Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Survival Optional

Thomas Sowell

It used to be said that self-preservation is the first law of nature.
But much of what has been happening in recent times in the United
States, and in Western civilization in general, suggests that survival
is taking a back seat to the shibboleths of political correctness. We have already turned loose dozens of captured terrorists, who have
resumed their terrorism. Why? Because they have been given "rights" that
exist neither in our laws nor under international law.

These are not criminals in our society, entitled to the protection of
the Constitution of the United States. They are not prisoners of war
entitled to the protection of the Geneva Convention.

There was a time when people who violated the rules of war were not
entitled to turn around and claim the protection of those rules. German
soldiers who put on U.S. military uniforms, in order to infiltrate
American lines during the Battle of the Bulge, were simply lined up
against a wall and shot.

Nobody even thought that this was a violation of the Geneva Convention.
American authorities filmed the mass executions. Nobody dreamed up
fictitious "rights" for these enemy combatants who had violated the
rules of war. Nobody thought we had to prove that we were nicer than the
Nazis by bending over backward.

Bending over backward is a very bad position from which to try to defend
yourself. Nobody in those days confused bending over backward with "the
rule of law," as Barack Obama did recently. Bending over backward is the
antithesis of the rule of law. It is depriving the people of the
protection of their laws, in order to pander to mushy notions among the

Even under the Geneva Convention, enemy soldiers have no right to be
turned loose before the war is over. Terrorists-- "militants" or
"insurgents" for those of you who are squeamish-- have declared
open-ended war against America. It is open-ended in time and open-ended
in methods, including beheadings of innocent civilians.

President Obama can ban the phrase "war on terror" but he cannot ban the
terrorists' war on us. That war continues, so there is no reason to turn
terrorists loose before it ends. They chose to make it that kind of war.
We don't need to risk American lives to prove that we are nicer than
they are.

The great Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said that law is
not some "brooding omnipresence in the sky." It is a set of explicit
rules by which human beings structure their lives and their
relationships with one another.

Those who choose to live outside those laws, whether terrorists or
pirates, can be-- and have been-- shot on sight. Squeamishness is
neither law nor morality. And moral exhibitionism is beneath contempt,
when it sacrifices the safety of those who live within the law for the
sake of self-satisfied preening, whether in editorial offices or in the
White House.

As if it is not enough to turn cutthroats loose to cut throats again, we
are now contemplating legal action against Americans who wrung
information about international terrorist operations out of captured

Does nobody think ahead to what this will mean-- for many years to
come-- if people trying protect this country from terrorists have to
worry about being put behind bars themselves? Do we need to have
American intelligence agencies tip-toeing through the tulips when they
deal with terrorists?

In his visit to CIA headquarters, President Obama pledged his support to
the people working there and said that there would be no prosecutions of
CIA agents for prior actions. Then he welshed on that in a matter of
hours by leaving the door open for such prosecutions, which the left has
been clamoring for, both inside and outside of Congress.

Repercussions extend far beyond issues of the day. It is bad enough that
we have a glib and sophomoric narcissist in the White House. What is
worse is that whole nations that rely on the United States for their
security see how easily our president welshes on his commitments. So do
other nations, including those with murderous intentions toward us, our
children and grandchildren.

Copyright (c) 2009 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.
Thanks General Vallely

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