May 28, 2009

Torture is fun!

I haven?t visited NRO, The Weekly Standard, or Commentary for months, mostly due to the fact they have nothing at all to say about the current predicament. When the focus was Iraq and foreign policy, such publications were good for a few laughs, or as evidence of just how insane the neocons and their dumber movement underlings actually were. But to read these ?cheerleaders for economics liberty? (Jonah Goldberg?s term)?that is, the people who informed us that the Bush economy was absolutely wonderful?talk about economics is painful. I?m waiting for JPOD or Ponnuru to write a piece entitled ?Yasser Arafat and the Origins of the Financial Crisis? or something on how Vladamir Putin and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad secretly collaborated to create the subprime mortgage disaster.   

Well, with torture back in the news, I was again tempted to visit these sites; here?s a selection from the treasure trove, written by John McCain?s blogmeister, Michael Goldfarb. It seems that yet another journalist has decided to get himself waterboarded, and Goldfarb thinks that the fact that they?ve all so far survived proves that everything?s OK: ?He seems to have gotten a buzz off of it. One wonders: if waterboarding really is torture, why are so many folks willing to give it a try? You don’t see people lining up to have their fingernails pulled off.?

An odd line of argument, since at the time of Israel?s bombardment and invasion of Gaza, Goldfarb was claiming that Israel?s stated war aims were all that was important, and that it?d be perfectly fine if women and children died in the process so long as the IDF?s actions were indended to defend the Jewish state and get ?the terrorists.?

So, if intention is all, why does it matter in the least that waterboarding doesn?t usually result in death or permanent damage? Why not stop messing around and start pulling off fingernails and electrocuting testicles to get at the truth? It seems that Goldfarb wants to have his Geneva Accords and eat them, too. 

This being said, I, too, grow a bit weary of journalists shedding tears over the pain and suffering detainees might experience?that?s not the real issue. It?s easy to say ?it?s worth it, if it saves lives? when the person being tortured is some scummy-looking Muslim fanatic. It?s a different story when the Department of Homeland Security starts going after ?right-wing radicals? or anyone else?s who?s ?unpatriotic.? And it?s hard to imagine that, sooner or later, the techniques perfected in the terror war won?t be used on domestic ?threats.?       

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