Losing the War

LOSING THE WAR….The New York Times reports today on the details of George Bush’s proposed legislation regarding the interrogation of detainees. The wording is apparently so convoluted as to be nearly impenetrable, but once it’s finally been penetrated it turns out that the meaning is clear:

Many of the harsh interrogation techniques repudiated by the Pentagon on Wednesday would be made lawful by legislation put forward the same day by the Bush administration. And the courts would be forbidden from intervening.

….Legal experts say it adds up to an apparently unique interpretation of the Geneva Conventions, one that could allow C.I.A. operatives and others to use many of the very techniques disavowed by the Pentagon, including stress positions, sleep deprivation and extreme temperatures.

Even the Pentagon says this stuff is barbaric and ineffective. They have figured out, in theory if not always in practice, that we are essentially fighting a global counterinsurgency, not World War III, and that this is precisely the kind of thing that produces blowback a hundred times worse than the meager amount of information we get from torturing these guys. It’s a recipe for losing the war against jihadism.

But Bush is bound and determined to write it into law anyway. He is, apparently, bound and determined to continue losing the war he has fought so ineptly for the past five years. I sure hope there are at least a few Republicans who have figured this out and can put the brakes on Bush’s folly. We need to start winning.