The release of the terrorist who was involved in the Lockerbie bombing to Libya has certainly brought front and center the depth of the Muslim hatred for the West and their undying adulation of anyone who is responsible for killing Infidels. Hard on the heels of that news is the Holder announcement that there will be an investigation into the alleged use of torture or abuse of prisoners by the CIA to obtain information regarding the threats of Al-Queada against the US. Those two events do clearly frame the two opposing boundaries of the limits of the rules of war. Yes, there have always been rules of war during recorded history. Often those rules were very loose and pretty much anything was acceptable except defeat. Through most of history those rules have not been written or subject to enforcement by any national government or international body. But going back several centuries there were standards that applied to the use of military power. During the last century the world body decided to codify most of the rules and at least implied enforcement powers to the international community. There are several different standards in force at the moment. Some by treaty such as the Geneva Convention and others by use of the International Court at the Hague.
From earliest times the struggles by opposing armies and nations have been fought with unimaginable cruelty. Read your Old Testament. Time and time again the Jews when they defeated a people they would destroy them all, every man, woman and child and even sometimes they would kill the cattle and destroy the crops. The destruction was total. There is even the famous story in the Bible where the God told them to do that and He was not obeyed; they didn’t kill all the cattle and God challenged them and punished them for their disobedience. Moving forward to the Greek and Roman eras it was fairly unusual for the winning army to destroy entire cities or peoples. Normally, it would a contest between the armies and winner take all. There was many exceptions to this such as the infamous destruction of Carthage after at the conclusion of the Punic Wars. But those were exceptions.
Some are concerned that waterboarding or other really scary and uncomfortable methods of interrogation are cruelty even if they didn’t result in death or lasting injury. I can understand the displeasure with such methods and the repugnance. But the first “rule” of any war is to win. All the other rules pale in comparison. War always has its dark and degrading aspect. I know some don’t believe we are at war now with the Muslim world. I don’t know how to communicate or reason with those who deny the obvious implications of 9/11, the attacks on our embassies, the Cole, the London and Madrid bombings, and the literally uncountable attacks over the past 60 years from Entebbe to Mumbai. Imagine that scum who helped with the Flight 103 bomb was in your custody and you had determined already the planting of a bomb but didn’t know the flight or time of flight but he did. I frankly wouldn’t care what they had to do to him to obtain the information that might have identified the flight so almost 300 lives could have been saved. I am sure the families of those victims would have been glad to trade his life in a flash for their loved ones who were innocent. After all it is our opponents in this war on terror who routinely violate the modern rules of war by intentionally targeting innocent people–including women, children and those merely going about their routine affairs of life. They have no regard for life if it stands in the way of their jihad and martyrdom. I wouldn’t care if they cut off a leg or let ants crawl down his ear. I would be mad, very mad that such vermin had made us indulge in that kind of behavoir to thwart his evil intentions. Such people are pure evil. I would be sickened by any form of torture and would be miserable practitioner of such an art. But I would have no trouble at all justifying such action under such circumstances. The life of one rogue terrorist for 300 innocents is a no brainer for me. Nothing to be happy about, nothing to rejoice in except for the overwhelming joy of saving those lives. Ask any cop, fireman or soldier how they feel when they have a direct hand in saving an innocent life. Don’t take my word for it but take theirs.
We have a wonderful record of decency to those we have opposed in wars over the years. Sure there have been instances of cruelty, rape, pillage and murder by our troops in every war but those are definitely the exceptions; we have never had a policy of wanton destruction or killing as have some of our enemies. Our record compares very well with our opponents over the years. The Germans, the Japs, the Muslims, the North Koreans, the Viet Cong all fall very short of our standard of treatment for prisoners and those caught as terrorists. It has always been a “rule” of law that those fighting out of uniform and not in a regular military unit are considered either spies or terrorists and have been dealt with in a summary fashion. The foes we face now fall into that category. They are not entitled to the POW treatment. The Lockerbie terrorist is not entitled to anything in my opinion except summary death. The Scot’s minister has a different opinion. Eric Holder has a different opinion than mine. I put protecting Americans foremost and above all other considerations. The loss of any innocent American life is not justified on the altar of some elitist vision of “values”. What is more valuable than innocent life?
Kennedy is dead. Mary Jo is at last revenged. His selfish venality was never punished sufficiently. A clear case of manslaughter at least and he walked with a charge of leaving the scene of an accident. He left that poor gal to drown and went to call, not for emergency help, but to get legal and political advice. Later, when it was too late he allegedly dived to find her after she had been under water for more than 45 minutes at least. Our sins may be forgiven by a Higher Power, but s0me are so despicable that they will not be forgotten by our fellows. www.olcranky.wordpress.com