Monday, March 28, 2005

I've never said our troops were saints, but...

I could never have sympathy for our "prisoners" in Iraq, i.e. insurgent terrorists who were caught shooting at our forces, trying to bomb our forces, etc. However, I'll strike a deal with Bob Herbert and his fellow bleeding hearts: let's see them devote as much energy to Daniel Pearl, Nicholas Berg, Paul Johnson, and Shosei Koda -- maybe then I'll feel bad about Arkan Mohammed Ali's alleged torture.

I'm not saying our troops never tortured anyone, nor am I saying any torture is fine. But if a prisoner can divulge precious information, I have no problem with "methods" being employed to extract such information. Torture isn't the nicest thing to do, nor does it enhance our reputation. Then again, that assumes we gave a damn about enhancing our reputation in France, Germany, Iran, Syria, Libya... So I really don't weep when a prisoner is "humiliated" after being captured for attacking our forces. Michelle Malkin recently blogged about an "enemy combatant" who was released from Gitmo -- and promptly returned to fighting U.S. forces, even taking two Chinese civilians hostage. At least that piece of scum died, but it's a pity he didn't die the first time around. He's not the only one we've released, only to have to fight again: Ms. Malkin linked to Daniel Pipes' blog, which has information on other Gitmo "detainees" who were freed and immediately returned to their terrorist ways.

Frankly, Ali is lucky we took the trouble to capture him. Heaven knows that he and his fellow terrorists wouldn't have been so merciful. Their use of roadside bombs is not just cowardly, but indicative of their intent to take no prisoners. They want strictly to kill, not capture, unless one of our personnel can prove useful.

The ridiculous complaints about how "inhumanely" we treat prisoners reminds me of one of my father's war stories. He was stationed at the Panama Canal for most of World War II, then after he was shipped back to the States, he spent the rest of his service at an Army base (in Massachusetts, I think). I do know that German POWs were being held there. Some served the officers at mealtime, but I don't know if they were "allowed" or it was a way of making them useful. Once our personnel had finished their meals, these POWs had their turn to eat.

One day, my father saw a POW open a tin can of pineapple, dump the entire contents onto a plate, then start consuming it all like it was no big deal. A whole can of pineapple. Never mind that an enemy soldier, someone who had been shooting at our boys, was eating nutritious, rationed food that we needed for ourselves -- it was food most civilians had trouble getting!

The United States, with exceedingly few exceptions, treats our prisoners with more humanity than anyone else. So why do the New York Times and others paint us as the bad guys?

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