How soon we forget.
On September 11, 2001, our mainland was invaded for the first time in almost two hundred years, by a foreign enemy with designs on destroying our way of life. Three thousand human beings met a violent death in a matter of minutes. It was a colossal attack reminiscent of Pearl Harbor, only worse. Our enemies declared war on the United States.
Radical Islamists not only cheered throughout the mid-east, they danced in the streets of America, in New York, Detroit and Los Angeles.
This is a different enemy than the Japanese and the Nazis because they have been programmed from childhood to die as martyrs for the privilege of killing you and me. This enemy is more clandestine and deceitful. This enemy hides behind the veil of religion and moderation. This enemy has been winning wars around the globe since 632 A.D. Their goal of world dominion have never changed.
In 1941, we declared war against our enemy. It was the right thing to do.
In 2001, we waged war against a tactic and called it the “War On Terror.” That was the wrong thing to do. We cannot win a war unless we have the guts to identify who we are fighting: Radical Islam.
The global war against radical Islam is no more abated today than it was in 2001. They have focus, manpower, weaponry and unlimited funding. These forces are determined to take over the United States, whether through violence or surreptitious infiltration. Whether it takes ten years or a hundred years, they are using the protections of our constitution to eventually replace it with the Koran. This is no secret. Hundreds of scholars and experts are warning us.
Now comes the U.S. Supreme Court, in a narrow 5-4 ruling, deciding that foreign enemy combatants seized in war activity have the same rights as American citizens to habeas corpus. Thus, Guantanamo prison will likely be closed and the 270 prisoners will stand trial in American courts. Either that, or the detainees will be transferred to the United Kingdom, Germany or Iraq.
At first blush, the decision sounds humane. Think again. It could create humongous problems down the road.
Should a future war escalate and the theater of operations ever takes place on U.S. soil, Miami, Houston, Alexandria and Minneapolis could become battlefields. (Entirely feasible) Millions could die. Thousands of enemy combatants may be taken into custody. Instead of detaining them as prisoners of war — who will kill our children if released again — we must treat them as ordinary felons, afford them the same rights as Americans and jam the court system beyond capacity. Pandemonium would follow. The courts would be crippled. Attorneys will demand speedy trials and due process. We would not have enough judges and lawyers to keep up with the demand. Many will go free.
In 1863, Abraham Lincoln invoked an executive order to suspend habeas corpus. But in the Civil War, that applied only to Americans who were eventually released back to their families. In this case, prisoners of war would be released to their hateful armies and happily resume killing us.
War is war. We should treat it as so, because our survival as a nation may depend on it.
The five majority justices may be well meaning, but they were short sighted in this regard.
President Bush says he may try to pass new legislation that will keep the detainees in place. But with six months left in office and facing an opposing congress, he better not hold his breath.
I don’t always agree with the right wing of the court, but this time they were correct. In his dissenting opinion, Justice Scalia noted that the effect of this ruling will cause the detainees to be less safe, because the military will now be compelled to keep them in foreign locations under foreign control to circumvent the question of habeas corpus. He further added, “The nation will live to regret what the court has done today.”
Let’s hope he’s wrong.