You Call This Torture?

It looks like we’ve completely lost our minds. If you think we’re mistreating the terrorists being held at Guantanamo Bay, think again. We may actually be giving them more comfort and respect than they’ve ever enjoyed in their lives. All one hears from the main stream media is how we have to stop torturing these prisoners.

Now, in an article in the online edition of the New York Post, Richard Miniter (best selling author and expert on terrorism), who recently returned from a tour of Guantanamo, tells quite a different story. You can read the whole article here, but I’ll give you a sample:

The Pentagon seemed to be hoping to disarm its critics by showing them how well it cares for captured terrorists. The trip was more alarming than disarming. I spent several hours with Rear Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., who heads the joint task force that houses and interrogates the detainees. (The military isn’t allowed to call them “prisoners.”)The high-minded critics who complain about torture are wrong. We are far too soft on these guys – and, as a result, aren’t getting the valuable intelligence we need to save American lives.

The politically correct regulations are unbelievable. Detainees are entitled to a full eight hours sleep and can’t be woken up for interrogations. They enjoy three meals and five prayers per day, without interruption. They are entitled to a minimum of two hours of outdoor recreation per day.

Interrogations are limited to four hours, usually running two – and (of course) are interrupted for prayers. One interrogator actually bakes cookies for detainees, while another serves them Subway or McDonald’s sandwiches. Both are available on base. (Filet o’ Fish is an al Qaeda favorite.)

And lest you think that accommodating their sleeping, eating, exercising, and praying needs is all the consideration they get, we are apparently accommodating their planning, plotting, weapon-making, and al Qaeda cell-forming needs as well.

Adm. Harris admitted to me that a multi-cell al Qaeda network has developed in the camp. Military intelligence can’t yet identify their leaders, but notes that they have cells for monitoring the movements and identities of guards and doctors, cells dedicated to training, others for making weapons and so on.

And they can make weapons from almost anything. Guards have been attacked with springs taken from inside faucets, broken fluorescent light bulbs and fan blades. Some are more elaborate. “These folks are MacGyvers,” Harris said.

Other cells pass messages from leaders in one camp to followers in others. How? Detainees use the envelopes sent to them by their attorneys to pass messages. (Some 1,000 lawyers represent 440 prisoners, all on a pro bono basis, with more than 18,500 letters in and out of Gitmo in the past year.) Guards are not allowed to look inside these envelopes because of “attorney-client privilege” – even if they know the document inside is an Arabic-language note written by a prisoner to another prisoner and not a letter to or from a lawyer.

That’s right: Accidentally or not, American lawyers are helping al Qaeda prisoners continue to plot.There is little doubt what this note-passing and weapons-making is used for. The military recorded 3,232 incidents of detainee misconduct from July 2005 to August 2006 – an average of more than eight incidents per day. Some are nonviolent, but the tally includes coordinated attacks involving everything from throwing bodily fluids on guards (432 times) to 90 stabbings with homemade knives. One detainee slashed a doctor who was trying to save his life; the doctors wear body armor to treat their patients.

Meanwhile, we’re spending a fortune giving them free dental care, vaccinations, eyeglasses, and prosthetic limbs.

Are the people who create these policies so afraid of criticism from political rivals and the international community that they’ve lost all focus on who these prisoners are?

Reading this article, I can’t help but think that we’ve completely lost our minds.

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Hit Us With Your Best Shot!

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, you don’t want to miss the Holocaust Cartoon Fair. You’ll have to go to Tehran, but I hear it’s worth the trip. (If you want to read all about it, click here.)

“We staged this fair to explore the limits of freedom Westerners believe in,” Masoud Shojai, head of the country’s “Iran Cartoon” association and the fair organizer, said.

“They can freely write anything they like about our prophet, but if one raises doubts about the Holocaust he is either fined or sent to prison,” he added.

Prison? I never knew that.

The contest was announced in February in a tit-for-tat move after caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed were first printed in Denmark and then picked up and published worldwide, enraging Muslims.

Over 200 cartoons will be on display. Prizes will be awarded for the top three entries.

