Repent, Or Else
The AP reports that Singapore is holding 39 terrorist suspects indefinitely and without trial. Even the list of suspects is apparently secret. I thought Guantanamo Prison was the worst place in the world? Now maybe Singapore will be condemned by the United Nations for Human Rights violations. But somehow I doubt it because I equally doubt whether Singapore gives a damn.
Singapore is holding 39 people for involvement in terrorism and espionage, the government said Monday. Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng told Parliament that the 39 are being held under the Internal Security Act, which allows for arrest without charge and indefinite detention without trial.
And none of them are apparently going to see daylight again unless they are "rehabilitated".
Three others were released after cooperating in the investigation and being rehabilitated, Wong said. ... "Several of them continue to hold on to the core JI belief that Muslims and non-Muslims cannot live in harmony. They also believe in the establishment of an Islamic state through violent means," Wong said. "Rehabilitation, including religious counseling, for these detainees is ongoing. Their cases are regularly reviewed."
I wonder what Mahatir in neighboring Malaysia thinks of all that. He always has an unkind word for Israel and America. But then again, there's a special set of rules for judging America and Israel and totally separate book for evaluating the rest of the world.
One of the most interesting features of the world political terrain is the existence of media masking. Simply put, there are things countries outside the media limelight can do which countries in the spotlight can't. Recently, the Ethiopian Army responded to an attempted Islamist urban uprising in Mogadishu. The Ethiopians were poorly equipped for precision strike. They had very few smart weapons capable of minimizing collateral damage. They had nothing American troops had. But they had something American troops will never possess, the ability to simply apply as much indiscriminate brute force as deemed necessary. By all accounts the fighting devastated Mogadishu and while the Ethiopians were briefly criticized by Human Rights monitors it is doubtful that the charges will stick, simply because accusations against poor blacks don't sell newspapers or help liberals get elected.
If one were to name the most brutal urban war in a Muslim nation, the three battles of Grozny must rate as far and away the worst. It was taken twice by the Russians and retaken once by the Chechens amidst destruction literally rivalling Stalingrad. Back and forth over a period lasting more than half a decade. On one New Year's Eve alone, the Russians lost an entire mechanized infantry brigade -- 120 APCs, 26 tanks, every man and the regimental commander too -- the Maikop brigade, and the press barely even noticed.
But although the Russians have a reputation for being crazy, nobody ever said they were stupid. If Russians were allowed brutality Moscow reasoned that Chechens would be allowed even more. They drew the obvious conclusion. Today, the Chechen war is in its Third Phase and being fought in part by Chechen Muslim mercenaries on behalf of Moscow, and their brutality against fellow Muslims is probably unsurpassed. The way in which the political terrain works is that Americans and Israelis are held to a high standard, Singapore to a less and Russians to a lesser. And down the ladder it goes. By the time we get to Ethiopians the expectations are low indeed. By employing Chechen Muslim mercenaries the Russians have ensured that Human Rights monitors have no expectations left at all. Men like that are beneath the lowest rung of the ladder. They are already subterranean, on the staircase to hell.
This creates a bi-modal regime, or if you prefer, a "forward slope" and "reverse slope" in which facilities like Guantanamo Bay attract all the political fire, while Changi prison or some Chechen stockade is totally masked from criticism. Once this is understood, it is readily comprehensible why some detainees at Guantanamo Bay would do anything not to be released -- when that means being returned to Egypt, Saudi Arabia or Jordan.
The hypocritical Human Rights establishment is directly to blame for this hideous state of affairs. In a kind of reverse triage, their priorities are to find human rights abuses where they are least likely to be found and ignore them where they are most common. In his study of why so few prisoners were taken on some battlefields in World War 2, Niall Ferguson observed that when taking prisoners became an encumbrance in places like the jungles of Papua New Guinea, for example, they were simply shot. With food short, nobody wanted to share rations with men who only moments before were trying to kill their captors. One of the policy questions regarding any regime governing the "rules of war" is whether they do not in fact create an incentive to kill prisoners by making the standard for the treatment so high that there is either an incentive not to take them or bury the evidence. In Chechnya at least, the question is probably already answered.