Jun 14 2005

Exposing The Terrorists

Published by at 10:13 am under All General Discussions

Hat Tip to Mark Coffey at Decision 08 on finding this incredible piece by Christopher Hitchens. The article covers how Al Iraqiya Television is unmasking and exposing the insurgents by presenting them to the Iraqi people. A stunning PR effort which, surprisingly, the US could not implement due to the Geneva Convention (since when is it against the law to expose heinous crimes against innocent civilians?).

Some excerpts which caught my eye:

…it shows the confessions of captured “insurgents,” mainly foreign fighters. When possible, it also shows the videos that these people have made, so that, for example, a man can be viewed as he slices a victim’s throat and then viewed, looking much less brave, as he explains where he comes from, how he was taught to rehearse beheadings and throat-slittings on animals, and other insights into the trade. On occasion, these characters are confronted with the families of their victims. At other times, they have been able to tell the families of the missing what happened to their loved ones. The aim is to demystify the holy warriors and also to encourage civilians to call in with further tips.

The forces of al-Qaida and its surrogate organizations are not signatory to the conventions and naturally express contempt for them. They have no battle order or uniform and are represented by no authority with which terms can be negotiated. Nor can they claim, as actual guerrilla movements like the Algerian FLN have done in the past, to be the future representatives of their countries or peoples. In Afghanistan and Iraq, they sought to destroy the electoral process that alone can confer true legitimacy, and they are in many, if not most, cases not even citizens of the countries concerned. Their announced aim is the destruction of all nonbelievers, and their avowed method is indiscriminate and random murder. They are more like pirates, hijackers, or torturers—three categories of people who have in the past been declared outside the protection of any law.

An axiom of the law states that justice is more offended by one innocent person punished than by any number of guilty persons unapprehended. I say frankly that I am not certain of the applicability of this in the present case. Mullah Omar’s convoy in Afghanistan was allowed to escape because there was insufficient certainty to justify bombing it. Several detainees released from Guantanamo have reappeared in the Taliban ranks, once again burning and killing and sabotaging. The man whose story of rough interrogation has just been published in Time had planned to board a United Airlines flight and crash it into a skyscraper. I want to know who his friends and contacts were, and so do you, hypocrite lecteur.

When faced with an enemy whose basic humanity is reasonably questioned, one which will not fight face to face but prefers to kill unarmed civilians, women and children – the question legitimately arises why are we so concerned with trying to integrate them into civil society as opposed to simply eliminating them? I agree it is reasonable to require established legal practices when all parties involved honestly intend to use them for debate, hearing, aquittal or verdict. But when they do not submit themselves to these processes they have taken themselves out of the protections afforded them by those processes.

And the incoherency of the liberal, anti-war fantascists is mind boggling, as Hitchens points out:

Is al-Qaida itself to be considered a “ticking bomb” or not? How many of those who express concern about Guantanamo have also been denouncing the administration for being too lenient about ignoring warnings and missing opportunities for a pre-atrocity roundup?

Classic Hitchens!

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