Orwellianism Watch


Here are the phrases that Reuel Marc Gerecht just used to describe, among other things, stress positions as photographed above and waterboarding, a technique universally regarded as torture since the Middle Ages:

"pain-inflicting soliciting techniques,"
“aggressive interrogation”
"physically coercive questioning"
"exceptional methods"
"harsh services"
"the skills of our Jordanian friends"

The word "torture" is used - but only for non-Americans and not for the Jordanians (the Neocon Golden Rule is: if we do it, it's not torture; if they do it, it's a war crime). You can read some of the techniques of the Jordanians here.

For Reuel Marc Gerecht, beating the soles of people's feet until they bleed and forcing prisoners to walk through vinegar on them, or the use of Gestapo and Communist methods of long-time standing and stress positions of the kind once used on John McCain: none of this is torture. Wouldn't you like to see Gerecht tell John McCain to his face he wasn't actually tortured? And opposition to torture is described thus:

Winning the hearts and minds of foreigners by remaining true to our nobler virtues is now seen as the way to defeat our enemies while preserving our essential goodness.

These are words that can only written by someone with contempt for the inviolable principles of human dignity that led to the founding of the West. Such notions - the notions that Americans fought and died for for centuries - are, in Gerecht's mind, for the weak and pusillanimous. And so the brutality of the Middle East gets imported directly back into the blood-stream of the American constitution.

Such is the price of empire in such a place.