Make torture! Not war!

Revolted. That’s me. I can’t understand how a single sapient being can sit back and wheeze while a single human being is being tortured by high-tech tyrants. Say , for example, by endless cigarrette burns in a dark dank cell somewhere deep in Iraq.

Where are you today, O’ descendents of Jefferson, Washington, and Franklin? Are you hiding? In fear of advancing the cause of truth and liberty.? Have you all given up hope that all men on God’s green earth can be free from oppression?

I think not. I think I sense a sense of manliness raising in your collective souls.


OK I’ll try it again without the bourbon…

Listen… The subliminal screams that you hear emanate from the torture chambers of iraqi prisons. It is to this music that protesters march.

You’re right Milium. Far better to carpet bomb the poor bastards out of their misery. And their children. :wally

How can you stand by while the screams emanate from prisons in Burma? Tibet? Zimbabwe? Etc. etc. etc.

This is so hackneyed and simplistic.

You think human rights are why this invasion’s about to happen?

I could say “the hawks are enjoying the thought of the sound of flesh being flayed from bone under the assault of cruise missiles in a few weeks”. But this too would be hackneyed and simplistic.

The protesters march because they say that war is not the only way to unseat and/or disarm Saddam. And that the horror of aerial bombing and urban warfare might just be less awful than what’s happening at the moment.

Milum, of course you are right. Unfortunately, a large segment of the world’s population is now in mode of being unwilling to listen to reason, so well described by Charles MacKay in Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. So, your OP is ignored or you get thougtless responses.

jjimm, who I’m sure is a most moral person, implies that we should not help a group of torture victims, because there are other torture victims in other countries. I know he doesn’t believe in such a principle.

Ben Hicks tries a flat-out inaccuracy, that carpet bombing is in the offing. A good friend of mine made this same false claim. She backed down when I called her on it, but didn’t change her mind. This “carpet-bombing” nonsense seems to be one of today’s extraordinary popular delusions.

I agree, but he’s portraying this reasoning as casus belli. I am merely pointing out the fallacy.

Please excuse my ignorance on the specifics of the slaughter. Perhaps you could educate me. Way I see it, unless we plan to kill them with kindness I don’t see how the exact mechanisms by which we accomplish the decimation of the Iraqi people is of any real relevance. If it makes you feel better replace the words ‘carpet bomb’ in my previous post with ‘bomb with cruise missiles’. It is essentially a peripheral detail.

As an insignificant aside, would you like to address the actual point of my post, that the sight of humanitarian endeavour being touted as significant motivation for a preemptive strike which will inevitably result in the deaths of thousands of Iraqi women and children is a disingenuous one in the very least?

P.S. - I forgot to mention that that post was addressed to december

I think I did address it, but in a way that you didn’t like. Here it is again, in more detail.

You made a scurrilous accusation against the United States, with no support. I’m quite sure the US does not plan to “carpet bomb” Iraq. Please supply a cite if you can, or withdraw the dishonest insult to my country. There is no sense in trying to have a debate based on someone’s fantasies.

I gather that your point is concern about the Iraq people. We have seen evidence on other threads that a majority of the Iraqi people support overthrowing Saddam by force. They see it as their liberation.

I did withdraw it, but in a way that you didn’t like. Here it is again in more detail.

I withdraw the assertion that the US is about to carpet bomb Iraq. I replace it with the assertion that the US will use other bombing techniques which will take a devastating toll on Iraqi civilians.

How’s that?

I’d appreciate it if you were able to reproduce some of this evidence in this thread? I think you have a better idea of where it is than I do since I certainly haven’t seen hide nor hair of it.

That’s no longer offensive, but it still needs evidence. Do you have a cite?

Some of the discussion was in this thread.

What’s that quote about finding a starfish on a beach?

Maybe I’m misunderstanding things, but I thought one of the purposes of the UN was to further human rights. Human rights are frequently at odds with the rights inherent in national sovereignty. IMO the UN should always err on the side of human rights, and, where possible, intervene in a given nation’s internal affairs, invoking the same principle by which the State is empowered to intervene in cases of domestic violence or child abuse.

