Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Senator Durbin broke Godwin's law with his nazi comparison. It doesn't matter whether his remarks have any merit, or if he was misconstrued.

"If I read [an FBI agent's report describing detainees...as being chained to the floor without food or water in extreme temperatures] to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime - Pol Pot or others - that had no concern for human beings."

Once he mentioned Nazis, the argument was over, and he lost. You can rightfully accuse this administration of a lot of wrong doings: lying about the reasons for his war, poor or no planning for the aftermath, creating an environment where soldiers are encouraged or at least feel free to torture prisoners, profiteering. But to call them Nazis is unjustified and damaging to the integrity of our system and diminishes the reality of the holocaust. Supporters of the war seized upon his violation of Godwin's Law, and any merit to the mistreatment of prisoners claim is completely buried under the barrage of outrage.

We have soldiers who do nasty, horrible things, and there's pictures to prove it. But you can't make the case that it's systemic problem. We should continue to express our outrage against the torture; it's not consistent with the American ideals. We must acknowledge the sincerity of the beliefs of the supporters of torture and war; they think it's necessary for our security. They're not proponents of genocide, and to call them such is unwarranted insult.

Sooner or later, I sure hope we wake up and realize the conflict is, to a great extent, about the disparity of wealth.

spelling error corrected 6/29/05


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