So i am currently reading a piece that is in todays issue of the New York Times, on the use of torture on ‘terror’ suspects in the United States during the Bush administration and how it will affect this coming election for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
Well, how will it?
I personally feel that it will be a Non-Issue. I don’t really feel that either candidate has the gall to even approach the topic for fear of alienating middle America. Some people want for it to stop, while others don’t believe that these people have rights. So instead of angering either side, it is a lot easier to just focus on safer topics such as the job growth, education and the economy. Why rock the boat?
Where Romney feels that water boarding is not torture, Obama does. They both take very different stances representing to very drastic sides of America. However, i do not understand how anything that they do could not be considered torture? Despite their so called offences, these ‘suspects’ aren’t given a trial, they usually don’t have enough evidence to prove malicious intent if they are captured before they actually commit a crime, and a lot of what went on during the Bush administration was against Anti-torture laws and in violation of the Geneva convention. So why is it that everyone else has to abide by these laws and The United States doesn’t? If for example, North Korea, China or Russia were the countries that had done this, there would have been an outcry of American voices of abuse, and the illegality of it all, along with why that is the exact reason America is the leader of the free world, and why they have to fight to show these oppressive nations the error of their ways.
Along with all of that to consider, America is a country of complete and utter double standards. On one hand, America is supposedly the poster child for freedom, liberty, life and equality but in its entire history as a nation, there really hasn’t been much of that. In retrospect, they just have seemed to always be utterly charming and seem to have always been great at PR.
What this reminds me of, among many other things is after Pearl Harbour when the US rounded up the Japanese and put them in camps, due to their ‘possible danger’ and the amount of war crimes accusations after the Vietnam war. I just find it so frustrating that they can implement these rules and laws that they expect everyone else to live by, along with the international community yet they so rarely do. Now this isn’t a US bashing post, there are a lot of great things about it, which is why people gravitate towards it. However, I think that this is just another stain for their image, when they don’t convict anyone of anything but take them to a prison in a different country just so that they can torture them.
It also reminds me of the saying, ‘hiding in plain sight’. Like in a movie, revolving around a serial killer, and he lives in a beautiful neighbourhood, is friends with everyone and has a wife and children, and when they arrest him, no one can believe that they did it. While everyone is scared of Al-Qaeda right now, it will soon change, just like the Russians during the cold war, Vietnam, etc. There will be a new monster underneath your bed for you to fear because fear is the most powerful motivation. So while most people don’t mind a suspected terrorist of being tortured now, when the next big scare comes across it will be exactly the same deal. Yet will they look like you, talk like you, believe what you do.
The next ‘terrorist’ might be seen how people see you. While we are all looking for monsters elsewhere, we might just be missing the monsters around us.
NYT article, if you want to read it.