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Victor Davis Hanson: Questions from Oceania ^ | May 1, 2009 | Victor Davis Hanson

Posted on 05/04/2009 6:42:07 AM PDT by Tolik

Who will Lend?

1)    We’ve going to spend over $3.5 trillion next year, run up an annual debt of $1.7 trillion, and are on schedule to add another $9 trillion to reach an aggregate debt of $20 trillion in eight years. The Obama administration and the Congress spend days on end fighting over how to spread and spend the borrowed money. But still, no one ties the additional expenditures to additional revenues. Can the President say, “We will borrow $.6 trillion from the Chinese, $.4 from the Japanese, $.2 trillion from the Europeans, and $.5 from American bond holders” in order finance this year’s budget”? Will someone simply give us a blueprint of where and how the $1.7 trillion is to be raised— x amount of loans for each new y federal agency?

 Waterboarding or No Brains?

2)    I’ve raised this example twice now. But, really, how is waterboarding a known detained terrorist like Khalid Sheik Mohammed (who confessed to cutting off Daniel Pearl’s head [with two knives after the first went dull], and to planning the 9/11 mass murder) at Guantanamo considered a war crime, while blowing up with a Predator drone suspected terrorists (and all those, including women and children, in their general vicinity) not?

 The latter victims were not given habeas corpus, and Miranda rights, and there is a greater doubt about their guilt from 10,000 feet than is the case with the much studied psychopath KSM in Guantanamo. Most suspects would prefer to be water-boarded than vaporized? Ditto the Somali pirates, whose heads were blown off during their apparent attempts at negotiating extortion, again a bit more drastic than waterboarding. Would a future President Sanford or Giuliani be right to bring charges against those in the Obama administration who green lighted assassinations of suspected terrorists—something akin to the Phoenix program in Vietnam?

 All About Abortion and Affirmative Action

3) Given the fact that Barack Obama voted against both Justices Alito and Roberts, (and wanted to filibuster Alito) would he object should Republicans en masse simply say no to his new liberal Supreme Court judicial nominee? As I recall Obama’s comments, he simply confessed two things: one, the two nominees were qualified; two, their politics made them too unsympathetic to his own political agenda, so they should be rejected.

Remember Obama’s assessment of Alito that had nothing to do with the law and everything to do with politics (“He’s a smart guy, there’s no indication that he is not a man of good character. But, when you look at his record, what is clear is that when it comes to his understanding of the Constitution, he consistently sides on behalf of the powerful against the powerless.”), and Roberts (“In those 5 percent of hard cases, the constitutional text will not be directly on point. The language of the statute will not be perfectly clear. Legal process alone will not lead you to a rule of decision. In those circumstances, your decisions about whether affirmative action is an appropriate response to the history of discrimination in this country or whether a general right of privacy encompasses a more specific right of women to control their reproductive decisions or whether the commerce clause empowers Congress to speak on those issues of broad national concern that may be only tangentially related to what is easily defined as interstate commerce, whether a person who is disabled has the right to be accommodated so they can work alongside those who are nondisabled — in those difficult cases, the critical ingredient is supplied by what is in the judge’s heart.”)

 War, No War, Sorta War?

4) What exactly is the current status of the war on terror?

(1) Obama has so demonized the Bush administration (despite 8 years of successful homeland security and freedom from 9/11-like attack), and so rejected its very protocols, that he even has changed the very nomenclature of the fight: terrorism is now “man-caused disasters”, enemy combatants at Guantanamo are “detainees”, “Overseas Contingency Operations” mean the  “war on terror”; OR

(2) Nothing has changed: renditions, wiretaps, email intercepts, Predator attacks, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq continue and Guantanamo is still open; he’s simply Bush III, pacifying his leftwing base with apologies abroad and euphemism at home; OR

(3) He has no idea of what he’s doing, and sort of makes it up as he goes, screaming “Bush did it” now, and then ordering “Follow what Bush did”. He simply assumes that whatever he does and whoever dies in the ongoing conflict, the media most certainly is not going to scream, as it did the last eight years, “murder” and “shredding the Constitution.” The days of movies, plays, and novels slurring the President are over.