These guys bring out the nit-picker in me. So while I’m at it, how do we spell holocaust?

irainian-women.jpg

Iranian women attend the international cartoon contest on the Holocaust in Tehran. (AFP/Behrouz Mehri)

But seriously, I’ll take a cartoon war over the other kind any day of the week.

 

Is Killing Them the Only Answer? YES!

Here are a few passages from a fine and disturbing article written by Steven M. Warshawsky for The American Patriot. (It’s worth reading the whole thing, and here’s the link.)

Two recent articles on National Review Online demonstrate what I consider to be the two biggest failures to date in thinking about the War on Terror: a studied refusal by most westerners—including American conservatives who support the war—to admit that we are in a clash of civilizations with militant Islam, and a concomitant failure to recognize that America and her allies have not fought this war with anywhere near the ferocity required to win.

In discussing the second of the two articles, entitled “Hawkish Gloom” by Stanley Kurtz, Warshawsky says:

Kurtz recognizes the deadly seriousness of our present confrontation with militant Islam. He fears “we’re on a slow-motion track” to both world war abroad and nuclear terror at home. But rather than blow the trumpet and rally the troops, Kurtz sighs, shrugs his shoulders, and slumps down in the grip of powerlessness and despair. Or as he puts it, “hawkish gloom.”

…Kurtz further argues that, due to the nature of modern terrorist organizations, “decisive military victory” cannot be achieved against the forces of militant Islam. Implacable? Incapable of being defeated?

With all due respect, this is nonsense. No different than the myth of the invincible Viet Cong during the Vietnam War.

The truth is, to date, we have not made any effort to destroy the forces of militant Islam. We have only engaged in limited conventional actions in Afghanistan and Iraq and (supposedly) covert ops worldwide. That’s it. We haven’t mobilized the American people for war. We haven’t destroyed Iran and Syria. We haven’t closed radical mosques or shut down the jihadist propaganda networks. We haven’t conducted targeted assassinations of jihadi leaders across the globe. We haven’t made it clear to the terrorists and their supporters that they cannot win and that they will die.

How can Kurtz be so sure the enemy cannot be defeated? We haven’t even tried.

Warshawsky concludes that, “…the answer is to fight harder, not resign ourselves to an even deadlier future”, and I agree.

We are so damn civilized that we can’t conceive of an enemy that can’t be talked to, can’t be negotiated with, and can’t be motivated by anything we have to offer or threaten. You might as well try to negotiate with cockroaches under your kitchen sink. There is only one answer, and that is to defeat them – that means kill them. That is the only situation under which they will no longer be a danger.

The impracticality of thinking that we can kill each and every Islamofascist in the world is obvious. But we can try to kill as many as possible, and weaken them as a group. We will always have to be on guard for the individual terrorist, here in America and everywhere else in the world. But the dead ones can’t attack us.

That many innocents will die in the conflict is certain. But that can’t be the primary concern. If this war is not fought in earnest, and with a clear determination to win and protect the people, land, culture and values that we hold dear, then we will all die anyway. Many civilians died during World War II. Would you rather that we had never taken up the fight? Would you like to live in a world meekly given over to the likes of Hitler and Tojo? For that is surely where we’re headed if we don’t wise up, and quickly.

Published in: on August 11, 2006 at 10:02 pm  Comments (6)  

Monster of the 21st Century

I haven’t written anything about the war in the Middle East, principally because other blogs, like bookwormroom, for example, are handling the issues so well. But I would like to share a Letter to the Editor I read in Saturday’s Orange County Register. It was written by Kevin Diamant, of Irvine, CA.

I am sick of all the ignorant letter-writers who blame Israel for the violence in the Middle East. Israel was created as a Jewish homeland after World War II so that the Jews would never again be without someone to fight for them. The Jews took a worthless strip of desert and made it bloom and introduced democracy to the region.

In her first 25 years Israel was attacked three times by the enemies that surround her and forced to fight for her life. When they found that they could not defeat her in a conventional war, her enemies turned to terrorism and began deliberately targeting unarmed, unsuspecting civilians. This tactic is a direct challenge to civilized society and cannot be supported by sane reasoning. What sort of world would we have if anyone with a grievance strapped on a bomb and headed for the nearest public gathering place? Yes, civilians die when Israel defends herself, but, unlike the terrorists, civilian death is not what Israel seeks.

