A LESSON ON HOW TO TREAT WAR PRISONERS
Apparently, when the big Chinook kicked off, the SEAL fell out.
A 32-year-old guy named Neil Roberts. A petty officer first class, one of the toughest in the American armed forces, in the back of a big twin-rotor helicopter that was taking fire.
And he went out the side. Nobody's exactly sure how. But there's a lot of movement and a lot of wind and a lot of gravity. And when they got close to base and did the head count they were one shy.
Which is a long way from Cuba.
Where a hundred and more captured Al Qaeda prisoners sit in cells waiting for lunch. A good Muslim lunch designed to incorporate their traditional foods and to be respectful of Islam's dietary guidelines. Just like breakfast and supper. They eat good there, and most of them have put on weight.
And most of them have been through the camp infirmary, a fully functioning Army field hospital where they receive the same medical care offered members of the American military. In fact, in addition to treating any injuries sustained in their capture, American specialists have also treated orthopedic and cosmetic injuries sustained in battle months and years ago.
Al Qaeda detainees at Guantanamo Bay have received the best of American medical and dental care -- for free -- being given procedures and treatment simply unavailable in their native lands.
And they've been given a Muslim chaplain, flown in especially for them, and copies of the Koran, and a big sign points the direction to pray toward Mecca and the five-times-a-day Islamic call to prayer is played on the camp loudspeaker.
That's what's happening in Cuba.
And yet, activists and officials from around the world have publically condemned American treatment of the Al Qaeda men captured in combat. Muslim governments, our European allies, American leftist groups and Amnesty International-types have all bitterly accused the United States of being inhumane. Some have claimed there should be a United Nations condemnation, many have called for international inspectors to go in.
The call has been loud, almost deafening, as the world has condemned and cursed the way Al Qaeda fighters have been treated in captivity by Americans.
That's in Cuba.
Which is a long way from Afghanistan.
Where one of those Prowler unmanned surveillance planes saw Petty Officer Roberts come out of the helicopter, and lie there injured but alive and conscious. The bigwigs saw this, live, back at headquarters.
And they also saw the three Al Qaeda guys come out of the bush and grab him. He was their prisoner. Captured in battle. And they grabbed him and dragged him and took him away.
And then, it seems, they beat him.
And executed him.
They shot him to death. Bang, bang. A wounded man. A detainee. No medical care, no food, no holy book, no chaplain. Just a bullet.
Which has produced silence on the part of the world's activists.
Not one word.
Apparently it's OK to shoot a wounded prisoner, but if you take him to a hospital and treat his injuries and feed him, you've gone too far. Apparently killing an American detainee is acceptable, while coddling an Al Qaeda detainee is not. The same people who have seen a war crime in the treatment of terrorists are unperturbed by the slaughter of a prisoner of war.
We treat them with caring and compassion, and we get cursed. They treat us with barbarism and butchery, and they get blessed.
And that's not right.
Critics of the American detention of Al Qaeda terrorists in Cuba aren't concerned about those terrorists, and they don't give two hoots about human rights. What they want to do is attack America, any way they can. The great many people who hate the American people and culture have rallied to the defense of the Cuba detainees.
And had nary a word of criticism for the pigs who executed Neil Roberts in cold blood.
This war is about good versus evil -- no matter what you hear. The forces of light are tackling the forces of darkness. Civilization is taming savagery.
And Neil Roberts gave his life in that cause.
And, fortunately for them, the Al Qaeda detainees in Cuba were captured by men instead of beasts.
- by Bob Lonsberry © 2002