Stuyvesant today, from the back
The new Stuy had its perks, but I preferred the old Stuy.
In a US Army now more memory than real, an AIT instructor used "learning curve" on the first day of class at Fort Huachuca to tell us we would not all learn at the same rate, but just the same, we would all learn.
I'm technophobic; however, the weblog phenomenon impresses me as a revolution in communication.
It’s a moral dilemma to be sure.
Last week, I watched the movie, Lone Survivor. It’s based on the account by former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell whose team, along with a Chinook crew and whole squad of SF operators, were killed in action.
Nineteen of the US military’s best men died because PO Luttrell’s commanding officer, LT Michael Murphy, decided to release 3 prisoners – 1 old man and 2 boys – rather than kill them outright or bind them, which the SEALs believed would likely result in their deaths (animal predators, weather).
LT Murphy made his decision in accordance with his morality, the rules of engagement, and laws of war. He also made this decision expecting that his erstwhile prisoners would inform the nearby Taliban forces of his SEAL team. These particular Taliban were known to be responsible for, and thus capable of, killing US Marines, which is a hard thing to do.
Nineteen of America’s best men, many of whom were husbands and fathers of young children, were killed because LT Murphy made an all-American moral decision, the kind we teach our soldiers to make with their dedicated ethical training from the earliest stage of their military indoctrination.
His only reprieve is that he didn’t survive long enough to see his close comrades in the rescue squad, whom he had called to save his team with his last act in life, also die as a result of his moral decision to spare the lives of the old man and 2 boys who would kill him and his men.
LT Murphy honored the highest traditions and values of the US military and was awarded the Medal of Honor, posthumously.
The moral dilemma of “enhanced interrogation” does not rise to killing old men and young boys who accidently stumble on a secret op. It’s usually not even torture by the standard of our enemy in the War on Terror.
But the other side of the moral dilemma of “enhanced interrogation” is even heavier than the life-or-death choice that faced LT Murphy and killed him.
Rather than LT Murphy’s own life, the lives of the three men in his command, and even the doomed rescue team he didn’t live to see, our interrogators are tasked with preventing the killing of 10s, 100s, 1000s, maybe even 10000s or more – depending on the kind of weapon the terrorists can obtain from terrorist supporters like Saddam – civilians, not just soldiers. Interrogators are charged with protecting the homeland itself.
When the Abu Ghraib scandal broke, I was disgusted, as was every other Army veteran I knew. But my reaction was tempered by the appreciation that the terrorists were assassinating and mass-murdering 10s and 100s of Iraqis at a time, almost every day, along with humanitarian aid workers and the coalition soldiers defending Iraq. Our interrogators at Abu Ghraib were wrong … but they were wrong while trying desperately to save American, coalition, aid workers, and most of all, Iraqi lives by stopping an enemy who was – and is – zealously committed to achieving social dominance through unrestrained terror-style murder and real torture.
Our morality – Michael Murphy’s morality – demands our judgement that certain acts are wrong and intolerable. Had I been in command, I’m certain I would have made the suicidal decision that LT Murphy made. I also would have penalized the interrogators and MPs at Abu Ghraib.
But know that
thatour morality, while we are competing with this enemy, comes with a very, very high price. At least consider the price when you judge.
Labels: thoughts of the day
Labels: jeremy lin
The feared consequence of the Obama administration's weakness in the Arab Spring, abandonment of President Bush's Freedom Agenda, and bungling of the SOFA negotiation causing our irresponsible exit from Iraq is becoming real. [Read the rest.]Blaming President Bush for current events in Iraq relies on the fallacy of attenuated causation. The proximate causes of the crisis in Iraq are, one, the construction of ISIS in Syria that combined with, two, the U.S.-abandoned vulnerability of Iraq. Both conditions arose from post-Bush events, such as the degeneration of the Arab Spring, that are related to policy course changes made by Obama that fundamentally deviated from Bush's foreign policy.
Indeed, one of the broader lessons to be drawn from this period is that sectarian divides need not lead to conflict. In Iraq, we see the promise of a multiethnic, multisectarian democracy. The Iraqi people have rejected the perils of political violence in favor of a democratic process, even as they’ve taken full responsibility for their own security. Of course, like all new democracies, they will face setbacks. But Iraq is poised to play a key role in the region if it continues its peaceful progress. And as they do, we will be proud to stand with them as a steadfast partner.Statement on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq website:
After a long and difficult conflict, we now have the opportunity to see Iraq emerge as a strategic partner in a tumultuous region. A sovereign, stable, and self-reliant Iraq that can act as a force for moderation is profoundly in the national security interests of the United States and will ensure that Iraq can realize its full potential as a democratic society. Our civilian-led presence is helping us strengthen the strong strategic partnership that has developed up to this point.The Iraq praised by President Obama and the U.S. Embassy website as a "strategic partner" was the post-Saddam Iraq that developed under U.S. protection. What is happening to Iraq now is because Obama made the historic error of prematurely leaving Iraq unprotected surrounded by danger instead of staying the course like President Eisenhower stayed the course with Korea. The necessary condition for securing and building the peace is security. Obama took away Iraq's security. Obama's foreign policy has created insecurity.