Malkin Award Nominee

"Earlier this month, our Army released the results of an internally initiated survey of soldiers and Marines in Iraq. The results showed that almost half of our troops would condone torture in a specific instance if it saved their buddies' lives. The media were, of course, appalled. I was shocked, too - surprised that so few of our troops would condone any action that kept their comrades alive. Torturing prisoners should never be our policy, both because it's immoral and because it's usually ineffective. But it's madness to declare that there can never be exceptions," - Ralph Peters, preparing to blame our defeat in Iraq on our unwillingness to use torture more widely.

For an historical contrast, see this counterpoint to Petraeus:

"The war against Russia cannot be fought in knightly fashion. The struggle is one of ideologies and racial differences and will have to be waged with unprecedented, unmerciful, and unrelenting hardness. All officers will have to get rid of any old fashioned ideas they may have. I realize that the necessity for conducting such warfare is beyond the comprehension of you generals, but I must insist that my orders be followed without complaint... Any German soldier who breaks international law will be pardoned. Russia did not take part in the Hague Convention and, therefore, has no rights under it."

That's Cheney's approach to the laws of warfare. Let it rip. The enemy is too depraved to merit any better. But it's not the American way. And we have Petraeus to thank for restoring the honor besmirched by his commander-in-chief.