True Patriotism Ought to Exclude Petty Protests
Published: Friday, January 25, 2002
Updated: Friday, June 15, 2012 23:06
Over the past few weeks, many countries, organizations and individuals have complained the detainees being held at Camp X-Ray in Cuba are not being treated in accordance with the Geneva Convention and are being tortured.
In a time of war, how quickly the tongues of our supposed friends change their tone.
Canada has considered pulling out of the coalition if we do not treat the detainees to their liking. Amnesty International has expressed concern along with the Red Cross, Great Britain and people from other human rights organizations.
It is rather interesting that the Red Cross almost immediately arrived at Camp X-Ray to interview the detainees and tour the camp, yet it has taken them nearly three months to begin writing checks to the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. Perhaps the Red Cross, along with other organizations, should re-evaluate for whom they should really stand: The terrorists, or their own people.
The detainees at Camp X-Ray are trained killers — trained to kill Americans, trained to take other people with them through suicide attacks and trained to fight to the death.
These people do not have any sense of caring or remorse for other people, especially Americans, and given the chance they would certainly kill or injure American troops guarding the camp. Whatever it takes to keep our men and women of the armed forces safe is necessary, appropriate and should be supported.
Furthermore, the detainees were not fighting for a government recognized by the United States. Al-Qaeda is not a government, and the Taliban was never formally recognized. They were not fighting under an organized chain of command, and many of them were not in uniform.
It is proper to consider them unlawful combatants, and nothing more. Regardless of the official name given to the detainees, the rights afforded them under the Geneva Convention are too many.
Dangerous criminals should not be aware of their surroundings. By covering the detainees' heads with hoods, blacked-out goggles, and shackling them together as they leave the aircraft, they are unable to become associated with the terrain around the camp. This is simply for security reasons.
Surgical masks are to protect the spread of tuberculosis, and it is quite obvious why shackles are necessary. They are not being tortured with these hoods, and they have free movement in their cells, but we are taking the necessary steps to assure the safety of our troops at the camp.
The detainees did not have any sympathy for the victims of Sept. 11. As we bombed Afghanistan, every effort was made to reduce civilian casualties. In al-Qaeda's attack on the United States, they hoped to maximize our casualties.
The government has admitted the open cells at the camp are temporary as a more permanent facility is being built. We are feeding them bagels with cream cheese, fruit roll-ups and food appropriate for their religion. We are allowing prayer time and providing them with prayer mats. Yet somehow, somewhere, we are supposedly abusing and torturing these terrible people.
Camp X-Ray is an interrogation camp. These are not prisoners of war. They are wanted for their intelligence, their knowledge of al-Qaeda and its cells. Camp X-Ray is not the Hyatt and should not be.
People in this country and the world only hurt our cause by vocalizing such outrageous and unsupported claims that we are torturing and abusing the detainees. We are the United States, and we will defend ourselves come hell or high water.
We should be proud of our men and women in the military, we should support our government, and we should appreciate what we have in this great nation and do all we can to protect it.
The liberal jargon associated with the blasphemous assaults on our operations at Camp X-Ray should not be allowed to stand.
Sara Marie Eichenberger, The Voice of Realism, is a senior in international relations theory and military history. She can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.