Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Torture?

“If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime - Pol Pot or others - that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case.” -- Dick Durbin

This, from AOL News, jumped out at me this morning:

BAGHDAD, Iraq (Nov. 28) - A U.S. citizen has been reported missing in Iraq, a U.S. Embassy spokeswoman said Monday.
The name of the civilian, who was among a group believed to be peace activists kidnapped on Saturday, was not immediately released.
U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Elizabeth Colton said Monday that an American had been reported missing.
On Sunday, a Canadian Parliament official said that four humanitarian workers, including two Canadians, had been kidnapped. A Briton was also confirmed missing by British officials.
Dan McTeague, parliamentary secretary for Canadians abroad, said the incident happened on Saturday, but refused to name the organization the two Canadians worked for or the location where they were kidnapped.
He said he wouldn't release those details in order to protect the safety of the individuals involved. McTeague said the organization has not requested any assistance at this time.
Briton Norman Kember was among the four, the British government said Sunday. His wife said he was representing a number of groups in the country and was a longtime peace activist.


Most likely, in a few days we will be hearing the awful news that these 4 humanitarians have been beheaded by their captors. I don’t know if they are Liberals or Conservatives or a combination of both ideologies. But it doesn’t seem to matter to the terrorists anyway. All people, all ideologies are their targets. Even their own people. If they kidnap peace activists, do you think they will realize they have kidnapped peace lovers and just let them go unharmed? After all, they wouldn’t kill anyone that doesn’t want to kill them, would they?

And the Left wing Liberal Peaceniks are screaming that we should treat terrorists prisoners with respect and kindness, because we are supposed to be “civilized people.” Oh I know that if we torture prisoners, we are lowering ourselves to their level and it would damage our reputation in the world. So what? I don’t care what other countries think of us. Why should anyone care? Other countries don’t seem to be concerned with what we think of them. France comes to mind.

Arizona Senator John McCain (Independent Republocrat, whose political affiliation depends on whoever he is trying to procure votes from at the time) has introduced legislation that prohibits us (meaning the United States armed forces and/or CIA, FBI, and other agencies) from using any forms of torture to coerce confessions from prisoners of war. He says it doesn’t work.

McCain himself was tortured for 5 years in a Vietnamese prisoner of war prison, so he must know what he is talking about, right?

Maybe not. According to some commentators on my own blog, personal experience never trumps book learning. One has said, “Your own story about your own personal experience = anecdote. In other words, not evidence. Not a full picture. Not the whole truth. If you want your views to be taken seriously, you need to educate yourself about the whole subject, not imagine yourself an expert after a simple personal experience”

Nick Berg was unavailable for comment.

Maybe we need to tell John McCain that his 5 year long torture experience is just an anecdote. He is wrong, of course. Just today, I heard of one particular CIA operative that was tortured and gave up all the information he knew. He compromised the CIA’s entire operation in one country and then they killed him anyway. So McCain didn’t crack. It doesn’t mean no one would.

Perhaps we should consult textbooks on torture techniques to decide if torture works or when it is acceptable. Lets also not forget to call together round table discussions and debates to ascertain whether torture is indeed a workable solution or not. Of course, if we get all the participants from any of our institutions of higher learning, we will be hard pressed to find someone to represent the point of view that torture works.

I would say that after all the debates and discussions are completed and we arrive at some sort of conclusion on whether we should torture or not, the four humanitarians mentioned above will have been long dead, and many others not as yet captured at this time, will, too.

Meanwhile, the terrorists will be still kidnapping innocent civilians from all nations, and all walks of life, and embracing all ideologies, and will still be beheading them in the name of Allah and Usama, and the “religion of peace“.

I have heard, although I know of no way it could possibly be proven, that the human head retains life for as much as a full minute after being removed from the body. If that is true, do you suppose it also thinks, and feels, and sees?

If a “left wing peace-nik” loses his head, will he have time to change his mind about whether torture is an effective information gathering technique? Will he have time to change his mind about terrorists and their “fight for freedom“? What if that peace-nik is Cindy Sheehan? Or Barbra Streisand? Babs is a Jew. I bet that would carry some weight with the terrorists.

