- The Washington Times - Monday, October 13, 2003

Iraq, Iran, Syria and North Korea are not the only enemies the Defense Department has to worry about these days. The Pentagon also needs to defend itself from shots being fired at it from the International Committee of the Red Cross. Last week, Christophe Girod, the organization’s top official in the United States, said the U.S. detention of at least 600 enemy combatants from Afghanistan is “a major problem.” He complained about “the open-endedness of the situation and its impact on the mental health of the population [of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba].” We’d like to remind Monsieur Girod that these warriors are affiliated with al Qaeda and were captured bearing arms against U.S. troops.

Perhaps Red Cross bureaucrats don’t recall what al Qaeda did to the populations of New York and Washington on September 11 two years ago. But his statement is even more senseless if Mr. Girod does remember the thousands of innocent victims who were murdered by Islamic fanatics. Obviously, the type of person who signs up to fly an airliner into an office building, drive a car bomb into a cafe or fire an AK-47 in defense of the Taliban already has serious mental problems. Holding these terrorists in detention is a public service to the world — not a humanitarian crisis.

This is not the first time the Red Cross has overreacted in opposition to U.S. efforts to subdue evildoers. Earlier this year, the group’s representatives were complaining about the imminent humanitarian disaster that would ostensibly result from the war to oust Saddam Hussein. Despite the doomsday predictions, American and British troops efficiently delivered food, water and medicine to troubled regions of Iraq. Without a doubt, allied liberators have shown much more concern and compassion for the Iraqi people than their deposed dictator ever did.

The American Red Cross has had serious budget and public-relations problems in recent years. After it raised hundreds of millions of dollars in September 11-related appeals, Americans were outraged to learn that the organization planned to divert most of it away from the terror victims. Now, Red Cross coffers are running dry. The official excuse is that donations have plummeted because of the slow economy. We think many Americans are hesitant to give to the Red Cross because the organization repeatedly defends cut-throat mercenaries detained because of their hatred for America and affiliation with al Qaeda.

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