We (the U.S.) should not now be in the position of having to be the heavy. The U.N. should have collectively dealt with Saddam long ago. In the same way it’s criminal that nothing was done for the people of Afghanistan until we got attacked. When was it decided that the enslavement of Afghan womanhood was acceptable?

You and the OP have heard about people who live in glass houses, right?

I’m not familiar with the quote, but I’m guessing it’s something to do with small gestures being worthwhile despite there being many problems?

I agree that a positive byproduct of the war on Iraq will almost certainly be the removal of the ghastly Ba’ath party, and possibly the liberation of the Iraqi people from tyranny (assuming some new tyranny doesn’t creep in the back door).

But you quote me out of context, mon ami. Let me repeat myself: this war is not going to be fought for the human rights of the Iraqi people. It is going to be fought for strategic and/or economic reasons. To present this as a bleeding heart operation, as the OP emotionally does, is to misrepresent it utterly.

How could you prove this statement, jjimm?

Colin Powell’s UN presentation made a number of points that would support going to war, including the human rights situation in Iraq. Was he lying?

Or, put this another way. Suppose Iraq’s strategic/economic situtation were the same, but their people had full human rights. You seem to say that we would go to war just as quickly under that hypothetical situation. Why do you think so?

Yes, you’re right. I wish I could remember the full text of the inspirational message. I wasn’t able to successfully Google it either.

Well, if I give money to an unfortunate person in need to assuage my guilt rather than a humanitarian motive, does that make it wrong?


Torture sucks. That being said, sometimes it may be better than the outcome. I will draw an example from the show 24 (which kicks ass, btw) for the sake of illustration:

A nuclear bomb is set to go off in LA. There is a man who has information that could be used to stop it. He isn’t going to give the info voluntarily. There is no other avenue to explore for this info. Therefore, torture is used, on the idea that the torture of one man is better than the deaths of millions.

Granted, that’s an extreme example, but I would bet dollars to donuts that when the US resorts to torture, it is under the assumption that the result will be to save lives.

In places like Iraq, or Cuba, or N. Korea, though, torture is for a different purpose. Saddam doesn’t torture dissidents because he needs valuable info to save the lives of his people. He tortures dissidents either for shits and giggles, or to teach a lesson to other potential dissidents: To speak ill or plot against Saddam is to invite your own agonizing death. Sure, I bet he tortures for info, too - for info that can be used to shut down rebellions that might depose him and thus liberate the Iraqi people.

I’m surprised you can’t see the difference. You can make an argument that torture is a crime so heinous that even saving the lives of others is not a justification (not that I’d agree, but you could argue that, and I would respect the position). But even in such a case, to compare the US’s use of torture to that of Iraq’s is, frankly, a more than a little disgusting.

In Todays paper, an OpEd writer quotes Amnesty International about the horrible tortures going on in Iraq. And, no- not “stress & duress”- I mean real physical torture. I won’t go into deatils- they are too sickening.

Not to mention what the retreating Iraqi’s did to Kuwait.

However, it seems like the ant-war crowd is somehow making Daddam the “good guy” and GWB the “bad guy”. Look, I have come right out in public and on this board as being anti-invasion. But Saddam is scum. Make no mistake about it, he is evil. He should be taken down. I’d love to see him tried & executed for his crimes. I’d even reluctantly consider a “smart bomb” on his sorry jackalike ass. But not an invasion.

So- I think that invading a soveriegn nation without an act of war on their part is simply wrong. Now- I did think that the Taliban supplied that excuse- Sept. 11th was an attack, and they supported it and the dudes that carried it out. So- there we had moral justification.
You can be against “the War” without defending that lying evil pustule Saddam Hussain. You don’t have to deny his crimes against humanity to not want an invasion. Nor doubt the solid evidence of his violations of the UN regs.