Monday, March 05, 2007

Is bin Laden just like one of us?

Similar to the New York Times piece discussed below, Sunday's Washington Post has an Op-Ed by Alberto Mora and Thomas Pickering bemoaning the lack of terrorists rights and its effect on our "reputation":
Our country's detention policy has undermined its reputation around the world.... [emphasis added]
Why would reputation be important? They see it this way:
The United States cannot expect other nations to afford its citizens the basic guarantees provided by habeas corpus unless it provides those guarantees to others.
This pleasant theory, though, does not pass a reality check. In the past 70 years, American POWs have been held by North Vietnam, North Korea, Saddan's Iraq, and Japan, none of which followed international standards. All tortured US POWs with real torture, not the panties-on-the-head "torture" that so concerns liberals now. Our "reputation" was irrelevant. More recently al Qaeda has captured Americans. Can anyone honestly imagine al Qaeda deciding to extend legal rights to prisoners before videotaping their beheading? Of course not because al Qaeda is philosophically opposed to all Western ideas of civil rights.

In Mora and Pickering's world, however, the enemies of America shares the same goals and dreams as liberals and decide how to treat prisoners after considering America's "reputation" for civil rights. This is like Sen. Murray imaging that bin Laden shares her passion for daycare centers. (More examples here.) This liberal view may not be rational but it is one that many hold consistently.

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