April 27, 2006

Islamism = Racism
— Ace

Which is why we can't extend the Geneva Conventions to enemies who do not respect the conventions in turn. Like Islamists.

Consider:
Islamists believe their holy book gives them license to murder, rape, and maim "infidels." And also: to lie as regards surrenders and treaties, treating these as mere opportunities to regroup for the next attack.

Such behavior is considered dishonorable by every one else in the world (if not outright inhuman).

But not for Islamists. The dishonorable and inhuman is permitted as long as the victims of such dishonorable and inhuman treatment are not practicing Muslims.

Martial honor, at least in the West, is historically a matter of compact. A knight, for example, owed honorable conduct towards those who themselves possessed honor. An enemy knight considered honorable was owed honorable treatment in return. If he intended to fight unhorsed, you were required, by honor, to get off your own horse, so as not to have a dishonorable advantage over him. If he yielded, you were obligated to grant him mercy and not simply behead him.

A more lenient code applied to those who weren't considered honorable. A commoner shooting at you with a crossbow wasn't honorable, not only because he wasn't of the knightly class, but also because he wasn't using an honorable weapon. A Christian ethic of mercy and fair treatment might be owed to such an enemy, but not the greater duties demanded by honor.

The Geneva Conventions are similarly granted according to compact, and to those who, by agreeing to them and actually obeying them, demonstrate themselves to have honor and to be owed honor in return. There are more pracitical reasons the Conventions, by their own words, apply in full force only to those who agree to be bound by their strictures themselves -- namely, one would like to give incentives for merciful and humane treatment of prisoners, and provide disincentives for those who don't provide such treatment, namely, the freeing of opponents of such dishonorable enemies from extending to them such fair treatment. However, the Conventions still, whether by happenstance or because of cultural norms, are a compact, a system by which those with honor are treated with honor and those without honor are treated... humanely, but not quite well.

And as a compact, the Conventions are based upon behavior, not inherent status. Soldiers of the most evil regime of the twentieth century -- Nazi soldiers -- were owed humane treatment because the Nazis, despite their other evils, did in fact treat American and other allied prisoners of war reasonably well. (Most of the time, at least.)

And, historically, there wasn't necessarily any reason why the most evil opponent couldn't also have honor, and be owed honorable treatment. True enough, thuggish and cruel men would tend to not have honor, by bent of personality and lack of morality; but a cruel and bloodthirsty opponent could yet treat his defeated opponents humanely and be considered honorable, if cruel.

At which point we come to the Islamists.

The Islamists do not believe that honor is owed to opponents based upon their behavior, or their adherence to a certain code which requires reciprocal honor to that code. The Islamists believe that honorable, or even humane, treatment is only owed to other Islamists, or other fervent Muslims of the same branch of Islam.

To the extent they treat enemies honorably, they do so only based upon inherent status. A fervent Muslim of the same branch of Islam, and only such a person, is owed honor. No one else, no matter how honorable their behavior, is owed honorable behavior in return. Or even to be treated as something more than an animal to be ritually slaughtered.

Islamists are permitted to murder, rape, cheat, and lie to any non-Islamist. Their religion says so, they assert.

Of course, they don't believe that non-Islamists are permitted to treat them similarly; they have a privileged status, according to the Koran. They are superior, according to the Koran. Their enemies are animals, according to the Koran.

Were America to extend full Geneva Convention protection to Islamist enemies who do not even consider treating non-Muslim prisoners and kidnap-victims with any more dignity that a farm chicken, we would be, essentially, agreeing to and acceding to their worldview.

They are privileged by God Himself to commit all nature of barbaric actions against their infidel enemies; but their infidel enemies, of course, are not granted this license by God to act similarly. They are allowed to, even compelled, to commit the worst acts of inhumanity against their infidel opponents, for their infidel opponents are not quite human, or not to be treated as such, in any event.

But their infidel opponents must respect their special, God-granted status and treat them as truly honorable opponents.

There are many reasons to object to extending Geneva Convention protections with full force to those, like Islamicists, who delight in cruelty and inhumanity. But one reason is psychological in nature, and nevertheless worth considering.

We cannot agree with the Islamists that we are subhuman and only they are entitled to honorable and humane treatement. We must insist, particularly with these racist thugs who consider those who do not share in their creed to be animals, that honor is based on reciprocal conduct and by compact.

We cannot agree that their status as fervent Islamists makes them our superiors and creates obligations towards them that they do not extend in return towards us.

For, if we do, are we not confirming their racist beliefs? Are we not telling them that we are, just as they believe, inferior to them by God's decree, and as such, fit only for slaughter or subjugation?

The Western tradition distinuishes between honorable warriors and mere murderers. An honorable warrior does not slaughter civilians; nor does he hide among civilians out of uniform, making it necessary to target civilian populations to bring the fight to him. Nor does he behead and rape those he captures.

Killers, murderers, and criminals do, of course.

The code of Western honor does not confuse the two. Islamist "honor" does-- the most vicious murderer is praised as "Holy Warrior" for detonating himself among women, children, and non-combatant men in a pizza shop, discotheque, or even a marriage celebration in a hotel ballroom.

