Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down, has an excellent
article at Opinion Journal on the treatment of enemy prisoners. He
brings a needed breath of moral complexity to an issue on which
too many people are full of passionately-intent certainty.
Laws and rules are vitally important, but enforcing them requires good soldiers and strict, vigilant leadership. Even in an ideal situation, say, in a civilian prison in peacetime that is well-funded and well-run, and where the guards and prisoners share the same language and culture, abuse can at best be minimized.
War is the exact opposite of an ideal situation.
It's a good essay written from a tragic-vision viewpoint.
- At Tech Central Station, Bryan Preston has an article containing a do-it-yourself debunker that deflates the Bush-lied meme. It's a Google search for … well, click it yourself. (A shorter version of the same thing is on Bryan's blog.)
- But what's Tim Russert's excuse?
For the libertarians out there, Mark Steyn has an article
that ought to be on the reading list of everyone who was ever
sympathetic to the egalitarian/communitarian impulse:
… nothing makes a citizen more selfish than socially equitable communitarianism: once a fellow's enjoying the fruits of government health care and all the rest, he couldn't give a hoot about the broader societal interest; he's got his, and if it's going to bankrupt the state a generation hence, well, as long as they can keep the checks coming till he's dead, it's fine by him. "Social democracy" is, in that sense, explicitly anti-social.
Read the whole thing. Steyn takes Europe as his example case, but certainly this explains why Social Security is near-impossible to fix here in the US as well.
- And finally: Bruce Schneier is the go-to guy for information on the efficacy of tinfoil hats as a mind-control/mind-reading inhibitor. Not that you, dear reader, would be in need. Of course not. But you might have friends that are.