Monday, January 12, 2009

Some hard choices . .

The fictitious hero Jack Bauer of the popular TV show "24" makes no apologies for having tortured individuals he knew held information that would led to capturing a terrorist(s). In real life, the decision to torture an individual for information he or she may have isn't an easy decision if you are any kind of a human being. I've asked myself how far would I go to get information out of someone who I believed had the fate of thousands or millions of people in his or her hands.

If I was sure that person had such information and millions of lives were at stake, I probably would engage in some despicable acts. At least I think so but I don't know for sure. The sight and smell of blood in a real environment makes me sick to my stomach big time. Of course torture can be justified if you cite that the person being tortured can stop it at any time by providing the desired information. You have to hope that the person being tortured does indeed know anything of use to you.

What a horrible decision to have to make and then live with. How far would you go if all this was in your hands?

There are some simpler choice in regards to self-preservation. I do know that if someone broke into my house and was coming up the stairs I would have no problem shooting that person with my trusty .38. Would I hope to kill the person for daring to break into my house?

No. I only hope to stop him or her from wreaking havoc on me or anyone else in my household. I have no qualms about doing that. I would be less than thrilled about having to shot someone but it was not my choice to break into the house and menace the occupants. I am not a good person to try and menace.

It's unfortunate in this life that choices have to be made about self-preservation but those who put us in the position of having to make a choice - a violent choice - do not give us much choice, do they?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"The fictitious hero Jack Bauer of the popular TV show "24" makes no apologies for having tortured individuals he knew held information that would led to capturing a terrorist(s). In real life, the decision to torture an individual for information he or she may have isn't an easy decision if you are any kind of a human being."
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Ahhh, but what kind of human being would protect a terrorist ?

The only way to deal with terrorism is the application of immediate and decisive violence. Period, full stop.

Remember, they tried to murder your mother, too...

Tom

Tom

Nancy Kersey said...

The decision to torture or not torture has nothing to do with "protecting" a terrorist. Too many times our government imprisons and tortures individuals simply because they look like terrorists. Look what we did with the Japanese here in the U.S. during WW2.

Your aunt (my mother) applauded the shutdown of Guantanamo calling its existence "an embarrassment."
She doesn't believe in torture at all. I have to disagree with her: if I know for certain an individual in my charge has information that can stop an attack, I would most likely want to get it out of him/her any way that I can.

Maybe now we can fight the war where the terrorists actually live.

Nancy

Anonymous said...

That's the problem with terrorism. In a "conventional war" you have a nation you're fighting. Their homeland is labeled, on the map. Terrorists don't put a return address on their IED's. "Fighting them where they actually live" involves sending combat troops into sovereign nations, and said nations tend to take exception to that. The Afghani government has been supportive of us thus far, but the Taliban stay near the Pakistan border (and Pakistan has not been supportive of us or our anti-terrorist efforts) and go back and forth (very much like the Viet Cong popped back into Cambodia), using Pakistan to rest, re-supply and train.
Secondly, the little terrorist b@$stards like to hide in areas populated with children and other non-combatants, as they delight in having video footage of dead kids on the evening news to gain international sympathy for themselves (go, Hamas, go).
Jihadi Terrorists, whose stated purpose is to kill non-Muslims. The appropriate response is application of immediate and decisive violence. Period, full stop.

Tom