Wednesday, June 29, 2005

A Former POW's Opinion of Senator Durbin's Comments

From a Washington Times Op-Ed, (HERE).

For 5 months 'I stayed in the box'

By James H. Warner
June 29, 2005

As a Marine Corps officer, I spent five years and five months in a prisoner of war camp in North Vietnam. I believe this gives me a benchmark against which to measure the treatment which Sen. Richard Durbin, Illinois Democrat, complained of at the Camp of Detention for Islamo-fascists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The senator's argument is silly. If he believes what he has said his judgment is so poor that his countrymen, assuming, of course, that he considers us his countrymen, have no reason not to dismiss him as a witless boob. On the other hand, if he does not believe what he said, the other members of the Senate may wish to consider censure. [...]

The argument that detainees at Guantanamo are being treated badly is specious and silly. In the eyes of normal Americans, Democrats believe this argument because, as Jeanne Kirkpatrick said 20 years ago, they "always blame America first." This contributes to the increasing suspicion, in red states, a problem that Democrats are aware of and are trying to counter, that Democrats cannot be trusted with our national security. Only the Democrats can change this perception, most recently articulated by White House adviser Karl Rove. The ball is in their court and I am certain there are steps that they can take to change this perception, but making silly arguments about imaginary bad treatment of enemy detainees is not a move in the right direction.

Mr Warner gives examples of his treatment at the hands of the North Vietnamese and compares it to the prisoners at GTMO. Read the whole thing.

I really must say that I was as deeply impressed by Sen. Durbin's emotional apology as I was by the circus act a few weeks ago when Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio), had a zoloft moment.

Too bad that Sen. Durbin didn't actually apologize for 'what' he said. I imagine that, right now, he wishes that he had.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

On Guantanamo

I usually don't do this but I thought that some of my friends would like to see this and I'm pretty sure that most of you don't read Power Line.

From Lt. Peter Hegseth, a Minnesota native who has just returned after a year at Guantanamo Bay. Today, Lt. Hegseth sent the following letter to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, which editorially endorsed Dick Durbin's comparison of our troops to Nazis, Communists and Khmer Rouge killers:

As a recent veteran of Guantanamo Bay, I've been troubled by the willingness of some (namely this editorial page) to make uninformed inflammatory statements about the detention operations at GTMO. I believe that if any one of them had the opportunity to visit GTMO and witness the operation first hand, they would change their tone, if not their minds altogether.

Not only are the detainees treated humanely (top-notch medical care, hearty meals, recreational facilities, full access to religious observance, etc..) but I personally witnessed instances when detainees did not want to leave. It was not uncommon for my platoon to guard an airfield for hours in preparation for sending a detainee home, only to turn around and bring him back to the detention facility because he refused to leave! These detainees are not stupid they know that real torture and inhumane treatment await them at home. And while I know they are not happy to be in GTMO, they rest assured that they will be treated well because Americans play by the rules.

I feel sheepish even having to defend this issue. While our servicemen (and innocent Iraqi citizens) are being blown-up and tortured overseas, the media obsesses over a handful of "mishandled" Korans and excessive air conditioning. (It is also worth noting that these so-called instances of "abuse" at GTMO were all uncovered by internal Army investigations! Its not as if the Army is torturing people and covering it up. On the contrary, the minute the Army gets wind of minor misconduct it swiftly removes and prosecutes those involved. This is an institution upholding the highest moral traditions of our country.) Would the terrorists do the same? No, I think they'd just wink at us and then cut our heads off.

LT Peter Hegseth
Forest Lake, MN
U.S. Army National Guard, Infantry


Meanwhile, a Rasmussen Reports survey has shown that the MSM and the despicable Senator Durbin have overplayed their hand and it has blown up in their smarmy faces.

20% of Americans believe prisoners at Guantanamo Bay have been treated unfairly. Seven-out-of-ten adults believe the prisoners are being treated "better than they deserve" (36%) or "about right" (34%).

The survey also found that just 14% agree with people who say that prisoner treatment at Guantanamo Bay is similar to Nazi tactics. Sixty-nine percent disagree with that comparison. This helps explain why Illinois Senator Dick Durbin apologized for making such a comparison.

Partisan differences concerning prisoner treatment are huge. Only 7% of Republicans believe Guantanamo prisoners are treated unfairly. Thirty percent (30%) of Democrats hold that view along with 22% of those not affiliated with either major party.

Forty-five percent (45%) of Republicans say the prisoners are treated better than they deserve. That view is shared by 28% of Democrats.

Seventeen percent (17%) of men say that the prisoners are treated unfairly along with 22% of women. Eighteen percent (18%) of married Americans hold that view along with 22% of those who are not married.

Among white Americans, 18% believe the prisoners are treated unfairly, a view shared by 23% of other Americans.

I'm not much for polls but these figures show such a small percentage that actually agree with Senator Turban err, Durbin, that I thought it was significant.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Old Europe, Who Cares?

Last year, Vice-President Cheney, caused quite a stir speaking of "Old Europe". It seemed to me that it was much-a-do about nothing.

Our home grown Europhiles and many of the self-styled intelligentsia of the European 'upper crust', were all in a huff. Their collective nose out of joint, they castigated Mr Cheney and in general, acted like offended dilettantes.

There was an unsaid message in Mr Cheney's statement. Europe is growing old and set in its ways. Unwilling to change its path and ridgedly hidebound to a system that supposedly combines the best of the freedom of western style Democracy with the "compassion" of Socialism; it has instead become the cross between an elephant and the rhinoceros, (the ell-if-i-no).

Robert J. Samuelson _ Washington Post
Europe's birthrates have dropped well below the replacement rate of 2.1 children for each woman of childbearing age. For Western Europe as a whole, the rate is 1.5. It's 1.4 in Germany and 1.3 in Italy. In a century -- if these rates continue -- there won't be many Germans in Germany or Italians in Italy. Even assuming some increase in birthrates and continued immigration, Western Europe's population grows dramatically grayer, projects the U.S. Census Bureau. Now about one-sixth of the population is 65 and older. By 2030 that would be one-fourth, and by 2050 almost one-third.

Read the whole thing.

My question is, do we care?