Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Gitmo divertimento

As I’ve said before, liberals are never happy unless they have something to be unhappy about. They are utopians, and since the real world is a fallen world, they are perpetual malcontents, constantly on the lookout for something new to be bitch about and meddle with.

They have always been unhappy with the so-called war on terror, and are forever casting about for some “scandal” or “outrage” to derail our efforts.

At the moment, Gitmo is their target. Now, in principle, one can oppose the Iraq war, in whole or in part, yet that is logically separate from Gitmo. If Gitmo didn’t exist, we’d have to invent it.

If we relocated the detainees, all the same gripes and complaints would resurface, for what is bugging the liberals is the fact that we’re treating this as a counterintelligence issue rather than a judicial issue. The detainees are not there primarily to be put on trial. Rather, they are there so that we can find out what they know.

But this is in direct tension with liberal orthodoxy. The liberal wants them to be Mirandized and lawyered up so that they don’t have to talk to our interrogators, whereas we want to extract actionable intelligence from them in order to intercept future attacks.

The liberals have succeeding in framing the debate in terms of torture. But that is not how the debate ought to be framed. Rather, the question we should be asking is what are the most effective and efficient methods of sifting the high-value informants from the know-nothings, and then extracting their information.

The liberals also want to have the Geneva Conventions extended to terrorists. There are several things wrong with this. Just as a legal matter, a terrorist is deliberately and specifically excluded from such coverage. The whole point of the Conventions is to make war more humane by rewarding those who abide by the laws of warfare. To extend such coverage to those who violate the laws of warfare would defeat the very purpose of having the Conventions.

Moreover, it would violate the terms of the treaty. The US doesn’t have the legal right to unilaterally amend the Geneva Conventions in order to cover unlawful combatants. It just goes to show that those who play up the rule of international law are talking out of both sides of their mouths.

Critics complain that Gitmo has a bad reputation around the world. That’s true. And it’s true because the critics lie about Gitmo, and then appeal to their own lies and the poisonous effect of their lies on world opinion to justify shutting it down.

The deeper problem is that liberals have a Gnostic-Marxist worldview. For them, evil is the result of ignorance and poverty. So the way to win the war on terror is to educate Americans so that we understand what a tolerant, peace-loving faith Islam really is, and to ingratiate ourselves with the Muslim world by enriching poor Muslims with a steady flow of American tax dollars.

Whenever the Bush administration tries to meet its critics halfway, its overtures backfire. For when you seek an accommodation, you implicitly admit that you have a duty to be more accommodating, and you can never be accommodating enough.

So, for example, we give the detainees free Koran’s, with the American taxpayer footing the bill. Why are we giving jihadis free Korans? Should we be confiscating their Korans? The Koran is, after all, the inspiration of the jihadist ethic to begin with.

And then, having given them free Korans, our guards are instructed to wear gloves whenever they handle the Koran since we are filthy infidels who’s touch would defile their holy book. Why in the world are we pandering to our enemies?

Mind you, I’m all for being culturally sensitive. When the British occupied Afghanistan in the 19C, they once executed a band of Muslim militants; but before they lined them up against the wall and shot them dead, they sprayed them with pig urine to render them ritually unclean and thereby debar their entrance into Paradise. No Seventy-two virgins for them! Now that’s my idea of cultural sensitivity!

1 comment:

  1. I made a lengthy reply to "tired" below, concerning religious terminology ("popish" et al), and inconsistent anti-Catholic use of it (particularly in James White):