It is honorable to be a murderer, Islamism teaches, so long as those being killed are not Muslims.

In a war in which ideology and religious memes are so obviously important, can we afford to endorse the Islamists' view of honorable murderers?

Posted by: Ace at 10:25 AM | Comments (190)
Post contains 1096 words, total size 7 kb.

1 Yes, exactly.

And in war, we should treat them as plain-clothes spies have always been treated. Interrogated and shot on the spot. Period.

Posted by: compos mentis at April 27, 2006 10:33 AM (xHpUK)

2 Japan didn't honor the GC for our prisoners, but we did thiers.

Your argument boils down too: Let's become just as dirty as them. Not only do I not accept that, I also say it would be counterproductive. Ask the Brits about torturing IRA members. They finally decided it lost them (in moral superiority, will to win, demoralization of rank and file, help the IRA recruiting, etc) more than it helped them (short term operational intelligence).

Posted by: Larry the U at April 27, 2006 10:37 AM (Lpswv)

3 I agree that the warriors of Islam have earned no right to mercy or honorable treatment - we should return their brutality.

However, unlike the Islamic fascists, we should go out of our way to protect civilians. Human nature is to see the truth, and when civilians on any side see us behaving honorably, we win hearts and minds.

Posted by: adolfo velasquez at April 27, 2006 10:39 AM (O0OTt)

4 Your argument boils down too: Let's become just as dirty as them.

What part of the following statement do you not understand, Larry?

A Christian ethic of mercy and fair treatment might be owed to such an enemy, but not the greater duties demanded by honor.

Do you post under the name of "actus" over at Protein Wisdom, or are you trying to unseat him as the World's Dumbest Commenter?

Posted by: Phinn at April 27, 2006 10:42 AM (DiZv6)

5 Larry, I could actually agree with your point, except that you wet your pants and cry torture every time we belly slap a monster.

Posted by: adolfo velasquez at April 27, 2006 10:42 AM (O0OTt)

6 Yes, a thousand times yes. I think we should hit this Islamism = racism meme over and over again until it reaches a wide audience. It needs to be discussed, for a realistic assessment of the enemy's psychology.

Posted by: cjan at April 27, 2006 10:42 AM (jNnIP)

7 Very well put ace

Posted by: morning wood at April 27, 2006 10:46 AM (+aNmG)

8 The US (rightly) refused to sign the 1977 protocols extending those rights to guerillas and terrorists. The Conventions also exist to protect the rights of non-combatants during a time of war. Hiding among the populace is a violation of that concept.

Bill Whittle wrote a pretty good essay on that topic, Sanctuary IIRC.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at April 27, 2006 10:54 AM (pzen5)

9 Larry, your information is wrong.

Such Japanese prisoners as we did take were treated well. But one of the more interesting features of the Pacific war was the fact that the Americans rarely took Japanese soldiers prisoner.

That was, in practice, by mutual consent. The Japanese didn't tend to surrender much, usually preferring to end it all in one last "banzai!" charge. And even when they did seem to be surrendering, it was better than even chance that at least one of them was concealing a hand grenade or a gun.

But even when they were perhaps genuinely interested in surrendering, American soldiers usually killed them anyway. And in a lot of cases they didn't even bother giving isolated groups of Japanese soldiers a chance to surrender.

The Navy did much the same. If Japanese ships were sunk and American ships moved into the area, they were more likely to machine-gun any Japanese sailors still alive in the water than to try to capture them -- and for exactly the same reason: if they actually did try to rescue the Japanese sailors, there was a good chance those sailors would try to kill their rescuers.

Of all the remarkable things about the Pacific war, one of the most remarkable is just how few Japanese soldiers and sailors were taken prisoner.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at April 27, 2006 11:03 AM (+rSRq)

10 The irony was that in WWI the Japanese were the model for prisoner treatment. Times change.

Posted by: Iblis at April 27, 2006 11:05 AM (9221z)

11 I've said it before and I'll say it again:

Despite what everybody seems to think, the Geneva Conventions are not a human rights law. They are a treaty, with limited application.

Nine times out of ten, when people say Geneva Conventions, what they really have in mind is something like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Posted by: sandy burger at April 27, 2006 11:08 AM (ePQxy)

12 Larry said:Your argument boils down to: Let's become just as dirty as them.Do you realize that was a stupid thing to say, Larry, or do you really not understand that there's a lot of area between the Geneva protocols and beheading civilians on tape?

Just because we don't treat them as honorable opponents does not mean we become as dirty as them.

Posted by: Roy at April 27, 2006 11:08 AM (2XXia)

13 However, unlike the Islamic fascists, we should go out of our way to protect civilians. Human nature is to see the truth, and when civilians on any side see us behaving honorably, we win hearts and minds.The problem here is that, with Islam, there is no such thing as a "civilian." In the jihadist view, one is either muslim, or dhimmi, or target. Period. I recommend to you Bostom's book The Legacy of Jihad, reviewed at the link by VDH. And this link takes you to a description of the massacre of the Banu Qurayzahh, which can be seen as the early test case that cemented the whole "it's okay to massacre entire villages in the name of jihad" mindset that has never actually left the hardline muslims.