Will he sympathize with the plight of the poor misunderstood Muslim freedom fighters who simply want America out of Iraq as he sees his head being lifted clear of his torso and placed gently on his back so the cameras can get a close-up? Or will he continue to believe that negotiation is the way to world peace as the blackness envelopes him, giving way to the proverbial tunnel leading to the everlasting light of Heaven?

When he at last opens new eyes and finds himself on his knees before the Creator of the Universe and understands that he is being judged according to his works and his belief or disbelief in that same Creator (I am not making a judgment here, simply stating what the Bible tells us that we all will be judged), will he still believe that we were wrong to invade Iraq and attempt to rescue all those other innocents who also lost their lives to a ruthless dictator? Do you think it will matter, at that point, whether we were lied to or simply misled into supporting an unjust war?

Personally, I am tired of our country’s politically correctness and coddling of these enemy combatants.

I say if it takes torture to find, capture, or kill bin Laden and his cohorts, and any others that kidnap and kill innocent civilians, then lets do it, and do it quickly, before many more innocent civilians are slaughtered.

I believe that only a taste of their own medicine will make them finally sit up and take notice that we will not allow them to continue to run roughshod on the rest of the world. I do not care if it makes some people believe that we have lowered ourselves to their inhuman level. Perhaps lowering ourselves to their level is what it will take to stop the terrorism.

Torture them. Kill them. Behead them. Whatever it takes. But let’s put an end to this madness before it’s too late.

22 comments:

Erudite Redneck said...

So, tell me how this squares with your faith in Jesus? I'm no pacifist, but I consider war not a tool of international relations but the choice of fools who think all else has failed -- and all else had not failed before the war in Iraq.

This administration, leading a country where the average attention span has been reduced to approximately 0.8 nansecond, just got impatient.

They even spun a truth -- everybody in the world, except scientists who actually follow such matters, believed Saddam had WMD -- into a lie: WE MUST ACT TODAY OR WE WILL BE ATTACKED TOMORROW.

That's the lie. Not the alleged WMD, but the assertion that we had to GO TO WAR RIGHT NOW!

IF this is a war against Islamic extremism, then your president is guilty of dereliction of duty for pretending that the war in Iraq was about anything else, even WMD, and for wasting our resources in an unnecessary conventional war when they will be needed, and probably better spent, finding a better way to combat this uncvonventional foe.

Finally, for you to so gleefully call for torture in the name of liberty is not only oxymoronic but an insult to the faith you profess to profess.

And yes, brother, I will throw Jesus in your face every time you appear to forget, or appear never to have heard, anything he is ever supposed to have said. You may go and do likewise.

Sheila said...

A couple of comments from me before I go to work.

1) The "Geneva Convention" was hailed by our Grandfathers and fathers. It was a truth we were raised with.

2) I was raised to believe that during the Korean and the Vietnam war the Geneva Convention was OUR truth! Like Truth Justice and the American Way Truth.

McCain's efforts should not be seen as political and to make it so, is so ignorant and NEOCON. My take on NEOCON or Leftist Pig is someone who has put the Blinders of hatred up and can't see real truth if it hit them in the face.

I'm surpirsed by your commentary Mark. The Lord does teach us throughout the Old and New Testiment that truth and compassion trump torture and there are examples of it taught to our children.

The God teaches us that doing something that's RIGHT but the hardest thing you've ever done is the RIGHT way.

It may be easier and faster to torture these men and women, but it will come back on us ten fold. You know that. Our country is walking down a road we never wanted to go.

Don't blindly accept something we know is clearly a violation of everything humane. A violation of everything God wouldn't want his children to do.

We could have been a fair example to the world. Instead we're making marters.

This statement isn't coming from a leftist commie either. As a Card Carrying Baptized Christian I say the torture we have displayed since the beginning of the Iraqi invasion is wrong.

Mark said...

Well, ER, I guess it doesn't square with my faith in Jesus, We know that His reaction to being tortured is "Father, Forgive them, for they know not what they do". Of course, they most certainly know what they're doing.

The Bible also says "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth".

I guess when I saw the story about the 4 humanitarians, who are in Iraq working for a noble cause, one of peace, (which I think is laudable) and I know they will likely end up headless, it made me see red, and I want revenge.

Obviously something must be done to stop the terrorism. If not war, what?

