Tuesday, June 21, 2005

YESTERDAY, I QUOTED Andrew Sullivan's comments about Dick Durbin in their entirety, because they were so good. Today, Sullivan writes about Durbin again, this time in the context of some of the angry e-mails he's gotten from his fellow conservatives. I don't know how he did it, but he topped himself. Shakespeare's Sister said Sullivan "totally gets it." I agree, and what is so impressive about Sullivan's response to Durbin's speech is that it's actually consistent with his reasons for initially supporting the invasion of Iraq.

I don't know about Hugh Hewitt, Bill Kristol or NR, but I supported this war in large part because I wanted to end torture, abuse and cruelty in Iraq. I did not support it in order, two and a half years later, to be finding specious rhetorical justifications for torture, abuse and cruelty by Americans. I'm sick of hearing justifications that the enemy is worse. This is news? This is what now passes for analysis? They are far, far worse, among the most despicable and evil enemies we have ever faced. Our treatment of their prisoners is indeed Club Med compared to their fathomless barbarism. But since when is our moral compass set by them? The West is a civilization built on a very fragile web of law and humanity. We do not treat people in our custody as animals. We do not justify it. We do not change the subject. We do not accuse those highlighting it of aiding the enemy. We do not joke about it. We simply don't do it. This administration - by design, improvisation, desperation, arrogance, incompetence, and wilfull blindness - has enabled this to occur. They must be held accountable until this cancer is rooted out for good. It has metastasized enough already.
Sullivan is not a hypocrite. Liberals may disagree with Sullivan about the wisdom of having invaded Iraq from the start, but when he writes that he was motivated by outrage at Saddam Hussein's atrocities and the cruelty of his regime, he meant exactly what he said.

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