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    Thursday, October 21, 2004

    Good Guys v. Bad Guys 

    Leo writes: “We have Abu Ghraib; the other side flies planes into buildings. If you call Abu Ghraib 'torture,' what word do you possibly have left to describe beheadings?”

    This comment took me aback.

    We’re the good guys, remember? The bad guys are bad because they do bad things, like fly planes into buildings. We don’t do stuff like that, no matter what the provocation. Otherwise, we become LIKE THEM. Our hearts may be in the right place, but the proof is not in what we feel but in what we do. Didn't someone once say, "By your deeds shall you know them"?

    Besides, the people who were tortured at Abu Ghraib – and that’s what it was, no matter that beheadings also are monstrous – were most definitely NOT the people who flew the planes into our buildings. (A great number of them weren’t even part of any Iraqi insurgency, but had been arrested in wide sweeps of the streets).

    And, as the American Prospect points out, Republicans in Congress are working to make it possible for the United States to continue to outsource torture to other countries – and offers examples of how it’s already been done. (Here’s the link:

    The pictures from Abu Ghraib, and most discussions of it, have disappeared from American media – but it surely hasn’t faded from the media overseas. By allowing ourselves to be compared to Saddam Hussein’s torture chambers, our own soldiers are more at risk should they be captured. Abu Ghraib has served as a recruiting tool for terrorists -- and it undercuts the support of Muslims who want to be America’s friends.

    Most professionals maintain that torture simply doesn’t work, if the object is to extricate credible information from prisoners. Even if it did work, I think – I hope – that the overwhelming majority of Americans would assert, “Not in my name.”

    posted by Carol Towarnicky at # 7:14 PM


    On the left: Carol Towarnicky, chief editorial writer for the Philadelphia Daily News, from a liberal point of view.

    On the right: Leo Morris, editorial page editor of the Fort Wayne (Ind.) News-Sentinel, from a conservative point of view.

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