“Kill, Don’t Capture”

This morning, Ralph Peters says out loud what many have been thinking about “our prisoner problem” in the wake of Hamdan, Abu Ghraib, etc.:

Violent Islamist extremists must be killed on the battlefield. Only in the rarest cases should they be taken prisoner. Few have serious intelligence value. And, once captured, there’s no way to dispose of them.

Consider today’s norm: A terrorist in civilian clothes can explode an IED, killing and maiming American troops or innocent civilians, then demand humane treatment if captured – and the media will step in as his champion. A disguised insurgent can shoot his rockets, throw his grenades, empty his magazines, kill and wound our troops, then, out of ammo, raise his hands and demand three hots and a cot while he invents tales of abuse.

Isn’t it time we gave our critics what they’re asking for? Let’s solve the “unjust” imprisonment problem, once and for all. No more Guantanamos! Every terrorist mission should be a suicide mission. With our help.

Such a policy, Peters writes, would be consistent with the “oft-cited, seldom-read Geneva and Hague Conventions” and with the traditional rules of warfare. And it would indeed solve the problem of what to do with all those prisoners who probably can’t be kept imprisoned forever, but are too dangerous to release. Prospectively, anyway.


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