Sunday, May 10, 2009

Jon Stewart v. Cliff May

It is disappointing to think that there are almost no mainstream media outlets where this kind of conversation is happening in such a frank and thorough manner. Jon Stewart of the Daily Show interviews Cliff May on the issue of torture and the cameras roll while they have a great debate for quite a while. It was too long to be shown on the program, but they put the entire interview up online. How crazy is it that a comedian is the one having this conversation...

Part 1
The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Cliff May Unedited Interview Pt. 1
thedailyshow.com
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Part 2
The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Cliff May Unedited Interview Pt. 2
thedailyshow.com
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Part 3
The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Cliff May Unedited Interview Pt. 3
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4 comments:

Doug Hagler said...

These are all showing up for me as part 1...

Doug Hagler said...

So, Cliff May's position amounts to: we cannot possibly abide by the Geneva Convention. Really, that no reasonable person can abide by the Geneva Convention.

I love that the best political discussions happen on the Daily Show - but its true. Network news and cable news are such unmitigated garbage that it takes a comedian to really get at the heart of an issue.

Man, I have so much more to write about this but I have to go to bed. The the whole argument that a terrorist captured is nothing like a prisoner of war is rooted in war theory that has been close to obsolete for 50 years now. We don't fight conventional wars anymore because there is NO ONE LEFT TO FIGHT a conventional war with. We spend more on our military than the next ten nations combined. Our Navy has a larger air force than China. By definition, EVERY war with the US is an asymmetric war, meaning NO ONE we capture will be "honorable" prisoners of war like they were in, I dunno, the Crimean War or something. Hiding behind that just doesn't cut it.

The test of who we are is always, always, always how we treat those who are weakest. When someone is at our mercy, who we are morally and spiritually is revealed.

I think that might be the most disturbing thing about all of this - we almost can't help but see clearly who we really are.

Aric Clark said...

Should be fixed now to show parts 1,2 & 3.

Yeah, Cliff May does seem to say that the Geneva Conventions are just not reasonable - which to me is revealing about the entire pro-torture position. Essentially, when pushed, they acknowledge that what they're doing is illegal (and even immoral) but that it is still a "necessity".

As you say though, when someone is at your mercy, nothing about how you treat that person is a "necessity". They are defenseless, but "pro-torture" folks want us to believe they are so dangerous that we have no choice, that we are the helpless ones, forced to do something against our character and our values in order to protect ourselves...

Doug Hagler said...

What we always forget is that EVERYONE justifies their evil that way.

They have no other choice. They were forced into it. There was nothing else they could do. The threat was so great that it was justified to throw their ethics out the window.

Values that only count when we are safe are not values at all.