papers and seeing on TV? According to what passes for a press in this country, they should hate us. They love us--that's actually the key to why the surge is working. They're telling us where to find the terrorists.

That 1908 article and a number of others on similar themes are in my latest Chesterton collection, Chesterton on War and Peace.

In the collection Chesterton also explains why pacifists and their fellow travelers slander soldiers, particularly in contrast with how softly they speak of dictators (think Saddam) and the makers of war (again think of Saddam). That sort of behavior didn't begin with Vietnam or the Iraqi War. It began with WWI and within a few years after modern pacifism began circa 1910. It is modern pacifism.

The American Chesterton Society should have copies of Chesterton on War and Peace available for sale early next week. Buy from them rather than Amazon.

--Michael W. Perry, Inkling Books, Seattle

A Secular Franciscan said...

The torture is more than waterboarding.

Bush has long been discredited; this just adds more.

I was critical of Clinton for most of his time in office - he certainly drew my ire.

I thought Roosevelt/the U.S. was wrong for what was done to the Japanese Americans (as I make clear to the students in my American History classes).

My post and my reaction to the torture reports DO have to do with human rights. I can't speak for other people's reasons.

I staunchly oppose abortion. In fact, I met my wife at a protest. And I spent part of Good Friday this year praying outside an office where abortions are performed.

I am a fan of neither Obama or Clinton. Obama's views on abortion and ties to Planned Parenthood are very troubling.

It is a moral issue.

A Secular Franciscan said...

"Why are we talking about this in the White House?" the network quoted (former Attorney General John) Ashcroft as saying during one meeting. "History will not judge this kindly."

From one of the reports of the meetings approving various torture methods, including, but not limited to waterboarding.

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

Madame Rasheeda Dati
Will never I think commit suttee:
She prefers to drive some wives to divorce
In order to augment the prisoners' remorse.

("Loi Dati" specifies that a criminal considered still dangerous when sentence runs out shall be retained in prison until considered no longer dangerous)

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

My problem with the Iraqi war is not on the soldiering side (except of course Abu Ghraib!) it is on the political side of those who demonise islamist muslims and exalt the forced introduction of western democracy with feminism, both ways driving muslims to demonise us in turn. And - along with women soldiers/officers (again: Abu Ghraib) - drive soldiers to dehumanise muslims mentally. The former talibans seem to be gaining ground (including moral such) in Afghanistan, after regretting the closing down of schools and cinemas, after what I read in "nouvel Observateur" (admittedly a leftist publication).