We're not really fighting a nation here, nor, as Dan Simmons points out, are we fighting terrorism per se. We're fighting a growing portion of Islam that misses its glory days, and wants us either converted, effectively enslaved as dhimmis, or dead.

Posted by: Cameron Wood at April 27, 2006 11:11 AM (k+RrJ)

14 Ace, your point is well argued. However, let me take a slightly tack. I'm not convinced that Islamists are flouting the Geneva Convention on the basis of assumed superiority so much as they are fighting asymmetrically. They will use any tactics and any methods because they are fighting from a position of relative weakness. In their minds, they have no choice but to use brutality and terror to maximum effect and perhaps this would be their preferred method of waging war in any case.

The Islamists will use our own compacts and conventions to constrain our methods of waging war, with the assistance of useful idiots in the West, while at the same time engaging in unrestrained terrorism. While they chop heads and set off car bombs with abandon, our methods are subjected to intense scrutiny, with every civilian casualty pointed to as a war crime. It is cynical of them to fight this way, but they do so for good reason: It works.

Posted by: Michael Puttre at April 27, 2006 11:12 AM (snMcL)

15 Personally, my view on all this is very different from Ace's. In my view, there is no such view as an honorable opponent. They either deserve to be killed or they don't.

I believe that countries honor the Geneva Conventions for purely selfish reasons. It's universal human rights laws which we honor for moral reasons.

Posted by: sandy burger at April 27, 2006 11:13 AM (K2rlS)

16 In regards to Steven's post, look what happened when today's ethics met yesterday's realities in The Final Countdown. A Japanese pilot was captured by the Nimitz crew and ends up killing some of them.

Thanks for the information. I didn't know that about the Pacific theater.

Posted by: Dale at April 27, 2006 11:21 AM (Z887G)

17 That's not logical.

In WWII, the Germans committed genocide, so we should committ genocide against them?

In Israel, suicide bombers murder innocent people. So, Israeli suicide bombers should murder innocent people?

Al Qaeda kills westerners indiscriminately, so Americans should kill Arabs indiscriminately?

Gangbangers drive around shooting AK-47s out of moving cars, so the police should drive around shooting out of moving cars?

Why on earth would anyone want our troops to commit war crimes? I can understand that things can get confusing on the battlefield, but to clamor for a strategy of hate seems ungodly.

Posted by: mr. whizzer at April 27, 2006 11:24 AM (1WdUw)

18 What's the "moderate" Muslim take on Banu Qurayzahh? Cause that linked story is horrific.

Posted by: Fred at April 27, 2006 11:27 AM (585Ar)

19 In WWII, the Germans committed genocide, so we should committ genocide against them?

Do you even read what other people are writing here?

Nobody's advocating abandoning all ethics and committing genocide. We're talking about not applying the Geneva Conventions. Totally different things.

Posted by: sandy burger at April 27, 2006 11:27 AM (K2rlS)

20 Everytime I read about Islamists the Mongols seem more and more reasonable.

Steve Den, I recomend reading "With the Old Breed" by Sledge. It is a first hand account of fighting in the pacific, scary shit.

Posted by: Mike S. at April 27, 2006 11:38 AM (FnVST)

21 Unless I am mistaken, the Geneva Conventions are not something to be universally given. Rather they are a contract between consenting nations and the armies of those nations. It is, in other words, an agreement of acceptable behavior with requisite protections for civilians as well.

How then are we supposed to give these protections to an enemy who does not have a nation, does not have an army as such and does not have a clear distinction between combatant and civilian? And if the enemy not only does not wish to honor these conventions but instead goes out of their way to commit atrocities against our military and civilians without even distinguishing between them, what sort of agreement are we ever likely to reach with them on acceptable behavior.

I've said it before but radical Islamists remind me of the description of a terminator. You can't reason with them, you can't bargain with them, they have only one goal, to kill as many of us as they can. There is only one way to fight against this type of evil. With whatever means necessary.

Posted by: JackStraw at April 27, 2006 11:41 AM (J8+2b)

22 HELL YES, I'M ALL FOR THIS SHIT. LET'S GET THEIR LEADER OSAMA BEN LADEN AND HANG THAT BASTARD.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at April 27, 2006 11:57 AM (vqi0m)

23 Whoa, ease off there, buddy.

Actually, allow me to say once again that if the president most Democrats think is the BEST EVER had been serious about getting Osama, September 11 never would have happened.

So again I kindly request that you fuck off and do your mental masturbation elsewhere.

Posted by: CAPS LOCK at April 27, 2006 12:00 PM (aGpO3)

24 There is a distinction that many critics, such as Larry and "whizzer," do not recognize. There are corercive interrogation techniques -- that usually involve either scaring the prisoner or making him extremely uncomfortable -- that do not violate the Convention Against Torture or the UCMJ that can legally be used against an illegal combatant but cannot be used on a legitimate Prisoner of War from a state that has ratified the Geneva Convention.

