Monday, June 06, 2005

Guantanamo, prisoners of war

I think it's time to put some of what we're hearing about US prison abuse in a little perspective.

Do I think, first of all, that it's cool to stack prisoners up naked or desecrate Korans? No, not really.

Although ... try this experiment in a room full of Anti-American Liberals (otherwise known as Idiotarians™) (and the ™ is also ™ by Rottie, I believe, but it's good so I'm going to shamelessly borrow).

Ask how many of them would be offended by the desecration of Christian bibles. At best, you'll get relatively emotionless murmurs of "well, no, you can't do that either", but what you'll likely hear instead and expressed much more passionately is a litany of Christian "sins" throughout history that would justify such an act. Which gives an insight into the real agenda of these folks.

No mention of sins in the name of Islam, though. That would be disrespectful to The Peacful Religion™.

It would be Divisive™.

Now -- lets review once again the differences between a prison for breakers of the law and a prison for war prisoners... which starts with why and how people got there in the first place.

In a prison for law breakers, we have (1) people who we have probable cause to believe have broken a civil law awiting trial for a constitutionally brief period, or (2) people actually serving sentences after being convicted of breaking a civil law.

In a war prison, we have people who were fighting us in some arena of battle in a war. They are typically held without charge (because we're not talking about people who are there for breaking our civil laws) until the end of the conflict that battle was being fought in.

There is a bit of a difference between these prisoners, and say, German or Japanese prisoners during WWII. Most Germans and Japanese combatants wore the uniforms of their particular service and were easily identifiable as combatants. (that link to the much more eloquent Bill Whittle's essays on the subject)

How many German POWs did we give a fair trial to and send back home when they were found guilty of nothing but fighting for the other side? ????!!!

To hear the Left talk (now even through AmLeftsty International), we rounded up a bunch of innocent Afghan citizens illegally and shuttled them off to a Cuban Gulag for indefinite interment without charging them with some civil offense.

But that's not it at all. Instead of killing these folks on the battlefield in a war -- which nobody would have complained about -- we kept them alive and in what amounts to a POW camp.

By all rights, they should be dead.

Does it justify torture? No. Not in and of itself. Does anything justify torture? I'll leave that as a grey area, since I do live in the Real Real World where you might need to get information from someone to save the lives of hundreds or thousands or millions...

But, except for a few highly publicized incidents, by and large we're treating these people pretty well for folks we could have killed. 68,000 prisoners, most of whom have been set free. 325 investigations into alleged abuse. 100 confirmed cases of some sort of wrong-doing). Perfect record? No. Who has one? Gulag? Take the tinfoil off your head and join the real world.

These are not jaywalkers or speed-limit violators. These are people who joined an army that has vowed to kill YOU if at all possible, and they won't discriminate between Kerry voters and Bush voters. Hell, they'll even kill you if you're Islamic if it suits their cause.

But let's let them all go. That way, when one of them turns up as a suicide bomber on a subway in New York, all the Lefties can point at the Bush administration and say "we had him and Bush let him go". Because as we should all know by now, everything bad is Bush's fault.

The US isn't perfect. Nobody is. But this constant assault on it is painting a hugely distorted view of what's going on. How 'bout a little balance?

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