Thursday, September 28, 2006

Conflating us with the Khmer Rouge 
And that's no sh*t.

David Corn has a hysterical column in which he posits the following logic: The Khmer Rouge used waterboarding. We used waterboarding. Therefore we are like the Khmer Rouge.

Hell, he even posts a painting of waterboarding in action, painted by a Khmer victim.

Frankly, Corn is insulting.

First of all - and I've been meaning to post this for some time - There's no way I think waterboarding DOESN'T qualify as a form of torture. For that reason I believe it should be prohibited under the Geneva conventions. Lawful combatants, so long as they remain lawful, should not be subjected to this kind of treatment.

Waterboarding is torture.

On the other hand, I see no reason on the planet why someone like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed should enjoy any such protection. We got information from Mohammed that has broken up terror plots and saved hundreds - perhaps thousands of lives.

Must be nice to be a columnist for The Nation. The Nation allows Corn to live such a sheltered life that he doesn't need to consider tradeoffs. Obviously, Corn is much more concerned about sparing a terrorist, murdering, sociopathic thug two minutes of discomfort and even panic than he is about something so trivial as the lives of hundreds of innocent mothers, fathers, daughters and sons.

Let me think about Benalshibh bawling and sputtering like a bitch for a couple of minutes because someone put a wet rag on his face and see if I feel diminished.

Nope... not feeling it yet.

Nope. Still nothing.


Maybe if I thought about it reeeeeeal hard.

Nope. Nothing.


Doesn't bother me.

Those pangs of guilt are sizzling away like drops of water on a hot iron. It's kind of cool to listen to the hissing noise, though.

Corn is insulting to our servicemen, who do not deserve to be conflated with or compared to the murderers of the Khmer Rouge.

He is insulting to the innocent victims of the Khmer Rouge, who do not deserve to be conflated with terrorist dogs.

He is insulting to his readers, who deserve better than the kind of sloppy logic being served up here. The Khmer Rouge were not evil because they waterboarded. They were evil because they murdered. They waterboarded to further the cause of evil.

They were evil because they killed, mutilated, raped, and disfigured their innocent victims. Not because they caused criminals to panic under a wet rag for 30 seconds.

The Khmer Rouge did it to force confessions as part of their machination of murder.

The United States has done it - successfully - to prevent murder.

If you read the entire Corn peace, you would see that Corn doesn't even throw a bone at the argument. No gray area is even acknowledged. The Khmer Rouge had waterboards. Therefore we should be lumped in with the Khmer Rouge.

This is what passes for logic and reasoning on the left today.

Corn is one of their best thinkers.


Perspective, people.

Splash, out


Whenever I read something like that I am reminded of an excellent quote by Walter Laqueur, “[The media and intelligentsia] could ignore the dangers, they could be negative and freely criticize—it was after all, not their job to come up with solutions.” No End to War: Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century
You agree waterboarding is torture. Do you think the Bush administration is wrong to try and pretend it isn't, even if you agree they are right to use it?

My worry is when it becomes routine. Imagine you pick up a prisoner thinking they have information that may prevent an American death. After a brief discussion you become ninety five percent certain it is a case of mistaken identity. There's no time to check further - but if you don't torutre him right now the information if it comes will be too late. Five percent is a nice neat figure. Your not exactly sure of the probability. You know mistakes happen - they are much more easily forgiven when they don't get a buddy killed.

Any chance totturing innocent people will make the mission of rebuilding Iraq more difficult? If my ninety percenter is innocent, are you going to release him to talk to the media or not? It may be even some Bush supporters will be demoralized when they see the liberal media blasting his pictures all over the country. But it will get out sooner or later - or will it? Suppose you were to suspect a certain chance of riots when he was released, which might kill an American soldier or several. Might he just disappear?
Waterboarding is a training exercise. It is done routinely at SERE school. It is very safe. It also works close to 100% of the time.
Outstanding, though I do not agree waterboarding is torture. Afterall, we use it to train some of our own troops and it does no lasting harm, especially to young, robust terrorists. But it is too bad your piece won't appear in the MSM to refute Corn so that a large number of citizens could see it. This would be a good solid lesson in logic for the leftist journalists who use touchy-feely arguments and pictures to tear at the heart strings for propaganda purposes. Excellent work.
Well, I honestly don't see why waterboarding as I understand it wouldn't qualify as torture under any useful definition. Sure, it does no lasting physical harm (unless the subject drowns). But neither does low-amperage electric shock, if you do it right. But are you going to defend the practice of electric shock on the grounds that it does no lasting harm?

I don't think so.

I don't think that, as a matter of policy, the idea that waterboarding != torture stands up to more than about 10 seconds of socratic reasoning.
David Corn found an overlap -- one of the harshest treatments used by the US in interrogating the worst of the murdering Al-Qaeda terrorists about what their plans are for doing more of the same and one of the meekest treatments used by the Khmer Rouge in interrogating helpless, innocents civilians to make them not think at all.

Results? The terrorists detained by the US are alive and fat; the Cambodians detained are a pile of skulls.

David Corn is an ass.
Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Site Meter

Prev | List | Random | Next
Powered by RingSurf!

Prev | List | Random | Next
Powered by RingSurf!