September 28, 2006

"Voters now confront a Republican Party that understands the breadth of the threat but has bungled the central campaign..."

"... and a Democratic Party that is quick to criticize but lacks an understanding of the jihadists and a strategy for confronting them," writes David Brooks, aptly.
Worse, more and more people are falling for the Grand Delusion — the notion that if we just leave the extremists alone, they will leave us alone. On the right, some believe that if we just stop this Wilsonian madness of trying to introduce democracy into the Arab world, we can return to an age of stability and balance. On the left, many people can’t seem to fathom an enemy the U.S. isn’t somehow responsible for. Others think the entire threat has been exaggerated by Karl Rove for the sake of political scaremongering.
If you have TimesSelect, you can read the whole thing. But it's not as though there's an answer to all this.

62 comments:

StrangerInTheseParts said...

No, there is no easy answer to terrorism... but as the years pass, hopefully the full-on extremists of the right and left will lose their vogue. This country will fair much better if it can start to run itself with leaders, voters and ideas that aspire to find concensus.

The most damaging thing about terrorism is it strengthens the extremists in the culture of those who the terrorists attack. Terrorists thrive where they can divide their enemies against themselves.

Fenrisulven said...

This country will fair much better if it can start to run itself with leaders, voters and ideas that aspire to find concensus.

Consensus? I have to disagree. With Winston on the backbench in 1938 the consensus was "if we don't offend Hitler, he will leave us alone". I wonder where Europe would be today if one man didn't have the courage to swim against consensus.

Paul Zrimsek said...

And here I thought the most damaging thing about terrorism was the demolished buildings, crashed airliners, and lost lives. To me our extremists look as marginalized as ever.

Tim said...

Consensus is impossible. One party knows militant Islamic fascists are a threat to America, civilization and global progress. The other party thinks Republicans, especially George Bush and the neocons, are the enemy.

While I never expect to see it in my lifetime, it will be a great day in American when the Left hates the militant Islamic fascists as much as they hate Republicans, and can explain and defend Republicans with at least the same passion and sensitivity they have for the militant Islamic fascists.

Doyle said...

On the left, many people can’t seem to fathom an enemy the U.S. isn’t somehow responsible for. Others think the entire threat has been exaggerated by Karl Rove for the sake of political scaremongering.

This certainly sounds bad. I wonder if David thought about specifying whom he meant by "more and more people", "many" or "others." The left is obviously leading the league in unattributed dumb opinions.

Tom C said...

Tim - Obviously, there can be no consensus with you, as you have labeled people who disagree with you as traitors and fools. But with the middle 90% of the country, there is quite broad consensus on a few key items: 1) terrorists are bad and are clearly more interested in harming us than they were, say, 10 years ago; 2) we need to defend ourselves differently than we did then; 3) no government is always right about everything, and 4) criticism is not traitorous.

Tim, even you clearly agree with #1 and #2. When a crazy on the left says, "if I disagree with President Bush, can he label me an enemy combatant and lock me away with no access to a court?", they get no comfort from attitudes like yours.

Too Many Jims said...

Fenrisulven: History may show that a "consensus" view is wrong; but in a democracy it is important. For long term matters in democracy it is necessary.

Take the Cold War for example. There was a fairly consistent line from Truman through Reagan that the Soviets were our enemy. Reagan may have been better than Carter. Nixon (advised by Kissinger) may have taken a different approach than JFK/Johnson. But they all stood against the Soviets.

I think think a nice middle ground, one which would generate consensus by pulling together Republicans, independents and Democrats who have supported the efforts in the war on terror (e.g. Hillary Clinton) would be to start with a competent and effective war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan. By competent and effective, I do not mean to suggest that the military has been anything less than competent. What I mean is that the Administration has been unwilling to allocate the necessary resources to the war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan for the the military to be effective.

The Drill SGT said...

Tim,

I think you are mislabeling the positions. If you focus on Party, rather than creed, you can't find any middle ground or uniting message.

There are appeasers, mostly on the Left, but some neo-isolationists on the right fringe as well, behave as this were Munich in 1938 and we can buy off those who want to destroy and enslave us.

"An appeaser is a guy who throws his friends to the alligator in hopes that the alligator will eat him last." - Winston Churchill

Then there are others of us who see that this GWOT is the fight of our lives. Across multiple dimensions, economic, cultural, political, military, pyschological, etc.

We need a Churchill.

Fenrisulven said...

4) criticism is not traitorous.

If its made in good faith. Too often, the criticism is meant to gain political traction [Party trumps Nation].

