Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Torture and terror

Norman Geras has two related posts that say most of what needs to be said:

For myself, what I find strange about much of the animosity towards the phrase ‘War on Terror’ is that the words could be so useful in defining the moral and legal parameters of the current fight. To be against terror should mean to be against torture, against the illegal use of violence, illegal force, illegal detention.

It must be possible for states, and individuals, to use effective legal force to defend themselves and their allies. And it must be possible to detain enemy fighters in war until they are no longer a threat. But for a War on Terror to be all the name implies, it has to be a fight for the interlinked principles of universal human rights, rule of law, and democracy. All of the wrong decisions by the previous US administration on treatment of prisoners, from torture to confusion on legal status, were defeats in the War on Terror.

Added - ED Kain puts it well: stating the obvious.

1 comment:

Oscar Grillo said...

The terror of war.