Still Not Getting It

Allahpundit, of the infamous Hot Air, is a tad miffed at hearing about the release of Sadeq Mohammed Saeed.  Here, an apparently blatant Jihadist who knows not why he was detained in the first place, suffered under horrible conditions in the notorious bowels of Guantanimo Bay, and then, after being transferred over to Yemen was released for reasons he does not understand.

Allahpundit was quick to fill in the blanks, explaining that this release came as part of an attempt to improve America’s image around the world.  Beneath the sarcasm, the undertone isn’t too terribly hard to detect, libruls who hate America are making us less safe by trying to appease evil Islamo-Facists and Jihadists.

Yet another rightwing blowhard getting it wrong.  Kinda warms your heart.

There are two primary principles Allahpundit gets wrong or misconstrues.  And both deal with fair treatment.

The first is maybe not something you might expect me to say.  I’ve no problem with locking up or detaining Jihadists.  But, like everything else, you have to do it fairly; you don’t round up everyone who you think might be an enemy, but instead only those that you know are an enemy, and should be able to prove.  Likewise, if you have someone in custody who is a criminal of war, or an enemy combatant, than you keep them, you try them in instances when trial is warranted, or you detain them as POW’s in accordance with the Geneva convention.

You do not, however, forego common sense and release someone you know to be dangerous to improve your image.  So before I pass judgement on that aspect of Saeed’s detainment I would want the facts surrounding the case.  As things stand, he was released because, big surprise, he was being held without being charged.

The point being, quit the tough talk and actually act with a modicum of courage, and have the conviction to charge those you detain.  It’s a thought.

The second point here is exemplified by the blatant irony in this part of Allahpundit’s post:

He was picked up by U.S. troops for waging war on them in a war zone and he’s mystified as to why; to him, that sort of thing is simply what Muslims do, no different than being arrested for praying at the mosque, really. Commit his name to memory: odds are he’ll be turning up on another battlefield or as part of a terror cell somewhere and you’ll want that little mental bell to go off when he does so that you might properly express your feelings about it to our political leaders.

If you don’t see it yet, don’t fret, that’s what I’m here for.

Saqed’s family said they are currently consulting with American lawyers and human rights activists to file a law suit against the American government to demand fair compensation for the damages inflicted on their son who lost one of his eyes because of inadequate treatment.

It should be understood that the wide Jihadist movement against the US is in part fostered by the nefarious treatment with which we handle detainees.  Now, the world may never know what Saeed’s future would hold had we treated him at least fairly, this because he lost an eye back in Gitmo.

This is one story, there are hundreds, maybe thousands just like this, and the larger effect is that abuses that occurred in Abu Ghraib, and in Gitmo, and in black ops prisons help create the image that we are every bit the monster that the leaders of Jihadist movements paint us to be.

We send a guy back without an eye, and Allahpundit is mystified that there are a bunch of people who think we’re the bad guy.

Fair treatment is fair treatment.  It is not coddling, and those who deserve to be detained should be detained and dealt with fairly.  But is also not abuse; abuse, if anything, is a sign of weakness, and only emboldens the enemy.  This makes more sense than the idea that national dissent emboldens the enemy, the charge that Bush and pro war, pro torture blowhards make all the time.

Why is this so?  Simple.  A country that is guided by all voices and is made stronger and succeeds as a result is the epitome of strength.  By contrast, a country that engages in unfair treatment of the enemy, and employs wholesale torture and abuse wears the fangs its enemy accuses it of having, and becomes the monster the warmongers of fundamentalism preach against.

In his instruction guide on how to wage war, Sun Tzu advises that the prisoners taken in war should be treated well, that the survivors of an attack should be nurtured.  He says this because then their soldiers become your soldiers, their people become your people.

It’s a little sad that some Chinese guy who’s been dead for millenia seems to have more sense about him than the President and his apologists. 

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