• Voting for Brutality

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    More
    and more news is surfacing of prisoners being tortured by U.S. interrogators
    – in
    Afghanistan
    , throughout Iraq,
    at Guantanamo,
    of "renditions"
    wherein the U.S. military or the CIA flies prisoners to countries
    like Syria or Egypt (countries with less democracy than Iraq had
    under Hussein) to be tortured without Americans getting their hands
    dirty.

    Of
    course, each such revelation is countered by the claim that such
    abuse is an aberration – a great exception to the general rule,
    which presumably is that prisoners are treated humanely.

    But
    two points must be noticed. First, what we've heard so far is only
    what we've heard so far. We should never assume that today is the
    end of history. The revelations most likely are just the beginning
    of the scandals.

    Second,
    those who supported going to war – against Afghanistan, against
    Iraq, against "terrorism" – should understand that they
    asked for the torturing, the renditions, the shocking brutality.
    He who calls for war calls for the torture of prisoners, for the
    killing of civilians, for the destruction of the Bill of Rights,
    for much bigger government, and for other atrocities. Once war begins,
    all these things are unavoidable. That’s why war should be considered
    as an option only when America is actually attacked – not when a
    President thinks it would be a keen idea to rearrange some other
    country.

    Apparently,

    at least 100,000 Iraqis have died in this war
    . And at a minimum,
    half those who died must be civilians – men, women, and children
    killed by cluster
    bombs
    , missile
    attacks
    , the
    flattening of Fallujah
    , misguided
    attacks
    , misunderstandings
    at check points
    , and all the other ways that civilians inevitably
    die for no reason other than that they were in the wrong place at
    the wrong time.

    To
    bring "democracy" to Iraq, how many people must die, how
    many prisoners must be tortured, how many freedoms must Americans
    give up, how much bigger must government be?

    February
    24, 2005

    Harry Browne [send
    him mail
    ], the author of Why
    Government Doesn’t Work

    and many other books, was the Libertarian presidential candidate
    in 1996 and 2000. See his website.

    Harry
    Browne Archives

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