Tuesday, June 21, 2005

More on Durbin 

Well, this apology he gave is truly upsetting to me. I don't remember feeling this upset about politics since the election, and before that, when Abu Ghraib first was exposed. Now, I don't usually waste time on this blog talking about right-wing idiotic arguments. Pandagon and World O'Crap and Sadly No! are where to go for that stuff. But, read the following from Andrew Sullivan's blog:
Here's another point aginst my argument:
"A soldier sat in his barracks, shining his shoes. So go ahead: answer his implied question. If you had been told that soldiers had been found in this state in one of Saddam's or Stalin's barracks, would you have believed it? Of course, you would." This is the fundamental problem with Durbin's analogy. The are many things that are "encompassed" in the behavior of those regimes. However, we remember those regimes for the worst of their behavior not the behavior slightly below the median. You know this, dude. Don't play dumb.
I'm not playing dumb. Shining shoes is not the same thing as treating prisoners as animals. It's not the same thing as smearing them with fake menstrual blood, or tying someone to the ceiling (as in Afghanistan) and beating their legs to a pulp while they scream for mercy until they die. It's not the same thing as an emailed memo from a military intelligence officer in 2003, saying: "The gloves are coming off gentlemen regarding these detainees, Col. Boltz has made it clear that we want these individuals broken."
I think Sully's words speak for themselves, and I endorse them. But, what does this emailer really thing? That we can't differentiate between morally neutral actions that all people do and morally reprehensible actions that morally reprehensible people and societies do? Did you know that Stalin ate 3 square a day? He did! Therefore, we better not. Did you know that Hitler liked wearing flip-flops? He did! Therefore, we better throw out our rainbows! Seriously, that individual is a moral idiot.

Now, all societies have people who do bad things. American soldiers have committed atrocities in all wars, including World War II and including this one. However, only now are these atrocities held up by a certain segment of our population as the RIGHT way to wage war and the right way to act as a society. Only now do we see part of our country saying "Yes, that's the America I know and love" instead of, as Dick Durbin once had the courage to say, "No, that sounds more like something out of Pol Pot's Cambodia than the United States of America. The sounds more like something out of Stalin's Russia than the United States of America."

At least last year the wingers were saying this was just a "few bad apples" and not defending the entire system of abuse. Not anymore.
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