America Loves Defending What’s Right In A Fight

Barack Hussein Obama began his speech on national security by saying “Americans are deeply ambivalent about war.” Nothing could be further from the truth. In defending what’s right, Americans love a good fight. It’s what makes us who we are. The “ugly American” abroad has always come through on the battlefield, and it’s only been politics and the media who have defeated the greatest fighting force the world has ever known. In his speech on May 23, at the National Defense University, the President wanted us to believe that we could win the War on Terror simply be staying the course, wrapping up here and there, and that everything would be as it was “prior to 9/11.” Really? And prior to 9/11 we were safe? Whilst Islamist extremists, especially al Qaeda were strengthening, and we were turning a blind eye to multiple attacks on our ships, embassies and personnel, the threat grew. I have never doubted that the “tip of the spear” in the Global War on Terror has been our special forces & the CIA, our Shadow Warriors & Spooks, as it should be. But these bravest of Americans need a support system. We need the power and influence to suppress adversaries, and we need it close to where the bad guys are. We needed to keep bases in Iraq, instead the President threw that country to the wolves – Iran, al Qaeda and other Islamists – who are now supporting the Assad regime in Syria, and further destabilizing Iraq. We need to maintain bases in Afghanistan, which is poised to rise as the regional leader in democracy, long into the future. We need better relations with Egypt, Yemen, Somalia, and other countries in the region so as to maintain the pressure on Islamist groups there and in surrounding areas. Our forces need logistical power projection platforms from which to launch and then support freedom-fighting missions. The President failed to mention we have troops in 70 countries, CIA operatives in over 90 countries and Diplomatic Security Service agents in over 200 countries world wide, all with one thing on their plates: defend the interests of the United States of America. The days of huge battlefields and tremendous casualties and destruction are virtually over. The fight is now played out on the Internet, in remote locations, and in limited ways on the streets of our great cities. Saying we should be concerned about a “legacy problem” instead of turning up the heat on our adversaries speaks only to our president’s desperation to build his own legacy, not that for our children. Saying the military detention facility at Guantanamo “has become a symbol around the world for an America that flouts the rule of law,” and that “our allies won’t cooperate with us if they think a terrorist will end up at Gitmo,” is cheap brinkmanship about a place and process that, before his meandering legal giveaway to unlawful combatants of extra legal privileges they did not deserve in the Military Commissions Act (MCA) of 2009, is completely legal, moral and ethical. The same laws, policies and procedures that were in place at Gitmo when it opened in late 2001 – early 2002, were virtually unchanged since the Second World War, when from capture to execution it took the government about four weeks to prosecute 8 German saboteurs caught dry-foot on U.S. soil, using a Supreme Court approved Military Commission and having suspended habeas corpus for the enemy. In WWII, the U.S. held over 400,000 lawful combatant POWs without one call for extra legal privileges for them, and they were all released, as per the law, when hostilities ended. The same happened in 1991, when after a brief but hard fought First Gulf War against Iraq, we released thousands of lawful combatant Iraqi POWs within days after the end of hostilities. The Geneva Conventions and Law of Land Warfare were written to protect innocent civilians in time of war, not to protect those who would pretend to be civilians in order to murder them. The laws still apply, but because of the 2009 MCA all detainees enjoy the same legal protections you or I would have in a Federal Court of Law. Detainees charged with war crimes enjoy the presumption of innocence, and the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard of conviction. Non government organizations count higher body counts of civilians killed in war, by conventional as well as by drone technology, because our enemies don’t wear uniforms, rank, or carry their weapons openly; they are in effect “civilians” to anyone who lays eyes on them. But the reality is they are unlawful combatants, flauting the rule of law and manipulating it and those who sympathize with them in order to bend the political will of the Unites States and anyone else who will listen. The detention facility at Guantanamo Bay is not a person. It is a place, and no matter how hard they try, Pagan utilitarian humanist Islamist apologists and terrorists cannot change the fact that it is also legal, humane and ethical. Self-starving Gitmo detainees are using a known al Qaeda detention disruption technique in an effort to manipulate U.S. political will. There are no U.S. military medical protocols that authorize us to allow detainees to hurt themselves. And in fact, they will tell you that the point of their self-starvation is not to die, but to gain sympathies, and these sympathies are aimed at manipulating U.S. government political will in order to effect their release so that they can get back into the fight. There is a documented recidivism rate of released Gitmo detainees of at least 27%. One of these recidivists, known as Bin Qumu, led the attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya. This is unacceptable. Knowing this, and knowing the probability that many of the current Gitmo detainees “cleared” for release will return to Islamist extremism once let go, doing so would be tantamount to giving the enemy aid and comfort – treason. The comments from the President on Guantanamo are misguided at best, and treasonous at worst. Not only do we have to fight and stay one step ahead of an insidious enemy, but we must do so with one hand tied behind our back because of our President’s relentless assault on our proven, legal, moral, and ethical operation at Guantanamo Bay. Gitmo needs to remain open as long as we continue our struggle with Islamist extremists. We need to maintain as many bases around the world as is necessary to support our clandestine and overt operations. We need to take and then hold the high ground in the Global War on Terror, such as maintaining good working relationships for military bases (back) in Iraq and in Afghanistan; like we still have in countries we defeated in WWII, such as Germany, Japan, and Italy. We are strong, we are winning, and now we need to close the battle with al Qaeda, the Taliban, and groups that support and mimic them. Keeping Gitmo open and then using the base to prosecute through military commissions those who are suspected of war crimes, and to keep other detainees out of the fight until hostilities end, just like the International laws on warfare stipulate we may do even if the detainees were lawful combatant POWs, will allow us to live in peace. Americans love defending what’s right in a fight, but even more, we love to win!

