TURNING ON ZARQAWI

After another brutal slaying of Muslims, the Jordanian public seems to turn against al Qaeda. The one constant in this war is the evil of our enemies – and their stupidity. With any luck, enough Sunni Arabs in Iraq will look into the abyss that Zarqawi offers them, and turn back as well.

BLAIR’S CASE: It would be wonderful if the debate in the U.S. were between a 90 day detention without charge for terror-suspects and a 28-day limit. But one British reader believes that Blair is right, and that the vote yesterday is pure politics:

The strange situation here was Blair had carried the vast majority of public opinion on this issue. Regular polls, discussions and letters backed the 90 day proposal. Since the July attacks Blair had seen a rise in his standing, a strong, firm stance after the atrocities obviously the cause.
Where I disagree with you, is your assessment of the 28 day compromise as ‘sane’. The people who thought Blair was right here had listened to the security services and Met Police Chief Ian Blair. They understood the sheer mountain of work in front of those protecting us. Just off the top of my head, these people are uncovering networks that have computer set-ups with 750 gigabyte memories, and it takes more than a little time for those code crackers to find the keys and such for those sites.
This is the most painstaking, methodical, eye for detail work I can imagine. We can’t be half-arsed about this stuff.
Anti terrorist cop Andy Hayman reckons that alone takes weeks. This is why the majority here saw the news that Blair had lost from a jubilant media, but asked themselves just who exactly had won? MPs here ask why voters are apathetic, then just turn their noses up at their constituents. Make no mistake this wasn’t a victory for the mother of all Parliaments, merely a lynch mob who have been waiting to see Blair fall.
Its sad when personal vendettas and grandstanding trump a nation’s security.

Other British observers I’ve spoken with said that Blair never made a clear, convincing case for the 90 days. Like Bush and Cheney, he simply insisted that he alone knew what was right and necessary. In a democracy, that’s not good enough. With something as fundamental as habeas corpus at stake, the burden of proof must be on the executive.

QUOTE FOR THE DAY II: “I will quote to you (from memory) a talk with a Latin-American revolutionary who told me about torture in Brazil.
I asked: ‘What is wrong with torture?’ and he said:
‘What do you mean? Do you suggest it is all right? Are you justifying torture?’
And I said: ‘On the contrary, I simply ask you if you think that torture is a morally inadmissible monstrosity.’
‘Of course,’ he replied.
‘And so is torture in Cuba?’ I asked.
‘Well,’ he answered, ‘this is another thing. Cuba is a small country under the constant threat of American imperialists. They have to use all means of self-defense, however regrettable.x92 Then, I said: x91Now, you cannot have it both ways. If you believe, as I do, that torture is abominable and inadmissible on moral grounds, it is such, by definition, in all circumstances. If however there are circumstances where it can be tolerated, you can condemn no regime for applying torture, since you assume that there is nothing essentially wrong with torture itself. Either you condemn torture in Cuba in exactly the same way you do for Brazil, or you refrain from condemning the Brazilian police for torturing people. In fact, you cannot condemn torture on political grounds, because in most cases it is perfectly efficient and the torturers get what they want. You can condemn it only on moral grounds and then, necessarily, everywhere in the same way, in Batista’s Cuba, in Castro’s Cuba, in North Vietnam and in South Vietnam.'” – Leszek Kolakowski, the great critic and student of Marxism, from an exchange with leftist E. P. Thompson, in his book, “My Correct Views on Everything.”

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