These jihadis have neither the rights of legitimate POWs nor of American criminal defendants. Americans cannot torture them because Americans are prohibited by American law from torturing prisoners. Our adherance to that law does make us better than the enemy.

Posted by: Simon Oliver Lockwood at April 27, 2006 12:02 PM (8lx0N)

25 In WWII, the Germans committed genocide, so we should committ genocide against them?

It may just be my atavistic need to inflict pain affecting my memory but I believe that after Germany bombed the civilian population of London, the Allies began to bomb Berlin. The GC are based on reciprocity. To grant GC rights to those who flout them hurts the conventions of war for all abiding parties. It takes away the incentive to act honorable in combat.

Tob

Posted by: toby928 at April 27, 2006 12:05 PM (PD1tk)

26 I recomend reading "With the Old Breed" by Sledge.

I have an autographed copy. It is an excellent read and a real insight into what it takes to keep going and going despite the horror. What was that Sledgehammer said: The three goals of a Marine are Honor, Glory, and Continence. Loved it.

Tob

Posted by: toby928 at April 27, 2006 12:08 PM (PD1tk)

27 What Tx Dave said. The '77 protocols were rejected for a reason: to keep from extending POW-like status to combatants who were not recognized as legitimate soldiers. The US is required by the GC to treat such prisoners "humanely," which means to feed them, shelter them, and give them necessary medical attention. It does NOT mean that we can't strip them, blindfold them, deprive them of sleep, interrogate them, scare them, humiliate them, and use other "persuasive" tactics to get information from them.

Furthermore, whether they are terrorists or not, soldiers are trained to treat non-soldiers as civilians, and as such they are adverse to inflicing permanent physical harm unless it's a life-or-death situation. Take, for example, the recent Katrina situation, when Gov. Blanco essentially boasted that looters would be shot on sight by the National Guard. Bold talk...and ultimately false talk, since those soldiers wouldn't shoot any of those looters without the looters shooting at them first.

Soldiers -- US soldiers, anyway -- are trained to minimize civilian casualities, often and unfortunately at the cost of their own lives, so full-blown torture of these terrorists is not an action they would take lightly...in fact, they would tend to refuse. That's why all this talk about us torturing terrorists -- really torturing them, not this namby-pamby dicomfort that Stupid People like Mary weep over -- is bunk; there would have been a mess of soldiers out there reporting it, not just the terrorists claiming it without proof.

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 12:10 PM (qF8q3)

28 Steven: What you say is possibly all true. However, I think you are ignoring Bushido code and the indoctrination that Japanese soldiers had against surrendering. If they surrendered, they were told they might as well not come home (with your shield or on it stuff).

That being said, effective psyops were eventually developed by the Allies that allowed the Japanese to "cease resistance" without "surrendering". It is actually the same thing, but this article claims that it may have made a crucial difference at he end o fthe war.
(read about 80% of the way down the page, to the para staritng " There is reason to believe...")

The point here is we need to fight smarter, not be more brutal.

http://www.psywarrior.com/ICeaseJap.html

Posted by: Larry the Urbanite at April 27, 2006 12:11 PM (Lpswv)

29 That being said, effective psyops were eventually developed by the Allies that allowed the Japanese to "cease resistance" without "surrendering".

Wasn't that the result of the Emperor ordering the military to stop hostilities? I think that if Hirohito had not used the atom bomb as a face-saving excuse to surrender, the Japanese would have been damn near exterminated. They would have not stopped their depressed and desperate defense, preferring to die defending the Emperor rather than surrendering, and we would have continued to burn every hamlet and blockade every port regardless of whether we invaded or not.

Bad dreams.

Tob

Posted by: toby928 at April 27, 2006 12:17 PM (PD1tk)

30 Ace,

Agreement or assent to their view of us in carrying through with our own actions is all a state of mind. We aren't necessarily agreeing to their terms, like some sort of contract or pact, just because we do what we do. We may have our own reasons for not treating these animals the way they treat our prisoners. Like safeguarding our own sense of morality.

Furthermore, If we do handle our enemy captives the way they handle their captives, it will, as we've seen, carry an entirley different message than we want them to receive. These are not very introspective people we're dealing with. No way in hell they'll see our treatment of them as a way of coming to a gentleman's conduct on how to handle captives in this war. If we lop off a few heads, or electrify a few gonads, they will not think, "Well, how can we avoid this happening to our brothers in the future." They will see our conduct as a challenge: "Oh, so they think God's on their side. Guess we'll have to step it up a notch." In themselves, they see only civility and morality; only evil exists among us infidels. Nothing we do can suggest to them a more just way of doing things.

Posted by: Mark V. at April 27, 2006 12:27 PM (2ipxY)

31 Speaking of war in the Pacific, have we reach a point where even doing our best to protect non-combatants is not good enough for our elite opinion makers? In decades past, we've both dished out and been on the receiving end of carnage that would be unimaginable today. Have we just not been pushed far enough or have we become a better (or lesser) breed than our fathers?

I was upset with Bush and others, after 9/11, with their constant push to avoid dehumanizing our enemies. I have always thought that dehumanizing them was the first step in any war. After all, if we are going to kill them, I'd rather not think to much about our shared humanity. After the war is over and we have won, that's when we should feel guilt and swear to do better next time, not before the war is even started.

Again, for the benefit of MrWhiz, I'm not condoning war crimes here, just hard actions.

Tob

Posted by: toby928 at April 27, 2006 12:32 PM (PD1tk)

32 Simon: While several people are correct that I am actually supporting use of universal human rights rather than the GC, I would argue that torture is a fuzzy line, and has at times in the recent past, been allowed or had a blind eye turned to it.

For example " On December 2nd, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld gave formal approval for the use of “hooding,” “exploitation of phobias,” “stress positions,” “deprivation of light and auditory stimuli,” and other coercive tactics ordinarily forbidden by the Army Field Manual.

and later in the same article: Mora asked Haynes to think about the techniques more carefully. What did “deprivation of light and auditory stimuli” mean? Could a prisoner be locked in a completely dark cell? If so, could he be kept there for a month? Longer? Until he went blind? What, precisely, did the authority to exploit phobias permit? Could a detainee be held in a coffin? What about using dogs? Rats? How far could an interrogator push this? Until a man went insane?

Mora, the Navy legal counsel, had limited success: The working-group report included a list of thirty-five possible interrogation methods. On April 16, 2003, the Pentagon issued a memorandum to the U.S. Southern Command, approving twenty-four of them for use at Guantánamo, including isolation and what it called “fear up harsh,” which meant “significantly increasing the fear level in a detainee.” The Defense Department official told me, “It should be noted that there were strong advocates for the approval of the full range of thirty-five techniques,” but Haynes was not among them. The techniques not adopted included nudity; the exploitation of “aversions,” such as a fear of dogs; and slaps to the face and stomach [note adolfo!- LtU]. However, combined with the legal reasoning in the working-group report, the April memorandum allowed the Secretary to approve harsher methods.

Read this article, and decide for yourself whether the US is on shaky legal and moral grounds.

http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/060227fa_fact

Posted by: Larry the U at April 27, 2006 12:33 PM (Lpswv)

33 Toby: I was referring to individuals, not the Japanese nation. Read the link.

Posted by: Larry the U at April 27, 2006 12:35 PM (Lpswv)

34 Larry wrote:
The point here is we need to fight smarter, not be more brutal.

Who could disagree with this?

Mark V. wrote:
We may have our own reasons for not treating these animals the way they treat our prisoners. Like safeguarding our own sense of morality.

Who could disagree with this?

I don't get what you guys are arguing against. You're insisting that we still need to be ethical. Fine. But what does that have to do with the Geneva Conventions?

Posted by: sandy burger at April 27, 2006 12:39 PM (Uuy++)

35 Mark V.: It's not what the Islamist think that worries me. (They are religious fanatics, we ain't gonna change them anytime soon, and certainly not by torture.) It's people we want to be our allies in the GWoT and it's our own intelligence and psyops people I'm worried about. I believe professionals (Brits fighting the IRA for example) agree that torture degrades our ability to conduct a winning war by demoralizing us, taking away the advantage of the moral high ground and by activating the terrorists support base.

Stupid analogy: You have a wasps nest in your eaves. You don't go in and shake it, do you? No, you eventually get rid of it, but you keep the wasps calm while you do it, right? If they don't see it coming, they are easier to kill/capture/dispose of.

Posted by: Larry the U at April 27, 2006 12:42 PM (Lpswv)

36 Larry the U

Your argument boils down too: Let's become just as dirty as them.

You do understand that this statement implies that 'we' are superior to 'them.' It is curious that you will only make this grudging admission in this specific context. You then use the phrase "will to win" in your argument in the same curious way. You are concerned about the troops "will to win" only in this specific context.

You will admit that there is a conflict, the West is the good guys, and that the troops' "will to win" is an important feature of this conflict just to score a couple of points on the Geneva Convention/torture issue.

Then you'll go back to your regularly scheduled demoralizing of the troops and moral equivalency arguments.

Posted by: caspera at April 27, 2006 12:45 PM (jylGY)

37 Read the link

Did. Interesting and worthy of study. The article is a little vague on how effective this tactic was. It mentions surrender to kill ratios but no numbers, perhaps it worked or perhaps the few surviving Japanese were just too whipped to fight at that point. Never underestimate the power of feelings of futility. That's what I've been hoping that we could produce within AQ sympathizers. The active members are a lost cause IMHO.

Tob

Posted by: toby928 at April 27, 2006 12:46 PM (PD1tk)

38 Who could disagree with this?

I can. Larry's a moron who's patting himself on the back for that limp platitude. He doesn't need your help.

While he's at it, he can wow us with other inane observations such as "Water is wet."

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 12:47 PM (qF8q3)

39 We can start with the Islamic thinkers Socity in N.Y. I wonder why they have not been arrested.

Larry, your stupid!

Posted by: Leatherneck at April 27, 2006 12:48 PM (D2g/j)

40 It's not what the Islamist think that worries me...it's our own intelligence and psyops people I'm worried about.

Shit!

Wow!

You're my hero, Larry.

Damn! It's hard to top that kind of moonbat stupidity and warped morality.

