Perennial failed California Republican candidate Bruce Herschensohn pens a vile column urging the U.S. to "pull out all the stops" in the War on Terrorism in order to achieve "total victory," lest we want to "march to re-education camps, ? become boat people" or "become a Western mirror of Cambodia's genocide." (What shaky faith in American democracy our Bruce has.) He doesn't mention torture by name, but that's the clear subtext here. Snippet:
It may seem to be a radical idea, but why not use every means possible ? without politically correct detours ? to win the war against terrorism?
Our victory in World War II was not achieved by trying to win the hearts and minds of Germans and Japanese. We did not dominate the newsreels with pictures of those things a few American troops did to captured enemies. We did not call for an end to domestic profiling. We did not demonstrate against our military involvement. There was not the outrageous political complaint that "I support the troops but oppose the war."
Instead of all that, we bombed our enemies to submission with all the power and weaponry we had available.
To answer Herschensohn's opening question in the good faith it doesn't deserve: Terrorism, unlike Japan and Germany, is not a country. Its soldiers can be and are recruited from the West, as well as crappy Islamic countries, and you can damn well be sure that if the U.S. follows Herschensohn's excitable instructions by embracing torture and the deliberate bombing of civilians not just in Iraq but in "Syria and Lebanon and Iran and Yemen and the West Bank and Gaza," then there will no end to the supply of willing suicide bombers obsessed with Uncle Sam. In the meantime, we will have become monsters.
Like that famous Stanford torture experiment, some of the pro-war commentariat's reaction to Abu Ghraib has been a shocking reminder that there are many who walk among us that truly believe that the ends justify the means, that opposing American torture is "politically correct" (if ever there were a time to bury that dead phrase, I vote now), and that there is no practical downside to expanding and exerting American power willy-nilly in the world. Ironically, the many who are urging us to "keep things in perspective" and "stay the course in Iraq," are, by their supporting arguments and disgusting rationalizations, making an increasingly convincing case to do precisely the opposite.