Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

What it's all about

By Aussigirl

Some days the news just seems to fall into place. Here's another great piece by Ralph Peters writing in the New York Post which fits in beautifully with all the other posts today and yesterday.

We can never appease that bottomless pit of outrage and whining complaints that are directed daily at the administration -- we shouldn't even try -- as the author so brilliantly states. What has Aussiegirl been telling you all this time? They simply hate us because we exist.

THE demands to shut down our Guantanamo lock-up for terrorists have nothing to do with human rights. They're about punishing America for our power and success.

From our ailing domestic left to overseas America haters, no one really cares about the fate of Mustapha the Murderer or Ahmed the Assassin. The lies told about Gitmo are meant to undercut U.S. foreign policy and embarrass America.

The Gitmo controversy is about many things, from jealousy of the United States and outrage that we refuse to fail, to residual anger that we won the Cold War and exploded the left's great fantasy of a dictatorship of the intellectuals. But the one thing the protests aren't about is human rights.

Except, of course, as a means to slam the United States.

. . . Has the Bush administration made mistakes regarding Guantanamo? You bet. The biggest one was attempting to placate the critics. By launching a new investigation every time a terrorist had a toothache, our government played into the hands of its enemies.

The truth is that the terrorists and their defenders have something in common. It's not courage, which is one quality violent fanatics don't lack. It's that neither can be appeased.
Any concession only increases their appetites.

Ralph Peters' next book, "New Glory, Expanding America's Global Supremacy," is due out in August.


At 5:28 PM, Blogger Michael Morrison said...

Having read no further than the comment re: our "lockup for terrorists," I will and can comment only on that line.
To the best of my knowledge, not one single "detainee" -- "unconvicted prisoner" is a much better and more nearly accurate phrase -- in Guantanamo has had a trial and been convicted of anything.
None of them can be called a "terrorist," at least not honestly so called.
At best, or at most, they can be called "suspects."
It is not necessarily an attack on America to question this administration's behavior.
Anyone who supports decency has many additional reasons to attack this administration.

At 6:15 PM, Blogger Aussiegirl said...

Dear Michael -- much as we love and esteem you -- especially me -- these are terrorists and not "suspects", which is a term properly applied to criminal defendants, not combatants captured on the field of battle.

Most of the "suspects" in Guantanamo were captured in Afghanistan during the war, and those who were released (presumably because they received some sort of due process and were let go) were then later re-arrested or killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan , where they had immediately returned to continue their explosive ways, blowing innocent people up and attacking our troops.
Sorry -- not your run of the mill Miranda-warned defendants here.

If we attempt to fight this war using the criminal model, we are doomed to failure.
Recently in Kenya, the terrorists who blew up that embassy and tried to shoot down an airliner were all acquitted and freed to plant more bombs.
We have to be realistic - not idealistic.

But come and comment again -- we've missed you.

At 7:10 PM, Blogger Michael Morrison said...