Fenrisulven said...

Jim: What I mean is that the Administration has been unwilling to allocate the necessary resources to the war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan for the the military to be effective.

See, I agree with everything else in your post, but not this. However, I do believe your point is valid [not partisan or traitorous], but only b/c I've read enough of you to realize you are logical and serious. Can you understand [what I was saying to Dolye yesterday] how after all the BushLied-HaliburtonOil-RushToWar-BushKnew-LIHOP-etc nonsense, many of us on the Right are [wrongfully] skeptical of & immunized from legitimate criticism?

Its sometimes hard to distinguish the Moonbats from the Sane Left. I'm sure you've been shouted down and insulted by Righties who mistakenly fired at you, after being frustrated from encounters with true Moonbats.

I guess I'm saying that the consensus you [rightfully] seek is unlikely until the Sane Wing of the Democrat Party lops off the Moonbat Wing. They poison the dialogue, to the detriment of both of us.

altoids1306 said...

I agree entirely with the article.

(And why is it I have TimesSelect? I have liberal friends who believe reading the NYT will somehow change me.)

Doyle said...

A word from the real Russ Feingold

Mr. President, we wouldn’t be where we are today, five years after September 11 with not a single Guantanamo Bay detainee having been brought to trial, if the President had come to Congress in the first place, rather than unilaterally creating military commissions that didn’t comply with the law. The President wanted to act on his own, and he dared the Supreme Court to stop him. And he lost. The Hamdan decision was an historic rebuke to an Administration that has acted for years as if it were above the law.

Finally, only because he was essentially ordered to do so by the Supreme Court, the President has agreed to consult with Congress. I would have hoped that we would take this opportunity to pass legislation that allows us to proceed in accordance with our laws and our values. That is what separates America from our enemies. These trials, conducted appropriately, have the potential to demonstrate to the world that our democratic, constitutional system of government is our greatest strength in fighting those who attacked us.

And that is why I am saddened that I must oppose this legislation. Because, Mr. President, the trials conducted under this legislation will send a very different signal to the world, one that I fear will put our own troops and personnel in jeopardy both now and in future conflicts. To take just a few examples, this legislation would permit an individual to be convicted on the basis of coerced testimony and hearsay, would not allow full judicial review of the conviction, and yet would allow someone convicted under these rules to be put to death. That is simply unacceptable. We would not stand for another country to try our citizens under those rules, and we should not stand for our own government to do so, either.

Tim said...

"Tim, even you clearly agree with #1 and #2. When a crazy on the left says, "if I disagree with President Bush, can he label me an enemy combatant and lock me away with no access to a court?", they get no comfort from attitudes like yours."

Really?

How many crazies on the Left have disagreed with President Bush and then labeled as enemy combatant and locked away with no access to a court?

Regardless, is it my (or anyone's) responsibility to provide comfort to crazies on the Left who fear being labeled enemy combatants and locked up without access to the courts?

Is coddling crazies the price of consensus?

Moreover, I think you are profoundly mistaken about your notion of broad consensus on the "middle 90% of the country." Nearly half the country wants to retreat in the face of the enemy, even though we outnumber him, have better weapons and nearly all advantages over him save the political will to win.

Finally, you completely misread and misunderstand me to think I have "labeled people who disagree with you as traitors and fools."

Only some of them are traitors and fools, and most of those fools mostly because they have bad information.

Doyle said...

Regardless, is it my (or anyone's) responsibility to provide comfort to crazies on the Left who fear being labeled enemy combatants and locked up without access to the courts?

Well, yes.

The "comfort" you refer to is habeas corpus, which is sort of a bedrock principle of constitutional goverment.

Were you honestly taught in school that the U.S. government can lock people up indefinitely without trial? What about torture: legal or illegal?

I swear to God, Tim might be rabid enough to raise eyebrows at LGF.

Fenris: "LIHOP" is hardly a part of the Democratic party platform. No one in the public forum really espouses it. There's plenty of room between that and "Bush did more than Clinton."

Tim said...

Drill Sergeant,

Yes, but Brooks column was on the parties, so therefore my initial response.

Extremists on both the far Right and the Left a completely wrong on this issue, albeit for different reasons and different motivations. Although they are nuts in their own way, I don't think most of the isolationists on the far Right actually want us to lose. I think they somehow believe we can turn the clock back to the 1880's and mind our own business and to hell with the rest of the world. Their views on immigration, trade and other international issues suggest somehow America can be a self-sufficient island unto itself without any foreign entanglements whatsoever. They're wrong of course, but at least most of them aren't animated by the thrill of our enemies potentially defeating us in the war.

