Thursday, June 22, 2006
Thought For The Day
There will alas be no shortage of people ready to suggest that American errors and abuses in the treatment of detainees somehow caused/mitigates/compares with the torture, mutilation, and beheading of captured US service personnel. Let me raise just one of dozens of possible responses to such people:
Much that happens in Iraq seems senseless, but the kind of terrorism practised by al Qaeda in Iraq is anything but. It is profoundly rational, purposeful, and goal-directed. They do not torture, mutilate, and behead because they are enraged by some piece of propaganda they happened to hear on al-Jazeera the day before. Terrorism is a political method, adopted in pursuit of political ends. Those ends were selected - and the methods chosen - long before anybody had ever heard of Guantanamo as anything other than a sleepy naval station.
Too many people on all sides of the political spectrum talk as if only the United States acts, while everybody else merely reacts. But in this war on terror, the United States could install every captured insurgent and al Qaeda operative in his own hotel room with Spectravision and halal room service - without in any way altering the strategy or tactics of al Qaeda.