Israel frequently eschews bombs and missiles and puts her soldiers at great risk in close-quarters fighting so that civilian lives may be spared. When civilians are killed, it is often because the terrorists hide among them. Those who see Israel’s actions as morally equivalent to the terrorists’ actions put us all on a slippery slope toward a world in which no one will be safe.

I fear for a world in which so many people cannot tell the difference between good and evil, or who lack the courage to name evil for what it is. Right now Israel is standing toe to toe with the monster of the 21st century, and she deserves our unflagging support.

I especially like the last paragraph, in which Mr. Diamant calls terrorists the “monster of the 21st century.” He got it right. To me, a monster is something that can’t be reasoned with, so must be killed. Despite the cease fire and international monitoring that may eventually come out of the diplomatic efforts underway, I cannot see how there will ever be a meeting of the minds without a complete turnabout in the thinking of Israel’s (and our) enemies. I am very pessimistic about that happening. Personally, I’d rather just see Israel finish the job.

Published in: on July 31, 2006 at 6:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

No Need to Learn English

Yet another reason why immigrants needn’t bother to learn English…

Today’s Orange County Register tells of a Spanish Language school where Korean business owners are learning Spanish (click here for complete article).

…mostly middle-age Korean students…are taking language lessons at the Martin Spanish College. Many are small-business owners who do not speak English.

How can you fault them for choosing to put their effort into learning Spanish instead of English? It’s a very practical decision for them, and just another sad indicator of where we’re headed.

The school’s founder, Martin Paik, taught Spanish to Koreans in Buenos Aires, Asuncion, Paraguay and Los Angeles. In 1997, he established a language school in Southern California and now teaches 120 students in Los Angeles and Orange County.

“It’s imperative to know Spanish nowadays,” Paik said in Korean. “Here in California, lots of Koreans work with Hispanic customers and employees. If you can’t speak Spanish, you can’t do business well.”

Paik never learned English. He said he’s been too busy teaching Spanish.

Posted by judyrose July 11, 2006

Published in: on July 12, 2006 at 2:50 am  Comments (5)  

Phonetic Spelling Plan: Education for Idiots, by Idiots!

According to Associated Press writer Darlene Superville, the American Literacy Council wants to change English so that all words are spelled phonetically (click here for complete article).

Notwithstanding the errors of fact by ALC spokesman Alan Mole, who argues in favor of phonetic spelling (did you know German is a phonetically spelled language? Try Kreuz or Sie), if this is the best answer the education elite can come up with to improve our kids’ reading and writing skills, we’re in a heap o’ trouble.

Generation after generation, the native-born and the immigrant – when sufficiently motivated – have managed to master basic English. What we really need is a reaffirmation of high standards and personal discipline, maintained by parents and teachers who value real achievement over unearned “self-esteem.”

This is no small thing the Council is talking about. Words get much of their meaning from their prefixes, suffixes, and roots. Superville quotes Professor Donald Bear, director of the E.L. Cord Foundation Center for Learning and Literacy at the University of Nevada, Reno, who objects to the plan. He says:

Students come to understand how meaning is preserved in the way words are spelled.

Simply put, the entire purpose of language is the communication of meaning. The ALC plan obliterates key components of the way meaning is communicated.

Education by idiots, and for idiots, will create legions of idiots. People can learn how to spell and read our common language – if they can be protected from crackpot theorists like the American Literacy Council.

Published in: on July 6, 2006 at 11:02 pm  Comments (2)  

Illegal Immigration: Answer to the Social Security Crisis?

Can someone in Washington be thinking that allowing illegal immigrants to participate in the Social Security system will shore up the worker-to-retiree ratio and save the system? I’m just waiting for some politician to tell us that this is one of the great benefits of granting amnesty to illegals.

If I remember correctly from my days as a Social Security employee back in the 1970s, for people who work in the lowest paying jobs, the ratio between what they pay into the system vs. what they will be entitled to receive makes them a net drain on the fund.

Published in: on July 1, 2006 at 6:08 am  Leave a Comment