I also don't think any of them think Bush and the neocons are a greater enemy than the militant Islamic fascists, no matter how much they hold Bush and the neocons in contempt.

Doyle said...

Here's what I think Tim thinks is going on here.

Kirk Parker said...

"But it's not as though there's an answer to all this."

As is so often the case, Orwell has an answer, though it's not one that he (or I) would actually recommend:

"The quickest way to end a war is to lose it."

monkeyboy said...

the trials conducted under this legislation will send a very different signal to the world, one that I fear will put our own troops and personnel in jeopardy both now and in future conflicts

Every time I see this I think of the old man being stoned to death in "Life of Brian". "Worse! How could it possiblly be worse!"

Are they going to use exra rusty knives to cut throats? There is an argument to be made, but this isn't it. Being nice to this enemy has gained us nothing but his contempt.

Tim said...

"Were you honestly taught in school that the U.S. government can lock people up indefinitely without trial? What about torture: legal or illegal?"

Can you read?

Crazies on the Left aren't at risk of being labeled enemy combatants unless they actually take up arms against the nation, so they have nothing to fear unless, of course, they plan on taking arms up against the nation. Most won't.

Regardless, habeas corpus doesn't apply to enemy combatants. And yes, I was honestly taught in school that the U.S. government can lock people up indefinitely without trial - I seem to recall a minor incident in U.S. history called the civil war in which exactly that happened. I know it was a small detail, easily overlooked, so please don't hold your school accountable for failing to teach it to you. However, since then the internet has developed, and you can probably do some research on this in your spare time.

As for the legality of torture, it clearly is illegal for military personnel, according to all the field manuals and regs with which I'm familiar. I'm less familiar with the laws and regs regarding the intelligence agencies, but I suspect it is illegal for them as well, and would bet that way. I'm also sure coercive interrogation techniques aren't illegal. The policy question is, is there a bright line between torture and coercive interrogation? The Left has decidedly come down on the side of "no, there isn't, all coercive interrogations are, by definition, torture."

I don't subscribe to this position, obviously, as I think it unnecessarily empowers our enemies and puts American lives at risk, but I understand not everyone has the same concerns I do.

Doyle said...

It is the weakest one, I agree.

What about it just being morally abhorrent to torture people and/or imprison them without trial?

That is what the U.S. government can do systematically once this legislation is passed.

Land of the mostly free and utterly cowardly.

Kirk Parker said...

Doyle,

I call Godwin on you. Good grief, surely even you agree there's a wide difference of opinion in the country on how we ought to respond; what's per se illegitimate about a person claiming some of those positions might have bad consequences?

Doyle said...

Regardless, habeas corpus doesn't apply to enemy combatants.

"Enemy combatant" is a totally made-up term!!!

They are just detainees whose status as "enemy combatant" is purely left to the government's discretion.

It's just the term the administration uses for the hundreds of people we've detained, tortured, or had tortured in secret prisons. That's what makes them "enemy combatants."

A lot of them (like the recent example of Mr. Arar), had done nothing wrong.

You need trials to identify legally the actual terrorists/enemies.

Doyle said...

I call Godwin on you.

Whatever.

quietnorth said...

Something I heard on the radio this morning, poorly quoted here: "when your car is going off the cliff, your options are limited".

tjl said...

Doyle insists,
"You need trials to identify legally the actual terrorists/enemies."

Can you be specific about what level of procedural due process you are demanding for terrorist suspects? Miranda warnings? Pretrial discovery? Right to confrontation of witnesses?

If this is what you have in mind, how is it workable in a battlefield context?

The Drill SGT said...

quietnorth said...
Something I heard on the radio this morning, poorly quoted here: "when your car is going off the cliff, your options are limited".

putting things into perspective and recalling Kharzi the other day (my words here):
"when you are on the 80th floor of a burning building, trying to learn to fly may be your best option"

I'm being flip here, but the simple asnwer is:

"Take no prisoners"

or as my branch of service historically said:

"The Cavalry does not seek quarter, and gives none"

Tim said...

""Enemy combatant" is a totally made-up term!!!"

I suppose, in the sense that all words and terms initially had to be created, yes, "enemy combatant" is a "totally made-up term," but to the literate reader, it is not bereft of meaning.

Just as your wikipedia reference is not bereft of meaning, although it, unlike the term "enemy combatant," is not remotely close to my point. There are far better examples throughout history, going back to the ancient Greeks, to which an informed person might have referred, albeit I understand none of them would have conveyed your intended insult.

