Thursday, September 21, 2006

McCain's Moral High Ground Ties Our Hands In War on Terror

Fire of Liberty
Last week I wrote about how McCain's current moral stand is great in principle when it comes to us fighting a regular war between to fixed forces who obey the rules of war but when it comes to fighting terrorists, the Senator is placing our citizens and soldiers in serious jeopardy and preventing us from taking out the terrorists we are currently fighting. Well I found a good column by Rich Lowry, National Review editor, which pretty much lays one of the best arguments I've read so far on why Senator McCain's(And others) current moral high ground seems to lose traction when you look beyond his posturing before the MSM. Here's a look at Lowry's fine piece:
Ah, if only the North Koreans had known how committed we were to giving the widest possible Common Article 3 protections to terrorists, maybe they would have re-thought their detention policies. McCain and Co. have a case of treaty fetishism. That is the belief that a piece of paper will alter the behavior of thugs. But a government will abide by the Geneva Conventions only if it is civilized; and if it is civilized, it is unlikely we will be fighting it, which is why we don'’t have to worry about defending ourselves from, say, the Danes.

McCain and his allies, however, apparently have trouble distinguishing between civilization and barbarity. "“The world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism,"” former Secretary of State Colin Powell wrote in a widely circulated letter to McCain. "To redefine Common Article 3 would add to those doubts." So American troops fighting to establish decent governments halfway around the world can be confused morally with terrorists? What a slander, and how disgusting that a former secretary of state would give it any credence by repeating it.

The irony is that, for all his preening, McCain supports what he would call "“torture"” if the conditions are right. He has said of a ticking-time-bomb scenario —— a terrorist has information of an imminent attack —— "you do what you have to do. But you take responsibility for it"” (i.e. get sued or prosecuted). In other words, McCain wants to make it legally problematic for interrogators to undertake the very interrogations that he supports.
I'd say that it's always good to hold the moral high ground but in a world were Islamic terrorists threaten our everyday lives with suicide bombers and other deadly acts, then it's well worth condemnation if we can use tough interrogation techniques like the use of temperature, sleep deprivation, stress positions(standing for sustained time-frame), isolation, loud-music to flesh out future acts of terrorism. So for the sake of this nation, I hope that Senator McCain rethink his view or at least be willing to compromise with the White House.

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