Thank you for your service, man.

Posted by: stupid typical fucking moonbat at April 27, 2006 12:49 PM (+dSrI)

41 The Geneva Conventions and similar movements were meant to be dependent on reciprocity. Otherwise, there was no reason for a third party to take part - they could reap the advantages but none of the disadvantages.

Unfortunately, this escapes the reasoning of idiots who take them as some sort of moral compact. No, they were very much a practical compact, otherwise the only people who would follow it would be for the most part the people who would follow it anyway.

Posted by: Cutler at April 27, 2006 12:50 PM (5f4Yy)

42 Furthermore, they were intended to shield civilians and non-combatants first and foremost.

By letting off the hook war criminals such as the Islamists, you mere endanger their potential victims.

Posted by: Cutler at April 27, 2006 12:51 PM (5f4Yy)

43 It is honorable to be a murderer, Islamism teaches, so long as those being killed are not Muslims.

...or bad Muslims.

Posted by: Bart at April 27, 2006 12:51 PM (+dSrI)

44 You know, it's funny Sandy. I would have no problem with executing combatants (someone with a weapon) picked up on the battlefield. They were in arms against the US, and they don't have a legitimate gov't behind them. They are therefore akin to spies (although I don't know if there is yet a particular word that actually fits them) and we could dispose of them as permitted by our own laws and in accordance with our own moral code. It's the torture thing I have a problem with.

That's a conundrum, but I guess it's not the killing that bothers me (people die in wars) it's the degradation of values.

Posted by: Larry the U at April 27, 2006 12:52 PM (Lpswv)

45 "In regards to Steven's post, look what happened when today's ethics met yesterday's realities in The Final Countdown. A Japanese pilot was captured by the Nimitz crew and ends up killing some of them."

There was also at least one incident in which a Japanese soldier dug a scalpel in the back of a surgeon operating on him.

Posted by: Cutler at April 27, 2006 12:53 PM (5f4Yy)

46 ...torture degrades our ability to conduct a winning war by demoralizing us, taking away the advantage of the moral high ground and by activating the terrorists support base.

Having highly articulate individuals such as yourself pointing out the West's flaws while not attacking the idea system of our adversaries degrades our ability to conduct a winning war by demoralizing us. Having the New York Times run 48 front page Aby Ghraib stories takes away the moral high ground. What advantage does the moral high ground give anyway?

The terrorists' support base is activated by their impression that the West is a paper tiger more than anything. This is where your wasp analogy breaks down and reveals quite a bit about how you think of this conflict. Jihadis watch the news. Wasps don't. When jihadis see Westerners abase themselves and apologize, it activates their support base because people want to be on the side that appears to be winning.

Posted by: caspera at April 27, 2006 12:54 PM (jylGY)

47 Larry, do you also believe that Bush is a bigger threat to the world than Islamofascists? I do. And Rumsfeld, too!

Man, you are stupid. Are you sure that you're not my daddy?

Kofi Annan for presdient of the world in '08!

Posted by: stupid typical fucking moonbat at April 27, 2006 12:55 PM (+dSrI)

48 The Geneva Conventions and similar movements were meant to be dependent on reciprocity.

They're NOT dependent upon reciprocity, however. The US can't nuke the living crap out of a country/enemy just because it's not a signatory.

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 12:57 PM (qF8q3)

49 I don't know if anyone's noticed, but since all the hullaballoo about Gitmo etc, we don't seem to be taking too many more prisoners in Afghanistan and elsewhere. These problems usually solve themselves over time and it appears that this has been the case here. Except for obvious leader-types, there really is not need to take the Jihadis prisoners. The troops also watch CNN, and can read the writing on the wall - no orders need be given the path of least resistance is obvious, especially given the Jihadi proclivity for self-detonation. Ironically it is the leftist-terror symps like Larry that have brought this about - blowback indeed. Heh.

Just as a side note - under Geneva, non-state actors can avail themselves of the Accords if they choose to act in accordance with the Accords to the extent possible, especially as regards treatment of non-combatants - ie a resistance movement (or "insurgency") that limits its intentional attacks to military or other legitimate targets, takes prisoners etc. This was designed with things like the Maquis in mind. Clearly this does not apply to the Iraqi or Afghani Jihadis (or their foreign friends), but nonetheless would apply to a resistance movement that acted mostly honourably. No fear of one of those arising in the Muslim world.

Posted by: holdfast at April 27, 2006 01:00 PM (Gzb30)

50 The Geneva Conventions and similar movements were meant to be dependent on reciprocity.

They're NOT dependent upon reciprocity, however. The US can't nuke the living crap out of a country/enemy just because it's not a signatory.


For a variety of reasons to do with proportionality, but not because of a POW treaty, just like we can't hack off heads on the 6 oclock news because of other laws and codes of morality, even though there's nothing in the Geneva convention to stop us from doing it. One should also note that, by its actions in 1979, Iran expressly rejected the tenets of the Vienna conventions re diplomatic missions - opens up some interesting possibilities.