Brave New World of Federal Recipients, Federal Workers, and Non-taxpayers

5) Given that the 1964 LBJ landslide quickly led to Nixon, the 1976 New Carterism led to Reagan, and the 1992 Clintonism was followed by GWB, Obama must know that his gargantuan spending and borrowing and regulation will lead to mega-taxes which will lead eventually, as is always the case, to stagflagation: low growth, high unemployment, high inflation, and high interest. He must know that near-trillion dollar experiments like cap-and-trade and socialized health care will not create new productive potential, only tens of thousands of new regulators that will hamper economic growth, and he must know that on social issues his base will drive him on for gay marriage, an end to ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’, abortion on demand, more, not less, affirmative action, veritable open borders, and abroad UN/EU transnationalism—and that eventually all that will provoke a furious backlash?

He knows that, and that is why in the first 100 Days, he hoped to so scare us into ”Bush did it” and “Great Depression” that the panic allowed him to rush through $1.7 trillion deficits, federal take-overs of finance and manufacturing, national health care programs, cap-and-trade, and new federal bureaucracies—and the result will be a vast new constituency of those who work for the  ever larger government, of those who receive vast new entitlements, and those who are excused from income taxes (for a while)—coupled with the popular rhetoric that “they” who made out like bandits, who did not pay their fair share, who go to Vegas and party at the Super Bowl, who are unpatriotic in avoiding taxes must make long overdue atonement for their past greed. 

So we are in a race—a race to get the dependent constituents permanently in place and institutionalized before the proverbial (fill in the blanks) hits the fans. If he succeeds, we will end up like a Greece, France, or Belgium— weekly strikes by government workers and unions, rampant cynicism as everyone seeks to land the federal job for base salary and taxes and benefits, and then moonlights to get untaxed cash and barter for necessary goods and services, all coupled with a culture of blame at various foreign and domestic “thems” who make us so unhappy.

Final thought: without the Old US who will be blamed? Who will keep the global sea-lanes open?Who will buy the world’s exports? Who will deal with Milosevic, Saddam, the Taliban, and the other global nuts and psychopaths? Who will attract the world’s more daring and desperate?

So we end with a whimper, after all?

TOPICS: Editorial
KEYWORDS: vdh; victordavishanson

1 posted on 05/04/2009 6:42:08 AM PDT by Tolik
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Our Jekyll and Hyde President. More radical than Jimmy Carter v smoother centrist than Bill Clinton?
Victor Davis Hanson: Nothing New Under the Sun [Equality of Result, American vs. French, etc]
Damnation of Memory. Persecuting his predecessors, Obama would establish a poisonous precedent
Victor Davis Hanson: Crazy Times — Crazier Times to Follow - when nonsense is passed off as wisdom
Victor Davis Hanson: Confessions of a Contrarian [deconstructing Obama, the Left and more]
Victor Davis Hanson: Obamatopia
Can We Get Beyond Race?
Victor Davis Hanson: Our New Sort of War. It might be the most dangerous of all
Victor Davis Hanson: President of the World ...deeply pessimistic view of what America was and is
The Politics Of Blame
Victor Davis Hanson: The Postnational, Postmodern, Post-everything Presidential Trip
Victor Davis Hanson: President Obama’s First 70 Days. It really does all make sense
Victor Davis Hanson: G-20 Outtakes. Europe Got Obama, Now What? Obama is moving to the left of Europe
Victor Davis Hanson: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly —Part Three of Three [The Good]
Victor Davis Hanson: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly —Part Two of Three [The Ugly]
Victor Davis Hanson: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly —Part One of Three
Victor Davis Hanson: American Mob Rule. We need a Socrates in Washington right now
Victor Davis Hanson: Thoughts About Depressed Americans
Victor Davis Hanson: Bush Did It. What a difference an election makes [Brilliant Parody]
Victor Davis Hanson: Dr. Obama: First, Do No Harm. Let nature do its work
Victor Davis Hanson: Our Battered American [gets angrier - Must Read Rant]

2 posted on 05/04/2009 6:43:42 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: neverdem; Lando Lincoln; SJackson; dennisw; kellynla; monkeyshine; Alouette; nopardons; ...

    Victor Davis Hanson Ping ! 

       Let me know if you want in or out.

Links:    FR Index of his articles:
                His website:
                NRO archive:

3 posted on 05/04/2009 6:44:37 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Tolik

VDH gets it. What we are seeing is the end of the US as the world’s lone superpower and a long arc of decline as we descend into a third world country with a declining standard of living.

4 posted on 05/04/2009 6:54:23 AM PDT by kabar
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To: Tolik
Thank you VDH. What really disgusts me is the MSM is most to blame for this. President Obama is their creation. He would never have been elected but for them. They covered for him and created the anti-Bush hysteria that made his election possible.

The annoying thing is they are so out of touch with reality that they will never acknowledge their part in the destruction of the best society that humanity has ever produced.

5 posted on 05/04/2009 6:59:40 AM PDT by marktwain
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To: marktwain

Interestingly, while Obama blames the economic mess on Bush, the fact that Obama is POTUS might also be blamed on Bush (with a lot of help from the hapless and corrupt Republicans).

6 posted on 05/04/2009 7:23:05 AM PDT by Mad_Tom_Rackham (What did Obama's Teleprompter know, and when did it know it...)
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To: Tolik

The military will be pulled in to an ever-shrinking cordon around washdc (for now that city does not deserve full name with capitalization (fevered swamp works as a name for it)) to protect our owners.

As the military shrinks the perimeter will become tighter. “Assets” will be pulled in closer. Our current owners will remain protected, for the foreseeable future, thought.

7 posted on 05/04/2009 7:35:27 AM PDT by RobinOfKingston (Democrats, the party of evil. Republicans, the party of stupid.)
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To: Tolik
Unbelievable what they have done so far, with barely a whimper from the media. More than 70% certain he will stay another 4 years, because of the campaign coffers. Isn't it like 6 Billion to Acorn in the porkulous bill? That is Obama's relection campaign cash!!

Prepare now for an opressive and messed up country. I will not contribite one dime in taxes to these people, scaling down everything.

I can't imagine how it will be turned back. The left has now almost achieved its 50 year dream of Utopia, all power to the elite rulers and s*it to the peons, hope they like it!!

8 posted on 05/04/2009 7:38:43 AM PDT by thirst4truth (
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To: Tolik
As usual VDH brings great clarity to what is going on. He is right. We are in the race of our lives. My only objection is his last line. I don't think this country will end in a whimper. There is always the day after a bankruptcy, a defeat, a divorce, whatever. Life goes on.

If we have to endure 4 yrs of BO, or even 8 yrs, we will always be able to pick up the pieces. Many Americans don't believe this because our children have been robbed of their history by the hate America left. But, in truth, we have collapsed many times. And always, ALWAYS, came back stronger and better.

The first Constitution failed within a decade. The new nation created by the second one fell apart in 1861. The Great Depression destroyed vast amounts of wealth. In WWII we were forced to fight a two front war against enemies who really did want to destroy us and killed as many of us they could get their hands on. Our political elite in the 1970’s lost the Vietnam War and preached the gospel of better alive on your knees than dead fighting for freedom against Soviet Communism. And although many died and suffered greatly, in the end we prevailed.

We have faced worse threats than this self loathing huckster who wants to bury our economy, destroy our culture and punish as many white people as possible for the accident of his birth and the emptiness of his upbringing.

We have a nasty enemy on our hands, I'll grant you that. But look into his eyes. It's all false pride and anger. Frankly, he may destroy himself before he takes us out. That is the real race IMO!

9 posted on 05/04/2009 7:42:18 AM PDT by mick (Central Banker Capitalism is NOT Free Enterprise)
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To: Tolik

"Given that the 1964 LBJ landslide quickly led to Nixon, the 1976 New Carterism led to Reagan, and the 1992 Clintonism was followed by GWB, Obama must know that his gargantuan spending and borrowing and regulation will lead to mega-taxes which will lead eventually, as is always the case, to stagflagation: low growth, high unemployment, high inflation, and high interest. He must know that near-trillion dollar experiments like cap-and-trade and socialized health care will not create new productive potential, only tens of thousands of new regulators that will hamper economic growth..."

That assumes that Barry is rational, sane, and informed. If he is in a borderline state of grandiose fantasy, delusion, and dissociation brought on by childhood abandonment and its accompanying Adult Children of Dysfunctional Parents Syndrome, his thinking would not be logical, rational, or sane. What seems to be going on is a symbiosis in delusion between the Stockholm Syndrome/Münchausen by Proxy adoring followers, induced by their victimology and his grandiose fantasies and messianic posturing. These must have started at an early age as he told his classmates at the private school he attended in Hawaii that his father (who abandoned him) was an "African Prince." And then that bit about how he "has a gift." Any alarm bells going off yet?

Dr. Krauthammer should recognize the borderline, narcissistic fantasies and delusions, the victimology and bizarre Stockholm Syndrome/Münchausen by Proxy coupling that sends deluded followers looking for a messiah or cult leader promising utopia and flimflam shortcuts to solve perennial problems. If Barry was marketing a creative visualization DVD or magical Mood Ring on Oprah to these vulnerable followers, he could retire now.

These kinds of fantasies and irrational delusions are characteristic of cults.
Complete with its own Ponzi scheme. It's not the first time vulnerable and confused Americans have fallen for this type of con. What's needed is exit counseling and cult deprogramming. But people need to ask why so many Americans are spiritually and emotionally vulnerable to this in their psychology, not just neurotic liberals. It happened during the 1960s and 1970s.

10 posted on 05/04/2009 7:42:28 AM PDT by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: marktwain

It is not the media’s fault. American voters elected this turd. Anyone with a brain could see how wrong he’d be to run this country. Sometimes, suckers want to be suckered.

11 posted on 05/04/2009 7:55:57 AM PDT by karnage
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To: mick

Your points are well taken, but in prior economic meltdowns and times of division, the unique American character was still present in our DNA. Now, it has been largely stamped out by welfare and public education. Getting out of this hole will be a lot harder than in the past. Especially since so many people think the sickness is actually the cure.

12 posted on 05/04/2009 7:59:14 AM PDT by karnage
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To: karnage
You're right,of course. But I go back to what made the American character what it has been in the first place. Our ancestors came over for a variety of reasons and were not "Americans" when they stepped off the boat.It was the battles they fought here...against nature, against tyranny, against each other in the free market that formed the American Character

Maybe I'm missing something and your assessment of the dilution of our national character is correct....but I think the very struggles we are going to face because of the economic meltdown, the failure of socialistic remedies to solve it, and the utter disrespect this man and his gang have for our country will, in the end, trigger a restoration of individual initiative and push back that will restore constitutional government and free enterprise.

That is not to say that you are wrong in thinking the spine of the people has been weakened. Of course it has. almost 100 yrs of progressivism has taken it's toll. But I think Newtons Law will prevail in the end..........the tougher the push the harder the push back.

13 posted on 05/04/2009 8:12:41 AM PDT by mick (Central Banker Capitalism is NOT Free Enterprise)
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To: Tolik

Asking the questions you won’t hear from the White House press corp, ever. Good stuff.

14 posted on 05/04/2009 9:45:15 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Obama: Carter's only chance to avoid going down in history as the worst U.S. president ever.)
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To: Tolik

Good article. Thank you, for posting it.

... America is not mentioned in the last days/end times ... in the Holy Bible.

Could it be because, America is no longer a power worth mentioning? or simply gone?

We better get our heads up ... our prayers up; or this will happen, sooner rather than later ..

God help America, turn us back to You and Your Son, Jesus Christ. Have mercy on Your people. Forgive us our sins and they are many, we are, but dust. Thank You, that You hear our prayers. Help us to return to You. Without You, we can do nothing. In the name of Jesus Christ, let us pray. Amen.

15 posted on 05/04/2009 10:05:00 AM PDT by geologist (The only answer to the troubles of this life is Jesus. A decision we all must make.)
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To: mick

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

T S Eliot.

A poem I remember from high school. Good Stuff.

16 posted on 05/04/2009 10:41:09 AM PDT by sleepwalker (Palin 2012)
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To: mick

Your optimistic view is beautiful to behold, and I hope and pray that you are right. I certainly try to infuse my children with true American character. Hopefully, adversity will lead to a renaissance of that character, rather than its dissolution. But every great nation someday falls...

17 posted on 05/04/2009 10:53:33 AM PDT by karnage
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To: sleepwalker
Thank you. Good poem. But here are the last three stanzas of, IMO, one better suited for what we face....Kipling's "THE GODS of the COPYBOOK HEADINGS"

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew

And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true

That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four

And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man

There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.

That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,

And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins

When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,

As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,

The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

18 posted on 05/04/2009 11:04:58 AM PDT by mick (Central Banker Capitalism is NOT Free Enterprise)
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To: karnage
Thank you , FRiend.

I see from your profile page that you are a Roman Catholic, as am I. So I am sure you share with me the belief that Despair is a grievous sin.

However, you are right to point out that every great nation falls. But I sincerely believe this is not that moment for America.

We are both fathers and have seen the miracle of God's love for us by his great gift of children. And as conservatives we are humbled at our good fortune to be born is this blessed place called America at this time in history. And I know, repeat know, that there are millions of like minded people in this country who feel as we do.

And these men and women will not go quietly into that dark night of slavery and destruction.

And while Obama may bring great turmoil upon us. And our children and grandchildren may suffer greatly because of it. In the end, if it is God's will,we will restore the Republic of our ancestors.

We could do worse than echo that Priest at Pearl Harbor on Dec 7, 1941, "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition"

19 posted on 05/04/2009 11:37:35 AM PDT by mick (Central Banker Capitalism is NOT Free Enterprise)
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To: Tolik

You know, I’ve been pretty good about catching VDH’s threads here at FreeRepublic, but his is too important a voice to trust to chance. Please add me to your ping list.


20 posted on 05/04/2009 12:28:59 PM PDT by rockrr (Global warming is to science what Islam is to religion)
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To: Tolik
How can a man who pretends to be educated be this morally illiterate? "suspects would prefer to be water-boarded than vaporized". Who cares what they prefer? Does Hanson know what honor is? Has he ever heard of it in decades of classical studies? Does he know that a man who hurts anyone defenseless and at his mercy has none, while a man who risks and deals death in battle does? Why is this hard to understand? Or is it that it is easy to understand, but he just doesn't like what is means?
21 posted on 05/04/2009 12:57:14 PM PDT by JasonC
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To: JasonC


22 posted on 05/04/2009 3:27:30 PM PDT by maica (Politics is not about facts. it is about what politicians can get people to believe. - Thomas Sowell)
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To: mick

Your post sounds like something I could have written myself. Great minds think alike!

I’m with you 100%.

23 posted on 05/04/2009 5:10:37 PM PDT by karnage
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To: JasonC
It sounds like you're channeling Joe Biden there, fella.

Maybe you should take a page from C-Span and "revise and extend" your remarks.


24 posted on 05/04/2009 8:28:03 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: JasonC

What an odd take.

25 posted on 05/04/2009 9:04:00 PM PDT by okie01 (THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Ignorance on Parade)
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To: JasonC
Its a bit more complicated. From his NRO Corner post :

... I opposed waterboarding, but the Obama administration, in its showboating denunciations of past practices, will soon encounter further dilemmas as it broadcasts that the largely unchanged war on terror is now a more enlightened criminal-justice matter. Euphemism and creating new names for existing policies alone won’t cut it.

At some point, Obama must answer why waterboarding mass-murderers and beheaders like Khalid Sheik Mohammed is wrong, while executing by missile attack (no writs, habeas corpus, Miranda rights, etc.) suspected terrorists and anyone caught in their general vicinity in Waziristan — or pirates negotiating extortion — is legitimate. (Remember, there is no longer a "war on terrorism," so in these "overseas contingency operations" we are now judge, jury, and executioner — or are we resurrecting the Phoenix program for the Hindu Kush?) ...

So, Hanson is off the hook with you, but I am not, regretfully so, because as I told you on some occasions I follow your posts on money matters for my education and I hope I learned something from you.

About torture. The argument you use (and please correct me if I am wrong, I don't want to put words into your mouth) that torture is morally reprehensible and makes us to be no better than them, is very much similar to the argument that opponents of capital punishment use: that killing a man (defenseless at this point) is simply wrong.

As the saying goes: extreme cases make bad law. I am for both killing a *defenseless man* as a capital punishment for his crimes and for *torturing a defenseless man* in some extreme situations. It cannot be a *matter of fact casual procedure*. But there are some situations when there is no other choice. In expression often used by Hanson it's a *tragic choice*.

It can not be divorced from the circumstances of the case. Similar to deliberations on the murder case when circumstances can show it to be a manslaughter, or negligence or a cold blooded premeditated murder - and the perpetrator will be punished accordingly. In the case of torture, the context is the key as well. An enormous popularity of Jack Bauer and 24 is that people emphasize with him and his moral struggles (agony is a better word) when circumstances leave him with no other choice than torture a man in the race against time to save lives. Its a ticking bomb situation: an attack is imminent unless we gain some information to stop it. I don't agree that civilization sells its soul if it agonizingly allows torture in some extreme cases in order to save lives.

The same as capital punishment triggers special scrutiny, torture should as well. BTW, when the society executes a murderer, he is often weak and remorseful, but its done anyway.

Don't remember whose quote it is, but it goes this way: an American or British top leader was asked in what case he can see a nuclear weapon to be used. The answer was: "If I tell you, it removes the deterrence factor, doesn't it?"

Same as using nukes against Japan. Lots of civilians died so the war ended sooner saving countless Japanese and American lives. Many people to this day say it was not justified. I think it was. There is no doubt in my mind that it saved at least one magnitude more than it killed.

But I would not want to be the one to make that decision. As Hanson says: it's a Tragic choice.

If your honor can and will be used against you to kill you and yours - it means that barbarians will survive at expense of your civilization.

26 posted on 05/05/2009 7:01:19 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Tolik
Hanson is not off the hook with me. He is morally illiterate, because he cannot see the difference between honorable war and dishonorable torture. He reasons as though the moral objection to torture is that the one suffering it does not prefer it and we somehow must defer to his wishes in the matter, which is hopelessly, cluelessly stupid. Hanson is trained in the classics, he should know what virtue is. That he doesn't shows deep moral blindless or rhetorical overreach or both.

You are pounding straw men not arguing with the man in front of you for much of the rest. I have never said a single word against capital punishment, it is a red herring. In fact I support it as necessary in some circumstances and therefore oppose all attempts to undermine it, especially with unsound and unoriginalist constitutional arguments. The state must be able to defend itself. It is a matter of indifference or practicality for routine murderers, compared to life imprisonment. It is not a matter of indifference when it is Hitler and Ludendorf storming city hall in Munich, or dealing with Saddam Hussein. There you have and use it or the state is destroyed. The state must be able to defend itself.

But for your statement that you are in favor of torturing in extreme circumstances, it renders you morally unfit for any position of trust and objectively damnable. It also shows you have no idea what honor is. The statement that there is no other choice is utter hogwash on its face. No great mysterious force is grabbing your hands and forcing you to apply electrodes to another man's genitals. Claiming you are forced to it is a pathetic and transparent lie.

Citing 24 is laughable - it was written by leftist hacks intent on smearing the Bush administration. The actual context is the Algerian war, not a television show. Read Paul Johnson and Alstair Horne on the subject. The party of torture is the party of Jacques Massu and Le Pen. Did they win the battle of Algiers? Yes, and they promptly lost the battle of France and with it the war. The people of France would rather let the colons die and be damned, than maintain them as racist overlords in Algeria through systematic Gestapo torture. And they were right - the same paras willing to torture in Algiers were willing to stage coups in Paris; they lost all allegiance to anything that would count as civilization.

At bottom, the error of the torture party is to think the group they are a member of and seek to protect through torture, is an objective transpolitical category, and will remain operative whatever they choose to do. But this is emphatically not the case. No one who tortures does so for me or to defend me or as my representative or in my service. He can't decide to, I decide that he doesn't. If he electrocutes privates all day, he still isn't doing it on my behalf, but against me. I'd rather have him fry my balls than stand with him on anything.

Free political allegiance given on moral principle is the underlying true division, not national identity or (as the colons thought) race, nor (as the terrorists think) religion. The torturer represents only the torture party, and he can only defend and advance the torture party. He can't defend innocents; there are no innocents in a torture party. The moral circumstances he tries to cite to justify his outrages therefore fall to the ground. He is torturing for himself, for his own interests as he sees them. He is, at bottom, torturing out of his own craven fear and his own lust for power and domination.

And no, my honor can't be used to kill me. I am not a weakling. As a fact, the torturers and all their would be empires of necessity and expediency are dust and ashes, or cesspools of poverty and despair and weakness. As a fact, only chivalry and honor have ever built anything; even the edifices of unworthy rulers were built for them only by better men.

"But maybe frying this guy's balls will prevent an attack someplace". So? Are you such a coward you can't run the risks our men run every day on the streets of Iraq, even in the safety of Los Angeles? Why are you so scared of a few pipsqueak terrorists? I sure as hell am not. They can't touch us. And we can murder them all day as long as they care to try, without breaking a sweat.

No one can make themselves immortal by torturing anyone, in any circumstances. All your ruthlessness and imaginary "practicality" will not reduce by one second the length of time you will be dead. But you can burn in hellfire. Or not. That bit is up to you.

27 posted on 05/05/2009 12:19:40 PM PDT by JasonC
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To: JasonC

JasonC - your “outrage” is ridiculous.

You try to claim a moral high ground by claiming that certain techniques are “torture” - but when you read what was authorized - “enhanced interrogation techniques” - it is absolutely absurd to consider them “torture”.

If the enhanced interrogation techniques ARE considered torture - then the word torture is totally without meaning!

You - and the left wing radicals would have us give the terrorists tea and crumpets - speaking loudly to them would be torture.

Absurd!! In WWII - the Brits had captured German spies - and the spies were told to submit to special deception techniques - or be summarily executed as spies. (A few spies refused - and they were executed, with other spies being able to see what was in store for them if they failed to assist.) Such tactics would be against the Geneva Convention FOR captured soldiers - but spies and terrorists operate outside the law, and therefore do not get any legal protections.

Yes - the left hyperventilate againt the abuse of putting a captured terrorist in a small box with a ...gasp gasp - catepillar in the box also ....but most rational people recognize that with an illegal/immoral enemy, additional actions must be taken.

Again - WE DID NOT TORTURE. We used ENHANCED INTERROGATION TECHNIQUES. But if you disagree with me - then your dissent is antognizing me and that is torture to me, and you therefore must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for the crime of torture. </sarcasm> If torture can be redefined by others, surely I can re-define torture to include everything that the liberals are doing to create a socialist/statist country.

The liberals who would attack those who protected our country are just like the Animal Liberation Front people who would attack and kill those who don’t embrace their vegan lifestyles. They have elevated the importance of animals and therefore have lowered the value of man. The liberals have elevated the rights of terrorists - and have therefore de-valued the rights of citizens to live in a country and be protected from attacks. That means Honor is a meaningless concept to JasonC and his friends.

28 posted on 05/05/2009 2:22:49 PM PDT by Vineyard
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To: Vineyard
The lady doth protest too much. Your heat betrays your guilty conscience.

Second, of course waterboarding is torture. It was invented by Chinese torturers and practiced on our men in Korea and Vietnam, and we prosecuted people for war crimes for doing it, when we could. It was added to sear training as a mild taste of the torture captives routinely experienced at the hands of barbarians. The men who implemented it did so *as* torture. It is of course much milder when brief and the subject knows friends not remorseless enemies are doing it and will soon stop. But it is torture and everyone who wants to use it, knows it is and claims it is "effective" precisely as torture. If it were poking with soft cushions, no one would defend it as effective, would they?

You simply may not seek victory in war by making your captives as uncomfortable as possible. The means and details are quite immaterial, you can't seek the end. You can offer leniency or preferable treatment or release in return for cooperation if you find it useful. But captives are free moral agents and not sacks of meat for you to tenderize. The war will not be won in a torture chamber. It may well be lost there (France's in Algeria was, for one), but it can't be won there. It will be won only out where there is honor, on actual battlefields.

And no, torturers are not protecting the country. They are attacking it and covering it with their moral slime. They belong in jail, but I'll settle for simply running them out of any office or position of trust or responsibility.

And this has nothing to do with any terrorist's rights, it has everything to do with mine. You are not authorised to torture human beings in my name or claim to be doing so on my behalf. You are my enemy and not my countryman, if you defend barbarism. If you torture anyone, it is as a self appointed tyrant and illegitimate; you have no commission to do so from the American people. Your crimes are yours and not theirs, and nothing you say or do will make us support you in those crimes.

29 posted on 05/05/2009 2:59:04 PM PDT by JasonC
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To: JasonC
Admitting that you're wrong is hard. The libs have backed us into the corner and we should not blindly back an immoral policy - because it works. That is the enemy's line.

Long-term, if we lose the moral high ground we lose everything. America must stand for something or she loses her meaning.

The moral is to the physical as three to one. - Napoleon Bonaparte

30 posted on 05/05/2009 6:51:27 PM PDT by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: JasonC
At what point does George Washington slip into your rogues' gallery for applying the lash to ignorant boys for falling short of performing their duty? ( I mean his soldiers, not his slaves !) Def 1 a. (American Heritage Dictionary): "infliction of severe physical pain as a means of punishment or coercion." I've heard from other sources that Japanese were prosecuted for such means as water-boarding, although without specific citation; I'm surprised there was time left to drag them into court after they got through with the guys who herded American prisoners into open pits and flooded them with flaming gasoline. Maybe the actual indictments read something like: "_______ accused of burning U.S. POW's alive and water-boarding others." No points for bombast.
31 posted on 05/05/2009 7:09:58 PM PDT by gusopol3
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To: JasonC
You wrote:

You simply may not seek victory in war by making your captives as uncomfortable as possible. The means and details are quite immaterial, you can't seek the end. You can offer leniency or preferable treatment or release in return for cooperation if you find it useful. But captives are free moral agents and not sacks of meat for you to tenderize.

I have never read such juvenile drivel on this forum since I came on board in 1998.

This whole issue is starting to become laughable.

Prof. Paul Fussell, a cultural and literary historian, and professor emeritus of English literature at the University of Pennsylvania wrote a book some time ago about his experiences as a US Army private in WWII. No conservative Fussell, but he describes an incident in the Battle of the Bulge when a small unit of GI's captured a few Germans. Being cut off from their unit and in desperate shape they needed to know exactly where the German tanks were to avoid being killed. The Germans prisoners refused to talk. Their Sergent lined them up and said that if they didn't talk he would begin killing them one by one. They still refused to talk. He immediately shot the first one in line in the head. The rest of them talked. The Americans were able to save themselves.

We didn't win the war against the Germans and Japanese by playing fair. We played to win.

I don't even know what to say to a man who wouldn't do what is necessary to get information to save himself or his countrymen in a war. I just know I wouldn't want him next to me if the going got rough.

32 posted on 05/05/2009 7:35:40 PM PDT by mick (Central Banker Capitalism is NOT Free Enterprise)
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To: JasonC
You are torturing me with your self-rightious BS.
33 posted on 05/05/2009 7:46:29 PM PDT by Tolsti2
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To: marktwain
“Thank you VDH. What really disgusts me is the MSM is most to blame for this. President Obama is their creation. He would never have been elected but for them. They covered for him and created the anti-Bush hysteria that made his election possible.”

Exactly, the media has a lot to answer for. This isn't liberal bias anymore; the media is now the official Pravda of the administration. And this administration is doing to America what King George, what Adolf Hitler, and what the Soviets tried to do but could not. Thanks to so-called journalists. It would take a writer of Dante's caliber to imagine and describe the Hell that awaits them for their treachery.

All these tea parties are great, but how about some sort of demonstration / movement to express the disgust with the propaganda media? The issue isn't taxation without representation, it is the prospect of selecting representation without correct information. “No information means no representation” (anyone have a better slogan)?

Maybe everyone could show up with newspapers and toss them into the river, etc. Two outcomes: expose the bias and help kill the old media through declining circulation, or maybe make the old media run a few stories critical of their savior. Either way it is a win.

34 posted on 05/05/2009 8:00:08 PM PDT by Jacob Morgan
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To: JasonC

JasonC -

Congress debated the very issue of Enhanced Interrogation Techniques, and never passed a resolution prohibiting the enhanced interrogation techniques. The fact that the issue is so debatable, very hotly contested, and still unresolved means that your insistance on declaring in no uncertain terms is based not on fact, but emotion.

You keep insisting that persons outside of the Geneva Convention be accorded Geneva Convention treatments - when it clearly is not a requirement. To insist that it is the law now, when it is not - is wrong. It also violates an even more basic fundamental right against ex post facto laws. You may not criminalize what was debatably not criminal - and the fact that Congress has not yet passed laws clearly establishing different standards is proof that the criminality you suggest is not there.

As some Supreme Court Justice stated (during the Civil War) that the Constitution is not a suicide pact, we should also assume that the standards of treatment that constitute civilized behavior is not a suicide pact that must be adhered to when dealing with illegal combatants and terrorists. Geneva Convention accords were established to ensure fair treatment of captured legal combatants on both sides of an engagement. The Japanese were prosecuted after the war because they mistreated Prisoners of War who should have been treated IAW Geneva Convention (even though Japan was not a signatory to the convention.)

Ultimately, a civilized society may and should do what it must to secure victory and protect its society. If society enacts laws prohibiting enhanced interrogation techniques (something that they still have not yet done!) - then yes, by the rule of law, THEN it would be a criminal act to waterboard a terrorist to stop a suitcase nuke. But the society also has the ability to turn on a dime, and throw out the politicians who failed in their primary duty to protect society, and the people can reverse their stupidity and permit what needs to be done so that we don’t enter into suicide pacts that assure our destruction!

35 posted on 05/06/2009 6:33:48 AM PDT by Vineyard
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To: marktwain
What really disgusts me is the MSM is most to blame for this.

Oh, really? I'd say that the American public is most to blame. We (as an aggregate) let politicians and governments to get away with a lot of stuff. We're too busy to pay attention, and not interested except when it's too late.

36 posted on 05/06/2009 6:50:20 AM PDT by r9etb
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