A Systemic Response to Abuse of “Enemy Combatants”

Hat tip to The Radical Centrist for pointing me to an
impressively dispassionate, pro-American, fact-based analysis of the genuinely deep
problem of prisoner abuse, that neither slings mud nor makes facile

Torture and
abuse is not just a moral or legal failure. It is a
failure in the War on Terror. Certainly, we will never be nice enough to
convince Zarqawi?and the ~20,000 like him?to stop killing Americans.
But there are another 55 million people in Iraq and Afghanistan who may still be
convinced of our moral superiority to the Islamic fundamentalists, the
terrorists and their ilk; another 55 million people whose hearts and minds may
still be won.

Only, they
may not be won if we keep killing, torturing and abusing them. We can never make
them all love us, but we can certainly stop giving them good reasons to hate us.

Nevertheless, there is
still the problem of prisoners. To that end, I would suggest that we operate
absolutely above-board?even if it means we put ourselves at some risk in
certain instances. All detainees should be housed in prisons perfectly
accessible to the ICRC and various Human Rights organizations. The Geneva
Convention should be observed

While it might be
nice to get that occassional tip out of an insurgent, we can win the war without
it. We cannot win the war without the support of the people of Iraq and
Afghanistan, and that may be the price of sacrificing our moral high ground to
beat up some insurgents.