Regardless, Brooks' point remains largely true, especially in reference to the feckless Democrats. That their fecklessness is so transparent that the token conservative at the NY Times is allowed to comment on it is surely disconcerting to you, but really, in the scheme of things that's a mere trifle.

The American people have proven themselves to have a much better appreciation of the issues at hand than the NY Times, so I remain confident despite the NY Times and your best efforts, we'll be allowed to continue to prosecute the war to defeat our enemies.

Anonymous said...

DrillSgt --

Totally off-topic: a while back you recommended Beevor's works on the battles of Berlin and Stalingrad. Thanks -- I've enjoyed both, and followed them up with D-Day and Citizen Soldiers.

Any recommendations for a good history of the Pacific theater?


vw: oyfro. No comment.

Fenrisulven said...

See what I mean? We can't have a honest discussion about our differences without people like Doyle running us around in Fallacy Circles.

Doyle said...

I heard Lynndie England made prisoners run around in Fallacy Circles at Abu Ghraib.

Or maybe those were Phallus Circles...

Too Many Jims said...

Fenrisulven: I didn't figure you would agree on the allocation of resources to the war effort. But I would add since the last time you and I bantered about this that apparently the Army's Chief of Staff (that's the current one) disagrees about how much is being allocated to the Army.

I can understand how one can be skeptical of another's position because the falls back to useless political rhetoric rather than arguing from facts and principles. For example, I would tend to dismiss one's arguments if he were to say that a Senator (e.g. Sununu) voted to strike the habeas provisions because the Senator cares more about the rights of terrorists than he does about protecting this country.

I don't think that one is "immunized from legitimate criticism" because some of his opponent's use moronic rhetoric.

At this point there are "moonbats" on the left who bleive the sky is blue, but if Bush woke up tomorrow and said the sky was blue these freaks would declare the sky was red.

Conversely there are "wingnuts" on the right who think the sky is red. But once Bush says "the sky is blue", they commit themselves to the promotion of notion that the sky is blue and decrying all those who would believe the sky is red.

It is odd. I have no idea who started it but I just want it to fricking stop.

The "war" that we are involved with is going to take a long time to resolve. If the Cold War took (basically) 45-50 years, this one may take as long or longer. Democrats need to take this seriously. Republicans need to get their head around the notion that at various points during this period of "war", there is going to be a Dem Senate Majority Leader, Speaker of the House and President. Calling them traitors is not a good way to convince them of the strengths of our arguments.

Sorry it took me a while to respond. I had to take a nap, thanks for not flaming me too much in the interim.

The Drill SGT said...

If you want Strategy on the Theater, I would find a biography of Nimitz or McArthur. I'l see what I can locate.

http://www.amazon.com/Nimitz-E-B-Potter/dp/0870214926/sr=1-1/qid=1159473869/ref=pd_bbs_1/104-5122680-4607110?ie=UTF8&s=books

http://www.amazon.com/Marine-Chesty-Puller-Burke-Davis/dp/0553271822

As for the best personal views of the war, the classic is: Guadalcanal Diary

http://www.amazon.com/Guadalcanal-Diary-Modern-Library-War/dp/0679640231/sr=8-3/qid=1159473452/ref=pd_bbs_3/104-5122680-4607110?ie=UTF8&s=books

and as always, you can do worse than the offical US Army History series. Guadalcanal, The First Offensive

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_b/104-5122680-4607110?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=guadalcanal+the+first+offensive


and as always, most anything from this list

http://home.comcast.net/~antaylor1/usmccommandant.html

Or the "Victory at Sea" videos

dick said...

Doyle,

You really need to read a little more about Arar before you bloviate about him. He was declared a terrorist by the RCMP and they asked the US to hold him. Then the Canadian government refused to accept him back into Canada. The US did not want him as he was not a citizen and was a declared terrorist so they sent him to his country of birth, Syria. What Syria did had nothing to do with us. Finally Canada decided to take him back so he was sent back. Now tell us again about what we had to do with his torture in any way, shape or form!!

Anonymous said...

Drill Sgt --

Thanks for the recommendations. That's enough to get me started!

Too Many Jims said...

"The US did not want him as he was not a citizen and was a declared terrorist so they sent him to his country of birth, Syria. What Syria did had nothing to do with us."

Not that I want to get in between you and anohter commenter, but this is either disingenuous or whoever handed him over to the Syrians should be fired. Are you serious that what we do with someone who is not a citizen but has been declared a terrorist is turn them over to their country of origin without asking what is going to be done with him? If Canada presented us with an Iranian terrorist should we just hand him over to Iran?

Cedarford said...

altoids1306 said...
I agree entirely with the article.

(And why is it I have TimesSelect? I have liberal friends who believe reading the NYT will somehow change me.)


Well, cool! If your liberal friends or business is paying for your subscription! Otherwise, it doesn't seem to be worth the money.

I feel particularly sorry for David Brooks in this NYTimes business decision, because he was relatively new and was getting a wider readership with his generally good moderate-conservative writing.

Brooks also mentioned the sentiment of the Iraqi people towards the USA refected in the new polls, which seems to indicate the Shia have swung against us, want us out ASAP, and 60% regard us as legitimate targets for killing. Only the Kurds are now favorably disposed to us.

Not a good picture for the neocons and Wilsonians....

**********************

Doyle insists on trying to force-fit war into the only mental paradigm he believes he has a grip on...that of a criminal justice system where guilty enemy and innocent enemy are separated by the adversarial criminal justice system.

"Doyle insists,
You need trials to identify legally the actual terrorists/enemies.

"Enemy combatant" is a totally made-up term!!!

In war, we lack the means or will to hire hundreds of thousands of lawyers or draft them against their will to represent the hundreds of thousands or millions of captured enemy in conflicts like the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Vietnam. No civilization has EVER tried to sort out war prisoners as "innocent - draftees against their will, just conscripted labor, convict battalions, war merchants caught with the enemy, camp followers, civilian technicians from Mongol civilian Yurt-makers that accompanied Ghenghis to present day.

Enemy combatant is a term used throughout history and is a pivotal term in military law and SCOTUS decisions like Quirin and Eisentracher. It is a "totally made up term" in the sense that 'B-2 bomber' is. What exists and is real - enemy combatant, a stealth bomber - has to be called something.

Enemy combatant is actually a step up from the other generic depictor of everyone alinged against your side - the enemy, the foe - which includes enemy non-combatants.

The important thing to remember is most enemy are not criminals, do not think they are criminals under their operative legal codes even if they violate ours...and THE fatal flaw on the Left is their insistance at now trying to create a separate reality after 8,000 years of warfare as a phenomenon that can be made to fall under law enforcement and criminal due process.

Worse, the Left seems to believe that captured enemy should be free to access our civilian courts with full habeas rights, even the ability to sue American soldiers for transgressions like serving cold food...

Doyle, and I agree he is feckless, says: A lot of them (like the recent example of Mr. Arar), had done nothing wrong.

Where was Canadian-Syrian citizen and Islamic activist Mr. Arar captured? In what active war zone? How far away from Canada? It may come as a shock to Doyle, but people who have done "nothing wrong" just be drafted against their will, civilians just unfortunate to be in the vicinity of the enemy - die, are maimed, are captured and held without trial. (2.2 million Nazi soldiers and civilians were held without trial 'till WWII's end. Then civilian and military war criminals were judged by military tribunals for war crimes or for de-nazification processes.)

Funny how many Muslim Westerners just happened to be in a dangerous war zone as (1)Tourists;(2)Looking up old friends;(3)exploring business opportunities;(4)Trying to further their peaceful religious education....But even the truly innocent and their "backers" should understand that innocence and guilt play no part in decisions to kill patriotic, innocent soldiers who have committed no crime, civilians unlucky enough to be near them or mistaken for them. And to understand that normally in ANY war, a certain number of "innocent" enemy civilians are scooped up and detained along with uniformed enemy. That is why we have laws 300 years old dealing with interning enemy alien nationals or enemy agents of citizenship "on our side"..and International Law sanctions internment without trial in wartime.

The Drill SGT said...

Jim C.

If we have somebody on a terrorist list who is not a US citizen, but we have not sufficent evidence to try him should we:

A. lock him up at Gitmo? I think you'd say no.
B. let him free in this country?
C. Send him home on the next plane as we do all the time to non citizen undesirables who overstay their welcome here.
D. and if he is a citzen of 2 countries and one won't take him and the other will? should we just allow him to go off to somewhere else instead to continue his activities?

Folks on the left always have complaints, but never are willing to make tough choices.

What should we have done with somebody that a friendly government said was a terrorist?

altoids1306 said...

cedarford:

Haha, no, I don't pay a dime for the NYT. Why would I fund an institution that actively works against my interests?

