The Perfect Target
The Perfect Target
Recently, American intelligence officers were given an extraordinary opportunity in the War on Terror. At least 190 armed Taliban fighters were in tightly packed formation at a funeral – the perfect target. Our military was forbidden to act on the intelligence and could only stare in stunned disbelief as the Islamic fascist enemy was allowed to walk away only to reemerge to massacre innocent men, women and children another day.
This is the same Taliban who viciously assassinated six people attending the funeral of the governor of the Afghanistan province of Patkia. United States rules of engagement forbid military attacks on funerals. They were unable to get approval from the State Department and were told our military is to “hold themselves to a higher moral and ethical standard than their enemies". Our enemy, who has no moral standards and no regard for human life, will and do kill at will. We, however, being a civilized, moral people, are abiding by rules of engagement that were written for fighting a state-maintained military with at least some regard for human life.
In the same week, the debate has resounded throughout Washington over the perceived torture of terrorist detainees by our CIA and military. If the enemy knows two words in English it’s “Geneva Convention”. They know that we do our best to abide by our agreements with 112 nations. However, research into the 112 nation-states that signed the Geneva Convention did not yield the names Al Qaeda, Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade, Hamas or any Islamic fascist group. I also find it appalling that there are senators and congressmen – those we as US citizens elected to protect and serve us – are applying Constitutional rights to detainees at Guantanamo and to terrorists who are not born here and wish to do nothing more than destroy that very Constitution and our way of life. I searched the Constitution and found no such provisions. Nor did I find provisions that we supply tax-payer funded attorneys and other amenities, such as the Koran.
Senators John McCain, John Warner and Lindsey Graham have proposed legislation to redefine Article 3 of the Geneva Convention to detail what is and isn’t allowed when interrogating detainees. They believe loud music, cold rooms, sleep deprivation and other non-lethal forms of discomfort in an effort to obtain information is “torture”. “Waterboarding”, giving the illusion that one is drowning, has yielded intelligence that stopped ten planes bound for the US from Europe from being turned into bombs meant to kill as many innocent men, women and children as possible, as well as at least a dozen other terrorist plots. It is a false belief that if we are nice to evil, evil will be nice to us. By affording those we are fighting Constitutional liberties, more religious freedom than our own school children, medical care and other amenities, we are only strengthening the terror threat.
Senator McCain went through a horrific ordeal as a prisoner of war in Viet Nam. He is a war hero and his service is honored. However, it is my belief that he is allowing his experiences at the hands of barbarians to cloud his judgment regarding our own upstanding, professional military and CIA. If he were an attorney or judge in a court of law, he would have to recuse himself from a terrorist case. As a senator, shouldn’t he recuse himself from writing legislation regarding torture?
While Congress is fretting over whether or not loud music is “torture”, we must look at our enemy. They capture civilian journalists and contractors, as well as soldiers. With no regard to the Geneva Convention, they terrorize their captives by holding AK-47s to their heads, demanding conversion to the religion of peace. They decapitate at will those who do not comply. Dead bodies are burned in the streets and tossed in ditches like trash.
In the 1990s, Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda declared war on America. America, however, largely ignored this declaration and until September 11, 2001, did little to retaliate in the subsequent terrorist attacks. Treating each instance as a law enforcement issue, we only succeeded in emboldening the enemy. America, to this day, has yet to declare war.
There is no doubt President Bush understands the nature of the enemy we face. He understands how morally repugnant and evil they are. It is sad that so many Americans in authority do not have this understanding. A vast majority of Americans, out of cowardice, ignorance or denial, continue to blame the president and our military for the terrorist attacks and acts of war rather than blaming the enemy. Until sane, rational people come to grips with the reality of the situation, they only inflict further damage on my country and its ability to fight this war.
You cannot negotiate with evil. You cannot appease evil. You can only destroy evil. The enemy is a fanatical sect that is in self proclaimed “jihad” – holy war – with the West. They are in a religious war and their only objective is to force conversion or massacre “infidels”. By ignoring these truths and not adapting rules of engagement, rules of interrogation and our own mindsets to the truth of the enemy, unspeakable horrors face us in the years to come.
Mark R. Taylor
Mark R. Taylor