Thursday, November 03, 2005

Tortured Reasoning

Sorry about the pun.
The editorial in today's New York Times scolds Bush & Co. for opposing laws and rules that would forbid us from torturing people.
And the Times is right, of course.
Now, I don't want to get into politics-- I want to make a different observation.
The Bush administration reminds me of my earlier post about Sammy Franco's "Contemporary Fighting Arts."
The basic premise of the Bush and Franco approaches seems to be that in the arena of violence, the more extreme something is, the more ruthless, the more unprincipled and abhorrent, the more effective it must be.
Of course, it's nonsense.  A minimum level of tolerance for hurting innocent people is necessary to fighting wars (or beating people up), but there's no reason to think we continue to reap advantage as we become more and more desensitized to wickedness. 
Superior training, personnel, intelligence and technology are the foundation of our military hegemony, not our enthusiasm for war crimes.
Similar considerations make trained fighters better at brawling than misanthropes who daydream about maiming everyone.
Otherwise, the Sudanese militias would rule the world, and Sammy Franco would knock out Mike Tyson.


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