The Corner

Derb’s Emotional States

I’ve gotten a bunch of email asking me to distance myself from Derb’s comments about Abu Ghraib. My guess is that they’ve mostly been driven by Andrew Sullivan’s outrage. I have no desire to get in the middle of their differences. But let me say:

A) I didn’t get the impression that Derb was actually saying he believes that the Abu Ghraib perps should have kicked the prisoners more and that they deserve only 30 days in the brig. Rather, he was saying that was one of his “emotional states.” There is a difference of course between one’s gut reaction and ones intellectual conclusions. My feelings about, hmm, the whole Arab world are sometimes driven by passions elicted by a very narrow subset of statements and actions from terrorists (as well as Arab newspapers, Arab leaders, Arab apologists etc). But I also know in my heart and my head that these emotional states should not be translated into policy.

However, B) if that is Derb’s actual conclusion and not his temporary emotional state, then I think Derb’s wrong. And we can have that debate if necessary.

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