Saturday, June 19, 2004

Conversation With My Sister

My younger sister and I usually avoid face to face debates since we agree on virtually nothing. For awhile we were emailing our opinions on various issues back and forth, but even that became acrimonious.

Well, the subject of the Abu Gharib prisoner abuse accidentally came up last night (no, it wasn't me). The subject was actually brought up as the prisoner "torture", which should clear up who started it. I offered that what was done in that prison prior to liberation was torture not what she what she referring to. Immediately she waved her hands in front of her face and she said "we can't even talk about that". Then she proceeded to begin talking about it.

The first thing she mentioned was that "those people" (AKA: captured terrorists) had no idea that they weren't going to be killed. She, of course was referring to the most egregious example of abuse, the photo of the man with wires attached to his body and a hood over his head.

But if you call that "torture" what would you call it if the wires were actually were live with electricity? As I often note, this is not an insignificant distinction.

What is interesting is the anti-war, anti-Bush crowd prefers to frame the issue in the most harsh light with the most harsh rhetoric. This crowd includes the entire mainstream worldwide media. Indeed the majority of the photos show nothing more than what can accurately be described as humiliation. Also, keep in mind who these prisoners are as I segway to my sister's next comment.

"We invaded their country. They think they are 'Freedom Fighters'".

This statement is revealing in several ways. First, there is an odd concept of 'freedom' at play here. When you consider that the "insurgents" are blowing up their own people it becomes odder still. Now consider they are doing everything in their power to prevent the freedom that would stem from democratic elections, independent judiciary, free press, open markets, women's rights, etc... Basically everything we are trying to build in Iraq.

I don't believe that even my little sister thinks our enemies in Iraq are fighting for freedom. What she may believe is they are fighting to have the occupying forces of United States leave. But how one can use the word "freedom" in any context to describe them is beyond me. Since the insurgents are the reason we are staying they must be fighting for something else. The truth is that they are actually fighting not for something, but against something - freedom.

The other aspect of her "Freedom Fighters" statement that is revealing is "they think they are...". Since when are we concerned with what our enemies think of themselves? More specifically, why does she care? The Nazis thought they were the "Master Race". The Islamo-Fascists and radical fundemenatist Muslims think they are doing "Allah's work" by blowing up civilians.

This is the abyss of moral relativism.

This gets all the more intriguing when you remember the big question the media asked after September 11th - "Why do they hate us"? Thus, liberals are concerned with what our enemies think of themselves and us. I'd like to know what liberals think of them?

The abyss of non-judgmentalism.

This preoccupation with feelings, even the feeling of those who wish to kill you, is a major difference between liberals and conservatives. That's why, generally speaking, liberals are concerned with intentions while conservatives are concerned with consequences.

Two important lessons most people learn growing up:

"Your feelings are important to you. Your actions are important to everyone else in the world".


"Not everyone is going to like you".


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home