Kevin Drum links to this WaPo piece, and starts by saying:
But if I'd tuned in to Tuesday's Republican debate and heard the crowd hooting and hollering as the candidates played "can you top this" over who was most willing to take up the mantle of Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot, I probably would have lost it. It's not just that it's depraved, it's demagogic, and it's depressing, but also that it's dimwitted. Macho talk about torture may be a great applause line on the right-wing rubber chicken circuit, but it does nothing to make us safer.
Indeed. Here's some of what the article says:
But it is the duty of the commander in chief to lead the country away from the grip of fear, not into its grasp. Regrettably, at Tuesday night's presidential debate in South Carolina, several Republican candidates revealed a stunning failure to understand this most basic obligation. Indeed, among the candidates, only John McCain demonstrated that he understands the close connection between our security and our values as a nation.
. . .As has happened with every other nation that has tried to engage in a little bit of torture -- only for the toughest cases, only when nothing else works -- the abuse spread like wildfire, and every captured prisoner became the key to defusing a potential ticking time bomb.
. . . This war will be won or lost not on the battlefield but in the minds of potential supporters who have not yet thrown in their lot with the enemy. If we forfeit our values by signaling that they are negotiable in situations of grave or imminent danger, we drive those undecideds into the arms of the enemy. This way lies defeat, and we are well down the road to it.
Wow. Clearly this was written by some wussy defeatocrat cut-and-runner anxious to appeal to the cheese and chardonnay set for their Democrat votes.
No, actually it was written by these guys:
Charles C. Krulak was commandant of the Marine Corps from 1995 to 1999. Joseph P. Hoar was commander in chief of U.S. Central Command from 1991 to 1994.
Commandant of the Marine Corps? Commander in chief of CentCom? I'm pretty sure those positions are held by actual, you know, soldiers. What could possibly motivate them to speak so softly about what can only be understood as coddling the enemy?
Here perhaps are the money quotes:
We have served in combat; we understand the reality of fear and the havoc it can wreak if left unchecked or fostered. Fear breeds panic, and it can lead people and nations to act in ways inconsistent with their character.
It is time for us to remember who we are and approach this enemy with energy, judgment and confidence that we will prevail. That is the path to security, and back to ourselves.
Note that there is a mention of the enemy-these guys haven't taken their eyes off the ball like virtually every Right-winger out there. These guys don't want to not fight, they want to win, and hopefully, in doing so, not piss of the entire 1st, 2nd, and 3rd worlds. Oh, and not lose sight of what we Americans fantasize about that makes America great.
Kevin add this in his piece:
Even if basic considerations of morality don't sway you, the fact that torture and abuse contribute to eventual defeat on the battlefield should. That's more important than winning a few more votes from the troglodyte crowd.
The troglodyte crowd doesn't really want to win, they want to keep kicking ass until the end of time, in an endless game of "Mine c**k is bigger than yours". And for them, torture, beating some towel-heads, watching Jack Bauer-"24" is pure porn, Viagra for their shallow wretched souls.