The following may not be considered "politically correct."
Torture and the Geneva Conventions
The Geneva Conventions concerning torture apply to members of uniformed armed forces.
They do not apply to terrorists wearing black pajamas or galabias (masked or not), or hoodies, or any other apparel not recognizable as a military (or naval) uniform. That rules out Al Qaeda in all its representations, ISIS or whatever its name-of-the-day, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Hezbollah, PLO and its "children," Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and similar organizations. It would exclude - if they still were around - the Black Panthers, Weather Underground, The Socialist Workers Party (SWP), and The Youth International Party (YIP); the KKK is a "uniformed" terror group, the uniform being sheets and pillow cases.
(A list of terrorist organizations, Islamic and otherwise, is provided on the Terrorist Organizations Fpage.)
Terrorists do not abide by any "humane" convention.
I personally like Senator McCain; I would have liked to see him in the White House at one time. Despite that, Sen. McCain and I part company over treatment of terrorists.
On December 9, 2014, Sen. McCain in a floor speech said the following (excerpted from the speech)
- “I have long believed some of these practices amounted to torture, as a reasonable person would define it, especially, but not only the practice of waterboarding, which is a mock execution and an exquisite form of torture. Its use was shameful and unnecessary; and, contrary to assertions made by some of its defenders and as the Committee’s report makes clear, it produced little useful intelligence to help us track down the perpetrators of 9/11 or prevent new attacks and atrocities.
“I know from personal experience that the abuse of prisoners will produce more bad than good intelligence. I know that victims of torture will offer intentionally misleading information if they think their captors will believe it. I know they will say whatever they think their torturers want them to say if they believe it will stop their suffering. Most of all, I know the use of torture compromises that which most distinguishes us from our enemies, our belief that all people, even captured enemies, possess basic human rights, which are protected by international conventions the U.S. not only joined, but for the most part authored.
“The knowledge of torture’s dubious efficacy and my moral objections to the abuse of prisoners motivated my sponsorship of the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, which prohibits ‘cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment’ of captured combatants, whether they wear a nation’s uniform or not.
Then again, consider:
Wingate's basic philosophy toward the enemy was "There is only one way to deal with the situation, to persuade the gangs that, in their predatory raids, there is every chance of their running into a government gang which is determined to destroy them."
Wingate was referring to the English Mandatory goverenment, not a Jewish, government.
In the "some things never change" department, Wingate has been criticized for the harsh methods his force used against the enemy and those who assisted them. Cruelty and punitive humiliation provoked negative comment from some of the Haganah people and from Moshe Sharett (Shertok) who was otherwise a friend and admirer of Wingate. However, Wingate's methods were no worse than the brutal tactics employed by other British forces in Palestine in putting down the revolt, and the Arab gangs they were fighting were killing civilians mercilessly.
Legend has it that Wingate captured two Arabs who, he was convinced, knew where arms were cached. He asked one Arab the cache's location. No reply. He took out his service revolver, put it to the Arab's head and asked again, telling the Arab the result if he failed to provide the information. Again, no answer.
He shot the Arab and went to the second Arab, pointed the revolver at the man's head and asked the question again. This time he got his answer.
Torture? Perhaps. Contrary to Sen. McCain's contention of "torture’s dubious efficacy", Wingate's tactic proved its worth.
Col. Allen West in Iraq
Then Lt. Col. West was cashiered for convincing an enemy he would die if he failed to provide needed information. There are two at variance stores about this incident on the Web:
Caveat: I have had personal dealing with West and he has my respect.
In the Philippines
In a Snopes entry that works very hard at being "politically correct," the undetermined status story about U.S. troops putting down Muslim terrorism by executing captured terrorists with pig-greased bullets and then burying them with porcine entrails. One of the captured terrorists was allowed to return to his associates; Muslim terrorism allegedly ceased in the Philippines for the next 50 years.
Bet Shean, Israel
Some terrorists crossed the border from Jordan many years ago and entered the Israeli border community of Bet Shean. Most of the residents of Bet Shean are refugees from North Africa, people who are familiar with Muslim belief and customs.
The terrorists, after managing to murder a few locals, were killed by the army. The residents doused the terrorists' bodies with kerosene and set them afire. Muslim belief holds that a burned body cannot go to heaven; no 70 virgins.
No terrorist returned to Bet Shean for decades; when one did, he was stopped before he got to the community. His fate was a short stay in an Israeli prison.
Caveat: I have relatives in Bet Shean.
Does dealing with the enemy on OUR (Western) terms work?
In a word: No.
Does dealing with the enemy on the enemy's terms work?
In two words: Apparently, yes.
If the enemy deals with us on "Geneva Convention" terms, then we should respond accordingly.
Unfortunately, only the leftist bleeding hearts fail to understand that simple truth.
Perhaps Sen. McCain is correct: the U.S. should abandon physical torture. In it's place let the enemy know we will follow the lead of Orde Wingate, Allen West, the officer in the Philippines, and the good people of Bet Shean. But we MUST make good on the psychological threats; if we bluff even once, we are lost.
Since Al Qaeda et al still terrorize the world, obviously the left's approach doesn't work.