Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Sullivan defends Dick Durbin's Nazi comments

Defending Dick Durbin's comments about how the torture of prisoners is fundamentally anti-American, Andrew Sullivan makes exactly the right point:
I'm sick of hearing justifications that the enemy is worse. This is news? This is what now passes for analysis? They are far, far worse, among the most despicable and evil enemies we have ever faced. Our treatment of their prisoners is indeed Club Med compared to their fathomless barbarism. But since when is our moral compass set by them? The West is a civilization built on a very fragile web of law and humanity. We do not treat people in our custody as animals. We do not justify it. We do not change the subject. We do not accuse those highlighting it of aiding the enemy. We do not joke about it. We simply don't do it. This administration - by design, improvisation, desperation, arrogance, incompetence, and wilfull blindness - has enabled this to occur. They must be held accountable until this cancer is rooted out for good. It has metastasized enough already.
The only thing I would add is, "I told you so."

Sullivan is shocked, shocked to discover that right-wingers condone torture. But how could he not have realized that the people promoting this war were never really against such acts in the first place, despite all the protestations to the contrary. For example, has Sullivan forgotten what John Negroponte -- our last U.N. ambassador, more recently the chief administrator in Iraq, and now National Intelligence Director -- enabled in Central America in the 1980s?

More generally, this is a political regime riding the crest of a political movement that is trying to rehabilitate Nixon, to rehabilitate McCarthy, and to rehabilitate the Japanese-American internment during World War II.

To paraphrase Rumsfeld, you go to war with the political movement you have.

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