Michael Walzer’s J’accuse
The moderate-left political philosopher Michael Walzer, of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., and the editor of Dissent magazine, along the last months has directed much of his anger at the rigid politics of the anti-interventionist left in the face of Sept. 11. Well, this is what he writes, one year after the beginning of the war, about The Abuse of Prisoners in Iraq:
Most Americans, opponents and supporters of the war alike, have been surprised by the stories of prisoner abuse that are now flooding the media. But I don’t think that we ought to have been surprised. War breeds sadism, and prisoner of war camps are one of the prime breeding grounds. (â¦)
Only a steady effort to maintain discipline and to train soldiers in the rules of war and the rights of prisoners will prevent abuse and atrocity. But that requires the commitment of political and military leaders, and our current leaders are visibly uncommitted.