Thursday, April 23, 2009


I'm amazed at the Republicans justifying torture now, after all those years telling us, "America does not torture." It turns out now, Yes, we do, and God bless us. They were more than happy to lie about it at the time and now more than happy to admit it, although of course with a justification. Then, it was a matter of getting away with it. Now, they can claim they "kept us safe."

Bah. I'm thinking of the phrase, "Not in my name." This is not one of those things where the ends justify the means. This is a nasty little something called Crimes Against Humanity. At some point we need to realize our "exceptionalism" isn't so exceptional; it's the same old crimes.

When you don't have any good ethical standard, there's no reason for anyone to follow the law. When we're in war, there's no reason whatsoever for our enemies to refrain from torturing us, if we approve it for them. We were complaining when the Iraqi guys were lopping off heads there for a while. What right did we have to complain? After all, our standard is this, whatever it takes in the moment that you perceive might do you some good now or in the time to come is allowed. Those guys cutting off heads could justify it, too, on those nebulous grounds.

The way I've always thought of America -- and I guess this would be where the "exceptionalism" comes in -- is that we're exceptionally good. We don't do what terrorists do. We don't do what Nazis do. We have standards. We follow the law. We're the guys in the white hats. But George W. Bush's administration followed a different standard. Like devils. And that's what the Republicans are still standing up for.

No comments: