Thursday, April 23, 2009

Hunting the torture-mongers

'The CIA's use of waterboarding to interrogate terrorism suspects was approved by Condoleezza Rice as early as 2002, a senate report reveals.

As national security adviser, Ms Rice consented to the harsh interrogation of al-Qaeda suspect Abu Zubaydah, the Senate Intelligence Committee found.'

Eyes widen in shock, long-drawn-out oohs and ahhs. What did she know and when? We sternly ask, seeing ourselves as the latter-day Woodward and Bernstein, intrepid seekers after truth. Thats the truth being hidden by THE MAN, in case you were wondering. There is nothing as tenacious and dogged as a lefty seeking some hideous new evil performed by Americans, Britons or Europeans.

I am currently reading 'United in Hate', Jamie Glazovs somewhat crazed diatribe about the psychology of western fans of Communism/Fascism and now Islamism. What the book lacks in clear and scholarly argumentation, it somewhat makes up for in anecdote and episode. I only understand dimly the psychological arguments being made, but what is clear is that for lovers of Communists/Fascists in the twentieth century, and Islamists in the twenty first, our crimes always mushroom to dominate all available space, and the crimes of the objects of their affection diminish down to virtually nothing.

As I've mentioned before, General Pinochet in Chile killed 2,279 people, mostly communists and labour organisers. At exactly the same moment, Pol Pot was killing 1.5 million (some estimates say 2.5 million) Cambodians in the name of communism. Guess who still crops up incessantly as one of the most murderous men of the 20th century, in words that denote special evil? I'll give you a clue- I haven't heard Pol Pot mentioned for years.

Al Qaeda in Iraq murder whole villages because they won't hide them or cooperate with them- they are Patriots, don't you know? Freedom fighters, defenders of their homeland just doing what the MinuteMen did back in the late 18th century. Meanwhile, the US tortures a few very, very bad men; gets excellent demonstrably useful information out of them which saves lives, and what happens? The US and international left want war crimes tribunals and congressional investigations.

If you were a dazed survivor of one of those tragic Iraqi villages, and you happened to read about these shenanigans in the New York Times, you probably wouldn't be able to work out how the priorities and broad-brush realities came to be so out of kilter. They wouldn't be alone.

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