Wednesday, June 14, 2006
The Seemingly Missing Conservative Moral
I decided yesterday to take a semi-day off from blogging and go out into the real world to kick it with some friends. Obviously I picked a good day, because there was absolutely nothing really happening.

Me-1 Newsmakers-0

There’s an op-ed in the this morning focusing on the closing of Gitmo. The thing that struck me most about it, was not the actual stance - I expect most newspapers to come out against Gitmo - but the opening paragraphs.

When I hear U.S. officials describe the suicides of three Muslim prisoners at Guantanamo Bay last Saturday as "asymmetric warfare" and "a good PR move," I know it's time to close that camp -- not just because of what it's doing to the prisoners but because of how it is dehumanizing the American captors.

The American officials spoke of the dead prisoners as if they inhabited a different moral universe. That's what war does: People stop seeing their enemies as human beings and consign them to a different category. It was discomfiting to see this indifference stated so bluntly, and subsequent U.S. statements tactfully disavowed the initial ones.

We might call it the Guantanamo syndrome -- this process of mutual corrosion and dehumanization. The antidote is to get inside Guantanamo, to see the prisoners as individuals and begin to make distinctions. That's why due process for the detainees is so important -- because it will allow courts to distinguish between prisoners who are vicious killers and deserve the harshest punishment, and those who may be innocent of any terrorist crimes. We need to stop seeing everyone in the same orange suits.

Ignatius is right on the money. People who defend Gitmo and any other human rights eroding American plan need to have this defense mechanism in place, because without it, their pesky conscious gets in the way. I need to constantly remind myself that people who defend these things are not morally lower than me -even though their actions would lead people to believe so -, they have just simply and thoroughly convinced themselves that they are right. They see every Muslim in American custody as the enemy, that way, they don’t have to focus on the reality that some are innocent and that we are treating those innocent people like shit - unwarranted shit.

It’s hard to be a hardcore jihadist fighter like Michelle Malkin, when your brain is constantly screaming about the people wronged by your own country’s policies. In order to turn that off, they convince themselves that everyone is bad, so that in their made up world, no one actually is wronged.


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