The following letters were sent to President George W. Bush
and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.
The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
On behalf of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property – TFP, I urge you to resist the pressures being made here and abroad to classify the terrorists from the al-Qaeda and Taliban movements as “prisoners of war” under the 1949 Geneva Convention.
The new conflict America faces is one for survival itself.
The enemy that attacks us does not believe in negotiation and proclaims its goal shamelessly: the extermination of America and Western civilization.
It is nonsensical that an agreement signed by sovereign states should be used on behalf of those whose ideologues call for every state’s demise, advocate anarcho-Islam, and proclaim that any government that claims sovereignty has robbed it from Allah.
The dissenting chorus we hear from European socialists, liberal clergy, pacifists, and leftist non-governmental organizations should not daunt us. Many of them are influenced by currents of opinion openly sympathetic to Bin Laden and have been railing for decades against American “arrogance.” Such opposition is to be expected all the more, given the unholy alliance against America forged between post-Marxism, anarcho-Islam, and liberation theology.
The right to self-defense is based not on any treaty, but on natural law. States enjoy this right no less than individuals. America has the right, nay, the obligation, to use every means assured it under natural law to defend itself from a foe that will settle for nothing short of its annihilation.
With sentiments of profound respect, I am
* * *
The Honorable Donald H. Rumsfeld
Secretary of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20301-1000
Dear Secretary Rumsfeld:
On behalf of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property – TFP, I would like to congratulate you for your firm resistance to the pressures here and abroad to classify the terrorists from the al-Qaeda and Taliban movements as “prisoners of war” under the 1949 Geneva Convention.
Granting terrorists “prisoner of war” status is an insult to the millions of Americans who served their country honorably during the wars we have had to wage in our history. It insults both the memory of our heroic POWs, and the hundreds of thousands who paid the ultimate price. Justice to them demands that we reject any attempt to classify terrorists as “prisoners of war.”
Such classification would equate the honorable with the dishonorable, the virtuous with the morally condemnable, the role model with the despicable. It would equate patriotism with terrorism. It would place the soldier — who for love of country and the common good, trades the legitimate affection of family bonds and the relative comforts of civilian life for the perils and uncertainties of the battlefield — on equal footing with the common criminal.
Many of the religious, political, and humanitarian leaders inappropriately clamoring for “prisoner of war” status for these terrorists are imbued with romantic ideologies from the sixties. Not granting such status, they claim, is to succumb to savagery. They fail to realize that their misguided efforts would further civilization’s demise.
These liberal voices accuse the United States of imperialism. This charge is most unfair. What territory did the United States gain in the twentieth century for fighting against the totalitarian regimes of Hitler and Mussolini, and against international communism in Korea and Vietnam? Six feet of dirt in which to bury our brave dead.
In justice, we owe it to our heroes, and we owe it to the nation, never to so diminish the respect due to their exemplary merit and valor.
With deep appreciation, I am
Published in The Washington Times.