Monday, January 10, 2005

Moral Clarity

Let's be clear, "death squads" are terrorists. Their goal is not simply to catch/kill suspected bad guys, but to frighten populations into submission. It's collective punishment of an entire population. As Yglesias writes:

I've been frustrated lately by everyone's tendency to pretend their ethical beliefs and their pragmatic ones just happen to line up all the time, so I won't deny that this may well "work" in some sense. Indeed, in light of the fact that the best alternative plans I've seen put on the table call for the deployment of hundreds of thousands of additional troops who won't be forthcoming (and who in many instances don't even exist) this plan at least has a sort of cold-blooded realism about it. What it won't achieve, of course, is any of the Iraq War's ex post goals now that we know the WMD threat was 90 percent hype. This isn't much of a way to run a humanitarian intervention, nor is anyone in the world's Sunni Muslim population going to be dissuaded from jihad by the knowledge that the American method of democracy-promotion involves unleashing U.S.-trained Kurdish and Shiite assassination squads against people who are not "obviously guilty."

Just who are we trying to help again?

The Rude Pundit has more. I find it rather fascinating that the wingnuts appear to be simultaneously attacking Newsweek for being "alarmist" and using scary incorrect language, while they are endorsing all of the worst elements of what would be embodied in a "salvador option."