Some Thoughts on Torture

At one point a few years ago, I had some degree of respect for John McCain. No, I didn't agree with his politics, but you had to admit, the man spent years as a prisoner of war and had experienced torture first hand. I respected him because on this issue, and a few others, he had the courage to stand up to the Neo-Cons and say, this is not ok: war is one thing, but we can't stoop to the level of torturing prisoners. Now, of course, in the heat of the race for the Presidency, and desperate to tie up (no pun intended) the support of those wingnut Extra-Cons, he's gone and changed his mind. And you know, I can't imagine how he and his political strategists thought this was a good idea - the Extra-Cons don't believe him (they have and always will think he's a closet Liberal and a liar) and the more center-leaning Republicans (as well as some Democrats) now know that he will stoop to ANY level to try and pander some votes. The man is less than a joke, he's pathetic.

In any case, it saddens me to think about how things have changed from when I graduated high school. Right around that time the Berlin Wall fell, the Cold War ended, and immediately thereafter a Democrat swept into the White House like a breath of fresh air. We all (the college crowd I hung out with) felt like our generation was going to be the beneficiaries of a new age of America, an age of peace and prosperity, and, dare I say it, an age when the focus was on the furthering of civilization and social projects that helped while managing to stay respectful.

How very sad to see that that was nothing more than a naive dream of childhood. The Gen-X'ers have grown up now, and we all have careers and families. In the intervening years the world has turned dark indeed, led into an ocean of blood by an overwhelming tide of greed that knows no boundaries, defined by the justification for an unending war and torture as a matter of course. And while I am hopeful of a new breath of fresh air this November, I worry about the country and the world my children will someday inherit. The Baby Boomers were all about changing the world, and boy, did they ever. Thanks a lot, guys. Will my generation fare any better?

Now that you are thoroughly depressed for the day, here is an interesting article from the Washington Post on some common myths about torture and its effectiveness. Also, in case you hadn't noticed my little graphic to the right, Amnesty International has a very moving campaign going on to stop human rights abuses in the name of the "War on Terror" called "Unsubscribe Me." Check it out and do a little something today to make the world a better place.


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