By Geoff Metcalf
May 17, 2004
The Army is responding to the Abu Ghraib scandal bassackwards.
A leadership breakdown resulted in a few prisoners suffering harassment and humiliation and the mainstream media used it to indict an administration and an entire military culture. The media excrement storm compelled the Army to soften their interrogation tactics and release hundreds of detainees. Nearly 300 Iraqis were recently from the prison and the Army said it would free another 475 prisoners May 21.
The mainstream media is responding to the Berg killing bassackwards.
Barbaric bad guys cut the head off an American civilian hostage and more attention is given to the victim's motives for being in a hostile environment than to the systemic unbridled gratuitous cruelty of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his gutless gaggle of thugs.
In the wake of a public relations disaster, sparked my a small group of bad actors, led by a minority of incompetent malfeasant leaders, policy makers are 'enabling' the terrorist dirt bags by repeating chronic past failings instead of learning from previous mistakes.
It is counterintuitive (especially in the wake of the Nick Berg decapitation) to 'go easy' on probable bad guys. The enemies in this war on terror view ANY accommodation, appeasement, negotiation, or 'lightening' as weakness. Weakness can and will be exploited. Foggy Bottom 'diplomacy' will not and cannot work in dealing with terrorists.
The slaughter of Nick Berg should be a signal to let the dogs out…not muzzle and hobble them. When exactly did "Let's roll!" morph into "Let's roll over."?
In 1988 I wrote a novel, The Terrorist Killers. It was a work of fiction, and although the tactics and methods I had my fictional 'International Terrorist Suppressors' employ were and are anti-American and way too draconian as a matter of U.S. policy, the underlying principles are sound.
The Bush Doctrine must become an empirical reality. "We will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime."
We cannot and should not pursue terrorists halfway. We cannot and should not mandate Marquis de Queensbury or even Geneva Convention boundaries.
These aggressors do not want territory, concessions or compromise. They want nothing other than our lives, and the elimination of essential freedom and liberty. Our way of life is anathema to their 13th century theocracy. They believe (incorrectly) that the inhuman atrocities they commit are authorized and required by God (although it is oxymoronic strange to see Hezbollah condemn the Berg decapitation). Notwithstanding the obvious, that they are flat ass WRONG, you cannot negotiate, appease or compromise with a sycophant who has been convinced they are doing what God wants them to do. Their malady is a psychological and theological cancer that is eating away at anything and everything that does not embrace their heresy.
It is too easy to suggest that the Bush Doctrine is being reined in because of the election. Sure that is a contributing element, but even when it was first articulated the administration demonstrated a diffidence to do what they said. "We will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism." So why didn't we lean on Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Libya, North Korea, et al THEN?
"Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists." Works for me! So why the equivocation over the Saudi symbiotic relationship with Wahabbis? Did I miss the caveat that bad guys get a pass if they have oceans of oil?
The United States has empowered every one of our Arab obstructionists by creating the oil industry for them (only to have them nationalize it, squander the wealth and enslave the benefactors) and gifting them with an addicted market to exploit.
"From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime." THAT is the talk…it is beyond time for us to start walking the walk. FOR REAL!
Now (especially in the wake of the Nick Berg atrocity) is no the time to create even the perception of weakness…and we have. We must demonstrate to the world we have the strength, commitment, and courage to the Bush Doctrine for real.
Ben Franklin said "Energy and persistence conquer all things." Another wise fat man once admonished, "Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment." There are consequences to the things we do and don't do.
© 2004 Geoff Metcalf - All Rights Reserved
"Geoff Metcalf is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host for TALK AMERICA and a veteran media performer. He has had an eclectic professional background covering a wide spectrum of radio, television, magazine, and newspapers. A former Green Beret and retired Army officer he is in great demand as a speaker. Visit Geoff's Web Site: www.geoffmetcalf.com. While you're at it - pick up a copy of Geoff's latest book! E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Now (especially in the wake of the Nick Berg atrocity) is no the time to create even the perception of weakness…and we have. We must demonstrate to the world we have the strength, commitment, and courage..."