Thursday, November 17, 2005

Making omelets . . .

Our enemy in the war on terror is a global network of religious extremists who don't wage war by civilized rules.

That’s how Katie starts her column today. How true. Religious extremism is the enemy of the United States. We must eradicate the forces that seek to deny any humanity to people other than themselves, have a bizarre world view at which they are at the center, and whose heavy-handed doctrinaire rhetoric threatens us all.

Wait a moment; somebody is whispering something to Spotty. . . . Really? Okay, let’s start over. Spot now understands that the column was about fundamentalist Muslims, not fundamentalist Christians! Spot regrets the error. Spotty will be serious now.

The title of the column is Persuading terrorists is no friendly game. But Spotty would like to shake the hand of the editor who wrote the subhead: Al-Qaida has changed the rules of war. Extracting information has acquired new urgency and requires new tactics.

The key word here is extracting.

In her column, Katie tells us about the pedantic manifesto of Prof. John (the Vulcanizer) Yoo delivered at St. Thomas, in which he tries to justify the ignoring of international law in the treatment of detainees. She doesn’t really report on the presentation – Katie can’t really report – but rather uses the occasion as a springboard for her own advocacy – she’s not much of an advocate, either, come to think of it – for the mistreatment of the some 80,000 (according to a report Spotty heard on the radio) people detained by the US in the GWOT. Including a lot we hoovered up by mistake, too. Most of these people have been released, of course. We must have taught them so much about the American way of life and built so much goodwill!

If Katie had actually been a reporter, she would not have spent her time sitting right up front, hobnobbing and laughing with Kimberly (Pliers) Crockett, Peter (the Singing Coach) Swan, and the Vulcanizer himself. Pliers and the Singing Coach were moderators and conveners of the Vulcanizer’s sermon.

Katie tells us we’re involved in something new: a war of intelligence. Crap. We’re screwed. John Yoo of course was one of the bright lights at the Justice Department, a side kick of the great humanitarian John Ashcroft, who managed to wish away America’s international obligations on the treatment of detainees.

In an apparent exclusive to Katie, Yoo told her that captured terrorists are trained to resist questioning. The nerve of those Muslims! Well then of course we must beat information out of them! Katie should talk to John McCain to get some tips on how to do it!

Yoo says that the Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners was “designed for another age.” This is part of the rhetoric that says after 9/11, everything changed. Baloney. 9/11 was just the manifestation of the anger that has been brewing over the West’s continuing manipulation of Middle East politics for decades. It is part of the mentality that says If I can’t drive my Hummer, the terrorists win.

Katie says that the goal of our questioning is not sadism, but rather saving innocent lives. If a little sadism occurs in the process, well you can’t make an omelet, etc.

Yoo likes to use the hypothetical of a terrorist in custody with knowledge of an impending attack. Shouldn’t we torture him? Yoo should be writing a screen play, not foreign policy. You cannot make enlightened policy by basing it on the most extreme example that you can think of, has never occurred, and probably won’t ever occur. Law professors like to push students this way, but it’s hardly a real world technique.

Spot agrees with Katie that religious extremists are going to get us all killed, but they aren’t all Muslim extremists by a long shot.

Tags: loves it when talks to her

No comments: