Gregory Djeredjian attempts to play umpire between Andrew Sullivan and Glenn Reynolds, and comes off rather well for it. And he brings up a point that folks dismayed by Andrew’s recent writings would do well to bear in mind:
(Oh, please spare me the comments about how no one got decapitated at Abu Ghraib just for being Christian. And that Abu Ghraib was worse (so much, dude!) when under Saddam’s stewardship. And that we treat ‘their’ Holy Book better than they’d ever treat ‘ours’. And so on. We are better than our heinous, barbaric enemy; and so must have hugely higher standards).
Greg’s comments remind me of an e-mail I once sent to Andrew:
I believe that the vast majority of American service personnel are good people, as are most of their officers. But all it takes is one bad apple to ruin the bushel, and I don’t mean this in the sense that they ruin our image. Much more than that, Andrew. What I mean is, if they are seen as getting away with inhumane treatment of prisoners, what’s to stop another group of soldiers who were already leaning that way from giving into the temptation of sadism?
So while Gonzales may be correct on a technical level, it remains to be seen whether or not this sort of behavior is what we want the world to see. I don’t doubt that most other great powers would be harder pressed to be better than us. But as my brother takes pains to remind me, we are America, we can be better than everyone else, and so we should be.
Well, I guess it just goes to show that even the non-Kos/DU side of the blogosphere is not immune to the dynamics of a community. While it may cause short-term consternation, it is a healthy sign of the vitality of the community, as long as nobody’s going to become archenemies. And, most of all, it speaks well of both men’s statures that so gifted a blogger as Greg would attempt to mediate.
[Cross-posted at Between Worlds]