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Thread: Torture and Insensitivity
01-07-05, 07:01 AM #1
Torture and Insensitivity
Torture and Insensitivity
January 7, 2005
by Joe Mariani
During his failed Presidential campaign, John Kerry made several glaring mistakes, most of which were downplayed by the "mainstream" media. The most famous was his priceless gift to the Bush campaign: "I actually did vote for the $87 billion... before I voted against it." Another such error was his claim that he could fight a "more sensitive War on Terror." Kerry's detractors and opponents poked quite a bit of fun at this statement. His defenders assured us that Kerry only meant that we should be more careful with the fragile egos of our allies -- by which they meant apologising to the countries whose leaders and other people of influence opposed the war in Iraq for personal gain. Kerry's statement in itself may not have been a mistake, however -- or else the mistake was in saying it out loud.
As events have continued to unfold, and the Left has continued to attack, it has become clear that sensitivity is a major issue to them. The Left savaged Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for not personally signing condolence letters to the families of fallen soldiers. They felt he was being "insensitive." Personally, speaking as the taxpayer/employer, I don't want some touchy-feely Kumbayah-singing milquetoast who wears his heart on his sleeve conducting my defense. I want a no-nonsense firebreathing SOB with a hard layer of bark on him at the helm of what used to be more properly called the War Department. If Rumsfeld wasn't weeping publicly over every soldier's death, it was because he was spending his time trying to figure out how best to prevent any more American casualties than necessary while winning the war. That's as "sensitive" as he needs to be to do his job. The Left, however, is more concerned with whether people in other countries like us than whether we win. It shows the Left's skewed priorities -- image over substance.
The Left continues to characterise President Bush's response to the Indonesian tsunami as "insensitive" because it took him three days to make a public statement. Never mind the fact that almost all the people affected by the disaster were hardly sitting in front of a television awaiting Bush's words -- the Left is mainly concerned with what Europeans think. No one on the Left seems to mind that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan was still on vacation while Bush was making his remarks. No one on the Left seems to know that by January first, the US Navy was already on the scene rendering aid. The USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) carrier strike group was on its way to Indonesia by the time President Bush went before the cameras. The Lincoln is not the only US ship to render aid, either. While Kofi was on the ski slopes, the Seventh Fleet was already deploying ships to the region.
In addition to Lincoln CSG ships already in the area, including USS Shoup (DDG 86), USS Shiloh (CG 67), USS Benfold (DDG 65) and USNS Ranier (T-AOE 7), the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) will provide aid to the region along with elements from its expeditionary strike group, including USS Duluth (LPD 6), USS Milius (DDG 69), USS Rushmore (LSD 47), USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), USS Thach (FFG 43), and USCGC Munro (WHEC 724).
In addition, six U.S. maritime pre-positioning ships -- large cargo ships loaded with stocks of food, fresh water and other relief supplies -- from Guam and Korea will enter the region and begin contributing their resources to the humanitarian effort. The ships are laden with enough equipment and supplies to support 15,000 Marines for one month. They are equipped with water purification machines and evaporators capable of producing more than 100,000 gallons of potable water per day and pumping it to shore from up to two miles away, road-making supplies, electrical power generators and a host of other emergency supplies and equipment.
The Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Unit No. 6 from Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is set to join the humanitarian effort in Southern Asia Jan. 2 by sending 43 medical professionals into the area to administer a range of medical assistance, including disease assessment and treatment, water-quality and food-quality testing, mosquito and insect assessment, and chemical analysis.
Meanwhile, the fight to conduct a sensitive War on Terror continues with the Left's attacks on proposed Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Gonzales' fatal flaw, apparently, is telling the truth about the law. In 2002, he correctly noted that the War on Terror "renders obsolete" the prohibitions against torture in the Geneva Conventions. In fact, the Geneva Conventions specifically excludes terrorists from their protection. According to the 1949 Geneva Convention IV, article 4, part 2, prisoners of war must be former members of the regular armed forces, non-combatants, or:
Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfill the following conditions:
(a) That of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
(b) That of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;
(c) That of carrying arms openly;
(d) That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.
Terrorists don't meet even one of the four standards a protected prisoner must. Legally, as Gonzales pointed out, there is no Geneva Convention protection for terrorists. For telling the truth, he is demonised as condoning torture. (The Left even blames him for the prisoner mistreatment at Abu Ghraib -- which was a matter of individuals committing unlawful acts for which they were charged, not state-sanctioned torture.) If keeping a terrorist -- a person dedicated to the mass murder of innocents -- awake for a few days, feeding him bread and water, scaring him with a barking dog or making him stand for a few hours might prevent another 9/11, then it's a fair trade. None of the approved interrogation methods could realistically be considered "torture," as no damage is done to the terrorist in question.
Of course, the Left defines torture as, "anything that makes the subject vaguely uncomfortable," where the subject is one of America's enemies. I wonder if "having to listen to Liberals continually attack America" meets that standard?
IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY LATE HUSBAND, SSgt Roger A. Alfano, USMC
ONE PROUD MARINE
Once a Marine...Always a Marine
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