Yeah, def torture. Should it have been used? eh. I don't think so, but should we forever put a ban on torture? I don't think so either. I realize that my opinion is probably going to be unpopular here, but I think that torture really should be a viable options in extreme cases and it should be reviewed either beforehand for approval or after the fact to see if it was necessary. I mean torture is a very unreliable means in which to gather information, but it can be useful as a last resort. In a world where total war is a very real thing, why should we have to keep playing by the rules? I'm not saying we should torture everyone we find or become just as radical as the people we are fighting(and are we really fighting people here? It seems like we are waging war on people's ideals more than anything else these days), but how long do we go before bending the rules a bit? Do we keep on being the "good guys" right up until they set off an even bigger bomb in Chicago this time? Or do we wait until they hit LA? At what point do we start doing everything we can to stop these people?
Now after saying all of that, I'm very much in favor of not going to war at all. The tricky thing with the 9/11attacks was that we DID need to retaliate, but there wasn't a country for us to blame. There was an organization, yes, but where do you go looking for an organization? The yellow pages? I think Obama is making the move that should've been made 8 years ago. Acknowledge that the countries didn't do anything wrong. Acknowledge that the majority of muslims had nothing to do with it. Make peace with the populace and get them on your side, and they will help you! These are the people that know the deserts and caves and such. Maybe if this WAS done 8 years ago, we wouldn't have needed to resort to torture.
Also, I just had another thought. Why is torture considered to be so evil? Let's say in a battle an enemy soldier gets shot in the stomach or kidney or something. He'll still take quite a while to die, and it will be extremely painful. Now if we torture someone, there's an extremely good chance that they'll live. They may or may not be physically harmed, and there's a chance we could save lives. Now isn't that the point of a war? Lose less guys than the other side? At what point did people start trying to turn war into some sort of a civilized game played with human lives? War is not civilized, it is the breakdown of civilization. Its the result of everything else failing. At least it should be. Maybe we'd have less war if we stopped pulling our punches. I should get alot of flack from this next statement, but this is how I feel. *sigh* Look at japan. We dropped the atomic bomb, and they felt it. War suddenly wasn't that was happening somewhere in the pacific. War was something real. It had real consequences. Now Japan has pretty much outlawed war. They can't declar war, they can't participate in war, and they can't help someone else during a war(with troops I mean). Hell, the japanese people are even uneasy about having a standing self defense force! I'm not saying drop an atomic bomb on everyone. I'm saying make these people realize that if you go to war, there will be consequences. Lay siege to an area. Burn the crops, foul the water. Everything you can, until they stop fighting. I really think this is the only way to end war, if there even is a way to end war, which I doubt there is.