Friday, June 30, 2006

What a Country!

The Moose responds to the Hamdan decision.

As we approach Independence Day, the Moose waxes rhapsodic about the wonder and glory that is America. He recalls the Russian-born comic Yakov Smirnoff who was hot back in the eighties. When he was confronted with another marvel of his new home, Smirnoff would declare, "What a Country!"

That was the response the Moose had to the Supreme Court's Hamdan decision. It was quite remarkable. In America, extraordinary rights are accorded even to our enemies who would use all means necessary to kill us and our families. How many countries in the history of civilization would give these rights to killers who refuse to abide by the rules of war and who don't exactly adhere to international treaties?

What a country!

The Moose does not agree with the ruling. As the Moose has made clear, he is a Hamiltonian who is deferential to Presidential power during wartime. But it is not the end of the world. Its impact is limited.

Now, it is Congress' turn. While this decision is a clear setback for Presidential prerogatives, the GOP welcomes a Congressional deliberation on legislation authorizing tribunals. Analysis that suggests that this is a political setback for the GOP has it exactly wrong. Republicans would like nothing better than a pre-election debate over whether Osama's buddies should receive ACLU approved rights. It is likely that many Democrats will join Republicans in supporting tough guidelines for military commissions. This is the law and order issue of our time.

Don't expect the rest of the world to credit America for adhering to the rule of law. Instead, the blatant exaggerations about the prisoner treatment at Gitmo will continue.

At a time of war, there is always a difficult balance between freedom and security. For example, our enemies will exploit our weaknesses that are evident when our press irresponsibly reveal our secrets. It is certainly not treason, but the folks over on West 43rd Street should understand that with freedom comes responsibility and prudence, particularly during wartime.

We are once again reminded that our nation has no equal in human history in our commitment to human decency and law. And whether one believes that the Court ruling was right or wrong, we can all concur that American exceptionalism was once again affirmed.

What a country! God Bless America.
-- Posted at 8:14 AM | Link to this post | Email this post