Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Christopher Hitchens on Eggs and Omelets

Writing in Slate, Christopher Hitchens bluntly and effectively spotlights the handwringing hypocrisy of the international Left vis-a-vis the War on Terror and the handling and interrogation of captured terrorists. Hitchens offers a pragmatic view of the Iraqi TV show Terrorism in the Grip of Justice, which humiliates captured terrorists by televising their confessions and apologies, and wryly notes that the show couldn't be put on American TV due to Geneva Convention concerns and the graphic captured terrorist videos.
When possible, it also shows the videos that these people have made, so that, for example, a man can be viewed as he slices a victim's throat and then viewed, looking much less brave, as he explains where he comes from, how he was taught to rehearse beheadings and throat-slittings on animals, and other insights into the trade.
Hitchens also questions, rightly, any claim of al Qaeda terrorists to protection under the Geneva Conventions:
The forces of al-Qaida and its surrogate organizations are not signatory to the conventions and naturally express contempt for them. They have no battle order or uniform and are represented by no authority with which terms can be negotiated. Nor can they claim, as actual guerrilla movements like the Algerian FLN have done in the past, to be the future representatives of their countries or peoples. In Afghanistan and Iraq, they sought to destroy the electoral process that alone can confer true legitimacy, and they are in many, if not most, cases not even citizens of the countries concerned. Their announced aim is the destruction of all nonbelievers, and their avowed method is indiscriminate and random murder. They are more like pirates, hijackers, or torturers—three categories of people who have in the past been declared outside the protection of any law.
And Hitchens asks the $64,000 question:
How many of those who express concern about Guantanamo have also been denouncing the administration for being too lenient about ignoring warnings and missing opportunities for a pre-atrocity roundup?
It's heartening to see such writing and opinions expressed in Slate, which can often be found a little bit to the left of Teddy Kennedy.

Via The Jawa Report, where Dr. Rusty Shackelford focuses on Hitchens criticism of Amnesty International in the same column.