Ah… where to begin. Well… for starters “holds a degree in political science” are hardly the kind of credentials that should carry weight with anyone. Granted I only saw clips of the interview but still… debating someone with a Ph.D and all you got is “holds a degree in political science”? Unfortunately that’s all I have to go by at the moment since I can’t seem to find the full clip and I’m not exactly a regular viewer of his show. This is not to say that people with political science degrees can’t be intelligent and well argued in such situations… I mean I have a Bachelors in Political Science with an emphasis in International Relations and I didn’t turn out half bad… right? Just saying it’s a little weak is all.
Even if we put that ever so minor detail aside however, we find that the arguments espoused by Ms. Bruce to be… well… rather poor in reality. Her first gambit is to propose that Dr. Lamont is equating the possible war crimes committed under the Bush administration with the “liberation” of Iraq and former President Bush’s “protection” of the United States. Okay, let’s try to take a step back here and look at what she’s saying.
In regards to “liberating” Iraq… while we certainly did topple a nasty dictator, the lack of preparedness within U.S. forces for the aftermath of the initial invasion clearly precipitated the long fall into violence and anarchy that gripped the country for a number of years. This not only resulted in the needless deaths of many brave American troops and innocent Iraqi civilians, but it also caused the the complete collapse of Iraq. While in and of itself, the unnecessary invasion and occupation of Iraq was not a war crime, it certainly created very fertile ground in which such heinous acts could occur. Six years on and Iraq has only just returned to the state it was in prior to the invasion, which is to say, not terribly good. This brief assessment of Iraq doesn’t come close to covering all that I could go over but I’m not exactly writing a formal piece here so let’s move on to the next item.
Turning to the Sept. 11th argument put forth, Ms. Bruce holds the Republican line touting former President Bush as the country’s savior after that terrible day. Well… need I mention the fact that President Bush took office on January 20th of that very year? Sept. 11th happened on Bush’s watch… not Clinton’s… Republican apologists always seem to forget that. They also seem to forget that there were terrorist attacks after 9/11 and not just on foreign soil. September 18th 2001, envelops filled with anthrax land on the desks of a number of congressmen resulting in the evacuation of the capitol. Please take note of that date again. That was after 9/11 and guess what… it was a terrorist attack. I could continue on in this vein but I’ll leave that to another time.
We reach the real kicker now, the comments on torture. Look, protecting America is all well and good, but it should never, EVER come at the expense of our values. Unfortunately, President Bush and many in his administration saw fit to discard some of our most cherished values in pursuit of enemies of the state.
You see, the things that make us different from the terrorists of 9/11 are our values, what we stand for. If we throw those values aside in pursuit of our adversary we become no better than them… in fact we become them. That is why torture is illegal and must remain so and that is why it is incredibly important that those that perpetrated acts of torture be punished. What happened at Gitmo was torture under the Geneva Convention, as was what happened at Abu Graib and Baghram. For a brief moment in time… we became what we despised most… and if justice is not served then we as a people may never recover.
BTW, Clinton lying about a blow job is NOT equal to the Bush administration torturing people and lying about why we went into Iraq. Bush’s transgressions are far far worse.