It is well past the time for America to learn that the war on terrorism is unlike any war this nation has ever waged. The enemy we face today has no national borders, no government, no territory, and no recognizable armed forces. And yet we have Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and John W. Warner who wish to provide protections to these terrorists as if they were uniformed soldiers of a civilized nation engaged in war.
Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell, wrote the following in a letter to Sen. John McCain, “The world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism. To redefine Common Article 3 [of the Geneva conventions] would add to those doubts. Furthermore, it would put our own troops at risk.” Is the General implying that what the world thinks of our moral basis in fighting terrorism is more important than whether we win this war against terrorism?
“To redefine Common Article 3 would add to those doubts. Furthermore, it would put our own troops at risk,” Powell continued. Does the General actually believe that by applying Geneva Convention protections to terrorists will actually persuade them to apply those same protections to captured U.S. forces? That is so totally unrealistic that it borders on the absurd. If al Qaeda or any other terrorist group captures an American soldier that soldier will be lucky if his head remains attached to his body for any length of time. Our solders already know this.
The rules of the Geneva Convention were written by civilized nations that when they do fight wars they will do so in accordance with some civilized rules. We are not fighting a civilized nation. We are not fighting a nation at all. We are fighting radical Islalamofacists who will stop at nothing to kill all of us. They could care less about the Geneva Convention.
Senator John McCain should know this more than anyone. He spent five and half years as a prisoner of North Vietnam. He was tortured by Vietnamese soldiers who stabbed him with bayonets and beat him with rifle butts. He was placed in solitary confinement and interrogated daily. When he refused to talk, he was beaten until he lost consciousness. North Vietnam was a signatory to the Geneva Convention. It did not protect John McCain.
Andrew C. McCarthy, senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, may have said it best.
“Let’s not mince words here: Our soldiers, if captured by Islamic terrorists, will be tortured and killed. That’s what Islamic terrorists do. That’s why awed admiration is the only proper response to the bravery of our men and women in uniform. They fight for us despite knowing, as we should all by now know, that nothing we do affects the jihadists’ behavior.
On the other hand, if we were to fight another conventional war against the honorable combatants of a nation-state, that country’s forces — like our own — would be solemnly bound to (as well as self-interested in) compliance with their Geneva Convention obligations regarding prisoners of war. Again, how we deal with al Qaeda now is irrelevant to the treatment our forces will receive in any future conflict.
So, no, we don’t owe jihadists the same trial rights we owe any honorable combatants, much less our own troops. The very notion is an insult to those putting their lives on the line in our defense. That aside, though, the incentives these senators would create are perverse. It is an elementary rule of human nature that when behavior is rewarded, it begets more of the same. Rewarding terrorists with rights to which they have no legal entitlement can only encourage their methods — a cost McCain, Graham, and Warner would apparently have us bear despite the absence of any discernible benefit.”
The way we treat or interrogate Islamo terrorists will not have any effect on how they will treat an American soldier unfortunately captured. We are talking about a culture that beheads its prisoners, tortures and mutilates its own citizens, and thinks nothing of sacrificing their sons and daughters by strapping an explosive bomb in their backpack and sending them into a crowded pizza parlor. These terrorists use the Geneva Convention and our own Constitution as protection so than can kill us. Like Cal Thomas says, ” We want to live and they want us dead. Any questions?”