Patterico's Pontifications

12/14/2008

Debating Guantanamo After Bush

Filed under: Politics,Terrorism,War — DRJ @ 5:37 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Joe Katzman at Winds Of Change discusses a recent Wall Street Journal article that notes the media is more open to articles on the pros and cons of Guantanamo, presumably because the cloudy lens of Bush hatred is no longer around to blur the issue. As a result, they wonder if Obama can lead a reasoned debate on national security in general and GTMO in particular:

“[Harvard law professor Jack Goldsmith] notes that Mr. Obama is in a position to end the acrimony and strike a prudent way forward. “The single best thing about the election of Obama,” he says, “may be that we now have a chance to view the terror threat without the distorting lens of Bush hatred.”

The WSJ concludes the problem with GTMO isn’t the place, it’s the people who are held there. Perhaps Obama agrees since he and his transition team have recently embraced a more nuanced view of national security and GTMO than his position during the campaign.

Still, I wonder if a consensus is possible if the electorate has moved as far to the left – at least temporarily – as it seems. I doubt those on the anti-war left will debate the need for high-stress interrogation techniques or long-term GTMO detentions in times of war anymore than anti-abortion advocates on the right will debate the need for abortion as an necessary method of contraception. In other words, if your philosophy is absolutely anti-abortion or anti-war, can you pragmatically debate the limits and usefulness of abortion or war?

The media may be willing to follow Obama’s lead but that doesn’t mean the left will, too. The question is — How many anti-war true believers are there on the left?

H/T Instapundit.

47 Responses to “Debating Guantanamo After Bush”

  1. Some in the left are so anti-American that they would probably cheer a loss in Afghanistan (We know they would cheer a loss in Iraq) but I wonder how they would react to an attack on an American city with a large death toll. If it interfered with their latte’ and white wine, it might be unacceptable. I have not noted a high capacity for sacrifice for principle on the left. That’s why the Vietnam anti-war protests pretty much ended with the draft.

    In fact, Johnson’s great mistake was to try to fight a war like that with a conscript army. The British fought the Napoleonic Wars with a volunteer army.

    Mike K (ee3203)

  2. Your analogy sort of breaks down, here. Suggesting that torturous interrogation methods are necessary to prevent terrorist attacks, is in much the same vein as abortion as contraception?

    Abortion prevents birth, not conception. Although I suspect you meant more to imply an equivalent level of inability to emotional distance oneself from an issue. With which I agree.

    Although, in most cases, harsh interrogation methods don’t actually kill the subject, so again, I suggest that it’s a flawed analogy.

    Steve B (5eacf6)

  3. I am very much reminded of the left’s position during the Clinton administration. It isn’t about policy or ideology, but power. When Clinton went into Bosnia, the left didn’t care. There will be a few who will care, but the great breadth of the left will cease to care now that there man is “violating human rights” and “indiscriminately killing” innocents. The left doesn’t have a monopoly on hypocrisy, but they do seem to have a greater number of hypocrites and those less principled than the right.

    Ed (17a154)

  4. The people on the left wouldn’t cheer a defeat, they would cheer leaving the country. Be real. Bush and his buddies showed the Taliban a good Texas time during the 90’s because he wanted the gas lines through Afghanistan, but then when Osama happens to be in the country after 9/11 Bush basically says the Taliban is a bunch of fundamentalist terrorists and women haters. There is the real hypocrisy. As to Gitmo and detention centers: Using torture and ‘high-stress’ interrogation leads to the birth of 10 more anti-Americans rather than stopping 1 ‘terrorist.’ Really, how many times has torture provided useful, true evidence? As an aside, torture provided the fabricated memo that sent us to war with Iraq.

    Matt (96f134)

  5. Matt, now you are just repeating long debunked nonsense. Channeling Robert Scheer now or what?

    SPQR (72771e)

  6. I think Matt proves my point. So much for reasoned debate.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  7. Thanks Matt. What would the world do without hard-hitting, meaningful insight such as yours?

    Jack Klompus (cf3660)

  8. Matt’s an a$$hole!

    AOracle (648197)

  9. There is a significant chunk of the Left whose BDS is a consequence of their being in denial about the war with the Islamo-fascists. Bush wouldn’t pander to them, and his activities kept challenging their denial. Osama can get away with it only as long as the MSM keeps the entire think down the memory hole.

    I.e., as long as the “Truthers” are allowed to maintain their illusions unchallenged, they won’t object.

    LarryD (feb78b)

  10. Some in the left are so anti-American that they would probably cheer a loss in Afghanistan (We know they would cheer a loss in Iraq)

    I am center-left and I would not cheer a loss in Iraq. How does it feel when your arguments don’t fit the superlative? Like maybe the Right vs. Left really isn’t a Good vs. Evil argument like you wish so fervently it to be.

    truthnjustice (c313be)

  11. You would be center-left in Cuba.

    Official Internet Data Office (3dd6a3)

  12. truthnjustice, then why do the Left present it as a “good vs. evil” argument? You really don’t think about your comments much, do you?

    SPQR (72771e)

  13. No they don’t, Mussolini.

    truthnjustice (c313be)

  14. Matt forgot the plastic turkey.

    Jim Treacher (671d28)

  15. Jim, not really, he’s here in comments #9,12.

    SPQR (72771e)

  16. Comment by truthnjustice — 12/15/2008 @ 9:00 am

    You don’t read so good, do you…

    Some in the left

    You do know what the word “some” means, right?

