Why The Neutralist? The term Isolationist implies a narrow Fortress America outlook and is used as an epithet. The term Neutralist does not indicate someone hiding out from the world. No one calls the Swiss isolationists. The Wilsonian world view is old, tired and wrong. Our interventions have been less and less successful and now the failure can no longer be covered up.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Times Change

When I was a kid, we moved from the working class inner city to the working class burbs. About a mile and a half down the hill was a village center with a movie theater. this was just before the building of big shopping plazas and about ten years before movie multiplexes. It was one screen and when our moms got tired of us in summer, we would be given the small change of admission and allowed a matinee.

That was the fifties and much of it I don’t remember. As there was a feature and a B movie on most bills and there were so many, I am vague. Amongst the boys, there was a lot of horsing around during the lesser films.

I have a distant memory of one B flick that recurs more now. It is of some uniformed men taking another man and placing him on a board and submerging him in water to get him to talk. I remember the victim as looking stolid and laconic and with chiseled features.

Not much else is recalled except that his persecutors were the bad guys and he was a good guy and he was on our side. The implication was that we were fighting against the evil in the world that would do this.

Of course, life is more complex than that. It would be ridiculous to claim our side never did anything untoward. I had an uncle whom my mom implied was a little off after the war. There were two events he might never have gotten over. One was being the only survivor on a transport ship that was sunk. The other was being on patrol and his group came across a Japanese soldier washing his clothes. The men watched him until he was finished. It would have been nothing to capture him alive. One of my uncle’s comrades aimed his gun and shot the man in cold blood. Certainly, there were more instances of such behavior. Still, they were not policy sanctioned by the Roosevelt adminstration. The Neutralist contends if FDR were the great genius he is portrayed, he would have achieved our necessary foreign policy goals while avoiding war. Still, let it be said, our record in the matter of treatment of prisoners was much better than our opponents.

I wish that could be said now. Unfortunately, we have General Taguba's report to deal with.

After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.”

Amongst the practices cited,

U.S. personnel tortured and abused detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, using beatings, electrical shocks, sexual humiliation and other cruel practices.

Is it absolutely necessary to torture prisoners to get necessary. If we won WWII without it, I doubt we need it during our faux war on terror. The sexual humilition thingee, well, the deathless prose of Justin Raimondo says it all,

Okay, you’re trying to get a terrorist to talk, to spill the beans about whatever vile terroristic plots he knows about, and it’s easy to imagine beatings and even electrical shocks being utilized to this end—but the key that the torturers were just having a little sick fun with their charges is signaled with all this “sexual humiliation” stuff. I mean, let’s get real—is that hardboiled Al Qaeda type over there really going to break once you break out the dildo, or will waterboarding work just as well?

An American Mom

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