Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Enemy

By Dick McDonald
The West ignores history and apologizes to a cult that believes their salvation is the extermination of the West and the leaders say it out loud every Friday in the Mosque. When will the West come to its senses? Apparently it will not do so in the Armed Services Committee of the United States Senate.

Senators McIdiot, Graham, Warner and Collins believe we have to be the beacon of righteousness to the world or some future enemy will torture our soldiers. They pass over the fact that Islam seldom bothers with extended torture but goes directly to the beheadings and mutilation those savages prefer. Oh yes McIdiot and company acknowledge that we are fighting barbarians but it is more important to follow rules of etiquette so us darlings won’t be called hypocrites. I always thought that “names will never hurt you” we learned in the sandbox was a valid principal. Apparently it is not with a small contingent of Republicans in the US Senate or with Democrats.

The rest of the world likes their American “whipping boy”. They know we are saps for listening to what they say because they know they would never abide by “name, rank and serial number” if they were faced with a mortal enemy ready to nuke them. No they listen to Hollywood. They listen to Jack Bauer. They just laugh at candy-ass Americans so caught up in their drawers they are falling all over themselves to be kind to those who might call them names. Oh horrors of horrors they called us hypocrites. How could we possibly live with that?

On that fateful day in the soccer stadium when your head is on the block for all to see you lose it, go to your heaven in the comfort of knowing that at least they can’t call you a hypocrite.

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ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

18 comments:

Glutalgia said...

To Leonidas et al.:
I’m curious concerning the libertarian perspective on torture. Do you favor a torture program carried out by:
1) A large government program funded at taxpayers’ expense or,
2) A privatized program, in which the free market chooses the most effective methods of torture?

Thanks for your reply,
Glutalgia

ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

"...libertarian perspective on torture."
I suppose it should be the same as for "wife beating". More efficient if carried out by the free market. By the way glutalgia. When did you cease that practice? The "torture" experienced by Leonidas during military training was a "large government program" and somewhat inefficient.

Jeff said...

What is the libertarian view of torture? Or more to the point, what is your personal view of torture? Should the U.S. policy include provisions to torture people? If no, why? If yes, should private companies be permitted to provide the service of torturing?

ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

In order to have a discussion of the use of torture one needs to define what acts fall within the definition as well as the context for its use. The present definition of some would include "any humiliating or degrading act" i.e. the myriad photos of activities at Abu Graib when it was under U.S. management. That facility has since been turned over to the Iraqis and the inmates are pleading for a return of the Americans. As members of western culture we as libertarians must oppose the casual use of physical torture as carried out routinely by the former Baathist government. As for resorting to "persuasive" methods to extract necessary information we must ask how urgent is the need for the information and only use the amount of pressure necessary. The circumstances and methods will continue to be debated (probably without resolution). Our opponents will persevere in opposing any use of unpleasant methods while continuing to slowly saw off the heads of journalists.
"...should private companies be permitted to provide the service of torturing?" I think not. Anarcho libertarians may have an opposing view.

Jeff said...

"...one needs to define what acts fall within the definition..."

Agreed.

You quoted "any humiliating or degrading act," but I have no idea who you are quoting. And what's the point of presenting the alleged viewpoint of unidentified people? What is your view?

As for the actions depicted in the photos at Abu Graib, I believe that is against the values of our country. How about you?

"the inmates are pleading for a return of the Americans"

Do you have a source for that?

"the casual use of physical torture as carried out routinely by the former Baathist government"

Apparantly you have some definition of torture and a context for it. Could you please site an example or two of what you're referring to?

"Our opponents will persevere in opposing..."

Are you saying that the insurgents in Iraq are attempting to influence legislation in the U.S. opposing torture?

Leonidas, you have a fund of knowledge, reasonable reasoning skills, and definite opinions. Why are you pasting somebody else's opinions without any commentary of your own? I'm not even sure how much you agree or disagree with Dick McDonald.

I encourage you to think for yourself, and share your thoughts with us in your blog. Have the courage to be more than a dittohead.

ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

Jeff: You quoted "any humiliating or degrading act," but I have no idea who you are quoting. And what's the point of presenting the alleged viewpoint of unidentified people? What is your view?

