Friday, June 02, 2006

Teaching Remedial Decency - New York Times

I took this ethics class once from a morally compromised teacher (adulterer), it made it very hard to respect anything he said. We actually went toe to toe on this issue and I walked out and refused to have anything more to do with the class. I took a B, rather than listen to one more hypocritical statement. For some reason most of my class wanted a copy of my final paper, I can write some good stuff when I'm angry. Just not as good as Modo.
Teaching Remedial Decency - New York Times:American troops are under spectacular emotional pressure. They go out every day, not knowing Arabic, not understanding the culture, not knowing who the insurgents are, not knowing when they can go home or which of their buddies will be blown up before their eyes by an unseen enemy.

The troops were not trained for a counterinsurgency, because Bush hawks ignored the intelligence reports that predicted an insurgency and civil war. These kids were turned into sitting ducks because the neocon con to sell the war needed a gauzy prediction of Iraqi gratitude and a quick exit.

It is admirable that the Marine commanders want to morally sensitize the troops while they are in such a hostile environment, but it also seems a bit absurd, sending them to summer school in "core values."

There's no way to teach someone not to shoot an unarmed woman or child. If somebody doesn't already know why they shouldn't murder a baby, it's not clear that a refresher course will help.

The problem with brushing up on core values is that if you don't know them by a certain point you can't learn them. You can't teach remedial decency, any more than you can teach remedial ethics to White House officials who vindictively leak information about critics of the war after vowing not to leak.
My point was the same as Modo's, if you don't have ethics by a certain age, you will never really have them, just a pale imitation to fool the unwary.
They wanted everyone to be afraid of us, and now nobody's afraid. Certainly not the nutty president of Iran, whom the administration is forced to kowtow to, now that the American military is not a fearsome force in potentia, but a depleted, demoralized and disparaged force trapped in Iraq trying to police a civil war.

The invasion that was supposed to help terrorism has made it worse. The invasion that was supposed to make America more feared and beloved has made us more hated. The invasion that was supposed to banish post-Vietnam syndrome has revived it.
Two truths in one article. Two very sad truths.

Our country deserved better than to be made the laughingstock of the world. It was in relatively good shape when Bush took over, hard to recognize the old girl now.

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