9 responses to “America Loves Defending What’s Right In A Fight

  1. Not “now USA”. But “nor USA”

    The GTMO complainers want different things. They are a diverse group.

    There is an unfortunate and bad use of “close GTMO” in my opinion. I think many, but not all would feel comfortable with khlied sheikh Mohammed were held there.

    The comfort from accepting that this was the 9/11 mastermind and is jointly responsible for murder.

  2. And there are other terrorists who deserve to be there. Cole bombing terrorist for example. Jointly responsible for murder.

    As for the lower level people, the article seemingly implies there will be resolution when the war on terror is over.

    My position, and the position of other GTMO complainers, is there will never be an end. Replacements are found through indoctrination, and hate can simply be fueled by policy differences.

    Also, considering the point about recidivism– in the author’s own point — Letting some out could lead to another Benghazi — what does the author propose to do with them once hostilities have ended? The author likens releasing them now to treason. Releasing later, as the author seemingly implies, would not be? Is this not a round about position by the author that must conclude with permanent detainment of all who enter GTMO? It reads that way to me.

    Lastly, the GTMO complainers note that while attacks have been stopped, attacks have also happened. We look around and see that the terrorists have us questioning whether to forgo Constitutional rights and values such as privacy and liberty in the name of fighting a war against terror, a war not against a state with an army and uniforms, but against a concept that is admittedly radically and murderously opposed. Unfortunately, as policies continue then so will those against. No one can kill the concept of terrorism. Those asking for a sacrifice of the Constitutional and founding beliefs in the name of the war on terror are asking for change. If we change what we believe in because of terrorism, then terror is winning. Also, asking the Consitutional rights and founding beliefs be disregarded could be called treason.