Leonidas: See: 1. For the purposes of this Convention, the term "torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental is inflicted....Article 1 (UN) http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/h_cat39.htm


See:...use of torture (loud music) http://americanthinker.com/articles.php?article_id=5855&search=Torture


Kofi Annan: "Let us be clear: torture can never be an instrument to fight terror, for torture is an instrument of terror."
http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2005/sgsm10257.doc.htm

The ICRC defines torture and "ill treatment" as among other things: "Outrages upon personal dignity: "... significant level of humiliation or degradation." Others have lumped these categories together under "torture".
http://www.icrc.org/Web/Eng/siteeng0.nsf/iwpList265/19F463DBD1D7639FC1256FA90050419C


Jeff: As for the actions depicted in the photos at Abu Graib, I believe that is against the values of our country. How about you?

Leonidas: Such actions, if done for the amusement of jailers rather than for purposes of obtaining intelligence were handled properly by courts martial

Jeff: "the inmates are pleading for a return of the Americans"

Do you have a source for that?

Leonidas: The quote was filed by a reporter in a UK paper last week. He was referring to the few prisoners remaining from the time of the hand-over. Sorry, I did not archive it. You are free to disregard if you wish.


Jeff: "the casual use of physical torture as carried out routinely by the former Baathist government"
Apparantly [sic] you have some definition of torture and a context for it. Could you please site an example or two of what you're referring to?

Leonidas: I would consider the use of rape rooms, electrical current and heat applied to genitals, the severing of limbs, digits and tongues etc on political opponents rather than to obtain information as falling under the definition of torture.

Jeff: "Our opponents will persevere in opposing..."

Are you saying that the insurgents in Iraq are attempting to influence legislation in the U.S. opposing torture?

Leonidas: I am referring to "terrorists" and the religious and the secular supporters of their policies; not necessarily the "insurgents" in Iraq. The insurgents, when attacking coalition military targets are NOT engaging in "terrorist" acts.
Jeff: Leonidas, you have a fund of knowledge, reasonable reasoning skills, and definite opinions. Why are you pasting somebody else's opinions without any commentary of your own? I'm not even sure how much you agree or disagree with Dick McDonald.

Leonidas: The attributed postings on this blog include items I find interesting. I do not necessarily concur with all of the opinions of the credited authors and I attempt to link to the original sources in order that readers may form their own opinions . This blog is not a full time career.

Jeff said...

It is your blog and you will do as you please. I'm encouraging you to offer your own views, even if only briefly, on the links you post.

"As members of western culture we as libertarians must oppose the casual use of physical torture..."

Glad you hold this belief. As an anarchist, I also must oppose casual use of torture. I'm also opposed to less casual uses of torture. Under circumstances of imminent danger I can understand attempting to extract information with threat and implementation of suffering. I also believe that if we as a nation behaved more justly, there'd be less incidents of imminent danger.

The criticism of the Arabs as spoiled has some validity, but I sincerely believe that the west's relationship with the Arab nations would be much more civil if we didn't have a history interfering in their lives with imperialistic and racist motives. To some extent, we are reaping what we sewed.

As an anarchist, I believe we must take the moral high ground as our guiding principle. As a pragmatist, I believe we must maintain a military capability to defend our culture against the ugly realities of politics.

What say you?

ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

jeff: "...As an anarchist,..."

Leonidas: An interesting epiphany.

jeff: "I also must oppose casual use of torture."

Leonidas: Is there an anarchist position on torture? I believe you are more appropriately opposing it on western cultural/moral grounds, a view that adherents of a 7th century version do not share.

jeff: "I'm also opposed to less casual uses of torture. Under circumstances of imminent danger I can understand attempting to extract information with threat and implementation of suffering."

Leonidas: You need to clarify the apparent paradox of the above 2 sentences.

jeff: "I also believe that if we as a nation behaved more justly,..."

Leonidas: I believe that the nature of the nation state is to act in its national interest. The terms "justice" and "morality" will always be trotted out to explain such actions.

jeff: "...interfering in their lives with imperialistic and racist motives. To some extent, we are reaping what we sewed."

