12.08.2006

Iraq Study Group on Torture

The whole thing mentions torture once: when it describes the inadequacies of the Iraqi police.

http://www.c-span.org/pdf/iraq_study_group_report.pdf

There's a few assumptions in their logic.
  1. that torture is wrong,
  2. that it doesn't work,
  3. the fact that torture is taking place at all is a sign of an incompetent government.
Hmmm.

What is not addressed is how the use of torture has helped our war effort in Iraq fail. Imagine that you are a luckless Iraqi picked up by US soldiers for questioning. You are beaten with a baseball bat (as has been offered on the record as having happened) by an angry US Army cook, then are let go after the determination that you don't know anything is made. So what do you do? You tell your family and friends. Then how likely are those same people to alert US soldiers to danger? Not very.

These interrogation tactics the US has embraced in an effort to feel tougher are backfiring. One day, historians will ascribe at least some of the failure in Iraq to abusive treatment of Iraqis. But not today.

3 comments:

Fuzz said...

I think this stuff has alot to do with the way things have turned out. It would be hard to be sympathetic to an occupying force that was torturing one's countrymen. Even if these things were, in fact, an exception, they did get the publicity, and in my opinion, they should never have occured at all.

Anonymous said...

Oh the things that will come to light yeras later......

Not just about what happened in Iraq, but also about the discussions in the white house...

The Lazy Iguana said...

Sadly, the USA has a fairly long history of screwing up foreign policy. Look at what happened in Central and South America because of US policy. First some guy is our friend. Then he is a drug dealer so we have to invade Panama and put him in jail.

First we like the rebels, so we help them overthrow a government. Then we do not like the rebels because they turn communist, so we support some other rebels. The new President of Nicaragua is a former Sandinista. They were our friends, before they were not our friends.

In Haiti, Papa Doc was our good buddy. That friendship worked out well.

In the 80s, Hussein was our friend because he was fighting Iran. The government of Iran was there partly because of US policy (we backed the wrong guy).

And nobody ever learns. So we "elect" some guy who probably has his name written on his underwear to be President. He thinks "Cowboy Diplomacy" is a good idea and it will work.

And now we are where we are today. And what is up with "Cowboy Diplomacy" anyway? I thought diplomats were supposed to look for common ground and build from there. Not waltz in to a discussion with the "agree with me or not - I am going to do what I want to do anyway" attitude.