Saturday, October 31, 2009

American liberals: when they feign disgust

"AT THE height of the French-Algerian War, good American liberals were appalled and disgusted by revelations of torture by the French army. The pack was led by then-Senator John F. Kennedy, who called for every kind of sanction against France. In the event, possibly as much as any other single factor, it was the reaction against la torture, across the world and within Metropolitan France itself, that won the war for the Algerians—though, when it came to atrocities, their hands were by no means spotless. Yet, when 9/11 struck, out of horror at what had been perpetrated, many of those good Americans who had so vigorously opposed torture as practiced by the French in Algeria stifled their qualms and at best averted their gazes from excesses committed in Guantánamo, waterboarding within the homeland or rendition abroad for other less squeamish regimes to do what was necessary. Or they more actively supported the Rumsfeld-Cheney line for the extraction of information at any cost." (thanks laleh)