Leonidas: I agree. Unfortunately we have a great deal of stuff they want and need. They send their youth to be "educated" in the west and they return with, among other things the "MTV" contamination along with the PhDs in physics and engineering. These are threats to the mullahs' exercise of power. Also the west with its need for energy has developed their resources and pays handsomely for them. Please explain the "racist" component.

jeff: "As an anarchist, I believe we must take the moral high ground as our guiding principle."

Leonidas: Whose morality? Muslims believe in enforcing their 7th century version on the rest of the world at gunpoint. They are thus acting "morally".


jeff: "As a pragmatist, I believe we must maintain a military capability..."

This would seem to be at variance with anarchism.

"What say you?"

I quit watching that jerk O'Reilly years ago:o)

Jeff said...

I forget that O'Reilly says that, theiving bastard. I've never watched him, I've only seen him paradied.

I could be mistaken (it happens more frequently that I like to admit) but I do believe I've revealed my self identification as an anarchist in other exchanges we've had.

If there as any official anarchist position on torture, I'm unaware of it, because as a fundmental anarchist I find it absurd to adopt any position I don't personally arrive at and believe in.

The nature of my anarchism is singular and personal, as it should be for all individuals capable of living harmoniously without rules and regulations.

But my perceptions of the world prevent me from fully surrendering to the pacifist precepts of my predecessor and hero, Ammon Hennacy.

As for the pardox, I was attempting to say torture should be a last resort in extraordinary circmustances.

What is this nation-state you speak of? Doesn't the world consist of individuals? Do you have some definition of justice that you believe in? Don't you have some friends who believe the same. How about we get together and find us some leaders who will behave accordingly?

"Muslims believe in enforcing their 7th century version on the rest of the world at gunpoint. They are thus acting "morally".

No they are not. Choosing which part of your teachings you will believe so you can carry out heinous acts to attempt to increase your wealth and power is not moral behavior, and it is not reprentative of the majority of Christians or Muslims who have leaders who do so.

You've done a fine job demonstrating facets of the racist components. You speak as if all Muslims are like minded with the worst elements of their culture. There are millions of Muslims in the world, don't confuse them with their insane leaders. Does President Bush truly represent you? Is the CIA acting in your interest and representing your values?

I'm not well travelled or well educated, but the best I can tell is that most people mean well, but are easily led astray. We have the means to improve the quality of life for the masses, and over the centuries we have made progress. We've come a long ways since the Spanish inquisition and Custer attempting to gain fame for a Presidential run by slaughtering other human beings, and numerous other heinous acts.

And yet here we are continuing the longstanding war of christian versus muslim. You really don't see the racism in this ancient conflict? You don't see the the injustice of the disparity of wealth in this world? You don't see the collusion between the rich of the Arab world and the rich of the western world to keep their poor at war with each other to maintain their own wealth and power?

I can understand your disdain for Government. What I don't understand is how you can think corporations are better.

Jeff said...

P.S. I'm not using spell check and am writing fast, so feel free to point out my spelling errors, but I know it'd be spelled parodied.

ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

jeff: " ... O'Reilly says that, theiving bastard. I've never watched him, I've only seen him paradied.

leonidas: I watched him for a while and concluded that he is for the most part a populist opportunist.

jeff: "... all individuals capable of living harmoniously without rules and regulations."

leonidas: I can't think of any such historical situation. Even the most basic unit (the family) has rules and regulations.

jeff: "... I was attempting to say torture should be a last resort in extraordinary circumstances."

leonidas: I agree. Would you let GWB, John Kerry or Osama decide when it is appropriate?

jeff: "...What is this nation-state you speak of? Doesn't the world consist of individuals?

leonidas: The world consists of among other things roughly 200 nation states, several billion individuals 5 continents etc. The nation state is the political organization formed for the government of a specific geographical area. The list begins with Abkhazia and ends with Zimbabwe http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Countries_of_the_world.

jeff: " Do you have some definition of justice that you believe in? Don't you have some friends who believe the same?

leonidas: I suggest you consult Plato and Aristotle for definitions of justice. Leonidas is a creature of western graeco/judeo/christian civilization.

jeff: "How about we get together and find us some leaders who will behave accordingly?"

leonidas: Good luck!

