Friday, May 22, 2009
Charles Krauthammer has an interesting op-ed in today's WaPo, and his basic theme is that President Obama has adopted many of the Bush/Cheney administration national security policies while saying that he hasn't.
"Of course, Obama will never admit in word what he's doing in deed. As in his rhetorically brilliant national-security speech yesterday claiming to have undone Bush's moral travesties, the military commissions flip-flop is accompanied by the usual Obama three-step: (a) excoriate the Bush policy, (b) ostentatiously unveil cosmetic changes, (c) adopt the Bush policy...
"...The genius of democracy is that the rotation of power forces the opposition to come to its senses when it takes over. When the new guys, brought to power by popular will, then adopt the policies of the old guys, a national consensus is forged and a new legitimacy established.
"That's happening before our eyes. The Bush policies in the war on terror won't have to await vindication by historians. Obama is doing it day by day. His denials mean nothing. Look at his deeds."
Read the whole thing.
The first thing to note in the President’s much heralded national security speech is that he completely failed to detail his “Plan” to deal with Gitmo’s unlawful combatants. There was and currently is NO PLAN. Most people would assume that at least some thought would have been given by the President’s advisors to constructions of such a plan, as it a centerpiece of his election campaign AND also the subject of one of President Obama’s first Executive Orders. The President in his haste to deliver on his campaign promise the close Gitmo forgot the key rule of politics: do not get the cart before the horse. Policy outcomes (closing Gitmo) should be the result of reasoned and deliberate plans (this is how we close it and what we are doing with the detainees). This fundamental failure his resulted in his administration’s rebuke by the Democratic House and Senate. My personal choices for the site(s) of these projected facilities are Chicago, San Francisco, and Las Vegas—I am sure most readers will be astute enough to figure out the political significance of those particular cities. Where are the outlines of “The Plan?” He did NOT tell us where they will be moved. He did NOT tell us the classification system to determine how they will be assigned to his undefined legal system. To what extent will the detainees be accorded due process rights? How will the facilities used be secured from attack? None of the basic steps in implementing his desired policy outcome have been decided upon.
The second thing to note (and more troubling to me) is that our President seems to be historically illiterate. He actually said in a prepared speech that the existence of Gitmo makes it, “ more likely that Americans will be mistreated if they are captured.” Does anything strike you as strange about that assertion? Perhaps, it is the fact that our current enemies (the Islamo-Fascists) are butchers. There is no other word to describe their treatment of those souls that fall into their hands. Consider the weapons that are the hallmark of our enemies: IEDs and blades. Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), hundreds and hundreds of IEDs, ranging from car bombs to homicide bombers to roadside bombs have been and are being used by our enemies. High explosives are indiscriminate killers. Indeed, tens of thousands of Iraqis have been and are being traumatized, wounded, and killed by their fellow Muslims (vastly more than the results of US military action). Blades are yet another weapon of choice for our enemies, but not for combat. They employ blades for the torture and murder of their prisoners. This is why (unlike wars of the recent past) the Pentagon does not have a listing for Prisoners of War held by the Islamo-Fascists. They not only behead their prisoners as a matter of policy, but broadcast the grisly spectacle as their own recruitment tool. Mr. President it is not the existence of Gitmo, which causes this barbaric behavior, it is merely the nature of the enemy that we face. Perhaps, in the postmodern world we live in our enemies will always be butchers, consider our major conflicts of the past and current century: WW2 (the Nazi and Japanese), Korean War (PRC and NK), Vietnam (NVA and VC), the Balkans (Milošević), The Gulf Wars (Sadam), and our current war against Islamo-Fascism.
I guess we could ask Matt Maupin about his impressions of being captured by al Qaeda. Oh, that's right. They murdered him.
Geneva conventions say we can shoot partisans and non-uniformed combatants out of hand. The main protections are for uniformed combatants.
In retrospect, the dastardly Nazi Germans are the only ones that even came close to treating our prisoners per Geneva conventions since WWII, because many in the German officer corp still had notions of correct treatment of POWs.
I think that someone mentioned in another thread that Hitler wanted to do away with adherence to the Geneva protocols. And some of our WWII POWs did actually end up in concentration-death camps.
The Germans treated the Russian prisoners horribly.
Rehab Gitmo's reputation.
Surely the One can figure out how to put some lipstick on the pig.
Make it a Muslim only prison. Build it a mosque.
Transfer Muslim converts from American mainland prisons to Gitmo. Heck, it could even be a revenue generator for the states. The Feds take dangerous muslim converts and charge rent to the state prisons.