March 4, 2008


AOG writes:

Gateway Pundit has an article about various Islamic radicals threatening and / or encouraging the assassination of Prince Harry. What struck me as odd is that these radicals live in the UK. I am a fervent supporter of free speech, but even I think that kind of direct, personal, encouragement of political killing is over the line. As far as I know, saying something like that here about a member of the President’s family would result in an arrest and hopefully prosecution.

In my opinion, the proper course of action is internment, not prosecution. These things are not really within the scope of criminal law. This is a very different matter from, say, those leftists who have "suggested" that Bush ought to be assassinated. We are at war with Islamic radical terrorists, and these British radicals are, at the very least, giving them encouragement.

We are at war, and it is not our fault that our enemies are violating the laws of war. Our situation now is analogous to that which Lincoln faced. The uniformed armies of the Confederacy were, of course, fought openly and honorably. But, there were also large numbers of Confederate sympathizers scattered among the northern population, among whom were spies and saboteurs, and all sorts of ankle-biters and foot-draggers.

The situation required that Lincoln that Lincoln win the war. That was his Christian and American duty. And therefore it required that he use irregular methods against those who opposed us by irregular means. And for that reason he tapped telegraph lines repeatedly (no warrants), suspended Habeas Corpus, and had Lafayette Baker and the 1st DC Cavalry out kidnapping people and disappearing them into Old Capitol Prison. (Known locally as "Baker's Bastille.") And, yes, squeezing information out of them by methods you would not prefer over waterboarding. (Baker was, alas, far less clever than he thought he was, and the assassins who killed Lincoln gathered right under his nose.)

Our schoolchildren are subject, at least in California, to relentless propaganda about how wrong the US was to intern Japanese-Americans during WWII. This is a product of America-hating leftists. In hindsight it looks like Roosevelt was wrong—in practice—to intern them, BUT in principle he was absolutely correct. If he honestly feared that there were significant numbers of saboteurs among the Japanese-American population, who could not be easily identified, it would have been morally wrong not to intern that group. Roosevelt's duty—his Christian duty—was to win the war, and if the methods needed were irregular and brutal, then it was his duty to use them.

If the Western nations interned Islamic radicals who were inciting violence, the moral opprobrium would rest on the terror groups who use these people. Not on those doing the interning. There are laws and moral norms for waging war. Leftists tend to use these (and things like "International Law" and "Just War Theory") as if they only apply to America and her allies. Doing so is utterly dishonest and despicable. If the Islamic radicals mentioned above have gone so far as to actually encourage someone to assassinate Prince Harry, they are waging war. And committing a war crime. They could, with perfect legality, be stood up against a wall and shot. And that would arguably the morally correct thing to do, though in practice we would more likely give them a long comfortable vacation somewhere.

Our fake-pacifists often argue from Christian morality, saying in effect that we should "turn the other cheek" to terrorists or genocidal tyrants. This is false reasoning. Why? Because they are turning someone else's cheek! They don't suffer. They condemn some poor devil in the Third World to suffer, and then jump in the Prius and go home to a gourmet dinner and a safe (Thanks to our armed forces) night's sleep.

The analog, on the level of nations, to "turning the other cheek," is to flatten your enemy utterly, so he does not think of starting another war. And THEN to extend the hand of friendship, and give him aid and encouragement, and help him onto a better path. That's what we did after WWII. That's what Lincoln wanted to do after the Civil War.

And if any of you "pacifists" out there don't like what I write, don't sneer and carp, like scrubs. Make a case. Show me where my reasoning is wrong.

Posted by John Weidner at March 4, 2008 9:02 AM
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