However horrible the incidents of war may be, the soldier who is called upon to offer and to give his life for his country is the noblest development of mankind.
~Gen. Douglas MacArthur

There has been much ballyhoo about the treatment of detainees captured in the War on Terror. First we must establish what rights these individuals should be given and on what basis. Should the detainees, assumed to be our enemy, and also presumed to be terrorists, be afforded rights under the Geneva Conventions? The answer is a resounding “no.”

By all accounts, the detained individuals have been treated with a degree of magnanimity that is, as far as I can tell, unprecedented in history. For an argument to be valid, the premise must be true. The premise that the detainees are “enemy combatants” is false, rendering the rest of the argument that they be afforded "rights," specious and moot. In order for our enemy to be regarded as “enemy combatants,” they must wear uniforms. Not wearing a uniform makes them spies, or criminal thugs and murderers. This is no trivial point. As such, upon capture they could have been lined up and shot. In many wars, this was a well-established practice for captured spies.

My comrades and I are “the brave men and women who wear our country’s uniform.” It has been said so often that it sounds trite. And, most of us don’t regard ourselves as brave or heroic. However, it is an act of bravery to wear a uniform because it says that we are the combatants and anyone who seeks to wage war against America (or any country in the West) knows who to fight. They can tell the combatants from the non-combatants so that innocent life can be spared. This is the goal of any civilized nation. We wear uniforms so that civilians are not targets. Targeting civilians is a crime. It is despicable act of pure cowardice and a form of evil to pick a fight and then seek to conceal oneself among the civilian population. It puts one’s own country, one’s family, and one’s people directly in harm’s way. The motives of anyone who does this are easily exposed and no goal from such action can be viewed as just or legitimate. We need to be clear and firm on this.

Last, there can be no “collateral damage” until our enemy has the courage to fight a legitimate war. In many instances, we have no foolproof way to determine whether we are killing the right people or not. That is the enemy’s problem and they have created it. The blood is on their hands and upon their cowardice.They are directly responsible for every civilian killed in the War on Terror (on both sides I might add). Even the Viet Cong and Nazis wore uniforms.

Wear uniforms: This is where the debate should begin and end.

~Bryce Lefever