I didn't say we were better. We just acted less brutally. This all goes back to the idea that morality is conditional.
Varegg wrote:It really is to easy to judge atrocities from the comfort of a peaceful enviroment ... one of my favorite sayings:
Turquoise wrote:True... flamethrowers are pretty grisly in their results.
like the fucking flame-thrower is humane.... burning ppl to death is a great way to treat a human being...
Still, no matter what we did, it can be shown quite clearly that the Imperial Japanese were more animalistically brutal than we ever were. Just ask various countries neighboring Japan what they thought of them (and what the Japanese did to them).
If you are born in a country or time where nobody comes to kill your wife or kids and neither does someone come to ask you to kill another mans wife and kids so thank your God and go in peace. But hold steady with this thought: You might be more lucky than me but you are not a better man.
Sometimes, peace is only achieved through killing all that oppose you. Granted, I'm not necessarily saying we should take that approach.
mikkel wrote:Obviously that's not the reality. There'd be no premise for this thread if it was. I believe it should be reality, though, and that leading by example in consistently upholding human rights is not only the right way to go, but the only way to go for the US with respect to the founding principles.
Turquoise wrote:Fighting terrorism is more about sustaining order than protecting human rights. If human rights were the main agenda, we'd do more about Africa. That's clearly not the case. This is about economics and maintaining a certain amount of order that is necessary for trade and such.
mikkel wrote:Terrorist organisations, and certain Middle Eastern countries are often referred to as being medieval and uncivilised, especially with regards to their stances on human rights. Are you really suggesting that we adopt elements of this? How is a civilised world going to stand together and bring it forward, when individual countries abandon the principles that brought them forward in the first place? You need the strength to protect your principles to bring you forward as a country.
In a perfect world, it would be nice if human rights were the main agenda, but it's simply not reality.
Peace on Earth is not reality either, but that doesn't mean that you might as well work contrary to the idea.
Good point... but since we've established that this isn't truly a fight for justice and freedom, merely creating the image of it is more of interest.
mikkel wrote:What I see as being the error in your judgement of this is that you're vindicating the actions of current government by comparing them to the actions of the worst that the human race has to offer. If one strives for freedom, fairness and justice, one should compare their actions to the principles and ideals that define these goals.
Turquoise wrote:The general point that can be made is... no matter how bad we get, we're still not the Taliban. We still have higher standards than a lot of the world. It's easy for small First World countries to point the finger at how we act, but if they were as large as us and had as significant of a role in international relations as us, they'd probably act the same.
Most of the more significant countries in Europe have their own skeletons in their closets, so it's not like the U.K., France, or Germany can say much about what we do. The Oil for Food scandal was pretty corrupt and despicable in its own right.
So overall, what makes us better than the terrorists is not our morals but the fact that we offer so much more to this world than they do. All a terrorist is good for is killing people. We do our fair share of killing people too, but at least we advance technology and society in the process.
In a fight for justice and freedom, your enemy will always provide a poor basis for comparison.
It depends. That danger is always present. Many would suggest that the first evidence of this was the passing of FISA.
mikkel wrote:So you're arguing for a secretive government with no public accountability, yet still funded by and representative of the public and the country as a whole? What happens when the shadows that these people jump at turn from being people in countries far away to being people like you and me?
Turquoise wrote:Still, what matters far more than whether or not we torture people is whether or not people know about it. Torture is like spying -- it must be a clandestine thing. You can't have it known by the public, and this administration has clearly failed at keeping torture discrete. Now, the best thing we can do is close Gitmo and then continue whatever interrogation is necessary in a more secret fashion.
This is a very Machiavellian approach, but when it comes to this sort of thing, Machiavelli really did have the most practical ideas. Image matters more than practice in terms of fighting an ideological war.
I suppose it comes down to damage control. Depending on how we handle the closing of Gitmo and the release of those not found guilty, we have 2 choices.
1) Stop torturing people altogether and follow the due process of law when prosecuting terrorists.
2) Continue torturing people, but do it discretely.
With Obama, we do have the opportunity to offer a clean break from the actions of the Bush administration. Perhaps, #1 is what Obama will do. If #2 is what he chooses, then discretion is paramount.
I'll admit that I think Gitmo was a big mistake to begin with, but once you start something like that, it becomes difficult to just stop it. Again, Obama has the opportunity to do so, but we'll see if he does.
no my argument is that the US had reason to take them into custody in the first place. You expect those reasons to pass muster against the US Constitution. Rights NOT reserved for anyone other than US citizens.
PureFodder wrote:You're entire argument is based on 'what if they were already terrorists'.
lowing wrote:Oh God, not another "what if" scenerio.
Say there was a mass murder and there are several suspects but not enough evidence to be able to definately convict the right person/people. Would you lock all the suspects up knowing that there's a reasonable chance that at least some of the suspects are innocent?
For the public safety and all that.
You know if OJ got off with what he did, WITH all that evidence, what chance does the govt. have when a battlefield is not a sterile crime scene? Johnny Cochran would rip the case apart in minutes. and another terrorists goes free on a technicality. Sorry the consequences are too great t olet these people go, just like the article is reporting.