--------------------

All this recent talk of terrorism in the run-up to the election just makes me want to throw my hands up in frustration and say, "ok, you win, we'll pull out, and just watch Islamic terrorism consume the entire region." We are not Rome. We don't need to defend the known world to protect ourselves. The rest of the world could be shot to hell, we'd still do just fine. Let's say oil went to $10 a gallon - so what? It would be a hard adjustment, but we'd survive. Europe should understand that when jihadists come knocking, as they did only 400 years ago, we have the option of not saving them. And they way they're going, I'd wager it will happen in my lifetime.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Islamic terrorism depends on our decency. It requires that we care about civilians. It requires that we care about Arab sensitivities. We can afford to do this, because we are strong and they are weak. But there are limits to our patience. Civility is a veneer that only goes so deep. If we are existentially threatened, if we are provoked beyond endurance, you can expect war to return to historical norms.

dave said...

Islamic terrorism depends on our decency.

Oh, blow it out your ass, Howard...

JDM said...

Pastor - my .02 on the Pacific theatre is that while there is a lot on WWII in Europe, the war in the Pacific is generally the subject of more scholarly or official histories. Nothing wrong with that of course, but there is a bit of a gap in the market.

The problem is that the Pacific campaign was largely island-hopping, and fought by ships and aircraft. Apparently the size of land battles in the Pacific were mere skirmishes compared to Europe.

There were exceptions to some or all of the above - there were land battles in PNG (including those by Australian forces, close to my heart) and Burma as well as on flyspeck islands, but the Pacific war was very different to the European one.

As an interesting (to me) aside, I learned a lot of my law in a tutorial room at University which was Gen Douglas Macarthur's WWII planning room.

Good luck with your reading!

Doyle said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Doyle said...

Dick:

I read this story about Arar (Times select now). The Canadians gave us bad intelligence originally, but we were the ones that got him. They were kept in the dark about the "homecoming" to Syria. That was our idea, and we kept him there after the Canadians realized their mistake.


Cedarford:

If the War on Terror is going to last basically forever, and we have to "prosecute it" all over the world, we are goiong to have to get used to the idea of treating foreign terrorists in a manner somewhat similar to domestic criminals.

Just because they are really, really bad, and they're not Americans, it does not entitle us to torture them and/or deny them the opportunity to establish their innocence.

Too Many Jims said...

Drill Sgt.,

You raise valid points, of course. In the ordinary course of argument I try to refrain from asserting that one's arguments are "disingenuous" so I added the clause "or whoever handed him over to the Syrians should be fired". In light of the presence of Guantanamo (and other detention facilities) I should not have included the last clause.

In short, in light of the fact that the U.S. government detained suspected terrorists, it is disgenuous to argue that the U.S. would turn over a suspected terrorist to another nation (which is an enemy of ours) without knowing what would be done with that terrorist. Of course one could construct an argument (perhaps true in hindsight) which said: "Hey we didn't think he was a terrorist and so we gave him to Syria." But then you would have to explain why he was given over to Syria rather than Canada.

As to what I would do (assuming I can answer for "the left"). I would go to a court in this instance since he was apprehended on American soil. I would tell that court why I thought he was a terrorist, why I thought he had broken the law. I would produce evidence. No I don't want to do this because I want to coddle terrorists, rather I'd prefer to adhere to the Rule of Law. I am sure if Janet Reno had her way, we would have detained indefinitely without trial many disgruntled former military men in their 20s after OKC.

Doyle said...

I mistakenly said "we are going to have to get used to the idea [of treating detainees fairly]", but the Military Commissions Act just passed in the Senate, so I guess in fact I'm going to have to get used to the idea of not doing so. Just thought I'd admit that's the situation before someone points it out.

The Drill SGT said...

altoids1306 said...
We are not Rome. We don't need to defend the known world to protect ourselves.


That's really too bad. Rome, or at least the Roman Empire lasted for nearly 1000 years.

Roman citizenship was extremely prized in the ancient world. A Roman citizen could go almost anywhere, because both he and the locals knew that if anyone caused him harm, the power of the Empire would come down hard on the perps, and their tribe or country.

dick said...

Doyle,

You are missing the point that we got him at the request of Canada. They are, for want of a better word, an ally and when they ask us to stop somebody, we try to comply. Then when they refuse him entry back into Canada and we don't want him, then the only answer is to send him back to his home country. That is what we do with Cubans we catch that have not landed. What the home country chooses to do with them is not our responsibility any more than it is when we send them back to Cuba. Same difference. Just that you want to b*tch because it was sending him back to Syria. Do you complain when the Cubans torture those we send back to them? Not that we have seen here. Only when it is back to the Middle East.

