Sunday, December 04, 2005

Negotiating torture?

In our local newspaper this morning there was an article about the fact that the White House was "negotiating" with McCain over torture. I also saw references to this negotiating on the web. What the hell are they talking about? Negotiating over torture? What form do these negotiations take? McCain sponsored an amendment (or rule, or whatever it was) that there would be no torture. NO TORTURE! None. This passed the Senate 90 to 9. So what is there to negotiate? Is the White House arguing that we ought to be able to torture some people only? Or, perhaps, they are arguing that certain techniques can be used but not others? Maybe torturing is acceptable on tuesday, thursday and saturday but not on other days? I guess they could be negotiating the definition of torture. They could be, I suppose, negotiating over where people could be tortured - like here, or Poland, or Romania, Egypt, or wherever, as long as it is not in the U.S. I have to admit, I do not understand how they could be negotiating torture.

If they are negotiating with McCain, what does that say for him? He wants no torturing. At least that is what he got the Senate to agree to. So why is he now negotiating. I guess it wouldn't have anything to do with how bad he wants to become president? And he obviously wants it bad. How else would you explain photographs of him actually hugging George W. Bush? How about supporting the teaching of Intelligent Design? How about his support for Bush's ridiculous "war?" At the moment it looks to me that McCain desperately wants to be the Republican candidate for president in 2008 and is willing to do anything not to upset the ultra-right Republican base. I can see no other explanation for his behavior in the last year or two. This is certainly not the McCain of the 2000 campaign. McCain, who has always been a warmonger (even worse than Bush) has now revealed himself as a shameless opportunist willing to go to any length to become president. And he may very well succeed as he is about the only Republican candidate that (1) is not in legal or ethical trouble, (2) has cross-over appeal to independent and some democratic voters, (certainly not for me), and (3) is a genuine war hero as opposed to a Cheney/Bush slacker. I believe he would be a disaster as president and would keep us involved in endless war just as Bush/Cheney and the neocons wish (have to continue to support the obscene military/industrial budget no matter what).

The 9/11 attacks on the trade center and the pentagon are the perfect example of humanicide (see morialekafa 8-26-04 on humanicide). Three thousand people died, people from 70 different countries, and including more than 200 Muslims. The attackers had no idea who would be killed, had no reason to target them other than the fact that they existed, had no grudge against them, no excuse for what they did other than to just plain and simply kill large numbers of perfectly innocent people, including children. This was not war, not genocide, not self defense, not for personal or monetary gain, just not rational in any sense of that term. It was humanicide, the deliberate killing of large numbers of random human beings for no reasonable motive. Given what they apparently wanted to achieve it might have made at least some kind of sense to attack the pentagon or Wall street where at least the victims might have had some direct (however remote) connection to the ills they were complaining about. Those who perished in the trade center were truly innocents, especially the children. As I previously suggested, humanicide is a relatively recent phenomenon which I believe probably began during WW II. Unhappily, it seems to be spreading.

1 comment:

Suzie Creamcheese said...

I find myself in agreement with most of what you post on this admirable blog.
I'm not sure I'm with you on the concept of 'humanicide'. You (sort of) rationalise killing for self-defence (with you so far), personal or monetary gain (problematic but, in an entirely reprehensible sense, understandable) for war (problematic but with isolated justifications) and, strangely, for genocide.
The attack on the World Trade Centre was about hatred (one of the most understandable of all human emotions) and the desire to destabilise.
Try getting on a plane with a corkscrew in your hand luggage. Try pushing back on the introduction of ID cards in the UK without being called an apologist for terrorism. Try suggesting that it's unacceptable to hold people in custody without recourse to due process without being called a soggy, liberal do-gooder (when did that term become bad?).
The attack was entirely rational; foul, perverse, evil (if you accept the concept) and wrong but to deny its rationale is to forego the opportunity to understand the motivation and begin the process of resolution.