Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Senator Durbin was right!

I think this was a either a travesty of political frenzy or there are a lot of obtuse senators and journalists. Senator Durbin said that if the FBI report was accurate, the mistreatment of detainees could have happened in detention centers of some of the world's worst regimes. Let's say people were/are getting beaten in Gitmo, for the sake of the argument. Someone comes and says "I was detained and beaten." What's the difference between being beaten by Americans or Russians? Were people beaten and tortured in gulags? Are people beaten and tortured in Gitmo? Of course, you can say the difference is that in gulags people were beaten before they were frozen or starved. That hasn't happened in Gitmo, yet, as far as we know. That's the point! We have to be sure we hold the line for human rights and humane treatment of detainees. The cry that the people in the US armed services were being insulted is hogwash. I was in the Marine Corps. I am proud of my service. I also know that not everyone in the service is destined to be sainted for their pre-service life. Some people join to serve their country, and others join to stay out of jail, or get away from bad home situations, or for the image of power (these are the ones who regularly read Soldier of Fortune in the squad bay.) It isn't hard to imagine these people not internally knowing how to deal with some of the pressures that guarding detainees can present. If you look at the Stanford study, you know anyone can be seduced by the power that guards possess. I'm not condeming anyone who is in this situation. IO said it could happen to anyone, even me perhaps. But we cannot turn a blind eye to the possibility it happens, and if it happens we need to get those people help and out of the situation. Stop the bleeding, stablize the patient, right? Who do we Americans think we are that we could never stoop to the levels that Germans did in the 1930s and 40s? Were all those people so bad? Normal people can do unnormal things under stressfull circumstances. Think about the danger to their country the Germans were facing in the 30s. They were economic problems and people were afraid they would be facing starvation and anarchy. Now, in our War against Terror, what are we afraid of? Physical attacks and possible disruption of our government infrastructures, which to me seems even more scary...maybe. So what makes us think we are so much better than other peoples in the past? We need to be diligent to be sure "Patriots" don't start beating people to protect our Fatherland. We have to stand tall and take some knocks because we can and because the alternatives are not part of our stand for justice and goodness. Captain Kirk knew this. We will always be at a disadvantage in tactics because we stand for the Might of Right, not the right of might.

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