.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Dr. Rice Pounds The Point Home: Europe Relieved

Was there any doubt in anyone's mind that when Dr. Rice went abroad that Europe would snub her, or disregard her? This is a talented, powerful woman. Believe me, they were going to pay attention to what she had to say. The MSM warned that she was out of her league, and had a lot of explaining to do. Au contraire, her explanations seemed to have satisfied many of the naysayers in Europe. (HT: Captain's Quarters/WaPo)


European foreign ministers attempted to make peace with the United States on Thursday over the controversy concerning treatment of terrorism suspects, with many saying they were satisfied with visiting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's explanations of U.S. policy.

But lingering concerns were evident when Dutch officials said they would press to set up a prison of their own in Afghanistan so that any suspects captured by Dutch troops there would not be transferred to Guantanamo Bay or other American facilities.

More power to the Dutch. I do suggest they ask the Afghani government before proceeding. They could, very well, say "no."

The controversy over secret CIA prisons and U.S. detainee policy dominated a gathering at NATO headquarters Thursday at which a plan to send as many as 6,000 alliance troops to patrol southern Afghanistan was approved, relieving some of the burden on U.S. forces.

It's about time that the world take a bit more of a role in this theater. We've been pushing for this fo awhile. Afghanistan was battlefield number one in the GWOT, and one in which we had the most nations involved in. Europe has been hit more than the US has since 11 Sept. It's time for them to step up a bit more.

The Netherlands tentatively plans to supply about 1,200 troops for the mission, which will bring NATO soldiers for the first time into the most dangerous part of Afghanistan since U.S. forces invaded shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. NATO already heads a peacekeeping force in more secure parts of the country.

Rice had dinner with 31 of her European colleagues Wednesday in Brussels. Aides were not included, which officials said allowed for a fuller airing of concerns over U.S. policy without political posturing.

Some ministers, such as Bernard Bot of the Netherlands, had indicated they still had deep concerns over U.S. policy, despite a week-long effort by Rice to defuse the tensions. But afterward, ministers reported that they were satisfied with the U.S. position.

"Secretary Rice has covered basically all of our concerns," Bot said, adding that if the secret prisons existed -- which he called "pure speculation" -- Rice "has made it quite clear" that the United States did not violate international law in such facilities.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier added that Rice "has reiterated that in the United States international obligations are not interpreted differently than in Europe."

NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer declared at a news conference that Rice had "cleared the air" and that he considered the issue closed. "You will not see this discussion continuing" at NATO, he said.

It's nice to see that Europe is finally getting this. This is a world war, but the US has point in this. No one else wanted to take the responsibility (again), and no one else was willing to make the sacrifice (again). This fell to us. Had we not reacted, had we not gone after these animals, no one would have. That was more evident than ever in the 90's. And during that time, our response to attacks against our nation and our interests abroad were half-assed at best. I hate to crush Bubba's hopes but his idea of retaliation was shooting a dozen cruise missiles into Afghanistant to hit a camel in the ass. He NEVER truly tried to decapitate al-Qaeda.

Rice left Washington for Europe on Monday knowing that she would be pressed for explanations about whether the United States was maintaining a secret prison system in Europe in which suspects were being cruelly interrogated.

She issued a lengthy statement before she left, but her answers to reporters' inquiries during the trip sometimes seemed to add to the confusion over whether the United States barred certain interrogation tactics overseas. The Bush administration in the past has argued that the U.N. Convention Against Torture -- which the United States has ratified -- barring cruel, inhuman or degrading interrogations did not apply overseas.

Rice, who returns to Washington on Friday, appeared to help her case by issuing a statement in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, on Wednesday that on its face removed ambiguity: She referred to U.S. obligations to prevent cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and said the ban extended "to U.S. personnel wherever they are, whether they are in the United States or outside of the United States."

Duh! That has been our policy since we have been involved in foreign entanglements. We don't torture. Embarrassing treatment, degrading treatment, that's something different. But physical and psychological torture that causes long term or permanent damage is out of the question. We don't do that. We have never had that as an official policy of the United States, and we never should. We have other methods we can use to interrogate these subjects.