Now I have a question for you: Saddam was given 17 opportunities in the 11 years between the two Iraqi wars to give up his weapons program or show proof that he had, and he thumbed his nose at not only America, but at all the United Nations as well. At what point do we finally decide that all else has failed? Were we to wait until Saddam detonated a thermo-nuclear device in Washington, DC?

We have seen that appeasement doesn't work with these animals. We have seen that negotiation doesn't work. We have seen that the only thing that really suceeds in Iraq is violence.

The insurgent attacks have lessened considerably against American forces and they are now killing innocent civilians, men, women, and children indiscriminately. Why? Because our armed forces are winning! And like the cowards thay are, they shy away from attacking men and women who fight back and concentrate on killing innocents, many of whom are their own people! Do you seriously think negotiation and appeasement will work on these fanatics?

We are not dealing with civilized people raised with traditional Judeo-Christian values here. The only thing these animals understand is violence and until we learn to speak their language, and strike back the way they strike us, there will be no resolution to this conflict.

Get Church Out of State said...

It amazes me every time when someone who is so much for the separation of church and state insists that the state act like they belong to a church.

So sorry, war is a function of state, therefore any consideration of what Jesus would do should be taken out of the equation. That includes anyone's opinion of what should be done. If you're a Christian you're not allowed to consider anything that Jesus taught when dealing with the affairs of state. Period.

tugboatcapn said...

ER, do you read the whole Bible, or just the parts written in red letters?

Jesus was a pacifist, true. And while he was being crucified and tortured, he did in fact pray for forgiveness for his attackers.

But then again, Jesus was here for a specific purpose, pre-ordained from the beginning of time, and his persecutors were committing their atrocities as part of Gods overall plan for the salvation of the human race.

If you read the whole Bible, you will learn that God Himself frequently instructed that the opponents of His people in armed conflict be massacred down to the last man, woman, and child. Even their pets and livestock were to be destroyed, and their possessions either left behind or destroyed, and failure to follow these instructions brought punishment from God against His people.

I know how much you love to sling Jesus around, ER, but The Bible has much more to say about War than just what Jesus said, and we as a nation are not following any of it.

Craig said...

In World War II, German soldiers would walk unannounced into U.S. camps and immediately surrender. Why? They knew that 1) the Americans would overpower them anyway, and 2) they would be treated well in U.S. detention centers. The good conditions at U.S. detention centers not only encouraged surrender by enemy combatants, but encouraged cooperation by the detainees being questioned there.

In Iraq, when an insurgent walks into an American camp, and he knows that there is a 110% chance that he will be captured and tortured, what do you think he'll do? Surrender immediately or detonate the bomb strapped to his body, killing all those soldiers surrounding him?

But heck, ER, if they are going to torture us, then it is worth it to risk the lives of all those soldiers!

Fritz said...

Sheila,
Has it ever occurred to you that you are the terrorists only weapon? Naive idealistic compassion is what they want to take advantage of. Your advocacy to enable them to withhold the only information necessary to destroy them is their only hope of prolonging their struggle. Nothing would cause them greater fear than our willingness to use any tactic available to defeat them. If you don't think the use of nuclear weapons on Imperial Japan didn't end that war, you might as well convert to Islam. Like Shinto, we need to show Islamo is inferior to Liberty.

Fritz said...

Craig wrote: In Iraq, when an insurgent walks into an American camp, and he knows that there is a 110% chance that he will be captured and tortured, what do you think he'll do? Surrender immediately or detonate the bomb strapped to his body, killing all those soldiers surrounding him?

There is the disconnect, the insurgent is not a state soldier surrendering, but using the cover of ordinary civilian to penetrate rear areas to attack US forces. The US will do everything possible to capture rather than kill to obtain information.

tugboatcapn said...

AND THE US IS NOT TORTURING ANYBODY!!

Sleep deprivation, extremes in climate control settings, and being walked around on a leash might be annoying, humiliating and uncomfortable, but none of this stuff is by any stretch of the immagination, torture.

Craig, You are full of it.

I would like to know where you got you 110% figure. The detainees at Git'mo have all gained weight since they were captured. They are provided with Islam approved meals, their own Q'uran and prayer rug at taxpayer expense, (Good thing none of them are Christian...) and treated humanely by their captors.

Our own troops can expect no such treatment, when they are captured by the other side...

your friend Si said...

"our country’s politically correctness" LOL. really? is that what you'd call the Bush administration?!?

