Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Morality, Prager Style

Dennis Prager's latest article is about how the left is blurring the line between right and wrong. Not in the normal way of, say, accepting Homosexuality, but by saying things are bad even when they are not.

Take torture. Apparently the fact that we Liberals have described jamming objects up detainees butts as torture weakens the natural hatred we should have for real torture, which apparently involves jamming red hot objects up prisoners butts. You see the difference?
For example, the liberal press' unending preoccupation with American abuses of Iraqi detainees had a number of deleterious consequences. One was a further undermining of Arab and Muslim support for America's liberation of Iraq. But the longest-lasting negative effect was probably the cheapening of the word "torture."

It undermined the war against torture to characterize what some Americans did to some Iraqis in the Abu Ghraib prison -- actions that were indeed sick, un-American and shameful to our military -- as "torture." Labeling abuses as "torture" filled me with pity for all the people around the world who had experienced real torture.

I kept thinking about those whose bodies were burned, whose fingernails were torn out, who were hung by their arms in a way that broke their shoulders (a common Chinese communist torture), who were put into human shredders (in Saddam's Iraq) or who had burning hot steel rods shoved into their rectums. How did these poor souls react to seeing the Western media routinely describe humiliating and frightening naked men for the sadistic amusement of guards as "torture"?
At this point, I'd like to note that 108 persons died at Abu Ghraib and similar facilities. I'm pretty sure that such men were not humiliated or frightened to death. You can see a partial list of these people here. I'd also like to note, for those of you who are of the opinion that these were all terrorists, the bulk of the detainees were released without charges.

But, more to the point, what exactly is the danger in having a higher standard, Mr. Prager? How does it hurt the United States when we call forcing people to experience drowning (waterboarding) torture? How does it make the United States better if we call that "abuse?" And who exactly do we think we are fooling?

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