25 January 2009

The Question of Torture

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.

So says President Barack Obama in his inaugural speech. Obama, last week, signed an executive order closing the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp in Cuba. This is the place where we keep locked up some really bad people. Our most famous bad guy is a fellow named Said al-Shihri. We released him into Saudi Arabian custody - where he could be rehabilitated. I'm not sure what kind of rehab program he went through - but perhaps he was the perfect student. Top of his class! We can be proud of Said al-Shihri, he's made something of himself. He's no longer just a suicide bomber/terrorist - he's the Al-Qaida Chief of Operations in Yemen! No longer does he have to take orders from others, he's the big shot now.

Al-Shihri is not the only one returning to his former way of life. It seems that these terrorists who we picked up on the battlefield must have missed the action and excitement of shooting at American troops. Sixty-one of those who have been released find a way back to the field of battle in order to pick up where they left off.

We have seemed to have lost track of the point. These people want to kill us. I'm not sure what the difficulty is understanding this. Maybe I should write slower. These...people...want...to...kill...us. They...want...us...dead. I hope that helps.

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is another winner the United States is keeping at Guantanamo. Don't forget he is the mastermind of the September 11, 2001 massacre on American soil. 3,000 human beings lost their lives that day. He is also the uncle of the terrorist Ramzi Yousef who failed to bring down the Twin Towers in 1993. Repeat after me: These...people...want...to...kill...us. They...want...us...dead.

This brings us to the question of torture. Susan Crawford, a retired judge for the Army, explained why she did not recommend a case against terrorist Mohammed al-Qahtani for prosecution.

"The techniques they used were all authorized, but the manner in which they applied them was overly aggressive and too persistent. . . . You think of torture, you think of some horrendous physical act done to an individual. This was not any one particular act; this was just a combination of things that had a medical impact on him, that hurt his health. It was abusive and uncalled for. And coercive. Clearly coercive. It was that medical impact that pushed me over the edge" to call it torture, she said.

Let's take a moment to remember who this Qahtani is. He would have been the 20th hijacker. While we were unable to keep the other 19 hijackers out of the country, we managed with the 20th. Qahtani would have died with all the other hijackers doing his duty for Allah. He obviously doesn't seem to be bothered by the concept of death.

The Washington Post goes on to describe techniques used to get Qahtani to talk to interrogators:

"For 160 days his only contact was with the interrogators," said Crawford, who personally reviewed Qahtani's interrogation records and other military documents. "Forty-eight of 54 consecutive days of 18-to-20-hour interrogations. Standing naked in front of a female agent. Subject to strip searches. And insults to his mother and sister."

At one point he was threatened with a military working dog named Zeus, according to a military report. Qahtani "was forced to wear a woman's bra and had a thong placed on his head during the course of his interrogation" and "was told that his mother and sister were whores." With a leash tied to his chains, he was led around the room "and forced to perform a series of dog tricks," the report shows.

Ooooh. All of this sounds degrading and horrible. How could they do this to Qahtani? Give the man some modicum of respect as being part of the human race. The interrogators insulted his mother and sister. Keep in mind, of course, that if he had thought that his mother or sister had actually had a relationship outside of what he would have thought as acceptable - he himself would have murdered them as a way to keep his family "honor" in tact.

And yes, interrogators did use more coercive tactics to get him to talk. But I still don't see the problem here. The main purpose of government is to keep it's citizens safe. Let us keep in mind three things.

1 - These detainees are not American citizens.

2 - These detainees are people found on the battlefield endangering the lives of American and allied service members.

3 - These...people...want...to...kill...us. They...want...us...dead.

The Post goes on to quote Qahtani's lawyer.
There is no doubt he was tortured," Gitanjali S. Gutierrez, Qahtani's civilian attorney, said this week. "He has loss of concentration and memory loss, and he suffers from paranoia. . . . He wants just to get back to Saudi Arabia, get married and have a family." She said Qahtani "adamantly denies he planned to join the 9/11 attack. . . . He has no connections to extremists." Gutierrez said she believes Saudi Arabia has an effective rehabilitation program and Qahtani ought to be returned there.