jeff: (quoting leonidas): 'Muslims believe in enforcing their 7th century version on the rest of the world at gunpoint. They are thus acting "morally"'. No they are not. Choosing which part of your teachings you will believe so you can carry out heinous acts..."

leonidas: There are scores of passages in the Koran defining their "morality". Here are just 2: "So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. [Qur'an, Sura 9:5] Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Apostle have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection. [Qur'an, Sura 9:29]"
Why is it that westerners who violate the strictures of Christ are called "Christians" while those who dutifully follow the commands of Muhammad are called "radical" muslims?

jeff: "You've done a fine job demonstrating facets of the racist components."

leonidas: This is a non sequitur. Islam is a religion not a race. I suggest you look up the word "racist" in a reputable dictionary.

jeff: You speak as if all Muslims are like minded with the worst elements of their culture. There are millions of Muslims in the world, don't confuse them with their insane leaders.

leonidas: I happen to have Muslim friends and they are NOT terrorists. Nor are their leaders "insane". Their religion preaches forced conversion and world rule. All of their tactics are directed to that end.

jeff: Does President Bush truly represent you? Is the CIA acting in your interest and representing your values?

leonidas: GWB is the elected chief executive/head of state. For better or worse he will represent us all until the next bean counting. Please look up the mission statement for Central Intelligence Agency.

jeff: We have the means to improve the quality of life for the masses..."

leonidas: True. It's called liberty and freedom. If you accept Marx's slogan "From each according to his abilities. To each according to his needs." the quality of life will only improve for the aparatchiks.

jeff: You really don't see the racism in this ancient conflict? You don't see the the injustice of the disparity of wealth in this world?

leonidas: I see the injustice of with-holding the liberty to achieve prosperity. Justice is not defined by stealing from the successful in order to buy votes from the indigent or lazy.

Jeff: What I don't understand is how you can think corporations are better.

leonidas: You don't like big box merchants/corporations? Fine. Do not do business with them. But please do not run to the gun/power monopoly to prevent others from making their own choice.

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

Jeff said...

Ok, I said no more comments until I've read your archives, but I couldn't resist this:

"You don't like big box merchants/corporations? Fine. Do not do business with them. "

Isn't that like saying, fine you don't like drinking fouled water, don't pee in the well, but let other people pee in it?

ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

"Isn't that like saying, fine you don't like drinking fouled water, don't pee in the well, but let other people pee in it?"

Nope. It's like saying: "I think the well has been peed in. I aint gonna drink there any more."

Jeff said...

"Nope. It's like saying: "I think the well has been peed in. I aint gonna drink there any more."

In many villages, all the poor folks share the same well. Many wells share the same ground water.

If my neighbor pees upstream from me, it doesn't much matter if I don't pee in the stream now does it?

ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

Jeff,
I fail to see a valid analogy between your third world water quality reference and and the choices we have regarding patronage in a free market. Harming others by acts such as contaminating water is adequately addressed in the society we live in. If you must insist on our adopting your rules precluding the rest of us from making informed choices that have not been demonstrated to harm us, you gave signed on to the classic collectivist mindset and that definitely ain't "anarchism".

Jeff said...

The analogy refers to the argument that a bix box stores adversely effect the local economy for a segment of the population. Please don't hide behind your calling me a collectivist tactic. I know you're a smarter man than that. I'm simply an individual exploring various ideas in between bouts of paranoia.

ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

Let's try a better analogy then: We must prohibit autos from our society because a "segment" is engaged in making buggy whips. And don't forget the horse poop shovelers.
Collectivists believe that MOST human activities should be controlled by the "community" as opposed to the individual. Anarchists believe in "live and let live". As long as one quacks and waddles he should not be surprised at being identified as a duck. Hope those bouts are fewer.

Jeff said...

A better analogy would be we should ban autos because they pollute and they cause death. A fair refute would be that the benefit outweighs the detriment. Just because you hear a quack, doesn't mean I quacked. Perhaps you should have your hearing checked. Maybe I should check communication skills and make sure I'm not quacking. Given the choice between socialism and capitalism, I choose capitalism. But we have more choice than one or the other. What I believe we have in common is that we both despise despotism, be it by a minority or a majority.