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Entries Tagged as 'War'

Morality Isn’t Free

May 4th, 2009 · 22 Comments

I had a number of thoughts over the weekend about the ongoing torture debate—and in particular the historical turn it seems to have taken recently—but in lieu of one of my usual insanely bloated 3,000-word posts, perhaps it makes sense to spread them out over a few posts and focus on one or two main […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy · War

War Crimes, Past and Present

April 30th, 2009 · 48 Comments

You know that Simpsons episode where the doctor explains that Mr. Burns is simultaneously suffering from almost every disease known to man, but remains healthy because they’re in a precarious equilibrium, like a horde of obese men simultaneously trying to squeeze through the “door” of his immune system? And in honor of that image, they […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy · War

The Damsel Effect

April 28th, 2009 · 4 Comments

We’ve all watched this scene play out in some movie or other, right?  “Hand over the codes to the Ultimate Genocide Ray or I’ll kill you, Hero Guy!” — “Never, Doctor Evil!” — “Very well, hand over the codes to the Ultimate Genocide Ray, or I’ll kill your girlfriend!” — “Gasp… you win, Doctor Evil!”  […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy · War

One Waterboarding Is a Tragedy; A Million Is a Statistic

April 28th, 2009 · 31 Comments

Matt Zeitlin finds something incongruous about (what used to be?) our special horror over torture. After all, he points out, any war we embark on—even the most just war you could imagine—involves the suffering and death of many innocent civilians. But the same rules don’t seem to apply there: If the generals determine that bombing […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy · War

The First War?

April 24th, 2009 · 3 Comments

As we watch the terms of debate shift back from whether one or another “coercive interrogation technique” constitutes “torture” to the more straightforward question of whether torture “works,” the brief clips I catch of TV talking heads are becoming eerily reminiscent of freshmen chewing over their first Trolley Problem. So we find Bill O’Reilly challenging […]

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Tags: War

Definitions

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 […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy · War

Inspiration

April 17th, 2009 · 6 Comments

Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, 2002: You would like to place Zubaydah in a cramped confinement box with an insect. You have informed us that he appears to have a fear of insects. In particular, you would like to tell Zubaydah that you intend to place a stinging insect in the box with him. You […]

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Tags: Language and Literature · Obedience and Insubordination · War

The Palin Parade of Non-Sequiturs Continues

October 7th, 2008 · 5 Comments

Palin to a heckler yesterday: “Bless your heart sir, my son is in Iraq fighting for your right to protest.” Ooh, zinger! Except… what?  I mean, I realize the military “defend our freedoms” and all, but this makes astonishingly little sense if you think about it for five seconds. It made a certain sort of […]

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Tags: Stupid Shit · War

And By “American,” We Mean “Us”

August 18th, 2008 · 2 Comments

Ygz makes a sound point about the folly of categorizing foreign actors as “pro-American” or “anti-American” when, for the most part, they’re following their own interests—and whether those interests coincide or conflict with ours is secondary. Actually, I’ve always thought the especially ingenious bit—which I suppose I tacitly endorse with that “ours” in the last […]

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Tags: Language and Literature · War

Hey, They Knew the Risks

June 21st, 2008 · 18 Comments

One of Sullivan’s readers writes: I’m afraid that commercial is based on a lie, and a lie the left frequently tries to propagate.  It is the lie that politicians “make” people go to war. The United States military is a VOLUNTEER force. When Alex becomes an adult and therefore eligible to join the army, it […]

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Tags: War