That Canada gave us bad information is not our fault. Are we now supposed to ask Canada "are you sure you want us to deter this man and not send him back to Canada"? I don't ever remember our having to make our allies repeat themselves when they give us information and ask us not to return someone to them.

Revenant said...

When people fault Bush for failing to build "consensus" I have to wonder what that's supposed to mean. Most of the people I hear screaming about the Iraq war and Bush's behavior have been doing so since *long* before a majority of Americans opposed either of the two. Is "consensus" just LeftSpeak for "does whatever we want"?

The simple truth of the matter is that almost everything Bush has done had solid majority support when he started doing it. How can he be faulted for failing to build a consensus when most people supported his actions? You could certainly fault him with failing to *maintain* a consensus, but surely at least as much blame falls on those who actively worked to undermine that consensus.

He also "failed" to build an international consensus. But come on, the only thing the nations of the world all agree on is that America has too much money, power, and influence. The odds of America getting the backing of the UN security council for action against nations that members of the security council had ties with are approximately one in fuckin' no way in hell. Clinton couldn't even get UN sign-off on helping protect one pissant Eastern European nation against another -- if you think Bush was ever going to get UN approval of a war on terrorism, you're nuts.

Too Many Jims said...

Can someone provide a link to information which indicates that Arar was denied entry into Canada? What have I read about the matter (admittedly just by googling a bit) indicates that Canada was not told about him being sent to Syria until after it was done and that Canada condemn that deportation. Also a recent Canadian report on the matter concluded that American officials "dealt with Canadian officials involved with Mr. Arar's case in a less than forthcoming manner."

downtownlad said...

Our constitution was repealed today. Even if we have victory in Iraq, the terrorists have already won.

Can't wait until President Hillary declare Randall Terry and Operation Rescue to be a terrorist organization, proceeds to lock him up without charges, and then tortures him.

Will be amusing.

Fenrisulven said...

Our constitution was repealed today.

Dude. Thats like. So uncool. Ya know.

downtownlad said...

You might not care that dozens, possibly hundreds, of innocent people are being tortured by this country.

But I do.

I mean according to the wimpy Republicans and Democrats who voted for torture today, if the accused have brown skin - I guess it doesn't matter if they're guilty or innocent - cause you know - they're Muslims. And there's no such thing as an innocent Muslim, right?

This is just as bad as the Japanese internment during World War II, and worse in many ways. Oh yeah, I forgot, Michelle Malkin still thinks the Japanese internment was a GREAT idea. And not one conservative blogger that I know of has dared to criticize her for that.

Fenrisulven said...

You might not care that dozens, possibly hundreds, of innocent people are being tortured by this country.

You're still alive?! Dude, constitution is repealed. Hellhounds on your tail. Stormtroopers asking around about you. DemUnderground is rallying at Logan for escape to Paris. Get there before They find you!

Tim said...

"Our constitution was repealed today. Even if we have victory in Iraq, the terrorists have already won."

and

"You might not care that dozens, possibly hundreds, of innocent people are being tortured by this country."

Wow. Get out much? Hyperbole doesn't help your cause, but what the hey. I'd be excited too if I knew Congress just repealed the Constitution and the Bush Brownshirts were moments away from sweeping the US clean of all dissenters. Do let us know how that goes once your refugee camp gets wi-fi. Because some of us still care. Really. We do. I promise to send you more tinfoil, as I'm sure your camp will have chronic shortages.

F15C said...

"Our constitution was repealed today. Even if we have victory in Iraq, the terrorists have already won."

dtl, if the radical Islamists that have formally declared the right to "kill 4 million Americans, 2 million of them children", do lose, it will not be because of anything that you and your ilk have done - it will be in spite of it.

Our enemy has plainly stated what they are going to do if we do not stop them - and I and others here take them at their word and respect the weight of that awful truth.

Since our enemy has made it crystal clear they will stop at nothing to achieve the death of 4 million of our fellow Americans, then the ultimate hard question that good Americans on both sides of the aisle earnestly wrestle with (and that must be answered) is what are we willing to do to save the lives of those 4 million people?

In the mean time, you and your ilk are only concerned about making it clear to our enemy what we won't do to save those people.

Revenant said...

Our constitution was repealed today.

Are you being paid to make people think that only crazy people object to the detainee bill? Just curious.

