The Right Coast

June 27, 2004
What is wrong with these people?
By Tom Smith

It's just so confusing I can barely stand it. First, demented Islamofascists drive planes into buildings and kill more than a couple of thousand people, and the message we get from the left is, we have to understand why they did this. As if, by some tortured logic, it might be justifiable to kill thousands of innocent people to make the point that they hate America. And not only kill them, but kill them in a very bad way to die. Burned to death, crushed to death, dying slowly of dehydration while trapped in rubble. Lots of pictures of burning towers, but none of the body parts that must have littered the ground. Very few of burn victims. OK. Fine.

Now, we are fighting these people in Iraq. It is the policy of the US government, apparently, to use what I would call semi-harsh treatment to get suspected terrorists to tell us what they know. Most Americans, perhaps upwards of 70 percent, think this is fine. It's certainly fine with me. And why wouldn't they? What confuses me is, how are we supposed to be so open-minded that we kinda see the point of people who kill thousands, and would kill millions if they could, but go into brain-lock when they think of some guy caught with an RPG being put in a "stress position" for a couple of hours. Here's some tender-hearted fellow at the New York Times boo-hooing about how sad he is to be an American. How could we celebrate Reagan when Abu-Ghraib was so fresh in our minds? What about Nuremburg? Aren't we just a bunch of Nazis? What I want to know is, why do writers like this one hate us so much? What did we do to hurt him? Oh, boo hoo hoo hoo hoo!

Actually, I'm relieved that such a large majority of Americans favor coercive interrogation. It means a lot of Democrats, roughly half it looks like, favor not giving prisoners hot food, as opposed to MREs that are good enough for our soldiers, unless they tell us where the next ambush is coming from. Oh, boo hoo. I'm so ashamed I'm going turn my hot tub down five degrees, just to punish myself.

I guess you have to have an historical perspective. In WWII, there were folks who were quite happy to defend Hitler until he switched sides and attacked Russia. Intellectual embarrassment didn't stop them. Why should it stop people from urging us to sympathize with the terrorists and then get outraged by bad treatment of our enemies that falls far short of burning them to death with jet fuel.

Well, just to be clear, here's my stance on the various suggestions raised by the Time's boo-hooer of the week:

I love Reagan, his funeral was moving, he won the Cold War, and your side lost. Ha ha ha.

We beat the Nazis, and we'll beat their low-tech Arab buddies, too.

It's absolutely fine by me if you subject illegal combatants to harsh treatment up to and including that equivalent to the average American high school football practice in anyplace but Texas. That would be cruel. No sexual humiliation, though. That's only allowed in Manhattan sex clubs.