"Torture them. Kill them. Behead them. Whatever it takes. But let’s put an end to this madness before it’s too late."
who is 'them'? the whole them and us attitude is what is at the heart of the problem with the US occupation in the middle east. I'd guess you're being ironic but I know that Americans famously don't get irony.

tugboatcapn said...

And Fritz, you nailed it.

If any insurgent thinks that he will be tortured if captured by the American troops, it is because he read it out of the american Media, not because he heard it from anyone who was actually detained by American Forces.

This war would have been over long ago if it weren't for the constant undermining and sedition of AMERICANS.

All of you anti-war, anti-Bush, anti-Americans out there, the Terrorist Insurgents really appreciate you.

Keep it up.

tugboatcapn said...

Who is "them?"

Simon, if you don't know the answer to that question, then I don't know how to help you...

Mark said...

WoooHoooo! I knew this post would get some blood boiling!

I don't know if I really advocate the use of torture and murder.

I just want solutions. Give me solutions. The winning submission get's their comment forwarded to the State Separtment.

Gayle said...

I agree completely and utterly with Mark here and with Fritz as well. This is a war, not a game played in the sandbox by kids.

What do you think they would do to us if they wanted to get information? They would stop at nothing and you know it. We would be extremely lucky for them to use our tactics on us. You bleeding heart idiots are the Terrorists best friends and you don't have the good sense to understand that.

This is a good post and it is exactly right on! War is bloody, horrible, cruel and costly, both in money and in lives. We didn't start it! Do you know what a pacifist is? According to Winston Churchill, a passivist is one who feeds an alligator hoping the alligator won't eat him. Okay guys, keep on feeding the alligators... and in the end see what happens.

Fritz said...

I don't care what what the Upper East Side or Georgetown thinks of our policies, I care about what the terrorists think. No one chooses to live in a fear society, all will choose a free society. Our policy and our resolve must encourage those being given the choice believe fighting fear will ultimately lead to freedom.

MadMustard said...

Mark, I sympathize with your hate for these terrorists. The tragedy is that we got in the middle of this unholy mess to begin with. Personally, I would not trade one American life for ten thousand Arabs, but then again, I have expressed my prejudices before.

What we have created is a political vacuum, trading a murderous dictator for a revenge-killing civil war, with the added introduction of foreign fighters. We have made a bad situation even worse.

In my view, the only way out is for us to build some kind of a moderate coalition of Iraqis. We must separate the murderous religious zealots from the secularists. We cannot do that by rounding up random Iraqis and torturing all of them to find out if any of them are the bad guys, it’s counterproductive. What happens is that we risk turning the moderates against us and they are the only ones who can save our bacon right now.

If barbarism is the key to make them ‘sit up and take notice’, why have the Sunni and Shia been killing each other for a thousand years? It is because inhumanity just breeds more of the same. To torture for information has yielded only mixed results, at best. To torture, as means of deterrence seems even a more dubious strategy. The proof is in the results, where has our detention practices gotten us so far? I have seen absolutely no evidence it has done anything other than make our situation worse.

I personally believe in the concept of getting vengeance. That is why I support capitol punishment. I am not as concerned about the benefits of deterrence as I am in the desire to exact revenge on murders. I can be as bloodthirsty as the next guy, but we should draw the line if our blood lust gets in the way of doing what is in the best interests of our country and our troops.

You mentioned Bin Laden almost in passing. He should have been the overriding target of our war on terror. He is the one who planned and executed the attack on America. We would have done more for our credibility, in the eyes of our enemy, if we had gotten him with the same dogged resolve that we kicked over Iraq. One success builds the foundation for future successes. We still may have needed to deal with Saddam eventually, but we would have been operating from a much stronger position.

Sadly, we let Bin Laden off the hook and now we are likely to leave Iraq in a vulnerable state. Our own misjudgments have done more to weaken our position than any terrorist attack could have ever achieved. This will cause untold damage to our credibility in both the eyes of our enemies and allies alike.

h said...

Dear liberal commenters:
Leave the the Geneva Convention out of it. That applies only to bona fide soldiers, not terrorists.
And if you disagree with the proposition that our government has a moral obligation to do what is necessay to protect us from terrorism - no more, but certainly no less - then please seek out someone with common sense to have it explained to you slowly. If you don't think there are Islamofascists out there who want you dead and are willing to kill you, then you have a severe memory problem.
I dread the day when you libs get back in power. I really do. I will truly hate to say I told you so.