    We suffered through 9/11, in the process of getting those responsible, we killed bin laden, others and captured others. We got most of who we went for and threw some other nation’s sovereignty out the window along with accepting some innocents get hurt in the process of trying to kill more of those who aren’t. These types of operations can stop(stand down). I do not consider continuing to use <100% intel which knowingly results in civilian innocents to be right any more than the author thinks it is the right time to consider tribunals at GTMO. But which is the greater good? Well, the post-9/11 message was sent. You kill and we'll find you and likely kill you. Unfortunately at this point, we are sacrificing ourselves now, our values, more than ever for a war against a concept that will never be eradicated as long as we are never eradicated: anti-US extremism will never go away. I would rather defend my principles and values, placing them above an acceptance of killing uninvolved civilians due to known imperfect intelligence, violating other nation's sovereignty, and further deepening the debt crisis.

  3. From what the author has written, the potential GTMO releasees are 1) unlawful combatants and 2) should be held until “hostilities are over”

    What the author fails to discuss:
    Not when, but how will hostilities end? What will that look like?

    Below is a link to terror organizations.
    Certainly we are not in a war against terror with the Basques, but there are other notables on there beyond al-qaeda.
    What will the end of hostilities be like for the relevant terrorists(unlawful enemy combatant organizations) on that list?

    • I’m not entirely comfortable dealing with an anonymous person(s) because for honest dialog one must develop some level of trust. You make some good points, and I am grateful for your participation in the discussion on Gitmo. I claim only a small piece to the big puzzle which is the enigma we call Gitmo. Speaking about the larger issue of “when” will hostilities end, perhaps you will not like the answer: when the Taliban, al Qaeda, and Islamist extremists who want to kill us surrender, disarm, and promise never to hurt anyone again, or are all dead. The answer may sound flip, but there it is. I’m not interested in discussing rhetorical absolutes, such as your suggestion that terrorism will never be eradicated, or the War on Terror will never end. Comments like those don’t move the discussion forward. “How will the War on Terror and terrorism end?” is, however a positive statement that can honestly generate helpful ideas toward a peaceful resolution. Demonizing Gitmo and vilifying those who see its legality and value also do not help move the discussion forward. I use the term “Islamist” or “Islamist extremists” because it describes about 99% of those who have committed International and domestic acts of terror against the United States and other peace loving nations. If you want to say the Irish terrorists are Christian extremists, that’s your right to do so, but does it really describe the majority of those who have committed acts of terror in that conflict, which apparently has entered a peaceful phase, so is it even relevant to discuss? Unless I am mistaken, “Islamist” refers to radicals, not peace loving Muslims. I understand and appreciate the difference between those descriptions. When engaged in a struggle for survival, a natural human thing to do is to identify the threat so as to effectively defend yourself. If a mosquito bite you, and you see and identify with the insect, the next time you see a mosquito it would make sense to kill the mosquito before it lands on you and then bites you. So too, it makes sense to identify as clearly as possible the behaviors and beliefs of groups and individuals who espouse hatred and violence against Americans in an effort to protect ourselves. We reserve that right, and will act on it as prudently as possible, but in the end, it’s our survival that will motivate our actions. “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” – G.W.Bush, September 21, 2001.

  4. Hello sir, did it not dawn on you that, in Syria, Bashar al Assad (along with Iran and Hezbollah) is fighting a terrorist organisation by the name of Jamaat al Nusra, who have pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda?

    The US government, in backing the Wahhabi Saudi and Qatari weapons being poured into Syria and the hands of al Nusra, is backing a proxy organisation of Al Qaeda (which incase you’ve forgotten, was created by the CIA).

    • Indeed. Did it not dawn on you the old Arab proverb: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend?” Who “created” whom? The loose group of Islamist extremists who stormed the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, on November 21, 1979, and killed the first U.S. citizen in the Global War on Terror, Marine CPL Stephen Crowley, were later funded by Usamma bin Laden, who “created” “the Base” (al Qaeda). What goes around comes around I suppose. Bad guys all around. Flavor of the week: Bashar al Assad. Make an enemy and lose a friend, eh? Ready for arms race with Russia/Iran? Here we go, so hold on to your keffiyeh!

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