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Krugman on President Bush and torture « Previous | |Next »
September 21, 2006

In his latest op.ed. in the New York Times op. ed. Paul Krugman asks a good question: 'why is Mr. Bush so determined to engage in "torture?' He says:

Let's be clear what we're talking about here. According to an ABC News report from last fall, procedures used by C.I.A. interrogators have included forcing prisoners to "stand, handcuffed and with their feet shackled to an eye bolt in the floor for more than 40 hours"; the "cold cell," in which prisoners are forced "to stand naked in a cell kept near 50 degrees," while being doused with cold water; and, of course, water boarding, in which "the prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet," then "cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him," inducing "a terrifying fear of drowning." And bear in mind that the "few bad apples" excuse doesn't apply; these were officially approved tactics - and Mr. Bush wants at least some of these tactics to remain in use.

So we come back to the question. Why is the Bush administration so determined to torture people?

Krugman's answer is along the lines suggested here:

To show that it can. The central drive of the Bush administration - more fundamental than any particular policy - has been the effort to eliminate all limits on the president's power. Torture, I believe, appeals to the president and the vice president precisely because it's a violation of both law and tradition. By making an illegal and immoral practice a key element of U.S. policy, they're asserting their right to do whatever they claim is necessary.

President Bush understands himself to be a war president, senses a "Third Awakening" of religious devotion in the United States and understands the US's struggle with international terrorists as a war between good and evil. The Administration is trying to make torture legal.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 5:37 PM | | Comments (1)
Comments

Comments

Hello Gary and all,

All three Faiths of Abraham spawn violence and hypocrisy

Christians and Jews are able to smugly lecture and chastise Muslims about violence, because followers of Islam are poorer and more oppressed and are forced to defend themselves in cruder fashion. On the other hand, the rich and powerful nations of the west can train and equip militaries and intelligence services to do their bidding. Likewise, well-funded and smooth-talking politicians expertly equivocate about acceptable collateral damage to the homes, and lives of poor people in other lands. With so many dollars spent, why don’t Muslims and others simply shut up and accept being exploited, oppressed, and massacred for such nobly expressed western ideals?

Those in representative democracies tout their governments as extensions of the citizenry. Accordingly, so are the militaries, intelligence services, corporations and other proxies used to expand and maintain the Judeo-Christian Empire. By extension, the citizens of western nations are much more responsible for the actions of criminals, killers, and torturers paid for and authorized by democratic institutions than people who live in less democratic nations who have much less control over the actions of their leaders.

It is undeniable that the Bush administration, its cohorts, and supporters are mostly Christian. Without the blind support of so many Judeo-Christians, the Bush administration would not now be embroiled in the current struggle to retroactively legalize torture, illegal domestic spying, and other crimes. By US law, hiring a proxy to murder or assault someone is still prosecuted as murder and assault. It is undeniable that the militaries and intelligence services of the west that kill and torture at the behest of democratic representatives are hired proxies of Judeo-Christian citizens.

Regardless of attempts to shift blame, history clearly records the widespread crimes of Christianity. Whether we're talking about the abominations of the Inquisition, Crusades, the greed and genocide of colonizers, slavery in the Americas, or the Bush administration's recent deeds and results, Christianity has always spawned great evil.

So, the next time any Christian, Jew, or Muslim, whether president, prime minister, religious leader or follower decides to chastise others for their failings, stop to consider that the logs in your own eyes have blinded you to the full truth about all three faiths of Abraham. Religion has utterly failed to solve humanity's problems because it is a strong delusion that spawns error and evil instead. The sheep's clothing of duplicitous ideals is an obvious deception used to hide the truth. Nonetheless, the veil is readily pierced by discerning the fruits of their deeds.

Here is Wisdom...