Friday, May 22, 2009


The recent tete' a tete' betwixt 44 and the 46th VP spawned enough analysis opportunities to last a long time!

As best understood -- 44 featured two points about closing Guantanamo:

Gitmo diminishes Great Satan's standing in world opinion and serves as a magnet for Great Satan haters to pick up an AK and join the Haj.

That's it.

And that is significant.

Super savvy historian and all around super fly smart guy Arthur Hermann has the best Gitmo Myth Deconstruction piece out there - essential reading -- that shows how the myth of Great Satan tormenting hapless innocents as a globalized policy became accepted narrative.

"The standard argument is that the public shift in attitude toward Gitmo was gradual, and reflected a growing disillusionment with the war on terror as the sordid details of how George W. Bush and his assistants chose to wage it came out, including the supposed secret use of torture.

"Once the detention center had become a cesspool of human-rights abuse, the evil spawned there then seeped into other facilities where prisoners in the Bush war on terror were being held, most notoriously the Iraqi prison at Abu Ghraib.

"In 2004, former Vice President Al Gore announced that Abu Ghraib “was not the result of random acts by a ‘few bad apples’: it was the natural consequence of the Bush administration policy” of retaining and interrogating inmates at Gitmo.

"What this account and others like it fail to take into consideration are the aggressive and unending efforts of a cadre of lawyers, activists, left-leaning Democrats in Congress, and civil libertarians against the facility, its purpose, its goal, and its existence. These efforts began even before it was opened, in November 2001, and continue to this day.

"The anti-Gitmo forces worked tirelessly to shape the public perception that Gitmo was the red-hot center of an aggressive policy approach that led the leftist financier George Soros to declare: “The biggest terrorist in the world is George W. Bush.”

Perhaps all the faux outrage came from the Gitmo Myth?

VP Cheney laid it out pretty plain (and as Nietzhe said "Out of chaos comes order") the nigh indestructible cardiac wise Vulcan regime changer is warming up to his new role as the leader of the GOP - at least on Nat'l Security.

"Another term out there that slipped into the discussion is the notion that American interrogation practices were a "recruitment tool" for the enemy. On this theory, by the tough questioning of killers, we have supposedly fallen short of our own values.

"This recruitment-tool theory has become something of a mantra lately, including from the President himself. And after a familiar fashion, it excuses the violent and blames America for the evil that others do. It's another version of that same old refrain from the Left, "We brought it on ourselves."

"It is much closer to the truth that terrorists hate this country precisely because of the values we profess and seek to live by, not by some alleged failure to do so. Nor are terrorists or those who see them as victims exactly the best judges of America's moral standards, one way or the other.

"Critics of our policies are given to lecturing on the theme of being consistent with American values. But no moral value held dear by the American people obliges public servants ever to sacrifice innocent lives to spare a captured terrorist from unpleasant things. And when an entire population is targeted by a terror network, nothing is more consistent with American values than to stop them"

"List all the things that make us a force for good in the world--for liberty, for human rights, for the rational, peaceful resolution of differences--and what you end up with is a list of the reasons why the terrorists hate America."

Whoa! Despite some clever pretzel logic - the Gitmo gotcha guys fail to truly appreciate any of that.

Fact is - more journalists have been waterboarded than real live terrorists have.

Which may deconstruct another myth - that Enhanced Interrogation Techs are torture.

Never heard of any journalists volunteering to have their fingernails ripped out or have irons bungee corded to their bodies.

Art - "Gitmo Myth"


Donald Douglas said...

Sending this along, as a tip: "The 75 Movies Every Man Should See".

Steven Givler said...

"Critics of our policies are given to lecturing on the theme of being consistent with American values"

And yet those are the same people who clamor for gun control, and who can't explain the difference between a republic and a democracy. They don't know beans about American values.

Jeff said...

Thanks for posting Arthur Hermann's piece. I'd not seen that yet. Exellent post Courtney.

mauryk2 said...

Pat Buchanan's column this morning backs up you and Cheney. I still agree with Jesse Ventura on this one.