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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

William S. Lind, "On War #306: A Memo to the President," Defense and the National Interest, June 2, 2009.

The recent fire/counterfire between President Obama and former Vice President Dick Cheney over Guantanamo, the prisoners held there and techniques used in their interrogation revealed a distressing ignorance in the White House. Specifically, it revealed that Obama and his advisors are ignorant of military theory.

Cheney won the debate by drawing the usual Republican distinction, that between doing what is necessary for national security and being nice. If Republicans are allowed to frame the issue that way, they will always win. But in fact, theirs is a false position. We do not have to choose between doing what works in the “war on terrorism” and doing what is morally right. The two are the same.

  ...the defeat we suffer on the moral level by adopting a policy of torture will outweigh any benefits torture might bring us on the physical level of war.

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