Posted by: holdfast at April 27, 2006 01:04 PM (Gzb30)

51 Really, so we can just nuke the crap out of a country that is a signatory?

If we got to the point where we'd be nuking the crap out of countries, it wouldn't matter what any signatory. But I digress.

Combatants who don't follow the conventions, as they were originally written, have no rights under it. I can't speak for the many revisions, but we didn't sign many of them anyway.

Posted by: Cutler at April 27, 2006 01:06 PM (5f4Yy)

52 Having the New York Times run 48 front page Aby Ghraib stories takes away the moral high ground.

I while back, I did some web searches on torture and human rights abuses in Iraq. The results were page after page of American crimes (some real, many imagined), and almost nothing about the Baathists or the "insurgency". That's really depressing. And yes, I place plenty of blame for this on American leftists.

This, Larry, is why your complaints seem to be falling on deaf ears here.

Posted by: sandy burger at April 27, 2006 01:06 PM (Uuy++)

53 This gives me an idea. (uh oh) Can the entire US nation convert to Islam for 1 year? We can use the Koran as pretext to invade whatever countries we want, kill whomever we need to. Perhaps nuke a few million acres, and claim the worlds oil supply as our own.

It would be okay, as we would be the true believers, and they--by virtue of their weak and false version of islam--would be infedels unworthy of compassion.

We could probably get what we need done is less than a year, what with nothing like ethics or morality to worry about. After that we can all switch--en mass-back to chrisitan/atheist/consumerist/whateverism.

I would be willing to pray 5 times a day and give up pork-rinds for a year, if the end result was a peaceful, safe world for future generations.

Who's with me?

Posted by: conan at April 27, 2006 01:09 PM (NJ1Fm)

54 I recall going over this before.

Once again...

The US military is bound by Geneva AND its own Law of Armed Combat whether or not the enemy the US is facing is a signatory of anything.

The problem the Idiot Liberals had/still have was/is not knowing how to read what is IN these documents. That problem was compounded by their inability to grok what constitutes "torture" and what doesn't.

Some wrestler dude tried to argue this with me last time and after I trotted the facts out he never came back.

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 01:09 PM (qF8q3)

55 "If we got to the point where we'd be nuking the crap out of countries, it wouldn't matter what any signatory. But I digress."

*any convention said

Posted by: Cutler at April 27, 2006 01:11 PM (5f4Yy)

56 I believe we should extend Geneva Convention coverage to everyone the conventions cover, regardless of their treatment of us or barbarity.

For terrorists, there is no protection from these conventions.

This gives me an idea. (uh oh) Can the entire US nation convert to Islam for 1 year? We can use the Koran as pretext to invade whatever countries we want, kill whomever we need to. Perhaps nuke a few million acres, and claim the worlds oil supply as our own.

The problem is the left would instantly side with whoever we were "converting" and invading because their position is not based on an overarching morality but rather the underdog vs the most powerful. To them, the weak guy must be right because the powerful always is an oppressor.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at April 27, 2006 01:13 PM (1Vbso)

57 "I recall going over this before.

Once again...

The US military is bound by Geneva AND its own Law of Armed Combat whether or not the enemy the US is facing is a signatory of anything."

Now you're saying something else. Our own laws, as holdfast said, forbid it. But not the conventions. They're dead men walking.

And in my opinion, we acted foolish for extending it.

...That is, unless you want to put out the facts again. I promise not to run away.

Posted by: Cutler at April 27, 2006 01:14 PM (5f4Yy)

58 Caspera: Muslim business men and oil shieks see we torture and provide funding for the jihadis.

My argument is NOT that we should not fight and win the GWoT. My argument is that, just because we have a big hammer, we shouldn't treat every problem like a nail, i.e. by pounding into submission. How about nails, AND screws, glue, velcro, clamps. wire ties, bolts, rivets, all effective fasteners, and some better than nails in certain circumstances. By a broad spectrum of diplomacy, financial rewards for compliant gov'ts, financial detriments to stubborn gov'ts, covert "wet ops", cooperative allies, hell, even proxy wars, we could win this war faster and cheaper than by the brute force approach.

For example: Lets start heavily funding the non-sharia regions in Nigeria, send them farm equipment, seed stock, schools, teachers, medicine, etc, etc. But only to those area where sharia is NOT enforced. In 5-10 years, the 50/50 Muslim/Christian split would be significantly altered (by infant survivability, if nothing else!) We send a clear message we support human rights , retain our dignity AND fight Islamist spread.

Of course this solution is unthinkable because it doesn't involve the military industrial complex. Why the f**k are we still funding huge weapons systems? We need a completely different set of tools for this war, and the Bushies are ignoring that, I feel.

Posted by: Larry the U at April 27, 2006 01:14 PM (Lpswv)

59 That's a conundrum, but I guess it's not the killing that bothers me (people die in wars) it's the degradation of values.

Common ground at last. People die every day, its our common fate and hopefully the onrushing fate of those who style themselves our enemies. I just have to disagree with you, Larry, that our values are at risk. I don't think that our interogation techniques amount to torture, except perhaps 'water boarding'. That does seem pretty harsh. To the best of my knowledge, it has not been official policy to beat anyone to a pulp or 'telephone' them, or feed their families into shredders. I think that our values are safe against any complaint from any reasonable informed person (that obviously does not include the MSM or the formerly pro-american party). Those who have gone outside the official policy have been disiplined when fou nd out.

