May 03, 2004

Better Than Saddam is Not Good Enough

Twirling around the blogosphere, I'm starting to get the sense that some people who haven't thought through the issues enough are trying to justify the Abu Ghraib torture scandal in terms of at least we're better than Saddam. That's not good enough, not nearly good enough. The way we win is not being more tolerant tyrants than Saddam's Baathist thugocracy. That's a differentiation based quantitatively. It implicitly places us as a thugocracy and does the enemy's work for him.

The way we win is to be something qualitatively different. We are human beings who have created a free society and want others to join us. We fail, like all other human beings on the planet, to always uphold our principles but we do our best and excise the rot as soon and as thoroughly as we can.

To demand perfection of us is to deny the monotheistic constant that man is a fallen creature, born in sin and doomed to imperfection without the grace of God. But that does not excuse us from doing our best, making up for our deficiencies and striving to rise above our sinful natures and do what is right.

Muslims should be outraged at the torture. There is no excuse. But they should do more than be outraged. They should see what we do next. Because if they see the trials, see the punishments, and demand just that for their own societies, they will do more for themselves than a hundred invasions and the US will become vastly more secure.

Posted by TMLutas at May 3, 2004 01:13 PM