i was reading cal thomas' article in the times picayune today with clenched fists and vein popping anger. he was basically writing in defense of "enhanced interrogation" techniques, as if this orwellian turn of phrase might somehow hide the fact that the bush administration sanctioned torture. we, the united states; ever mindful of other countries' human rights abuses, hypocritically engaged in the very same activities that we have criticized others over. in the article, he takes obama to task for wanting to alter these barbaric practices. he cites that the president stated that enemy troops surrendered because they knew they would be treated fairly but makes the point that they raised the white flag out of fear instead. i find fault with that logic. in world war two, u.s soldiers were brutal when it came to the treatment of japanese soldiers. they often tortured and killed those japanese that surrendered. the response was not more mass surrenders, it was the birth of the kamakazi. faced with insufficient fuel to return home, japanese pilots crashed their planes into american ships, rather than risk falling into american hands, where death would most likely come slowly.
we claim to be fighting terrorists for our way of life. well, our way of life should not condone barbaric acts of torture, where men are forced into contorted positions for hours on end or deprived of sleep for days at a time. they are left to freeze, starved, beaten, and sensory deprived. some of these people are united states' citizens that have never been charged with a crime. i shudder to think of what agonizing hell their lives have become. and what of the american soldiers that carry out these so called enhanced interrogation techniques? how can you ask of them to shed their humanity and engage in brutal acts of torture, only to send them home again, where they are expected to miraculously integrate back into society. torture does not just hurt the victim, it slowly destroys the abuser. how can you ever lift a child up with tender hands after beating a man half to death. how can you ever be whole again? if there is evil in the world that threatens us, is it right to do evil to combat it? and if we defeat it, who then protects the world from us, when we have become the very thing we feared and hated. america, we are the bully.
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