Friday, May 18, 2007

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

"History doesn't advance in linear fashion defined by consistent progress, but perhaps moves more cyclically, with advances in human civilization constantly threatened by reverses."

Read the rest here. Watching the histrionics and cheap swagger during the Republican debates -- and, just as distressing, the lusty audience approval -- one can't help but wonder when and where our current step backwards might end.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The enthusiasm of the candidates (with the exception of McCain) and the audience for torture is both frightening and nauseating.

5/18/2007 8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heady issues, indeed, CR.

A good friend of mine, until very recently, was teaching a class titled The War Novel to a group of high school juniors and seniors at the Catholic High School where I teach. (I write of my friend in the past tense because he recently passed away. A very sad time for the school and his students.) As the class wore on, it evolved into an in-depth investigation into the use of torture by the United States government, and the challenging notion of fighting a just and honorable war. The class spent a great deal of time studying the works of Col. Ted S. Westhusing, the West Point professor whose mysterious death in Iraq has been the subject of controversy since the summer of 2005. Westhusing taught ethics at West Point and took the notion of honor very seriously; so seriously, in fact, that some speculate he took his own life due to the dishonorable circumstances he encountered while serving in Iraq. The class even managed to track down a copy of of Westhusing's thesis on military honor.

I mention this only as a testiment to my good friend's memory, a man who recognized torture as the central issue of our dealings in Iraq long before the general public took notice.

5/19/2007 7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found it pretty amazing that:

A: One candidate mentioned that other cultures are at odds with America because of our foreign policy...and he was lambasted thoroughly.

B: Many of the candidates (and the crowd) wholeheartedly endorsed torture techniques as a foreign policy.

Not sure if I was the only one who noticed it. I can't speak for anyone else but if I was falsely arrested by another country and tortured, I would do whatever possible to exact payback. I'm pretty sure that's what we are now up against as a world philosophy. At least we haven't continued the 'bomb mecca' mentality.

5/19/2007 8:19 AM  

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