Friday, January 26, 2007
Can we win wars anymore?
I had a talk with a coworker the other day - I said to him that I believe that torture has to be considered when deciding whether to wage war. Basically, I said that I believe it is a guarantee that there will be torture in every war, whether it is right or wrong, and it is stupid to be shocked when it occurs. The cost to the human psyche of torturing has to be considered as one of the costs of war. Lest we forget, Americans (and the world) have tortured people in every single war it has waged. Every one. In fact, what is going on in Iraq now is nothing, considering the prisoners now are begging for Americans to come back after they left Abu Ghraib and handed it to the Iraqi police forces. Think about that one for a moment. Digest it. The media certainly did not cover this with much detail. Then think about what happened during WWII. Hiroshima. Nagasaki. Dresden. Internment camps. And yet this is considered the "great war." Think about this. And then think about the fact that, in contrast, Bush recently said that, yes, American troops can protect themselves from Iranians if they attack inside Iraq. HUH???? Americans are allowed to protect themselves? Wow, that's nice to know! Evidently, otherwise they will walk softly to the gallows? What has the world come to? I am serious, now...can America win wars anymore, what with the extensive rules of engagement that the other side not only ignores, but laughs at? And how do you win a war on the domestic front, what with so many "patriotic terrorists"? Is there a way to win a war that is fought "proportionately?" I know that after the atomic bomb, the rules changed. But, it seems the pendulum has swung so far the other way as to make wars simply unwinnable. What are your thoughts? What is the sufficient balance of human rights, and strategic need to win a war? And how do we win the war of ideas, which is perhaps the most important of all?