Day by Day

Thursday, July 14, 2005

"America is not the America it once was"

So sayeth Andrew Sullivan, after reading that Americans really aren't all that upset about "torture" at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. The Volokh Conspiracy comments. The Comments are worth a read, but I dare say that the best rebuttal of Sullivan's assertion that Americans 50 years ago would not have stood for forcing POWs to wear bras comes from one of his readers:

At the beginning of WWII, Roosevelt and Churchill were outraged and disgusted at the way the Nazis bombed civilian populations. Bomber Command made a few attempts at low-level daytime raids but the cost in men and planes was horrific, and so they too soon switched to "area bombing," at night and from high altitude. By 1943 we were launching "Operation Gomorrah" which killed perhaps 50,000 in Hamburg, almost entirely civilians. Nearly 100,000 would die similarly in Tokyo, and then of course there were Fat Man and Little Boy, which were in a practical sense "terror" weapons designed to frighten the Japanese out of fighting to the bitter end.

The use of these weapons did not turn us into the Soviet Union which would in coming years use tanks to crush democratic revolutions, or for that matter the Russia which in the last decade used a WWI-style artillery barrage to suppress the Chechens in Grozny. Indeed, our bombs are now the most discriminating in the world. There is no morality or ethics within the casing of an artillery shell, but only within the hand that directs its course.
Well, yeah.

Maybe it's because it's not my ox being gored or maybe decades of video games and cable TV have hardened me to violence, or maybe I'm just one black-hearted sonufagun, but I must say: I haven't heard a single story or seen a single picture out of Gitmo or Abu Ghraib that has horrified me, or caused me to even stop for a minute and think about what my country has become, how low we've sunk, how when we do this stuff, "the terrorists have won".

Color me unmoved.

The Phillipines, Bali, Indonesia, Chechnya, Russia, Morocco, Israel, Iraq, Turkey, Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia, Spain, The United States, Kenya, Tanzania, and now England: battlegrounds all in what cannot possibly at this point be termed anything other than a "World War".

Ugly stuff has, is, and will continue to happen.

Call me whatever disparaging name you please, I can only respond to the "news" than men are doing nasty things to each other with an underwhelmed: "Duh".

How do I differ today from what I would have been, say, sixty years ago? Unknown, but my guess is that I, having not been immersed in Late Twentieth Century New Age Political Correctness, would have been cheering this stuff.

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