So all this vast expenditure of blood and treasure, all this shedding of alliances and shrugging at international opinion, has brought us to Abu Ghraib, gravesite of an as yet undisclosed portion of our national honor. I am only choking down all this horror as it emerges, like everyone else, without anything much wise to add.
I'll just pass along that Phil Carter's blog is, and promises to continue to be, a valuable source, on account of the man's background. Just start at the top and scroll down. He has an article in Slate with a quite misleading title, "Doing the Right Thing - Keeping the ICC out of Abu Ghraib". The summary on the blog makes more sense: "The ultimate point is that the U.S. should act decisively here because it's the right thing to do. But if the U.S. does not do so, the threat of an ICC prosecution should induce the U.S. to take its investigative and prosecutorial obligations seriously." I don't know whether that's far-fetched or not. It sounds far-fetched. But it hadn't occurred to me that there was even the remote possibility that the ICC could have jurisdiction.
I guess I'll just tack on a brief, public notice of my ever-deepening regret at having been a bit of a fence-sitter in the run-up to war, rather than a vociferous opponent - as I trust it is quite clear we all should have been. There is no longer any argument against the proposition that it has been a massive strategic error (that is the kindest thing that can be said, since it omits a great many unkind things one probably should add. About Abu Ghraib and Donald Rumsfeld's responsibilities, among other things.) Like some others I was beguiled for too long by meteorological contemplation of threatening storms. Somehow the existence of sophisticated arguments in favor of war in Iraq obscured quite obviously sufficient arguments against. Notably, ones about our President's capacities: never send an incompetent to do a competent's job. (At any rate, it's never too late to botch the job, so why hurry.)
Even worse (or maybe it just comes to the same): I wasted my time - that is, any time - wondering whether there can be an honest left. My apologies to the long-suffering honest left.
I'd post this over at CT, but I figure it's more personal, i.e. probably useless: regret not the most useful of emotions, heard it all before. Other people have expressed similar thoughts about their intellectual and moral progress of late. Here's hoping for an honest right, by the way.
UPDATE: I know there's an honest right. It just isn't big enough. And it needs to get really big right about now.