Have a hug. Read Atlas Shrugged.

Michael Yon: The strategic advantage of our values

Click here to watch Michael Yon report on progress
in Iraq and how Al Qaeda is getting hammered into the dirt.

Although I completely disagree with his conclusion, Michael Yon has written a beautiful and powerfully reasoned argument against the use of torture.

Disagreements aside, what is most striking and worth reading about this article, however, is not its flawed call for the banning of all forms of “torture”. It’s the presentation of what Michael Yon most elegantly refers to as “the strategic advantage of our values“.

A couple of excerpts …

… once we defeated the Axis, we helped rebuild their countries.

Our Greatest Generation acted with honor and great wisdom. It was the right thing to do, but also the strategically intelligent thing to do. Now Germany and Japan are stable, prosperous democracies and close allies.

When this war is over in Iraq, we do not want a generation of Iraqis thinking that all we did was invade their country and torture and kill people.

We want them to know that, despite whatever mistakes we made, we have no ill-feelings toward Iraqis.

…We want the Iraqis to know that Americans are warriors, but not barbarians. They already know that our young folks will fight like wolverines.The Iraqi insurgents learned that lesson the hard way. American soldiers and Marines have died fighting, with great honor, to bring the region a step forward. By contrast, al Qaeda has murdered tens of thousands of Iraqis, and committed atrocities that have turned the people against them.

Al Qaeda and other terrorists fight without honor. And simply put, that’s why we’re winning in Iraq.

We recaptured the most important strategic territory in guerrilla war – the moral high ground, while never laying down our sword.

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  1. ralph


    OK, why do you believe torture should be allowed?



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  2. Temujin (John Humphreys)

    It’s good news in Iraq. However, it’s worth putting it in context. The amount of al-qaeda activity in Iraq is still higher than in 2002. We are five years after invasion… and we are only now celebrating the fact that victory is within grasp. I should bloody well hope so.

    Even if this war had ended after 1 year… it would still have been a failure. It was a war of foreign aid, and as Ayn Rand specifically said, we shouldn’t be doing that. That was the reason she was against the Vietnam war. And she was right.

    I especially agree with the final sentiments of Yon. Al-Qaeda has made a huge strategic blunder in killing too many innocent people. In a battle of who can be hated more around the world, Al-Qaeda is “winning”. Muslims are turning away from Al-Qaeda quicker than westerners are turning away from America… and that issue (who can win the people) was always going to determine the ultimate winner in a battle of ideas.

    America could have won earlier if they had realised the true nature of this conflict. They have many plenty of mistakes in being too eager to act like cowboys — which has helped Al-Qaeda stay in the race for this long. But thankfully, Al-Qaeda has made more mistakes, and are destroying their own movement.

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    I haven’t had a chance to respond yet.

    Will try to do so later today.

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