Some legal and human rights experts in the United States pointed to possible loopholes in her statement, such as whether the reference to "personnel" also applied to U.S. contractors or whether President Bush still asserted the right to selectively opt out of international obligations.

What international obligations have we opted out of? To my knowledge there is only one thing the president wants no part of, and that's the International Criminal Court. And there's a good reason why we haven't been a part of that. We don't let foreign powers prosecute our military personnel, or any other dignitary based on assumptions and half-truths. Anyone remember when there was talk last year about foreign leaders arresting the president?

At a news conference Thursday, Rice offered a further refinement that appeared to address these questions: "We are a nation of laws," she said. "The President of the United States is not going to ask American citizens to violate U.S. law or to violate our international obligations."

Rice did not directly answer a question about whether any loopholes remained in her statements. She also said she could not guarantee that abuses would not occur again despite her assurances that U.S. policy is clear. "Will there be abuses of policy? That's entirely possible," she said. "Just because you're a democracy it doesn't mean that you're perfect."

And if there are abuses, there will be punishments. We have thoroughly punished those involved with Abu Ghraib. Each person has served a length of time, and have been dishonorably discharged. Even though I still maintain that the entire "scandal" was overblown by the MSM, these soldiers still violated the UCMJ, and have been punished appropriately.

The deployment of NATO troops to southern Afghanistan is set to begin in May and will mark a significant expansion of NATO's involvement in the country. NATO forces have to this point operated in relatively quiet areas, such as provincial towns and the capital, Kabul, while U.S. and allied forces took on the job of active combat against Taliban and al Qaeda fighters. But now the NATO troops, led by the British, are likely to engage insurgents, who have been stepping up attacks.

I'd rather have NATO troops engaging insurgents rather than the UN peacekeepers. If the peacekeepers were over there, we'd probably have another UN sex scandal on our hands.

Bot said the Netherlands had negotiated a memorandum of understanding with the Afghan government that ensures that no prisoners captured by the Dutch and turned over to the Afghans will face the death penalty. The Dutch also received assurance that NATO guidelines regarding detainees in Afghanistan will be strictly enforced. Under those rules, the International Committee of the Red Cross must be notified six hours after a suspect is captured and the suspect must be released or sent to a facility within four days.

Maybe the Dutch and NATO would like to have a word with the International Red Cross, but we'd like to avoid these people at all costs. The American Red Cross is a solid organization. However, the other branches of the Red Cross around the world have a lot to be desired. During the tsunami earlier this year, people were scrambling to find other outlets to send their contributions to because of how corrupt the International Red Cross is.

Two weeks ago, after reports of secret CIA prisons stirred a political and news media furor in Europe, the Dutch government began to press for its own prison facility in southern Afghanistan. Dutch officials said that after reports of conditions at Guantanamo, they wanted to be sure that any suspects they captured would be monitored by the Red Cross and never end up in U.S.-run facilities. The Bush administration has refused to allow the Red Cross access to all detainees.

The Dutch are upset over the treatment of detainees at Gitmo? You've got to be kidding me. What would the Dutch prefer, that we just release them? There is NO ABUSE down in Gitmo. We have taken every measure, every step, to insure that these people aren't mistreated. They get faith-friendly meals (no pork), they are given Korans and prayer rugs, a sign in their cell show them the direction they're to face when they pray, a loudspeaker in their cell tells them when they're supposed to pray, and interrogations are stopped to accomodate their prayer times. EVERY step is being taken to ensure that their "rights" are adhered to.

Frankly, I think this PC grabage needs to go. You don't win wars by being wimpy. You don't win wars by capitulating to your enemy. The minute you do, you're dead. The enemy will eat you alive. We've conducted this war well, but I long for the days of having a Patton, a MacArthur, or a Puller in charge of the war. These men were warriors, and knew what it took to win a war. Further, they would have told Europe to get stuffed with their complaints. Gen. Eisenhower reminded the French that they were going to be liberated whether they liked it or not from the Nazi Regime. We've always done that. When the world's bacon is cooking, we've always had to come and bail them out. We've done it again this time, and I'd like to hear at least a "thank you" coming out of them when we're all said and done.

Publius II


Post a Comment

<< Home

weight loss product