Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Thursday, 11 December 2014

A Clutch of Quotes

Pic courtesy UK Daily Telegraph
























 Back in 1984, when he signed the UN Convention against torture, US President Ronald Reagan said this -

The United States participated actively and effectively in the negotiation of the Convention . It marks a significant step in the development during this century of international measures against torture and other inhuman treatment or punishment. Ratification of the Convention by the United States will clearly express United States opposition to torture, an abhorrent practice unfortunately still prevalent in the world today.

Yesterday, a number of Republicans, including  Marco Rubio, a likely 2016 presidential contender, issued the following statement after the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee on the harsh interrogation techniques used by the CIA against terror suspects -


I cannot think of a greater disservice to our men and women serving in the military and in our intelligence field than to hand terror groups like ISIL another recruiting tool and excuse to target them,” Republican Sen. John Cornyn said in statement issued Tuesday. “Due to the political calculations of some, the American people and our allies across the globe are less safe today than they were before.


The juxtaposition makes it starkly clear how the extremists on the Right have hijacked the Republicans in the USA. To be completely fair, this issue has divided the Republican Party, with John McCain, who has been on the receiving end of torture, making his views plain -

I commend Chairman Feinstein and her staff for their diligence in seeking a truthful accounting of policies I hope we will never resort to again. I thank them for persevering against persistent opposition from many members of the intelligence community, from officials in two administrations, and from some of our colleagues.
The truth is sometimes a hard pill to swallow. It sometimes causes us difficulties at home and abroad. It is sometimes used by our enemies in attempts to hurt us. But the American people are entitled to it, nonetheless.
They must know when the values that define our nation are intentionally disregarded by our security policies, even those policies that are conducted in secret. They must be able to make informed judgments about whether those policies and the personnel who supported them were justified in compromising our values; whether they served a greater good; or whether, as I believe, they stained our national honor, did much harm and little practical good.

McCain, of course, is a patriot, not a partisan. His statement refers to "the values that define our nation". Those who support the use of torture as a means to provide security forget that the abandonment of these core values leaves nothing worthwhile to defend. It brings the perpetrators to exactly the same level of depravity as those they claim they are fighting.

No civilized nation, no matter how threatened, can use torture as a means to ensure security. It was not necessary in two world wars. It is not necessary now.

History is a harsh and fearless judge. That's why the atrocities committed by the Japanese (for example) are burned into our national consciousness.

The march towards extremism exhibited across the Pacific has its echoes here, where crass ideology has begun to highjack Coalition policies.

We need to keep an eye on the Yanks and learn from their mistakes. 

We also need to call to account those politicians here who exhibited craven cowardice around the treatment of at least one Australian citizen.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

No civilised nation can use torture.....should read no civilised nation should use torture, but all those claiming to be civilised do use torture, and if you can prove it wasn't used during the first two major wars I'd like some proof other than denials from those likely to be prosecuted for it. You exhibit either extreme naïvety or stupidity.

1735099 said...

should read no civilised nation should use torture, but all those claiming to be civilised do use torture, and if you can prove it wasn't used during the first two major wars I'd like some proof
reads as if it was badly translated from the Russian, but I think you're trying to say that everybody does it, so it's OK.
Fact is, it's not OK.
And if it's "stupid and naive" to condemn torture, then "stupid and naive" is a label I'll wear with pride.

Anonymous said...

Nothing changes with you .....now where did I say it's okay? I was merely correcting your assertion that no civilised nation can use torture when obviously they do. You have asserted that I claim you are stupid and naïve when I quite clearly gave you the option of naïve OR stupid and my assertion is related to your claim that torture was not used by the civilised participants in the major world wars. Stupidity and naivety were not mentioned in relation to your condemnation of the use of torture. Paranoia becoming a problem? You didn't address the request of proof of non use of torture during WW1 and WW2...I know you can't so don't bother trying on the BS. Just between you and I, I don't care if you can wear incontinence pads with pride let alone an imagined label.

1735099 said...

Thank you for agreeing with me that torture is not OK.

Perhaps you'd better attempt to define "civilised" before you go any further.
By the way, if you try really really hard, you might manage to post without abuse.
It does nothing for your argument.
Having said that, I'm still trying to figure out precisely what you're on about.

Anonymous said...

It would appear that you consider none of the globe's nations as civilised. When it is clear that torture has been used by developed nations as well as the developing nations, it is apparent that those nations, by your assertion, cannot be civilised. "no civilised nation can use torture" as stated by you. Following yet? Still not backing up your claims of the innocence of the allied participants in both World Wars. I,d get into the value of controlled torture in relation to forcing information from hardened people to enable the prevention of further atrocities or loss of life, but I understand that you turn your deaf ear or claim that you have no comprehension skills. A bit like a teacher who cannot be seen to lack skills.

1735099 said...

It would appear that you consider none of the globe's nations as civilised.
Any nation that uses torture is not, by definition, civilised. Occasionally rogue elements within the military (or in the case of the US - the CIA) will take it on themselves to use torture. It is not officially sanctioned.
Where it became institutionalised, as it did in Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, the individuals concerned were brought to Justice.
The CIA operatives who abused prisoners at Guantanamo should be brought to Justice.
I,d get into the value of controlled torture in relation to forcing information from hardened people to enable the prevention of further atrocities or loss of life,
Except that it doesn't work, as was found by the Senate report.

Anonymous said...

You haven't mentioned your favourites, China, Russia, North Korea, Vietnam etc. etc.
If you believe that every individual involved in systemic torture and abuse from the Nazis or Japanese military was brought to justice you really are stupid not naïve. If you believe that torture is not sanctioned in some situations then you are even stupider. Guantanamo was not set up as a resort for promising muslim extremists. Sanctioned and officially are different concepts.

1735099 said...

You haven't mentioned your favourites, China, Russia, North Korea, Vietnam etc. etc.
I'm not into "favourites". I am into integrity.
If you believe that every individual involved in systemic torture and abuse from the Nazis or Japanese military was brought to justice you really are stupid not naïve.
Where did I say "every" individual? What I did refer to was the state sanctioning of torture, something that you seem quite comfortable with.
There is simply no situation where torture can be OK, even if lives depend on it. Once you turn a blind eye to torture, your cause, whatever it is, is worthless.

1735099 said...

By the way, have you run out of terms of abuse? You've already used "naive" and "stupid"twice.

Anonymous said...

yes and you have not disproved the assertion, only attacked me for using the terms.

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