This article appears in the August 9, 2004, issue of National Review.
A couple of months back, Sudan took time out from its hectic schedule of ethnic cleansing in Darfur to get elected to a three-year term at the U.N. Human Rights Commission. The U.S. representative protested this move by walking out before the final vote.
Big deal. The Sudanese delegate had a much droller reaction. Following his election, he immediately announced his major concern was the human-rights abuses at Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib.
At such moments, I find myself thinking: Do they know us much better than we know them? Take, for example, four small items in the news. Like Sudan’s man at Turtle Bay, they’re all revealing:
1) German prosecutors announce they’re dropping all the most serious charges against the only terrorist convicted for the 9/11 attacks, and releasing him.
2) The Philippines, in order to obtain the release of one hostage, pulls its troops out of Iraq and, according to reports, pays the terrorists a ransom of $6 million.
3) The U.N. Oil-for-Food program turns out to be funding the insurgents in Iraq.
4) A band of Syrian musicians terrifies passengers aboard a flight from Detroit to Los Angeles.
Those are four good reasons why I’m in favor of the U.S. going to terrorist-sponsoring states and dropping bombs on them. John Kerry, among others, believes that the war is “primarily an intelligence and law-enforcement operation.” If it is, we’ll lose. The prosecutors in Hamburg decided to drop charges against Mounir Motassadeq because “they fear” the crucial American evidence against him was obtained by torturing detainees at Guantánamo. That’s all: just a casual assumption that the Great Satan was up to his old tricks.
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