Friday, September 15, 2006

Flawed Logic

Today, President Bush claimed that those of us who believe that torture is immoral and that Bush's policies in the war on terror have strayed from the foundations of what makes this country great and respected around the world, have "flawed logic."

Let me tell you what is flawed logic - anything and everything that is coming from the White House.

We cannot and will not win the war on terror following the lead of George Bush. The war on terror is not for the conquest of land. It is not over the rights of waterways or over natural resources.

The war on terror is over the mind. We are fighting a war of ideology and to win a war of ideology, we must have the decisively better ideological model.

This is not a theoretical scenario, but an actuality. No nation has ever 'won' a ideological war based on the suppression of an opposition group. It can only win the ideological war when the ideas that one nation possesses are seen as superior and embraced by the opposition. And we can be seen as being better if we are not better.

In Viet Nam, we only started to win once we change the ideological campaign, but by then, the political will was gone at home.

The Soviet Union had legions of secret police that would suppress and oppress, abduct and torture, but it also lost the war because we were seen as ideologically superior.

If we do not differentiate ourselves from the terrorist as being morally and ideologically superior to them, we will lose this war because we can never win it in that fashion. Bush lacks moral clerity of his own to understand the importance of this need.

Would it me easier to catch terrorist by torturing prisoners? Yes, without question. But all we do is create hate and resentment through out the region and the world. Everyone is afraid of the bully and will do what he says because they are afraid of him. But everyone is secretly hating him and wishing for someone to come along and knock him out.

Bush wants to be the bully. I want us to be the guy who protects the other kids from the bully. Not only is he only going to make us less saf at home, he risks the troops on the ground.

The only ideological flaw going on here is Bush's brain... or lack thereof.

Bush fights GOP revolt over terror bill
By TERENCE HUNT, AP White House Correspondent
19 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - President Bush fought back Friday against a Republican revolt in the Senate over tough anti-terror legislation and rejected warnings that the United States had lost the high moral ground to adversaries. "It's flawed logic," he snapped.

Bush urged lawmakers to quickly approve legislation authorizing military tribunals and harsh interrogations of terror suspects in order to shield U.S. personnel from being prosecuted for war crimes under the Geneva Conventions, which set international standards for the treatment of prisoners of war.

Tough interrogations have been instrumental in preventing attacks against the United States, Bush said. "Time's running out" for the legislation, he warned, with Congress set to adjourn in a few weeks.

The president called a Rose Garden news conference to confront a Republican rebellion led by Sens. John Warner of Virginia, John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Susan Collins of Maine.

To the administration's dismay, Colin Powell, Bush's former secretary of state, has joined with the lawmakers. Powell said Bush's plan to redefine the Geneva Conventions would cause the world "to doubt the moral basis" of the fight against terror and "put our own troops at risk."

(Full Story)

Also see - Senators Defy Bush On Terror Measure

Update: Bush Detainee Plan Adds to World Doubts Of U.S., Powell Says
By Karen DeYoung and Peter Baker
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, September 19, 2006; Page A04

Former secretary of state Colin L. Powell said yesterday that he decided to publicly oppose the Bush administration's proposed rules for the treatment of terrorism suspects in part because the plan would add to growing doubts about whether the United States adheres to its own moral code.

"If you just look at how we are perceived in the world and the kind of criticism we have taken over Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and renditions," Powell said in an interview, "whether we believe it or not, people are now starting to question whether we're following our own high standards."

(Full Story)

Update: TGL has a good skit on Bush Vs. Powell


tommy said...

Unfortunately (or maybe not I don't know) there are some international court rulings that consider putting a hood over someone's head to be degrading, or subjecting them to noise. Some also consider it humiliating to cause the questioned to feel emotion (ie disgust at having told us what we want to know.) I've heard that there have been decisions that not having a personal toilet is degrading but I've not been able to find any indication of that anywhere.

It's a mess of our own making, but to refuse to try to clean it up and instead use it for political purposes is a bit disgusting. There are cultural differences about what humiliating and degrading is, I think we should be willing to put our cards on the table about what we think. Someone somewhere is going to tell that military interrogator what he can and can't do, and whoever that person is makes a decision about what we as a culture stand for. I think that's a statement that needs to come from someone identifiable. Someone got the answer wrong once already, it seems to me it's likely someone will get the answer wrong again if we don't tell the class what is expected.

Dingo said...

The time to assert your reservations or interpretations to a treaty is at the time of the treaty, not 60 years later. Art. 3 has served us well since it inception and by defining it in the way that Bush wants us to can only point to our "transgressions."

Regardless of how we decide to interpret art 3, it does not relieve us of international obligations to adhere to art 3. If we say that water boarding is ok, there is nothing stopping an international court from rejecting that.

Additionally, it gives the impetus for others to interpret it in the way of their own liking.

Only bad things will come of defining art 3. There are much better ways of doing this. There is a reason that the "reasonable" people in washingtonare opposing it.

As for Bush's "play my way or I am taking my ball home" way of doing this is absurd. He is basically saying that we need to give him the power to interrogate prisoners in a way he sees fit. He will let us know what he is employing, but only after we grant him the power to do it.

Gun-Toting Liberal said...

Appreciate the linky-luv, my brother...

You KNOW how I feel about this topic ;-)

Blog ON and thanks again for the inbound link.