[…] on targeting of civilians, as on horrendous weapons, mistreatment of prisoners and ambassadors, torture of captives, the violation of treaties, and so on remain matters of reasonably considered self-interest. They […]

[…] recognize nonetheless sums up the stakes of said argument quite well. Over on Zombie Contentions, CK MacLeod brings up just such a rarity. Focusing on the philosophical aspects of war, in this case spinning […]

[...] Paul W Kahn, discussed at length here. [...]

[...] on Torture as Individualized War, War as Socialized Torture for CK MacLeod’s argument, plus [...]

[...] a comment thread at Psychopolitik, B-Psycho’s place, after some discussion of my post here on war as socialized torture, Mr. Psycho puts a question to me: “Is it, in your opinion, possible to accurately see the [...]

That is the Yoo/Bybee argument, extended in defense not just of our own people, but of potential enemy peoples whom we would rather view as potential citizens of a constitutional government. However, torture, as I have attempted to explain, is uniquely contradictory of the very same liberal democratic ethos, or at least of half of it, whose embrace by others we claim to seek. We are not willing to be the kind of people would have to be actually to torture very effectively, which is what I think people really mean, because they are not really capable of saying anything more, when they claim that "torture doesn't work." The torture we are willing to do already is too much torture for us to bear under current circumstances, and no one, whom I know of outside of rightwing internet discussion threads where anything is possible, has called for further "enhancements." We may have been terrorized or tortured by terror, but we haven't been hurt or threatened enough to go any further, and risk disfiguring ourselves so much in the process that we wouldn't be able to recognize ourselves anymore.

Leave out political opponents, because this is the bete noire, but what is the difference between Gadahh getting a Hellfire, and getting a waterboarding, one is rather irreversable, and has likely collateral damage,

To the extent that the polity is not a "family-like group," and that the political does not by extension summon or evoke a "familial" or quasi-familial identification, then the political is merely an instrumentality for the realization of particular, pre-existing objectives limited by the horizon of the family or the individual within the family. If that was so for all citizens, then the political could never summon the "ultimate sacrifice": There would never be a reason or justification for the family or individual ever willingly to offer up a life - enclosing the entire set of its in this sense pre- or non-political possibilities - to the political. (When the draft notice appeared in the mailbox, it would be returned to sender or anyway the draft would be resisted to the utmost.) The classic definition of the political, what Aristotle meant by defining the human being as a or the "political animal," means that the organization into the political state is as "natural" as the family, and we could even say that it's as natural as the organization of the self as a self. Without a political or collective identity our familial and individual identities are incomplete. Apparently, the latest up to the moment natural science supports the notion of the naturalness of this pre-disposition in terms very close to the ones that Aristotle himself might have used, if perhaps with greater attentiveness to their embedded implications, as "genetic" and "biological." This is a matter of "genesis" and "life" or the "meaning of life" - logos of bios - itself. In classic anthropology, largely adopted by modern natural law up to a very specific and problematic point that we've discussed before or are always discussing, the individual cannot be thought apart from family and the polity or society. The modern liberal ideology is permanently vexed by this problem, which continually re-appears especially and predictably at the moment of danger, or the realized, torturous putting of the question to the liberal as to why he or she "ought to be" at all.

Maybe we are to understand at the outset that this lays out simlarites, collapsing categories, among terrorism, torture and war in a the sense that we already understand them as political, some sort of collective action. But only war among is limited to the political. Terrorism and torture within the family or family like groups perhaps belongs n the category tree as well.

The drama of collective/individual, the dynamics of power among humans themselves, between humans and whatever set (only) seems to exclude humans is n some sense the source of the political. War on this stage is metphorical but terror and torture are not.

In way I can't articulate, the seeming disconnect betweeen the the response and the magnitude, "that also enables the lesser magnitude to exceed the greater in our sympathies" comes from this source within the family and is not irrational but only not clearly understood.

[...] recognize nonetheless sums up the stakes of said argument quite well. Over on Zombie Contentions, CK MacLeod brings up just such a rarity. Focusing on the philosophical aspects of war, in this case spinning [...]

Could be, except for the "wonderful world of Morsi" part - it doesn't seem to be "his" world - and I'm pretty confident KSM and Zubeydah will be otherwise engaged. Don't know about their "likes." Not really my subject here.

And you don't think 'torture' and I mean hanging on a bloody meat hook, isn't happening in the wonderful world of Morsy, that the Citadel where Qutb released his last breath, is back in business under new management, The likes of Al Baluchi, will funnel money to another generation of hijackers, if not stopped, KSM will direct how and why, and Zubeydah will handle the logistics.