You say treating our prisoners with the utmost dignity, respect, and privilege is the "right" thing to do. But "right" according to what standard?
The standard of a civilized society – such that we are the one where we deem ourselves more advanced than simple animals. It’s just one of those cases where you either have to take the complete high road in the face of all adversity … or abandon it altogether.
I’m just talking ideals here. The reality of the world (those adversities I mentioned) generally prohibit anybody from ever staying on the high road. It all comes down to what your role is and what your expectations are. I don’t see it as any simpler than this:
You want instant results? You better be able to accept the fact that no matter how good your system is for weeding bad from good – a few good ones will receive mistreatment. If you can’t sleep at night from your actions, your role has gone too far. This is largely an individual system and works for the good of the beneficiaries. They will never appreciate you, will often despise the things you do, but will realize they need you whenever things go wrong.
You want peace and security? You must give up liberty to do so. It’s an age old axiom. Accept the fact that your sunny world comes from implementers having to do dark things behind the scenes. You can either choose to disrupt them, and your happy way of life, or leave things be and enjoy the fruits of their labors.
Where do I stand in all this? I am one who believes the very concept rules in war is ridiculous. My philosopher teacher gave me several failing grades for this opinion. As a soldier did I follow the rules – yes. Did I agree with them. No. To me, if you are engaged in an activity where you’re killing other people … applying rules to the behavior is just a measure of attempting to justify the action to yourself so that it does not haunt your psyche. I personally look at situation from this perspective – get over it, it’s fing war and that’s what happens. The military exists to protect it’s citizens. The military exists to provide the gruesome services that normal citizens should not be subjected to. The people in the military are those who want to protect citizens, to shield them from horror and are capable of handling those evils so that others won’t have to. It’s not a pretty picture but somebody has to do it.
I think that’s how you perceive the situation as well. My discussion was simply that the right thing to do isn’t necessarily the best way or the most feasible way to handle a situation.
The military exists to provide the gruesome services that normal citizens should not be subjected to. … It’s not a pretty picture but somebody has to do it.
Bingo. I think we’re in agreement here, just saying it in different ways. My point was that my discussion with bradsmith was drifting from what was "legal" (according to GC) to what was "moral" (according to … ?).
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