Oh, he's innocent. There's a shocker for you. We have prisons all over this country full of innocent people who never did anything wrong in their lives. He wants to go home, get married and have a family. That's very sweet. I applaud his lawyer for coming up with this defense. Never mind that his wife-to-be wouldn't be allowed to leave the house without a male escort, get an education or be an independent minded person always afraid she might do something wrong that may bring her the death penalty by her husband's hand... but let's put that aside for now.

Is torture a preferred method of doing business? No. Should it be an option that is left open? Absolutely.

When I walk over to the gapping hole in the ground in lower Manhattan left there by the Twin Towers I think about those people who lost their lives that day. Businesspeople going about their business, tourists interested in taking a photograph on top of the Towers. Messengers running to and from the Towers delivering packages. I also remember the firemen and policemen running straight into the Towers with no regard for their own personal safety - concerned only about those inside. I remember the moment when the Towers came crashing down, and realizing that those firemen and policemen hadn't the chance to get out.

The terrorists are not afraid of dying. They blow themselves up in the hope of taking us with them. My concerns are not with them. My concerns and prayers are for those whose lives have been cut short by those who do not value life and only value death. If we would have had Khalid Shaikh Mohammed to torture before 9/11 and would have been able to prevent the massacre, I would have been for it.

If torture can prevent another 9/11 - so be it.

As seen on World Net Daily.

18 January 2009


In honor of our current cease-fire I'm re-publishing an article that I wrote a few years back for the University newspaper when I was in Israel. Nothing has changed.

July 24, 2003

I do not ride the buses because I'm afraid that I'll be blown up. In fact, I rented a car here in Israel so I would not have to use the convenient and inexpensive public transportation system. My life and the life of every other Jew in this country has been changed because of the Arab occupation of this land.

What about this "cease-fire"? Doesn't that mean that we are working toward peace over here in Israel? One would think so. But the Jewish woman who was blown up in her own home when a suicide bomber walked in might disagree. It was only a "splinter group" that took responsibility.

Two days ago I was sitting at my friend's kitchen table in a suburb of Jerusalem playing cards. All of a sudden I heard shooting from the nearby Arab village. Did someone say something about a "cease-fire"?

What is being touted as a "cease-fire" is something called a "hudna". A hudna is a tactical cease-fire that allows the Arabs to rebuild their terrorist infrastructure in order to be more effective when the "cease-fire" is called off.

We must listen carefully to the double talk of Yasser Arafat and Abu Mazen when they call for peace with the Jews. Arafat has always used the peace treaty that Mohammed signed with the Quraysh tribe in Mecca in the seventh century as a model for his peace treaties signed with the Jews.

But why should we care about a peace treaty signed hundreds of years ago?

If we do not understand this important event, we will never understand the situation here in Israel.

Israelis here were thrilled when the latest cease-fire was signed. There were pictures in the newspapers showing our young soldiers jumping for joy. Unfortunately, they obviously do not know that a historical mistake is being replayed. It is based on the history of Mohammed and the tribe of Quraysh.

Mohammed originated from the city of Mecca, which was being controlled by the tribe of Quraysh. But in 622 A.D. Mohammed fled to Medina after being forced from Mecca by the Quraysh tribe for preaching a monotheistic message.

While in Medina, Mohammed signed a peace treaty with the tribe of Quraysh that "agreed to remove war from the people for 10 years. During this time...no one is to lay hands on another...evil [is] to be abstained from, and there is to be no raiding or spoliation."

During the next eight years Mohammed concentrated on building his power base and was soon much stronger than the Quraysh tribe. The treaty quickly fell to pieces and Mohammed attacked the Quraysh tribe in 630 A.D. and took the city. The peace treaty was only a tactical tool against the Quraysh tribe.

