After Magritte

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We sold our souls for $300.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Values

It has come to this in America. I am against Torture. Kind of amazing that we have to say that now. But I think torture is bad. Oddly enough, many don’t agree with me. Forget them for now.

Now some say torture is bad because it inflames those who already hate us. Others say that you don’t get any good information from it (Yeah, I will be all linky here).

While good reasons, they do not get to the fundamental issue. The fundamental issue is what are our values? Once you figure out your values, everything is easy. Where life gets hard is when you try to sneak around your values – when you try to justify doing what you know damn well is wrong because it is easier at that moment. Are we a country that believes in torture, or the rule of law? It doesn’t matter what our enemy believes. It’s what we believe. Who we are.

This reminds me of a great book that I am in the middle of – Ghost Wars – by Steve Coll. That is why I post so little now - I am too busy reading this excellent book. More to come on this.

After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the US, Pakistan and the Saudis greatly supported the Jihadist resistance. Over time, it became clear that many of the jihadists were enemies of the United States and the West in general. So, what did the CIA, State department, etc do? Well, we pumped more and more money into them. Yeah, that turned out real well. If we took a quick look at the values of our so called allies, we would have realized that this was going to end up exactly how it did. Foreign policy needs to be values based, not based on expediency – there is no easy way out. Arming religious fanatics who hate us to the teeth - not smart. Getting too cozy with Pakistan's ISI - dominated by Islamists - again not smart.

Understand someone's values and you know what they are going to do.

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