Because I found myself in D.C. until late last night — for this event, which was nothing less than amazing — I lack time to write what I’ve wanted to for some time. Stay tuned!
In the alternative, don’t miss this post on Andrew Sullivan’s recently re-sited blog:
All war is unspeakable – but there is a civilized as well as a barbaric approach to it. In a civilized culture, you respect how the enemy, however we have to demonize them to kill them, is still human. And so there are limits to what will be done to them if they come into our custody. And there are laws of war to manage this. And then there are those moments, like those German POWs becoming American, when a gesture takes on a grander scale and actually heals.
Why did we treat Nazi prisoners then better than we treat Muslim prisoners now? The applicability of the Geneva Convention in World War II was crystal-clear, of course, while in the War on Terror, it’s certainly not. But I reject the notion that Americans believe our morality should ever be controlled by our minimum obligations. Is it a race issue — orientalism writ large? — or are we actually crueler now than we were then? Whatever the cause, to paraphrase Augustus, whatever our military power may be, we should always exceed all others in moral authority.