Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The High Ground of Moral Authority...

I've heard a number of times over the last few days about the high ground of moral authority that the United States needs to be on as an example for the rest of the world. This phrase, moral authority, has most often been in the discussion about whether the United States has committed torture during interrogations. The President of the United States saw fit to release documents that describe the interrogation process and there are a number of people who believe that these tactics are, in fact, torture...

If one agrees that the processes described in these memos is actually torture they would also agree that we have been torturing some of our own men and women in the military. Just for fun, I am including the following definitions of torture... This is just so we have a basic understanding of what torture is (please don't ask what the definition of is, is).

Torture - the act of inflicting excruciating pain, as punishment or revenge, as a means of getting a confession or information, or for sheer cruelty. Infliction of severe physical pain as a means of punishment or coercion. Extreme mental distress.

In looking up the definitions of torture one notices the adjectives extreme, severe and excruciating. These do not mean run of the mill, but denote something that is extended far beyond the normal standards. So the question is did the United States of America order and approve the torturing of the terrorists in custody? Some say yes... It's these people that are concerned with how the rest of the world views the United States. They argue that water boarding is indeed torture as defined by the international community, or at least the United Nations. Funny thing is, the United Nations has yet to define terrorism and/or terrorist.

When I think of torture I am reminded of the cruel things the Japanese did to our servicemen in WWII. I think of what the Vietnamese did to our servicemen during the Vietnam war. I think of the beheadings and disembowelment that Islamic Fundamentalist committed against our servicemen in the Middle East. I believe even the most irrational thinker would agree that these are not the same things. However, lets just say they are... Should the United States be involved in torturing individuals that have been capture in the (don't hate me) "The War on Terror"?

Back to moral authority... This is the mantra those opposing the Bush doctrine of interrogation have been chanting the last few days. They state that the U.S. has the moral obligation not to torture. They believe that maintaining a moral authority is the best way to fight and win this war. Okay... Lets find out what we are talking about. What is the definition of moral?

Moral - of, pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong; ethical. Of or concerned with the judgment of the goodness or badness of human action and character.

I would say, the act of doing right over doing wrong. That's simple, but the easier it is for me the better I like it.

If doing right over wrong is the way to go, we have to establish what is right. This begs the question, how do we know what is right? What do we base right on? Some base it on this...

Bill of Rights - Amendment VIII - "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."

In my opinion, this is a stretch. As far as I can tell, the above refers to those who have broken the laws of the United States. Not those who are trying with all their might to destroy the United States and its people. It would seem to me that there is a big difference between the two.

I think those claiming the United States must maintain a moral authority are not interested in doing right. They are interested in making others look wrong. I believe this because these same people and their voices are silent when it comes to taking the high ground of moral authority and the defending the rights of an innocent and unborn child. That's a different rant...

Here's what I believe... In a time of war, you do what is necessary to win the war. I would site the following examples... The firebombing of Dresden and Tokyo... The use of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki... It is after the fighting is done and the enemy has been defeated when the high ground of moral authority becomes applicable. It is when our enemy has admitted defeat and surrendered that we should do what we have done in the past, extend a hand and help rebuild...

Our current enemy has yet to be defeated and surely has not surrendered. Therefore, the right thing to do for our country and its citizens is to kick him in the mouth as many times as it takes to make him quit the fight. Even better, we could force them to listen non-stop to those who proclaim the United States needs to take the high ground of moral authority in the "War on Terror."

That would be worthy of pay-per-view...

5 comments:

Dede said...

Girls may type faster...but you are far more eloquent than I. Great job!

snarkandboobs said...

Brilliant, Gaines...You said things that I should have said and with which I absolutely agree, but couldn't because I was so angry that I couldn't think straight, much less type straight.

Well done!

DomesticDame said...

Brilliant! I applaud your magnificent work!

Harold Stickeehands said...

Great job, Gaines. I couldn't agree more, Sir.

Steven333 said...

Excellent perspective Gaines.

I could however say that the Moral High Ground is to not fight the war in the 1st place, he who lives by the sword dies by the sword, turn the other cheek, love your enemy..and all that stuff that seems so impossible to live by...so instead, I will say that I pretty much agree with everything you said. ;>)