This… December 15, 2014

right here and abortion support are why the Dem handwringing rings so hollow for a prolife person who holds the complete teaching of the Church on the dignity of human life.  Obama’s reluctance to do anything about torture springs from his still greater reluctance to face GOP blowback on his program of unilaterally ordered murders of innocent civilians.

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • sbark

    I think it’s easy to lead yourself astray when you decide you understand the motives of people you disagree with. I tend to view Obama’s reluctance to address the torture as being more based on power. He is against that power when his political opponents hold it. He is all for the power when he wields it.

    I don’t know whether your interpretation of his motives or mine is any more accurate than the other. I do think there are probably multiple motivations at work here. I might add that neither your interpretation or mine puts him in a very good light. On the other hand, I don’t think there is an interpretation that could put him in a very good light on the issue.

  • kmh620

    Mark, while I continue to be unresolved about how much coercion can be used on a person who is known to be an accessory in an on-going crime against innocents, otherwise your comment is right on. Thanks for saying it. Catholic first.

    • antigon

      Dear M. 0:
      Time for resolution – in favor of what the Catechism teaches – & indeed long past time.

    • Joseph

      “how much coercion” – here’s a little story from the Donbas, part of former Ukraine that voted in May 2014 to secede and form a new country called Novorussia. After Kiev (Ukraine) sent troops to shell and bomb the Novorussian separatists, including their villages, towns, civilian infrastructure, churches, and schools, some 7000 Ukrainian troops found themselves encircled and pushed against the Russian border by the Novorussian separatists.

      Were these troops accessories in an on-going crime against Novorussia, which decided in free elections to secede from the rest of Ukraine? Yes, they were. Nevertheless, as the situation of the encircled troops grew desperate, with no food or water, and their wounded dying for lack of medical care, in August 2014 President Putin of neighboring Russia made a humanitarian appeal to the Novorussian separatists’ armed forces (militia):

      “I call on the militia groups to open a humanitarian corridor for Ukrainian service members who have been surrounded, so as to avoid any needless loss of life, giving them the opportunity to leave the combat area unimpeded and reunite with their families, to return them to their mothers, wives and children, and to quickly provide medical assistance to those who were injured in the course of the military operation,” Putin said.

      And open they did the humanitarian corridor. Thousands of Ukrainian soldiers, who just a few weeks ago were shelling and killing their Novorussian neighbors, left the war theater after leaving their weapons behind, and they crossed into neighboring Russia, where they were welcomed with hot showers, meals, and medical assistance for their wounded.

      As some of the Ukrainian soldiers put it, “they rolled out the red carpet for us”.

      Afterwards, Russia offered these Ukrainian soldiers the choice to either return, unimpeded, to their families in Ukraine, or, alternatively, to seek asylum in Russia if they feared that they would be charged with desertion back home in Ukraine. Unsurprisingly, many chose to stay in Russia and seek asylum, because President Poroshenko’s Kiev government was already blaming the Ukrainian military offensive’s failure on the deserting troop commanders.

      What an end to a deadly fight! Novorussian militias opening a humanitarian corridor to their own enemies, and Russia welcoming them, not with waterboarding and beatings, but rather with clean showers, hot meals and tea, and medical care!

      Obviously, you won’t find much of this story in the American mainstream media, on CNN or Fox News. It’s an embarrassing story for America: this is how the much-maligned Russians treat their enemies nowadays, while we are busy torturing them!

      See more:

      • kmh620

        Yes, I agree that the Ukranians should have been treated humanely. That would have been a major PR issue for Russia if they weren’t. Though, I really don’t know whether or not that has continued. I hardly trust what comes from RT or Aljazeera, less honest news media than the mainstream/agenda-driven in our country. Regardless, the Ukranians could have in no way by any sensible person been considered terrorists in their own democratically-led, overrun by Russia, country. Putin intends, as he indicated in his thesis, to rebuild the Soviet Union. All his actions are suspect. This scenario does not resolve my remaining question on how much coercion one can use against an active terrorist, one who clearly has information that will save lives, but refuses to give it; how much coercion short of torture that would not be considered inhumanity by God.

        • kmh620

          Aww, Putin’s such a “peach”… more like a wolf in sheep’s clothing… Beware of that serpent.

        • Joseph

          Ah, we see this differently. In my view, the Ukrainians are the aggressors in the Donbas, since that’s not their ancestral land. Are their parents and grandparents born and buried in the Donbas, up to the umpteenth generation? No. As far as I am concerned, a Ukrainian from Kiev, a Pole from Lvov, a Hungarian or Rusyn from Transcarpathia, or a Romanian from Prycarpathia should have no business shelling Russian villages and towns in Donetsk and Luhansk, and, conversely, Russians from Donetsk and Luhansk should have no business shelling Kiev, Lvov, or Transcarpathia. But, as it stands now, it is not the Russians from Donetsk who are shelling and terrorizing the Ukrainians from Kiev – it’s precisely the other way around. Therefore, I do regard the Ukrainian troops as aggressors and even terrorists, as far as they are attacking civilians in the Donbas, because the Donbas is not their ancestral land.
          Moreover, I have seen the videos of Romanian draft-dodgers from Prycarpathia, and Carpato-Rusyn and Hungarian draft-dodgers from Transcarpathia, who refused to join the Ukrainian army’s offensive in the Donbas, even after Kiev threatened them with 5 years of jail for dodging the draft.
          These Romanians, Carpato-Rusyns, and Hungarians refused to go to fight precisely for the reasons outlined above: “We have no problem with the Russians of Donbas, that’s their land, their right to secede from Ukraine. The Russians from Donbas didn’t come to attack us on our own ancestral lands, so why would we go to attack them?”
          Really, it boils down to where your ancestors were born, and where they are buried, and some common sense of protecting your own folks on your own ancestral lands, and refusing to travel to fight against other people on other lands who never attacked you in the first place.
          In the same vein, I’ve just read in European news sources that two recently recovered cadavers from the Donetsk airport are those of two Americans, Blackwater/Xe/Academi mercenaries from Denton and Wichita Falls, respectively, both from Texas. So, here’s my assessment: these two Americans were aggressors, and if they attacked civilian villages and infrastructure, then they were de facto terrorists as well. I bet the ancestors of these Texans were not born and buried in Donbas, so why did they travel to Donbas, trying to kill Russians there who are merely protecting their homelands, with the cemeteries of their ancestors, up to many generations and hundreds and hundreds of years, all buried in their own lands?
          This is how I view this issue, and I do regard the Donbas militia’s decision to open a humanitarian corridor, allowing their defeated enemies, the aggressors on their lands, to go free instead of annihilating them with heavy artillery, as a worthy gesture.
          Maybe we’ll see eye-to-eye more easily regarding Syria, because Syrian troops also opened a humanitarian corridor in the city of Homs, allowing the foreign terrorists, who have been besieged there, to go freely and evacuate the city.
          I certainly do regard both the Russians of Donbas, and the Syrian armed forces, as more in tune with the dictates of Christian charity, than the USA with its never-ending wars of aggression in foreign lands, genocidal bombing and droning campaigns, and torture of prisoners.
          The Russians could have destroyed the Ukrainian aggressors and could have tortured the survivors in Donbas but they didn’t. They gave them food and medical care. And the Syrians could have destroyed the terrorists in Homs, but they didn’t. They let the foreign terrorists go, and they offered amnesty to any local Syrians who fought on the side of the terrorists.
          Sorry, we are now the bottom of the barrel, and we better learn some spirit of charity from the Russians and Syrians.