Friday, July 01, 2005

Durbinization byproduct...

Via Instapundit we have a link to a column by a former North Vietnamese POW describing his five years and five months in a prisoner of war camp. Read it.


Tom said...

from Wikipedia re: "moral relativism":
"...not only holds that ethical judgments emerge from social customs and personal preferences, but also that there is no single standard by which to assess an ethical proposition's truth."

The argument you seem to be proposing, Rusty, seems odd and morally relativistic. Basically your argument seems to go like this: This American POW who wrote to the Washington Times Op-Ed page was treated more harshly than the Gitmo POW discussed by Senator Durbin. Therefore, what happened at Gitmo is okay.

Why isn't this moral relativism, Rusty? It seems like you're dancing at the edge, if you haven't already fallen in.

Okay, let's play a thought experiment.

From Andy Sullivan's review of "The Abu Ghraib Investigations"

"...incidents reported within the confines of the United States government. The government has officially conceded, although the president has never publicly acknowledged, that American soldiers have tortured five inmates to death. Twenty-three other deaths that occurred during American custody have not been fully investigated.

If I'm going with the logic of "if you can find worse, than anything less is okay", because I've found a worse story of torture (torture and death), now the torture of the Washington Times' Op-Ed Vietnamese POW is okay? The slippery slope is disgusting and crazy.

I really hate discussing this stuff. It's nauseating and we're at the depths of human behavior.

I'm really unclear what point you're driving at here, Rusty, with this post. I see your argument in only the vaguest way, and this kind of argument I believe should not be made to justify torture. Yes, okay, let's use it with stealing---stealing is wrong, but a mother stealing baby milk formula as the best option to keep her child alive is probably okay. I don't see it usable with torture though.

Upsetting topic.

Rusty said...

Actually Tom, my previous post is the one about moral relativism.

Tom said...

Your other post does concern moral relativism. But I see this one as very much about moral relativism. This is what it's all about.

Rusty said...


The issue here isn't moral relativism. It's one man (a former Vietnam POW) pointing out that the comparisons of Gitmo to sadistically evil regimes is absurd.