Sunday, March 7, 2010

Caught in a philosophical trap of their own setting

Many of us used to proudly call ourselves "liberal" or "progressive". Used to. Typically what happened was that events presented us with a contradiction between our philosophy and observed reality, and we didn't flinch from reality.

I think it's made my thinking sharper, because I'm less caught in a web of comfortable, well worn neural pathways. There's a post or twenty on that, but today is about the people who flinched from reality, who refused to let observed phenomena falsify their world view.

Remember Gitmo? Remember the howls of outrage, that we were keeping people there indefinitely; locking them up and throwing away the key? How this was hurting us in the war on terror, because we were squandering the world's admiration? Or something.

We had to let them go. So how's that working out?
Mullah Abdul Qayyum was arrested in 2001, housed at Gitmo, then sent to a prison in Kabul in 2007. Form there, he was released, and is now the number 2 man in the Taliban and the overall military commander in their war with the United States.
ASM826 (correctly) points out that in days past, a combatant caught on the field of battle out of uniform would be summarily shot. The Geneva Conventions are, in fact, based on this assumption. The idea that we no longer should do this is a recent invention of the intellectual left, as is the idea that we should not lock them up, either.

This is a new sort of war, that many people can't get their heads around. They're caught by their own philosophy, with their basic premises (everyone has essentially the same motivations) being repeatedly falsified, but unable to reset.

Pity them, but don't let them near the levers of power.

4 comments:

Paladin said...

Typically what happened was that events presented us with a contradiction between our philosophy and observed reality, and we didn't flinch from reality.

In other words, we decided to become adults. I'm 45 years old, and it never ceases to amaze me how many children there are that are my age - or older.

Stan said...

Borepatch, you have been honored with a Bloggery Award

http://bipolar-stanscroniclesandnarritive.blogspot.com/2010/03/special-award-for-some-very-special.html

WoFat said...

"Pity them, but don't let them near the levers of power." Neither should one allow them near blenders, lawn mowers nor fireworks.

TOTWTYTR said...

Although not text book summary executions, you'll notice that the number of captured "insurgents" had decreased while the number killed has increased dramatically. I posted about this last month, http://tinyurl.com/yl876g8

If you are not a "High Value Target" you don't have much of a chance of being captured. Even if you are, there is still a good chance you'll be killed in stead of being captured.

If President Feckless doesn't stop the plan to try KSM et al in civilian court, expect this trend to accelerate.