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John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Democrats and Amnesty

Democrats recently came out swinging after they heard rumors from Iraq that as part of a reconciliation program, amnesty may be given to insurgents who have killed Americans:

"It is shocking that the Iraqi Prime Minister is reportedly considering granting amnesty to insurgents who have killed U.S. troops," said Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid. "On the day we lost the 2,500th soldier in Iraq, the mere idea that this proposal may go forward is an insult to the brave men and women who have died in the name of Iraqi freedom. I call on President Bush to denounce this proposal immediately."

I am not sure exactly what the democrats are talking about. I do not think it is an "insult" to our brave men an women who fought this war to grant amnesty to the enemy if the enemy in return ceases hostilities. Rather, it would be an insult to our brave men and women not to try and win this war. The goal of the war is to win. If you can win by granting amnesty, that is a win. A win is a win is a win! Besides, if you are at the point where the other side is willing to accept amnesty, you have already won.

I think Democrats think the war is some sort of police action and not a war. What are they thinking? What if a chance to end the war came up by offering amnesty to most of the insurgents - are the Democrats arguing that they would oppose that? The same Democrats who want to cut and run by the end of 2006?

This is not a police action. This is a war where we are battling a movement and not just men. Granting amnesty would not only result in defeat for the insurgents but also the movement. Amnesty is an ancient method of reconciliation and an important tool for adding long lasting substance to victory. Amnesty can take many forms by pardoning those involved in a rebellion to pardoning an entire nation (as we did with Germany and Japan after WWII). Abraham Lincoln granted amnesty to the Southerners after the civil war (and would have granted amnesty to Jefferson Davis, but for assassination). Amnesty was also part of the agreement of whites giving up power in South Africa. In contrast, amnesty was not granted to Germany after World War I, and we know what happened with that.

Certainly, amnesty should not be granted to the terrorists who specifically target and kill civilians, however, I think everything else should be on the table. And I guarantee that the insurgency will eventually end with an offer of amnesty to the few who remain (much to the disappointment of democrats).

Blogger Harsh Pencil said...

Jonah Goldberg put this perfectly by saying essentially, amnesty is the booby prize for the losers to accept their loss. That is, if the Sunnis stop fight in return for amnesty, we've won and they've lost. Saddam is out and the majority, not the Sunnis, rule. The only thing they get from the winning side is better treatment given their loss. That this gets criticized by those who essentially believe we should pull out even if that means losing is appalling.

5:38 AM, June 19, 2006  

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