Diplomacy for Torture

Photo by Geo 8

I think you've got to give this controversy to the Bush administration. After all, Maher Arar is an innocent man who we had kidnapped and shipped off to be tortured -- I'd put him on the terrorism watch list, too, as this is clearly a guy with some legitimate beef.

The specifics of the Arar case aside, the perplexing irony here is that the Bush administration's partner in torture in this case was none other than the nation of Syria. Yes, that Syria, the country too dastardly for us to conduct diplomatic talks with regarding the future of Iraq. The country whose government we keep issuing vague verbal threats to overthrow. One of the key dominoes on the board of the neocons' crazy game. I think it requires a genuinely sick group of individuals to have such a strong and robust opposition to attempts at diplomacy and international cooperation, especially with "bad" regimes, that can nonetheless be overcoming not in the interests of avoiding war but solely and exclusively for the cause of promoting the torture of innocent people.

UPDATE: See MJ Rosenberg for another side of the ened for engagement with Syria.