Erudite Redneck said...

I am a follower of Christ. That is NOT the same thing as a mindless follower of the Bible.

I do not believe the Bible is to be swallowed whole without critical evaluation. I don't believe Jesus's words, for that matter, are to be accepted thoughtlessly.

To be a Christian is to follow Christ -- not the Pentatuech(sp?), the Talmud or whatever part of the Old Testament Mark is quoting, and for dang sure not the the laws -- and doubly especially, for dang sure not the eye-for-an-eye BS. Jesus died for NOTHING if that, at least, can't be dispensed with.

Hey, Get Church Out, re: "If you're a Christian you're not allowed to consider anything that Jesus taught when dealing with the affairs of state. Period."

Bullshit. If you're a Christian, you should make decisions about your votes, your opinion on war, on public policy, and everything else, in light of what Jesus said, and his own example, not what people say about Jesus, and not what Scripture in general said. I am a Christian, not a Biblian!

Nice spin. Try again. I am not the church. I am not constitutionally required to be separated from the state. In faxt, I am commanded to live my life in all things as I believe Jesus would want me to, as best as I am able.

And, of course, Jesus is a liberal: http://eruditeredneck.blogspot.com/2005/08/jesus-is-liberal.html

Good post, Mark. Got me ALL pissed off in the name of Jesus.

Erudite Redneck said...

Ed Fudge, a remarkable Church of Christ minister -- and NOT my beloved liberal United Churches of Christ -- says it better than I could. It's JESUS we worship and follow, not the "Bible." (And Pastor Tim, in my opinion, is just wrong to just totally equate the two, which is a spiritual and intellectual cop-out.

Yea and verily:

(gracEmail) A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE
Edward Fudge
Nov 29, 2005


A gracEmail subscriber writes, "Although your writings are nontraditional, I have come to see that you are not just being difficult or disagreeable. You actually have a totally different viewpoint from many. The patternistic approach with which I am familiar and your Jesus-centered approach are as different as apples and oranges."


* * *


I do not try to be different -- any more than I try to be traditional. I do hope to be biblical, which also means being Christ-centered and practical. Hopefully those goals color what I see and how I say it. If these perspectives lead to conclusions which are nontraditional, it is only because our own tradition has often been to go to Scripture to prove a point rather than to hear what the Bible has to say; to read the Bible without seeing Christ at its center; and to treat doctrine as theoretical fodder for discussion and debate rather than as heavenly instruction for earthly living.

The Apostle Paul once lamented that when unbelieving Israel read the Bible, Jesus remained hidden from their congregations' view, and the people missed out on spiritual liberty and transformation as a result (2 Cor. 3:15-18). The same malady often afflicts today's readers of the new covenant Scriptures as well -- and with the same sad consequences. How many congregations dutifully listen to sermons, often full of Scripture citations, but without the spotlight turned on Jesus? There they sit, earnest men and women, but with a spiritual veil over their understanding -- all because the message is off-balance and out of focus.

Only the touch of God can make a difference. But the divine Creator is still at work, and he is bringing holy renewal and revival among his people scattered around the world. The same "God who said, 'Light shall shine out of darkness,' is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" (2 Cor. 4:6). When we finally see Jesus, the veil is taken away. The divine Spirit touches the heart and liberates the soul. Then we, "with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord," begin to be "transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit" (2 Cor 3:17-18).
_______________

Copyright 2005 by Edward Fudge. Permission hereby granted to reprint this gracEmail in its entirety without change, with credit given and not for financial profit. Visit our multimedia website at http://www.edwardfudge.com/ .


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Gyrobo said...

Torture is SO last century. The new craze is downloading their brains into massive hard drives, then destroying their bodies.

It's a little thing called "progress".

Gyrobo said...

Hey! My comment isn't showing up! Your blog is totally broken, dude!

tugboatcapn said...

"Yo, Dude...

(Inhaling sharply and deeply)

(Cough, cough...)

Your Blog is like totally Broken, Dude...

(Inhale... Cough...Exhale...)

Look at the pretty lights...

They're preeeetty..."

I will be so glad when the last of the drug culture hippies, are dead and gone, and the Neo-Hippies grow the "F" up...