Professor Froward's Slough of Despond

Proud purveyor of flawed generalizations and vacuous tautologies.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Torture and the loss of our national soul

If you disagree about anything at all with some people who accuse the US of torture, they'll accuse you of supporting torture, no matter how often and how loudly you affirm that you oppose it. Of course, you shouldn't make the mistake of assuming that these clowns are necessarily wrong in opposing torture, just because they happen to be infantile, fanatical, and pervasively dishonest hysterics. Their disapproval of torture (unless it's done by Islamists or Communists, obviously) has nothing to do with whether torture is good, bad, or indifferent. You know what they say about broken clocks.

It's a bit of a minefield, is all. Over at the Corner, Jonah Goldberg takes a fine stroll through it, and addresses one of the more plainly absurd arguments we hear about the matter. Yes, he prefaces the thing with a ritual assurance that he's not arguing in favor of torture, but rather noting flaws in an argument against it. That distinction is far too subtle for the "nuance" crowd, obviously.

The argument that using horrible tactics will cost us everything is predicated on the assumption that such tactics have never been used. For if torture costs us our soul and destroys our civilization, how is it that we have a soul or a civilization to lose at this late date to begin with?

I like Jonah Goldberg because he's a wiseass, but I like him even more when he writes stuff like this. He recognizes nonsense as nonsense, and objects to it because it's nonsense. We live, these days, in the teeth of a howling blizzard of utter nonsense, most of it blowing in from somewhere off to the left. The left has, really, completely broken with reality: They consider it irrelevant and uninteresting.

UPDATE 11/13/2005: They're hammering away at him for "supporting torture" — regardless of how often and loudly he affirms that he opposes it.