Whew! Don't sugar coat it!
But I agree, mostly, except for the part that I still care -- er, read, I mean. I don't anymore.
I never thought I'd see a poetic way to call someone a douchebag, but I should have known Gerard would find a way. I gave up on Sullivan years ago when he went on hiatus after a pledge drive. I'm glad I didn't have to watch his intellectual decline.
Sullivan used to be bookmarked in my browser.
He hasn't been since 2003.
Another AMEN. Mr. Sullivan became so tedious in his attempts to justify some posted nonsense that it simply didn't matter; nobody cares, Andrew. Nobody.
In a strange way, Sullivan actually views "us" as saints, and holds us to a standard that he doesn't expect the little brown people to even attempt, lest they hurt themselves.
Our only moral responsibility in this sort of conflict is to be better than the enemy - not to be perfect.
When it becomes possible to imagine Rumsfeld or Bush, or any high official in an American administration personally torturing, then slaughtering captives, then openly bragging about it and distributing video to eager Americans, then I will worry about our moral compass.
As it is, with the periodic misstep in a conflict with a gruesomely sadistic enemy investigated and the perpetrators tried and punished, while American officials fall all over themselves to apologize, I am not yet ready to panic.
I'm a bit confused here...
As for Sullivan's incessantly repeated, holier-than-anybody-since-Jesus "position" against torture,
So... you're for torture? That anyone who is against torture is some sort of self-righteous jerk?
To be clear I have nothing but disdain for Sullivan, (I've always disliked him, I've noticed however for some former fans the dislike dovetails with Andy's shifting opinion on Iraq and Bush, a coincidence no doubt) but being against torture strikes me as the correct position and one of the few things Andy is consistent on.
"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper
It's tempting to look at torture as a black and white thing. And indeed in the case of Geneva-convention qualified combatants we have a guideline, if not a gospel, to go by. But as we can understand from - among many other good sources - an editorial in today's WSJ, the terrorists do not qualify. The real question, then, is how do we feel about treatment on the margins of torture - sleep deprivation, psychological intimidation, etc.
As a mother of several boys and one who was a seriously difficult case to civilize, I was no doubt guilty of treatment some might call torture. If Sullivan thinks he can manage the war on terror, or even the conversion of willful defiant teens, without harsh methods, he should stop with the accusations and give us some specifics. And if he can't do that and point to some real world examples and proof, well, Gerard has said what needed to be said about his apparently increasing dementia.
It is Sullivan himself and the left in general that have debased the term "torture" by using it to describe Abu Ghraib or Gitmo. If torture meant what they think it does, we'd all be heaving a sigh of relief that our two soldiers in Iraq were "only" tortured, instead of experiencing unspeakable horror and heartbreak. We now have to invent a new word for what happened to them. The left desacralizes everthing it touches, which includes the removal of the demonic element from torture.
I am quite morally comfortable in saying that there is no common word that can be used to describe an evil person who sadistically tortures a good person, and a good person who attempts to extract information from an evil person by any means necessary, depending on the circumstance. To use the same word to describe both situations is moral pereversion. It results from, and leads to, the absolute inability to distinguish between good and evil. Which defines the left. As Dennis Prager says, you cannot understand evil and remain on the left.
Well said Gagdad. I just wish you'd stop reading my mind and posting my thoughts, only so much more elegantly phrased than I could ever make them. Gerard does that also.
Humbling, you both are, and wonderful.