The Falklands: A lesson for America in Iraq - Editorials & Commentary - William Pfaff - International Herald Tribune:
... The third obstacle to the intervention's having a positive political effect in the region is that (for incomprehensible reasons) the model of conduct the administration has imposed on the U.S. Army resembles that of Argentina's military dictatorship rather than that of the British Army that liberated the Falklands.
The Bush administration practice of torture recalls that of the Latin American military dictatorships. So does its flair for totalitarian logic. Few understand why American forces now practice torture, sometimes torture to death, and systematic abuse of prisoners and 'detainees.'
This is conduct for which the Western allies hanged Gestapo and SS officers and Japanese prison camp commanders in 1945. Do not the Bush people, and U.S. Army commanders, know even that much history?
A totalitarian logic also exists, just revealed by the former deputy White House counsel Timothy Flanigan (who has been nominated by the Bush administration to become the United States' deputy attorney general).
Asked by two senior Republican senators, John Warner and John McCain, to describe the standards governing U.S. prisoner treatment, he replied that there are no standards.
The indirect meaning of Flanigan's statement that there are no standards is that nothing is forbidden. This seems a deliberate choice by the Bush administration.
This is why the United States is not a force for justice and order in the Middle East. It has become the opposite, a creator of disorder and injustice. Does the American public understand this?
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Do we Americans understand?