comparative sum analysis 1

comparative sum analysis 1 - Kate Campbell November 6, 2007...

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Kate Campbell November 6, 2007 Humanities 101 U- Dr. Sweitzer Comparative Summary/Analysis I Anne Applebaum, in her article “The Torture Myth,” and Jonathan Schell, in his article “What is Wrong with Torture?”, present similar arguments with a different purpose. Applebaum, a known conservative journalist for the Washington Post , presents her argument against torture from a pragmatic stance. Jonathan Schell on the other hand presents his argument against torture from a moral point of view. Applebaum believes that the United States practicing torture is “self-deceptive,” “self destructive,” and “self-defeating” (2) because it “endangers soldiers. ..by encouraging reciprocity” and it does “damage to our country’s image”(Applebaum 2). Schell also acknowledges these points in his article but believes that they should not be the fundamental arguments against torture, that the immorality of torture is what makes it wrong. The pragmatic argument would better appeal to more U.S. citizens because it is easier to relate to. In Jonathan Schell’s article “What is Wrong with Torture?” Schell argues against the morality of torture. Schell begins the article very comically, talking about the senators at the vote to approve Alberto Gonzales as being very complimentary of one another. He also says things like “Senator Joseph Biden did not “waterboard” Senator John Cornyn” (Schell 1). He gives further examples of instances of torture that do not occur between the senators, yet were “all performed by US forces upon prisoners in Iraq or elsewhere” (Schell 1). Schell explains the memos Gonzales sent to President Bush advising him to disregard the Geneva Conventions when it came to detainees. He also explains the Justice-Departments redefinition of torture to be “the kind of abuse that
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might destroy bodily organs or kill the victim” (Schell 1-2). Schell then goes on to describe the reasons against torture that the Senators gave at the hearing. These reasons include “torture hurts the image of the United States in the world” (Schell 2), and “enemy forces would torture US forces in retaliation” (Schell 2). He concludes however, that these are not the fundamental reasons against torture. It is not the possible after effects that should stop US from torturing, but the fact that torture in itself is morally wrong. Schell goes on to disapprove of the fact that Gonzales in fact “sanctioned” and “rationalized” torture in his memos to the president, and that he may in fact be appointed to the “highest legal office in the executive branch of the government” (Schell 2). Schell ends his argument stating that “torture destroys the soul of the torturer even as it destroys the body of his victim” (2) and describing how the United States is
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course HUM 101 taught by Professor Sweitzer during the Fall '07 term at Wofford.

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comparative sum analysis 1 - Kate Campbell November 6, 2007...

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