Prague Twin

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Not Too Much to Ask

When I saw this article I couldn't help but to recall all the arguments I've had with right-wingers over the last couple of years, and how Bush seems to keep coming over to my side. The announcement yesterday that the CIA, and all Federal agencies for that matter, would have to follow Geneva Convention rules is the latest in a string of such decisions made by the president which were made with good judgment and are aligned with "what we have been saying."

Before I get to the others, I just want to mention that all of the arguments I've had with an ex-District Attorney friend of mine are now moot. It doesn't matter if "enemy combatants" fall under the jurisdiction of Article 3. It doesn't matter if stress positions are in The Big Book of Torture. It doesn't matter that no one else provides our soldiers with the same protections. The point was, is, and always will be that it is wrong to do these things, and if we believe in the sanctity of law and expect to live in a just world, we must abide by the treaties we have signed, both in letter and spirit. (I know Roger, you have a hard time with the concept of hypocrisy , but the Geneva Convention falls into this category of practice what you preach even if others don't). Now president Bush agrees with me. I wonder if this has changed Roger's mind.

Indeed, we don't hear the right clamoring over their pet issues once the administration drops them. The right screamed bloody murder at your correspondent over many issues that the administration has since flipped on. Let name a few....

1. Bi-lateral talks with North Korea.
2. Any level of talks with Iran (despite uranium enrichment).
3. Domestic surveillance without a warrant.

And now that the administration has flipped, where is the outrage? Where is the indignation? Why don't they criticize the Bush administration for doing what we were assured at best would be ineffectual and at worst will put our lives in danger?

Where are all those brilliantly crafted arguments now that the Hero-in-Chief has switched to the side of pragmatism?

You could hear a pin drop.

BTW: I'll get back to posting pictures after I get home. This connection is way to slow to be bothered.



  • Good point. He gets the base all hot and bothered about these issues, and then he pulls the rug out from under them.

    It's a wonder anyone still finds this pretender credible.

    By Anonymous abi, at 3:54 PM  

  • I too have had this same argument with many righties and I couldn't agree with you more; as a nation, we must hold ourselves to a higher standard and uphold the laws and conventions to which we are bound. Otherwise, we are no better than the enemy we seek to defeat. What I find dismally disappointing is how many Americans think it is our right and our duty to torture, abuse and violate the basic human rights of others. So brainwashed are they into believing that all those being held on Gitmo are directly related to the hijacker terrorists, that they think this is simply "an eye for an eye." If there is incontrovertable proof that these men are in fact tied to these terrorists, why haven't they been put on trial and sentenced according to our laws? I fear the direction this country is taking. More and more I see the earmarks of a closed border dictatorship rather than the open border democracy we have all known all our lives.

    By Anonymous rockync, at 4:27 PM  

  • I think Bush had other reasons for flipflopping on torture. Maybe he was worried about Karma since the First Butt was about to be operated on. In any case, I don't think his idealogy or intentions have changed; I think he had some tactical reason for this. Maybe his confrontations with Congress have gotten too heated and he needed to throw a bone to those human rights whiners.

    But those are good points you make. The Right keeps warning that the sky will fall if this certain thing happens, and then it happens and the sky doesn't fall, and they're dead silent about it.

    Who Hijacked Our Country

    By Blogger Tom Harper, at 4:20 AM  

  • Abi,

    I think he remains credible in the eyes of the faithful because their love is faith, not reality, based.


    Well put. Their goal is to drag us down to their level, destroy our own credibility, and abandon the ideals that makes our culture great. It seems like they are winning.


    Good point about the posturing. In a lot of ways, this particular move is more politics than substance. He had to do something in reaction to the high school students.

    But remember when bi-lateral talks with N. Korea was considered "giving in" to Kim? How long did I fight those on the right only to have the administration agree with me in the end?

    And not a peep.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 9:03 AM  

  • You missed the other announcement by the White House on the same day saying that "interrogation techniques" that had been stopped were being resumed in CIA secret prisons.
    What you listened to was thr traditional Bush/Republican misinformation campaign.

    By Blogger 1138, at 10:58 PM  

  • PT, it is amazing to sit here watching Australia's political elite going down some of the more dangerous routes of the Bush administration.
    This as Bush is moving back from the worst of it. Guilty without regard to any chance of innocence, state control of everything, justifying lies as essential to good government...
    The pendulum swings at a slower pace downunder.

    By Blogger Cartledge, at 11:45 PM  

  • 1138,

    Welcome. I realize in this case the move was largely symbolic (or rather simply used for political cover). But it did get me thinking.


    I predict a big turnaround after the election in Australia. Mostly thanks to people like you.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 6:55 AM  

  • Thanks for the feedback. I'm for using anything that works to get us actionable intelligence--if that's breaking fingers or getting the guy a pizza, we should use it. We did not win WWII by being better people than the other guys, we won by being better soldiers, better killers than the other guys. I look on this announcement as a ill conceived surrender, but a good PR move. You seem to approve of the PR. Maybe that matters more than I think it does. I see talking one on one now with NK as an evolution after successful 6 party talks. Talking to Iran is a mistake and I don't see a change about "domestic" surveillance. FISA requires a warrant from its courts for domestic surveillance. What the NSA was doing was international signal intelligence. I don't now and I never have seen that as domestic surveillance.

    My position on what we should do with illegal combatants is this: tribunal to make sure they are illegal combatants, short and individually effective interrogation, execution by firing squad. Anything else rewards those who fight out of uniform. Good to see you have the time for such thoughtful posts. I've barely had time to blow my nose. More time is coming though.

    By Blogger Roger Fraley, at 5:06 PM  

  • Oh, and the lack of criticism of the President is because of the 11th Comandment--don't criticize a fellow Republican. Those who break this rule sink like a stone with the base. Vidi McCain, Hegel, Lindsay Graham, et al.

    Bold prediction about Australian politics. I, unfortunately, don't know enough to have an opinion.

    By Blogger Roger Fraley, at 5:12 PM  

  • So you are admitting that Bush is hanging you out to dry, but you still won't criticize him?

    At least you hold true to you party. I'll give you that.

    Thanks for admitting it.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 1:49 AM  

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