March 9, 2008

Delegates and Legacies

Anglachel's Journal dissects "The Inevitability Game" This in an excellent post and much too good to pull apart. Please go read the entire post. Her thesis:

Instead, let me put on my political scientist hat and talk about elections, delegates and political judgment critically, ditching mockery for truth, which may be less palatable because more difficult to dismiss.

While you are there, you may want to check out her latest post, as well.

Larry Johnson has something to say about Bush's veto of the the waterboarding ban yesterday. (Emphasis mine)
Scheuer believes that terrorism represents a unique, unprecedented threat and that we must be prepared to do anything to stop it, including the use of torture. Poor Michael, a victim of inadequate public education. He wants you to believe that Islamic terrorism is a greater, more deadly threat than any other threat the United States has ever faced?

Okay, let’s try some hard facts.

Is the terrorism threat greater than the threat we faced in World War Two? During World War Two we fought the Nazis, the Italian Fascists, and the Japanese. An estimated 61 million people died. Two hundred and ninety five thousand Americans died in the four years America fought. The Nazis were working on a nuclear bomb. The Japanese had active biological weapons research programs underway.

How about the Cold War with the Soviets? If you add up the wars in Korea and Vietnam we are well over 100,000 American fatalities. The Soviets also deployed submarines with nuclear missile launch capability, long range bombers, and inter-continental nuclear ballistic missiles that could reach U.S. cities in less than thirty minutes. Oh yes, almost forgot, the Soviets also had a huge surface naval fleet and funded proxy wars against U.S. interests in South and Central America, Africa, and Asia.

Now we face terrorism. Since less than 10,000 Americans have died in terrorist attacks around the world. Got that? Less than 10,000. No terrorist organization on the face of the earth has an air force, naval fleet, submarine fleet, or armed force capable of striking the United States with anything even approximating 10% of the Soviet capability in their hey day. No terrorist force on the face of the earth has a nuclear arsenal ready to be launched at a moments notice that would destroy all major U.S. cities.

[...]

Tyrants who use the fear of terrorism to excuse torture and imprisonment without recourse to habeus corpus is not a new phenomena. But now we have crossed a threshold and by our conduct as a nation have aligned ourselves with the likes of Hitler and Stalin. We are not torturing on a scale approaching that achieved by the Germans, the Japanese, or the Soviets–well, at least not yet.

But we are employing methods used by those we condemned in war crimes trials. And we are excusing our conduct because we are protecting the homeland. We will preserve our homeland at any cost. We will do anything to survive. And we will excuse any outrage against a human being as long as we can assure ourselves they are an enemy combatant. And in the process, we become the evil that we once condemned in both word and deed. This is a Bush legacy I cannot wait to erase. But these stains are not easily removed and the scars on our nation’s conscience will linger for years.

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