    Scott Jacobs (a1c284)

  17. Your second sentence infers the superlative.

    truthnjustice (d99227)

  18. So speaks the engineer/teacher, on grammar.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  19. So speaks the engineer/teacher, on grammar.

    Comment by Eric Blair — 12/15/2008 @ 9:43 am

    He’s exploring the depths of ignorance, and nearing the bottom. An acheivement award is in order.

    Mossberg500 (9fd170)

  20. Thanks Moss! Much appreciated.

    And thank you, EB, for finally reading something and getting accurate information out of it. No, I am not a physicist. No, I am not a professor. Yes, I usually right and you are not.

    truthnjustice (c313be)

  21. Thanks Moss! Much appreciated.

    I can’t help it…

    Idiot, he was referring to YOU being the one exploring the depths of ignorance…

    Scott Jacobs (a1c284)

  22. Your second sentence infers the superlative.

    Sentences can’t infer, only people can do that. The correct verb is “implies”. And superlatives apply to certain adjectives; just whose second sentence are you talking about?

    Steverino (69d941)

  23. Bush basically says the Taliban is a bunch of fundamentalist terrorists and women haters. There is the real hypocrisy.

    — And this is hypocritical why? The Taliban don’t resemble that characterization at all?

    Icy Texan (b7d162)

  24. tnj colors outside the lines the bestest, superlatively speaking.

    Mossberg500 (9fd170)

  25. “Bush basically says the Taliban is a bunch of fundamentalist terrorists and women haters.”
    The Clinton administration figured these truths out fairly quickly, but whatever helps you keep things in a convenient package for your consumption.

    Jack Klompus (cf3660)

  26. Some in the left are so anti-American that they would probably cheer a loss in Afghanistan (We know they would cheer a loss in Iraq)

    I am center-left and I would not cheer a loss in Iraq.

    What made you think the above applied to you in the first place?

    h0mi (a21964)

  27. I am center-left and

    Actually, you’re not anything at all at this point in time. You don’t back up any of your assertions or snark, nor do you offer any proof of your alleged profession.

    Dmac (e30284)

  28. Are you going to misquote me again, Dmac, or are you done putting words into my mouth?

    truthnjustice (c313be)

  29. Are you going to misquote me again, Dmac, or are you done putting words into my mouth?

    o-O

    What the hell are you talking about, son? Dmac hasn’t spoken to you in this thread…

    Scott Jacobs (a1c284)

  30. I’ll answer that if you address me as sir, or at least as truthnjustice.

    truthnjustice (c313be)

  31. In other words, if your philosophy is absolutely anti-abortion or anti-war, can you pragmatically debate the limits and usefulness of abortion or war?

    What was so horrible about the last presidential election was that it completely squeezed out all of us who wanted more abortions AND more war. There was nowhere to turn — either party was going to strip one of them away from us.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  32. Ok, even I have to admit that was pretty damn funny…

    Scott Jacobs (a1c284)

  33. Also, the last election was bad for those of us who wanted less abortions, and less war. Again, either way we voted we were screwed…

    Scott Jacobs (a1c284)

  34. “…or are you done putting words into my mouth?”

    What on earth are you talking about? Do you even bother reading comments before you post your inane rantings?

    Dmac hasn’t spoken to you in this thread…

    It is becoming unglued, apparently.

    Dmac (e30284)

  35. You have apparently forgotten the recent comments you attributed to me. You said that I had called the posters on here were racist, and after you pasted the words I actually wrote I was confirmed. Own it. Every time.

    truthnjustice (d99227)

  36. Steve B:

    Abortion prevents birth, not conception. Although I suspect you meant more to imply an equivalent level of inability to emotional distance oneself from an issue. With which I agree.

    You make a good point and that is close to what I meant, although I wasn’t focusing on the emotional involvement as much as the principle involved. There’s not much room for negotiation or consensus when one side believes the issue is a matter of principle. People rarely compromise their bedrock principles.

    DRJ (b4db3a)

  37. tnj, you replied to my post with a non sequitar and went downhill from there. If you don’t think there are lots of people on the left who would cheer a defeat, you don’t read leftist blogs. I do. Some of them are even sending shoes to Bush to “honor” the idiot journalist who threw a shoe.

    Mike K (ee3203)

  38. You have apparently forgotten the recent comments you attributed to me. You said that I had called the posters on here were racist, and after you pasted the words I actually wrote I was confirmed. Own it. Every time.

    Comment by truthnjustice — 12/15/2008 @ 2:56 pm

    Dude, sleep it off. Dmac has said no such thing. Re-read the comments, you may have the wrong thread.
    And I apologize for having a little fun with you. You’re taking this waaaaaay to seriously.

    Mossberg500 (9fd170)

  39. It is thus beclowned.

    Dmac (e30284)

  40. dmac. If you want to appear smart then you should use words in the dictionary. The regular one, not the urban one.

    truthnjustice (d99227)

  41. Dual troll thread! It should just pick one thread and troll there, don’t you think?

    Eric Blair (8ed172)

  42. Eric, after it puts the lotion on.

    SPQR (72771e)

  43. Okay. It’s a good thing I have a keyboard cover. I aspirated some root beer again.

    Good one, SPQR.

    Eric Blair (8ed172)

  44. hehe.

    A confirmed keyboard kill. ** pumps arm in air **

    SPQR (72771e)

  45. Huh?

    truthnjustice (d99227)

  46. Eric, after it puts the lotion on.

    Brilliant!

    Dmac (e30284)

  47. Nicely done!

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)


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