This is torture merely as a means to gather important information about insurgents. It's routine torture. Over a third of U.S. soldiers, taking the lead from their pro-torture commander-in-chief, see nothing wrong with this, even in a war clearly under Geneva guidelines. Two-thirds won't report it. One in ten say they have abused Iraqi civilians just for the hell of it.-Andrew Sullivan, in a must read article on the war in Iraq.
Early during the Iraq war, I internally sneered at the naivette of pacifism. I still think absolute pacificsm is a mistake. However, I have come to see that there are many good reasons for thinking war must be a measure of absolute last resort, among them that no matter how noble the cause, war seems to have a proven ability to bring out the worst in human nature. Or, arguably, it meerly brings out the average in human nature, removing the thin restraints that keep people in modern liberal democratic states from acting the way most people have acted throughout history.