Aussie, you might have missed me, but you for sure have missed the point: Not one of the prisoners has been convicted of any crime, not even of "terrorism," which has become as nebulous a term as "racism," so often meaning "disagreeing with me."
Locking up people as "terrorists" is a potential fate for many Americans as the Bush administration becomes ever more fascistic, with USA PATRIOT Acts and Real ID bills and ever more federal control of everyday acts, including what should be private acts between consenting adults, such as employment.
I urge you to wake up to the threat of increasing government interference, of increasing federal disregard for human rights, of the danger of casting away freedom in the false promise of "security."
Are you advocating trying all enemy soldiers, who might well be draftees, as "terrorists" because their government and military leaders are allegedly terrorists?
Again, "terrorists" are the guys on the other side, but when our allies do the same thing, they are "freedom fighters."
And quit putting words into my mouth. I didn't say a thing about "Miranda" or any of her sisters.
I say that prisoners of the United States ought to be treated humanely, which means, among other things, not locked away for interminable sentences without some proof of wrongdoing.
Just being in an enemy army is not the proof.
Usually the U.S government would object strenuously if that were done to U.S. soldiers -- although it does seem to be true the Johnson-Nixon administration pretty well ignored the fate of prisoners of the vicious and brutal and savage Viet Cong and North Vietnamese barbarians.
Why bother to fight an enemy or alleged enemy if we are going to lower ourselves to the same barbaric practices we claim to oppose?
BonnieBlueFlag can tell you (not from personal experience but from her knowledge of history) of vicious and brutal barbarities committed against civilians by troops flying the Stars and Stripes, pretty much condoned and even encouraged by Yankee generals and politicians.
Should all Union troops and auxiliaries have been likewise condemned to an Andersonville because Yankee gunboats fired on civilian homes, and Yankee troops burned down civilian homes, and Yankee officers ordered them to do so?
Union soldiers, by the way, murdered Confederate prisoners in Yankee hospitals after Lincoln was murdered.
Do we condemn all Yankees, who were, after all, essentially responsible for the Lincoln government, having elected him and having provided the financial wherewithal to wage that vicious and barbaric war, also an act of aggression?
Hmmmm. Actually, there still are some of my neighbors who do, but you know, at one level you do know, it is a wrong and wrongheaded attitude.
Yet you are doing the same thing, allowing, even encouraging, an unjust mistreatment of men who might well not be in any way properly termed "terrorist."
"Let's give them a fair trial before we hang them."

At 7:49 PM, Blogger Billy D said...

So, we can let them go in your neighborhood dude?

At 1:28 PM, Blogger Michael Morrison said...

Billy, I don't have a neighborhood dude. I have instead a lot of neighborhood scruffos and rednecks, many of whom, by the way, are avid George W. Bush supporters.
Around here, all the dudes live further out in the suburbs.
Come to think of it, a lot of THEM are also Bush supporters.

At 10:13 AM, Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

Michael, I respect your position on this, but I can`t say I agree. Guantanamo has 526 prisoners. These are not criminals, and they are not P.O.W.`s. They are people who hide among the citizenry, hiding behind women and children to attack and murder both military personell and civilians. These are the worst sorts of men, and they are at Gitmo so that we can extract information. We have released many who, as Aussiegirl points out, have returned to their units to attack us again. They are not entitled to a trial (they are not under American civil law), and they do not fall under the Geneva Convention because they are guerillas and not soldiers.

I would like to point out that one of their big complaints has been mishandling of the Koran. WE gave them these Korans (we did not have to provide them), allow the daily calls to prayer to be broadcast over the loudspeakers, provide them with guides telling them in which direction to pray. I find it hard to shed tears over a guard one-handing the Koran (he is supposed to have both hands on it, and wear gloves to avoid ``soiling`` it with his infidel hands)and thus offending the tender sensibilities of our cutthroat internees.

At Gitmo, the prisoners have air conditioning, regular (gourmet) meals, showers, beds. I would suggest that conditions are better than at Pruitt-Igo or some such public housing (I know-Pu, er, PI was torn down long ago!)

Since you mention the War Between the States, I would like to point out that there were terrorists during the War. Here in Missouri we had Quantrill (from whom the James-Younger gang devolved) and a number of other ``partisans`` who attacked Union forces. These partisans were considered the lowest form of life. If they were caught they generally had information extracted the old fashioned way, then were summarily executed without trial.

Both sides generally agreed that this guerilla warfare was a bad thing; after Saylor`s Creek,when Lee was cornered by Grant at Appomattox, a member of his staff proposed disbanding the Army and sending them into the hills to fight a guerilla war against the Union. Lee found the idea abhorrent and accepted surrender and defeat instead. Lee was a man of honor, and would not give his blessing to such a low, dirty tactic.

We do not want to be the type of people who torture prisoners, however Gitmo (or any other such facility) will fail if we are too soft; we will not be able to extract vital information (which will save AMERICAN lives) and these cutthroats will not fear being arrested if they are getting an all-expense paid vacation. Gitmo should be an unpleasant place.

Perhaps we should consider turning them over to the Turks?


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