Monday, October 23, 2006

You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you

A quote found in Barone's column today,
Now it appears that voters are willing to turn over Congress to a party most of whose representatives voted against allowing the National Security Agency to surveil without a court order al-Qaida suspects when they place calls to persons in the United States and against allowing terrorist interrogations under rules supported by John McCain.

We are weary, it seems, and ready to go back on holiday. Some things -- a nuclear attack on the United States, the successful release of a disease pathogen that could kill millions -- are just too horrifying to think about. But maybe we should think more about them. As Leon Trotsky is supposed to have said, "You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you."
Googling the quote lead me to this post by Neo Neo-Con. She and I have traveled almost exactly the same paths, and the internets played a big part.

4 comments:

Rob said...

What makes you (or Barone, or neo) think that a successful war on terror requires that we toss out habeas corpus or legalize torture or forget about the fourth amendment? It seems to me that America's dedication to its core principles helped us win the Cold War--and like the cold war, the war on terror will require soft power and diplomacy as well as military force carefully applied.

I am for a Democratic foreign policy not because I want to ignore the war on terror as Barone would have it, but because I think the Republican way of fighting it is stupid.

Bill Baar said...

We've never fought a war where we've granted constitional rights to the enemy. (For that matter we don't grant constitional rights to our own military in peace or war... read the uniform code of Mil Justice... you goof up in servicie you go before a Military Tribunal; not a civli court).

We don't torture. If there is abuse, as in Abu Garib, the perptrators brought to Justice.

Terrorists caught fighting outside the rules of war, should be coercied to give more than just their name, rank, and seriel number as required by Geneva.

Where you draw the line on coercion is the question. I'd say water boarding is fine.

Rob said...

That's another disingenuous feint--I am not for "constitutional rights to the enemy," I'm for Geneva Convention protections, and I'm for preserving the core values that make our country great.

Due process doesn't look the same for noncitizens as it does for citizens, and it shouldn't. But there are universal human rights.

And you know perfectly well, Bill, that Bush's kangaroo courts aren't military tribunals. That's why the whole issue of passing the torture bill. A court where the accused isn't present and/or can't hear the charges against them is a mockery.

You're blithe about approving of waterboarding. You frame it as a matter of where you draw the line, but let me ask--do you draw the line anywhere?

Bill Baar said...

...do you draw the line anywhere?

I'm ok with the legistlation passed which is basically what we've been doing except for the waterboarding.

I'm for preserving the core values that make our country great.

The right to a civil court has never been extended to a foe in our history; even to fellow Americans in the Civil War or the many German-Americans who served in the Wehrmacht. There is no value to preserve here.

You would be breaking new ground. Adding new rights....