(By Ray D.)
Many Americans know that most Germans don't really care about Guantanamo and human rights. They march in outrage by the thousands to protest Bush and Guantanamo, but at the same time they condone and ignore far worse human rights abuses by Russia in Chechnya while their government does billion dollar deals with Vladimir Putin. Or how about massive weapons deals Gerhard Schroeder has in mind with China (another paragon of human rights) or the big business he did with the princes of Arabia on his last multi-nation tour of the Middle East?
No ladies and gentleman. Don't be fooled when you read articles in the German media criticizing Gitmo. It isn't about human rights. This is about tearing down the United States of America and especially conservative Americans. It is about the intellectual German left winning back the moral high ground, and America is perhaps the single greatest obstacle to that objective. Especially that part of red-state America that stood firm during the Cold War in the face of Soviet Communism. So what do the German elites do? We've documented it on this site: They shamelessly criticize anything and everything about the United States. They lie, twist and distort the facts about America to manipulate public opinion.
Now we know that at least one American writer has also not been fooled. Who you ask? Ralph Peters of the NY Post. Mr. Peters spent ten years in the military in Germany and knows a thing or two about the Euro-snob mentality towards his nation. His most recent article in the NY Post, entitled "Gitmo Cocktail" is a take-no-prisoners slam-dunk. Here are some excerpts:
"THE demands to shut down our Guantanamo lock-up for terrorists have nothing to do with human rights. They're about punishing America for our power and success.
From our ailing domestic left to overseas America haters, no one really cares about the fate of Mustapha the Murderer or Ahmed the Assassin. The lies told about Gitmo are meant to undercut U.S. foreign policy and embarrass America.
The Gitmo controversy is about many things, from jealousy of the United States and outrage that we refuse to fail, to residual anger that we won the Cold War and exploded the left's great fantasy of a dictatorship of the intellectuals. But the one thing the protests aren't about is human rights.
Except, of course, as a means to slam the United States. (...)
Has the Bush administration made mistakes regarding Guantanamo? You bet. The biggest one was attempting to placate the critics. By launching a new investigation every time a terrorist had a toothache, our government played into the hands of its enemies.
The truth is that the terrorists and their defenders have something in common. It's not courage, which is one quality violent fanatics don't lack. It's that neither can be appeased.
Any concession only increases their appetites. The Clinton administration's reluctance to respond to terrorist strikes encouraged al Qaeda. If the Bush administration closed the Guantanamo facility, any alternative holding center would be attacked just as rabidly and dishonestly.
If we put our captives up at the Four Seasons, we'd be condemned because somebody smelled bacon at breakfast.
You can't negotiate with terrorists. And you cannot reason with ideologues — whether they're Islamist fanatics or pathetic old lefties fishing for a cause to give meaning to squandered lives. Terrorists, French and German neo-Stalinists, and our own democracy-hating intelligentsia aren't interested in facts. It's all about the comfort of belief.
Let's get this straight: Nothing we could do would appease those who feel a need for our country to fail. We must stop trying to satisfy them. (...)
Oh, and thanks to the "mainstream" media for assuming that our country's always wrong.
There is a culture of torture in the world. Blessedly, America isn't part of it. When a few of our troops make mistakes, they're punished. Given the magnitude of our task and the unprecedented conditions we face, it's remarkable our errors have been so few.
What should enrage every decent citizen is that the real torturers — from Zimbabwe to China, from Syria to North Korea — get a pass from the political left. If terrorists behead defenseless captives on videotape, it's simply an expression of their culture. But if a handful of U.S. troops play an ugly round of Candid Camera, that's a new gulag.
As someone who takes human rights seriously, I'm appalled by the lack of sympathy the left feels toward the victims of any regime other than the Bush administration. Let's shout it to prisoners everywhere: If you're not harmed by an American, your suffering doesn't count.
The left's hypocrisy is immeasurable. The grandchildren of those who defended Stalin are mortified that Saddam Hussein will stand trial. By taking such irresponsible voices seriously, we grant our critics a strength they otherwise lack and simply help them keep their lies alive.
No matter what our country does, we will never please a global intelligentsia outraged that all their theories came to nothing. We can't satisfy al Qaeda, and we can't please those discontented souls who need to blame the United States for their personal inadequacies. It's time we stopped trying."
Read the entire article. Mr. Peter's has put his finger directly into an open wound. His article is a much-needed breath of fresh air.
As we wrote in an earlier piece: Many Americans realize that much of the criticism they hear blaring from across the seas is not fair, balanced, constructive and heartfelt but rather dishonest, biased, destructive and vindictive. Far too many critics of America would rather see the country go down in failure and flames as opposed to changing the nation for the better, and Americans know that.
And until that changes, until America's critics show some sign of fairness and proportion, there will be no basis for real change. Until the leftist Euro-critics show that they are genuinely interested in human rights violations, not just those allegedly perpetrated by the United States, there will be no real basis for change. And Americans should view any and all criticism coming from the European left with extreme caution and with heavy reservation until that fundamental change takes place.
Update: Here is an excellent comment from helian:
No one here is defending torture at Gitmo or anywhere else. The fact is, though, that Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, etc., are used as propaganda bludgeons to bash America by people who could care less about the suffering of the victims of torture at Gitmo or anywhere else. You don't have to be a genius to tell there's a huge difference between the impassioned but principled condemnation of abuse at Gitmo and elsewhere of people like Andrew Sullivan, or, a little further to the left, Josh Marshall, and exploiters of human suffering like the editors of SPIEGEL and STERN, who are transparently indifferent to the victims of torture, virtually ignore it anyplace in the world but the U.S., and are transparently more motivated by hate, malice and envy than any humanitarian desire to remedy human suffering. Guys like Andrew, Josh, and many others have real concerns that places like Gitmo are more dangerous to American core values and freedoms than any combination of terrorists you could name. I tend to think they're right. Unfortunately, the rug is being pulled out from under them every day by leftist hate peddlars whose over-the-top America bashing rhetoric is an easy mark for those who demand security at any cost. Andrew, Josh, et. al. have no traction at the moment, because of the entirely justified outrage of the American people at the usual double standard of the leftist elites.