Wednesday, November 16, 2005
The Moral High Ground? Below Sea Level
Wed Nov 16, 2005 at 01:45:43 PM PDT
When the Los Angeles Times followed up Tuesday on its Monday story about the raid of a "secret" detention center in the heart of Baghdad, it quoted Brig. Gen. Karl Horst of the Third Infantry Division as saying that there would be more operations to uncover other such centers. "We're going to hit every single one of them, every single one of them."
Amazing, ain't it? Three days after the raid, none of the mainstream media and few blogs have pointed out the obvious: U.S. policy is a model for those secret torture chambers that the U.S. is now so intent on finding every single one of. As my blogmate DemFromCT at The Next Hurrah pointed out this morning, it started right here.
As Americans, we ought to be able to cheer the stories about U.S. forces uncovering a secret detention center and freeing its malnourished inhabitants. But what's to cheer? By its actions - rendition, torture, extrajudicial detention in secret prisons - the Administration gave the green light for Iraqis with clout to continue engaging in the very policies that Saddam himself carried out. Moreover, until the investigation is complete, perhaps even afterwards, we cannot, sad as this is to say, be certain there was no direct American involvement in holding and maltreating these detainees.
James M. Lindsay, vice president of the Council on Foreign Relations, said that as a consequence of the Democratic plan for changing course in Iraq - which was purloined and eviscerated by the Republicans this week - "public anxiety" about the war is now being addressed by Congress.
"That is where the public is," Lindsay said, "and the senators were making sure they were on the right side of the political debate."
Republicans (and the go-along faction of the Democratic Party, with the pathetic and despicable Joe Lieberman as its leading light) are too damned late to be on the "right side of the debate." Over the past three years they've had numerous opportunities, and they've repeatedly failed.
I don't want to hear any more excuses. Every one of these folks who hasn't publicly regretted her or his vote for the Iraq War Resolution in October 2002, every one who doesn't publicly excoriate U.S. torture doctrine, every one who doesn't publicly make clear that the war was wrong morally and strategically, every one who doesn't publicly stand up and say that America has been and is now doing more harm than good in the so-called war on terror is officially dead to me.
To these men and women (and their adoring fans) you've got nothing to say I want to hear unless you first admit you were wrong, apologize to those who were right, and sign on to a timetable for withdrawal.