Here too in Israel we have the same situation. israel has signed peace treaty after peace treaty with the Arabs who occupy this country. These peace treaties mean nothing when Arafat compares them to the peace treaty between Mohammed and the Quraysh tribe of Mecca. This and every other peace treaty is based on the belief that it is acceptable to deceive your enemy if he is stronger than you.

Peace is certainly an honorable goal, but it requires that all parties act honorably. When it is obvious that when the Arabs are not acting in good faith, a peace treaty becomes a death pact. The treaty of Mohammed and the Quraysh tribe is one to be remembered.

The Arabs here certainly do.

17 January 2009

Anti-Israel Rallies

At the moment I seem to be a clearinghouse for other authors, but hey! there's some pretty good writing and analysis out there.

Here's another piece that is well done.  This author analyses the anti-war (anti-Israel) rallies which took place all over the world on January 10th.  
On January 10, the war between Israel and Hamas became a global conflict.  No longer confined to the Gaza Strip, the fighting spread to cities around the world: what were billed as "anti-war" demonstrations from Los Angeles to Copenhagen and beyond were in fact overtly pro-Hamas demonstrations, and on Saturday, January 10 there was an unprecedented eruption of violence and extremism in dozens of European and American cities, surpassing anything seen at anti-war rallies in recent years...
Go ahead and read the entire analysis, it's worth the time.

12 January 2009

The "Middle East Peace Process" and other False Hopes

Pretty Talk Is Not An Answer to Ugly Reality
No phrase represents more of a triumph of hope over experience than the phrase "Middle East peace process."  A close second might be the once-fashionable notion that Israel should "trade land for peace."

Since everybody seems to be criticizing Israel for its military response to the rockets being fired into the country from the Gaza Strip, let me add my criticisms as well.  The Israelis traded land for peace, but they have never gotten the peace, so they should take back the land.
Continue reading the rest of this great article by Thomas Sowell.

04 January 2009

Morals? Ethics? Hamas?

Melanie Phillips has done it again.  She has clearly laid out for all of us the situation that Israel and the world find themselves in.  The moral double standard being applied to Israel and the terrorist entity Hamas.
And so now begins the second and most difficult stage.  Inside Israel, there is both determination and dread as tens of thousands of Israel's conscript army are called to the front.  Untold numbers of these soldiers will lose their lives as the result not merely of the genocidal aims of Hamas (and its Iranian puppet-master) but also the indifference and pusillanimity toward Palestinian terror displayed by world government over the past six decades of Israel's fight for survival, along with the active encouragement of genocidal Islamists by leftists, Jew-haters, Muslims and useful idiots who were on such thuggish display yesterday in the co-ordinated demonstrations in British and other western cities.

Such people have made no protest at the bombardment of Israeli towns by more than 6000 rockets in the past six years, deliberately targeting innocent civilians.  They have made no protest at the way Hamas has used Gazan civilians as human shields, situating its murderous arsenals beneath apartment blocks, in schools and hospitals and mosques in order to maximise the numbers of civilians killed (in order to manipulate all-too pliable western opinion).  No, their protest only starts when Israel finally takes the military action aimed at stopping this genocidal barrage.
Take a look at the full Melanie Phillips's article.  It's important reading. 

02 January 2009

Israel's Battle against Terrorism

I am thrilled that the State of Israel has finally stepped up to do the right thing - defending her citizens.  Having relatives and friends in the areas (once considered safe) now under rocket attacks - it is my sincere wish that Israel not concern itself with world opinion and do what it must do - destroy all terrorists and their supporters.  I pray for the safety of those under those attacks as well as the Israeli soldiers now preparing to invade the Gaza Strip.

Little Green Footballs has done a great job of keeping track of the Israel-Gaza battle.  I am including here links to some of their reporting.

Other links:

Random: Why it's important to watch the "gatekeepers" (media)