Saturday, September 16, 2006

Why the military is against torture

Sullivan has an excellent post that drives at the heart of why the military is pushing back so hard against Bush's contempt for the Geneva conventions and for standards of decency in general. It's a letter from a marine who fought in Iraq in Desert shield/Desert Storm (Gulf War I) :
Looking back, I think that one of the main drivers in these [surrendering Iraqi] men's heads was that they knew, absolutely, that they'd get fair treatment from us, the Americans. We were the good guys. The Iraqis on the line knew they had an out, they had hope, so they could just walk away. (A few did piss themselves when someone told them we were Marines. Go figure.) Still, they knew Americans would be fair, and we were.

[...]

We don't have that reputation for fairness anymore. Just the opposite, I think. And the next real enemy we face will fight like only the cornered and desperate fight. How many Marines' lives will be lost in the war ahead just because of this asshole who never once risked anything for this country?
Read the whole thing, but I think it's obvious who "this asshole" is referring to.

Our country's honor is important, both morally and practically. Bush and his actions have stained that honor immesurably. And many are eager to drag our country down into this vileness. You don't have to look too hard in the blogosphere to find people shouting for torture, pre-emptive nuclear strikes, permanent incarceration without trial or due process, and disregard for civilian deaths: the very evils that we're supposed to be fighting against. There is a lot of pressure pushing this country in a sick, ugly direction. But when I read letters like this one, I'm reassured that many Americans still believe that we're something more than just a tribe of thugs with a better military than everyone else. May these sentiments prevail in the current political conflict.

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