Our view: The end of eight tortured years

DKS Editors

Contrary to popular belief, not all politicians are the same. More specifically, President Barack Obama will not be confused with George Bush.

Last week, Obama signed executive orders ending the Central Intelligence Agency’s secret overseas prisons, banning coercive interrogation methods and closing the symbol of Bush and Cheney’s reign of terror, the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, within a year.

Obama is demanding that the C.I.A. also only use the 19 interrogation methods outlined in the Army Field Manual, ending Bush’s policy of allowing the agency to use secret methods that went beyond what’s permitted for military interrogators.

Some would argue that ending such interrogation practices would put us back on the path toward another 9/11, that these methods must be working since there have been no terrorist attacks on the United States since implemented. Obama’s decision will not in any way reduce our fight against terrorism; it will merely be in a far more humanistic manner.

It is time for America to fix its reputation, which is now incredibly stained from the last eight years. The world’s opinion of us is bad – very bad in some regions. And this is the first of many steps we must take to win back the favor of our former allies.

Certain parts of the world look to the United States for advice. The least we could do for them is put forth a good example. If we expect democracy to flow freely throughout the world, we must show proof that it is truly best for all human kind – and not just those who are part of democratic societies.

Even more than being in favorable light with other nations is retaining our moral standards. As Obama put it, it will be “our ideas (that) give us the strength and moral high ground” to combat terrorism. We do not need to use torture as a crutch when we’re wronged; we cannot use it because it’s the easiest way out.

Plus, as we all know, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar, anyway.

There is no need to resort to torturous interrogation methods. To beat the enemy, we must not stoop to their level. We must be the bigger man – the bigger nation – and do what we know to be just. Violence, once again, is not the answer even when it begs the first question. We must look at each and every option when we’re faced with such confrontation from the enemy.

There are plenty of differences between our current president and our former president, but it’s executive decisions like these that give us hope that many of our bad memories from the past eight years may yet be erased.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.