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April 23rd, 2009 · No Comments

Peter Kirsanow wonders:

The president apologizes — on three continents and before scores of foreign leaders — for the failures of America. This will aid in the restoration of America’s moral legitimacy.
Several of the foreign leaders who heard the president’s apology come from nations that have a documented history of employing the following “enhanced interrogation methods” : electrocution, starvation, dismemberment, genital mutilation, disembowelment, eye-gouging, and beheading. The NKVD, for one example, employed some of these methods not for purposes of interrogation, but for the sake of inflicting pain and destroying the humanity of the victim — thereby crushing the spirit of anyone allied with the victim.
In fact, some of these foreign leaders hail from countries where these “enhanced interrogation methods” aren’t mere history, but current practice. Yet there’s no evidence that they offered apologies on behalf of their respective countries. And there’s no evidence that the the president rebuked any of these leaders. On the contrary, there’s evidence that the president grinned at them, joked with them, embraced them, and bowed before them.
How does that aid in the restoration of America’s moral legitimacy?
A reasonable question—if you think “moral legitimacy” is a function of the volume at which you preen about “values” your actions mock. Less pointed, perhaps, if you were under the impression that it consisted precisely in holding ourselves to a high and independent standard rather than comforting ourselves with how favorably we compare to butchers.

Tags: Moral Philosophy · War



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