WARNING: This is a rant. Do not search for well-defined arguments. This is a generalized rant.
I hate to take on Hamden here because I am no lawyer. But as it turns out, over the last week or so, I’ve been forced to argue on the side of the US (which I personally will call “good”) vs the side of the terrorists. (known to me as “evil”)
Gitmo may well have been invented to thwart the do gooders of this country and work around any fuzzy parts of the law. But since al-Qaeda and the Taliban were never signatories to the Geneva Conventions and since they don’t follow the conventions, it seems only logical to me that there is no requirement for us to do so either. That said, we are on the side of “good” and I’m thankful that we don’t treat our enemy combatants in the same way that ours are treated. And yes, I actually had to say that out loud the other day when someone equated our treatment of prisoners with the treatment of people kidnapped in Iraq.
(and I’m not all that comfortable with Guantanamo, but it isn’t a torture camp!)
Power – we have it. We exercise it in ways that are frankly “good”. And the world is served by that. Simply because we exist, most of the world doesn’t have to worry about their borders or getting attacked by some outlaw nation.
Israel has power. Let’s look at the recent goings on in Gaza. One of their’s was kidnapped and they intend to get him back. Why is it up to them to restrain themselves now? And yet they do. See? “Good” vs “Evil”. Rather than sending in warnings to Israel about how “bad” they’ve been by denying the Palestinians electricity and water and the problems that are bound to come up now, how hard would it be for the world to say,
“Listen Hamas. You have kidnapped Gilad and that has caused this problem. You can’t win militarily here because you don’t have the power and we are not going to involve ourselves, so quit your whining and give him back. IF Israel continues to attack at that point, then we will involve ourselves. But you took step one.”
Similar to our situation.
“Listen al-qaeda. You declared war on the US and they are now fighting you within tons of restraints. Quit while you are still alive. If they don’t go away after you’ve surrendered, then we’ll give them a call”.
Instead we are getting attacked for this war on terror. (except of course that most people don’t believe we really are at war or that terror is a problem) Apparently, to the world, terror is a legitimate means of fighting the big fish if that fish is the US or Israel.
We went into Afghanistan (which if you will remember was rebuked around the world) with moral authority and took out the Taliban. They are still there and we are still fighting and guess what? We have every right to continue that fight until they surrender! Why shouldn’t we?
We went into Iraq (soundly rebuked all over the place) for many reasons, but one was on the belief, backed by recent evidence, that Saddam was a threat in his help/partnership with terrorists. Ok – we’re still there and until they’ve stabilized their govt, we will need to be there. Al-qaeda, is still there and the war goes on. Until/unless they surrender. If Al-qaeda moves into Somalia, we’ll go there too. Why shouldn’t we? They declared it.
This war isn’t over. No one has said Uncle yet. In the meantime do we have to play by rules even though they don’t? Only because we are “good” and they aren’t and lucky for them. The President has been doing what he can to keep us safe. He doesn’t have a lock on Iraqi oil. He was a rich man before ever becoming President. He doesn’t need this trouble. And unlike in Amsterdam, he doesn’t get to just quit because he’s sick and tired of it. The supreme court said some things yesterday that need to be worked out, but he will follow what they said. That basically only means no war tribunal for Hamden without Congressional setup first. I think that’s great. Congress needs to get involved. They sit around up there and waste time and energy on the ridiculous like a flag desecration amendment or marriage definitions and then whine about what the President is doing during war. Well, get off your asses and involve yourself. Congress, you were briefed on the big phone scandal and ok’d it. You were briefed on the big bank scandal and ok’d it. Stand up for what you believe and quit being such a big bunch of pussies. Murtha is a friggin joke but at least he’s got opinions he’s willing to state out loud and put down on paper.
Now after Hamden may Congress be forced to actually help win this war on terror instead of sitting on the sidelines.
The following is from Rich Galen of Mullings. Sign up, he’s worth it.
Finally, and this is crucial, the decision neither caused nor averted a “Constitutional crisis.” It was simply another demonstration that, in our system, each of the Branches has a specific and equal role in maintaining a functioning society.
Bush didn’t challenge the decision; didn’t rebuke the Court; didn’t threaten to ignore the ruling. In fact, according to the NY Times coverage, the President said:
“The ‘Hamdan decision was the way forward,’ and that he would work with Congress to ‘have a tribunal to hold people to account’ while meeting the Court’s directive.”
That is the strength of our nation.