Alpine Summit

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Over There... Somewhere

Tonight I watched another episode of "Over There." I missed last week's but it was a good episode anyway. The main plot revolved around a suspect that they knew had the location of 20 stinger missiles that had been stolen by terrorists. Because the missiles were stolen, helicopters would not be able to provide air support to troops that may need it as it would be too dangerous.

So, to get the guy to talk it involved interrogation. Let me just say that interrogation is not a pretty business and anyone who thinks they can be in intelligence and ride a white horse is sorely mistaken. Anyway, the terrorist kept trying to get himself killed so he could go get his rasins in heaven.

But Manji says recent research shows all that virgin stuff was based on an erroneous translation of the Koran: what awaits in heaven are 72 raisins. What? Could 54 people really have been blown up for a bag of raisins? “Well in 7th century Arabia raisins were so exalted as to be promoted to paradise.”

During the interrogation; "Sergeant Scream," as he's known, was doing the interrogation and threatened to hand him over to the Pakistanis who are none too kind to terrorists- and the terrorist knew it. All the while, the terrorist kept whining about the Geneva conventions.

As they correctly mention in the show, Geneva conventions only apply to uniformed military personel. No uniform, rank, or serial number means they can be considered spies or illegal combatants- who are NOT protected under Geneva conventions. I enjoyed the episode because it really put a good perspective on our captives. We treat them with professionalism, but not with kid gloves. The lives of soldiers (as well as our own lives) depend entirely on people willing to do ugly and distasteful things for the rest of us. Sure people will curse them later for what they did, but at least they'll be able to curse them. That alone shows they did their job.

As one character says: "If cutting the balls off a terrorist will save one American life, I'm all for it." While that may be a tad on the extreme, I'm certainly for using their religion against them as well as any type of leverage possible to get them to talk if it means saving an American's life. In the show, the Sergeant found the terrorist's sister and described how she would be "raped until her flesh turned black" by the Pakistanis. Sure it was harsh, and sure it broke the guy mentally, but it also got the job done. After locating the missiles at a farm, they simply sent him to fetch the missiles and dropped a bomb on him and the farmer and his family holding the missiles.

This is the sort of thing that happens in a war. No sane person will tell you that war is a fun and jolly time. In fact, most (if not all) soldiers will tell you war is an ugly horrid business. But, these are the things that are done to save lives on our own side and it takes a strong constitution to perform such deeds.

It may seem barbaric for us, but even what's described above is a cake walk compared to what the terrorists do, or would do, to us if/when given half the chance. One only need look at Israel and see that the targets for the Palestinians are busses, cafes, and shopping centers. There's also the example of Nick Berg, Daniel Pearl, or any other litany of beheadings and executions done in the name of Allah.

How can anyone say we shouldn't fight this evil?