Sunday, September 11, 2011

9-11: Ten Years Later...

Ten years after 9-11, here are some thoughts I agree with and want to share (from Charles Krauthammer and Michelle Malkin):

I watched the History Channel today. For hours, I watched the events unfold again. I watched, and remembered, That Day. I was on leave That Day, ten years ago, after a decade spent as an Army officer, and at that moment preparing to move back home and become a schoolteacher.

All that changed when the first, and then the second, tower collapsed.

Ten years later, I still do not live at home. But I have no regrets for the path I took instead.
What bothers me is when anyone -- from Deepok Chopra to Barack Obama to John McCain -- equates terrorists with soldiers, and demands that captured terrorists be given POW protections.

The U.S. government now affords Prisoner of War protections to unlawful enemy combatants who willfully violate every law of war: they wear no uniform, they directly target civilians, they use religious institutions, hospitals, and schools for military purposes, they take hostages, they use human shields to keep themselves alive.

It is a matter of international treaty and international law that unlawful combatants be afforded a military tribunal. When convicted, they should be executed... as was done in World War Two under a Democrat president, even to U.S. citizens who attempted to commit sabotage for Nazi Germany after landing by U-Boat on our eastern shores.

Why are jihadists given three hots and a cot, religious services, and even Starbucks coffee at Guantanamo Bay? That's better than we treat our own soldiers. Why do we coddle terrorists? Worse, why do we play catch-and-release? A growing number of Gitmo detainees, released to assuage the political left, have been killed or captured AGAIN on the battlefield, at the cost of how many U.S. and allied servicemen?

After ten years, I've lost enough friends.

All captured jihadists should be interrogated, given a military tribunal, and, if convicted of war crimes, executed as allowed under international law.

Tell you what: to be extra nice, rather than hang them as the common criminals they are, we'll simply and mercifully shoot them. My aim is true and my trigger finger is tireless.

The argument that such (lawful) treatment will result in atrocities committed against captured U.S. and allied troops is nullified by the atrocities routinely committed against captured soldiers and civilians alike at the hands of jihadists.

To treat captured terrorists as POWs is to morally and legally equate them to lawful, uniformed combatants. Yet lawful combatants increase the risk to their own lives by upholding the laws of warfare: they do not indiscriminately target civilians; they do not hide behind human shields; they do not hide or cache supplies in religious institutions, schools, or hospitals; they do not move forward in ambulances; they do not disguise themselves as civilians or police or wear the uniforms of their enemies.

There is a flip side to the coin of equivalency: why should anyone adhere to the laws of warfare if, in the end, how you act makes no difference in how you will be treated?