Can't wait until President Hillary declare Randall Terry and Operation Rescue to be a terrorist organization, proceeds to lock him up without charges, and then tortures him.

Well at least I'll get to have sex with Angelina Jolie. Because those are two things that'll only happen in Fantasyland.

You might not care that dozens, possibly hundreds, of innocent people are being tortured by this country.

ARE being tortured, present tense? Interesting claim. Name a dozen of them.

tjl said...

"Our constitution was repealed today."

dtl, do try to hang on to a sense of proportion. People will tend to give less credence to what you say if the hyperbole is always set at max.

If you got your way, and made sure terror suspects had the right to remain silent, etc., eventually the constitution might actually BE repealed -- after several nuclear detonations.

Too Many Jims said...

"People will tend to give less credence to what you say if the hyperbole is always set at max.

If you got your way, and made sure terror suspects had the right to remain silent, etc., eventually the constitution might actually BE repealed -- after several nuclear detonations."

Was the irony intentional?

tjl said...

Well, Jim C, if several American cities were nuked, how much concern do you think the survivors would have for maintaining due process rights for terror suspects?

Too Many Jims said...

None. Absolutely none.

My point was that while it is certainly hyperbole to say that the "Constitution was repealed today"; it is also heyperbole to say opponents of the bill were doing so so that "terror suspects had the right to remain silent".

Paul Zrimsek said...

Hyperbole doesn't help your cause...

This is DTL we're talking about. Hyperbole IS his cause.

Bruce Hayden said...

Right now, the world seems a bit crazy. Last night I was reading comments at Volokh.com about the detainee bill and got just that impression - that everyone there (many of whom are fairly smart attorneys) were sure that our world was coming to an end because aliens determined to be terrorists or enemies are being stripped of some of their habeas corpus rights. Never mind that the legislation specifically makes the distinction between citizens and aliens.

Part of the unreality is that we capture these guys on the battlefield. Then we have to do something with them, so we bring the ones who are the most valuable or most dangerous to Gitmo. And all of a sudden, they are supposed to have habeas corpus rights, almost all of them never having set foot on permanent U.S. soil (I am distinguishing this with the leased soil in Cuba).

So, what are we supposed to do with these guys?

1) If we release them, we will just have to fight them again on the battle field. The bulk of the Gitmo detainees have indicated just that - that if released, they inteded to back and fight us again.

2) We could send them back to their country of origin or citizenship, but we saw the problems above with that. Indeed, the bulk of the detainees come originally from countries considered to be major civil rights violators. And, of course, we aren't going to send them to some of our European "allies" becuase that would be the equivalent of #1 above. Plus, a lot of the countries don't want to see them again.

3) We could send them back where we caught them. For most of them, that is Afganistan, and the Afgans running their country are not likely to fully respect their civil rights, given the blood on the hands of the detainees.

4) We could try them in our courts, but:
a) Because of the problems of collecting evidence on the battle field, getting everyone back to be witnesses at trial, it is highly unlikely that most could be convicted. Not that they hadn't been shooting at us, or whatever, but the evidentiary problems would preclude conviction. Besides, we don't want our soldiers distracted by this sort of thing when defending themselves, and
b) if they are convicted, then they would be sentenced. And at the end of the sentence, what then? Back to #1 above?
c) Besides, what would they be convicted of? What they violated were the laws of war, not the laws of the U.S. or one if its states.
d) And then there is the problem with classified information. We saw recently Fitz being told he either needs to release such to Libby's defense counsel or drop charges. So, we would be given the choice of disclosing operational information to the enemy or releasing them.

Maybe we should be looking at the other side of the slippery slope. If we should be giving habeas corpus protectsions to illegal combatants captured on the battle field fighting against us or our allies that we have brought back as far as Gitmo, but haven't set foot on U.S. soil, then the logical next step is to grant the same rights to them back where they are caught. And before you know it, part of basic training is going to be giving enemy prisoners their Miranda right when captured. Or, then, maybe our troops will have to start providing warrants for whenever they want to capture anyone, and woe to them, if they actually kill anyone before they can be fully appraised of their rights under our Constitution.

Remember, almost all of the detainees left at Gitmo are illegal enemy combatants caught red handed. Most are hard core enemies of our country. The major purpose of this bill was to set up procedures on doing something with them - without compromising our war efforts.

The Drill SGT said...

In jest my reply:

Bruce Hayden said...
Part of the unreality is that we capture these guys on the battlefield. Then we have to do something with them, so we bring the ones who are the most valuable or most dangerous to Gitmo.


I already answered:
Take no prisoners