As a side note, didn't we already nuke the crap out of an enemy that was not a signatory?

Tob

Posted by: toby928 at April 27, 2006 01:15 PM (PD1tk)

60 Really, so we can just nuke the crap out of a country that is a signatory?

Why don't people EVER ACTUALLY READ AN EFFING POST before they respond?

Once again, IDIOT, this is what was written...

The US can't nuke the living crap out of a country/enemy just because it's not a signatory.

Do you see the "JUST BECAUSE IT'S NOT A SIGNATORY" PART?

DO YOU???

I'll wait for you to pull your head out of your azz.

Pause.

Pause more.

Come on, pull it out already.

All right, I'm not waiting.

Those sites in Japan were bombed for specific, justifiable reasons.

It didn't have Thing One to do with Geneva, this discussion, or even my point.

Go flush yourself, you stupid turd.

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 01:17 PM (qF8q3)

61 "The Geneva Conventions and similar movements were meant to be dependent on reciprocity.

They're NOT dependent upon reciprocity, however. The US can't nuke the living crap out of a country/enemy just because it's not a signatory."

"I'll wait for you to pull your head out of your azz."

I guess I'm lost on what your saying here. The GCs are certainly dependent on reciprocity, thats the main part of their allure. How else are they enforced? Each nation's army is supposed to see that treating prisoners well and protecting non-combatants is in their own self interest.

Tob

Posted by: toby928 at April 27, 2006 01:24 PM (PD1tk)

62 "I believe we should extend Geneva Convention coverage to everyone the conventions cover, regardless of their treatment of us or barbarity.

For terrorists, there is no protection from these conventions."


Usually, I look forward to your posts. But this is just a "huh." The conventions [and keep in mind I've got a problem with 'rule for war' in general] account for non-state actors, so long as they play by the rules [which are admittedly, antiquated - one of the reasons that I have a problem with 'rules of war' - they're soon obsolete and never reasonably all-ecompassing. Note, for example, that the French resistance in World War II acted illegally according to laws drafted during the 19th century].

As they are written, anybody that follows them, falls under them. Terrorists, freedom fighters, states that do not, are at the mercy of the opponent. Unless the opponents decides to grant them protections, anyway. Which we did at least officially, unfortunately.

Posted by: Cutler at April 27, 2006 01:25 PM (5f4Yy)

63 Obviously, bbeck, I'll have to be a little less subtle with you.

Posted by: Cutler at April 27, 2006 01:27 PM (5f4Yy)

64 Now you're saying something else. Our own laws, as holdfast said, forbid it. But not the conventions. They're dead men walking.

Two things, Cutler...

Geneva requires the LOAC to be taught to US soldiers on a yearly basis, so the LOAC falls under Geneva.

And, I think it's the Fourth Convention, article 5, that covers insurgents. It states they're not protected but they're supposed to be treated "with humanity" or something like that.

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 01:29 PM (qF8q3)

65 I thought I was the turd. It just goes to show that I think that the world revolves around me.

Tob

Posted by: toby92 at April 27, 2006 01:31 PM (PD1tk)

66 The GCs are certainly dependent on reciprocity, thats the main part of their allure. How else are they enforced? Each nation's army is supposed to see that treating prisoners well and protecting non-combatants is in their own self interest.

Um, they're enforced by doing what the Conventions SAY to do. It's not that hard.

You would think that the Conventions would encourage other countries to sign on, but when they don't, it doesn't mean the US can toss them out the window. They STILL must recognize a soldier as defined in the Conventions AS a soldier, a civilian as defined in the Conventions AS a civilian, and so on...

And...

Obviously, bbeck, I'll have to be a little less subtle with you.

I'd rather you be a little more awake. If you want to make some silly comment on bombing Japan, do it on someone else's time and with someone else's post. I'm not here to provide you with opportunities to change the conversation.

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 01:37 PM (qF8q3)

67 I thought I was the turd. It just goes to show that I think that the world revolves around me.

No, Toby, you weren't and aren't the turd. People who leap upon a statement and misconstrue it -- intentionally or otherwise -- just so they can talk about what they want are the turds.

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 01:39 PM (qF8q3)

68 You would think that the Conventions would encourage other countries to sign on, but when they don't, it doesn't mean the US can toss them out the window.

I don't believe that to be true but I will go and reread the conventions to be sure, I think that we, as signatories, are only bound when fighting other signatories. Be back.

Tob

Posted by: toby928 at April 27, 2006 01:42 PM (PD1tk)

69 I don't believe that to be true but I will go and reread the conventions to be sure, I think that we, as signatories, are only bound when fighting other signatories. Be back.

Knock yourself out. My source is a USAF Major/bomber pilot.

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 01:45 PM (qF8q3)

70 "Where in occupied territory an individual protected person is detained as a spy or saboteur, or as a person under definite suspicion of activity hostile to the security of the Occupying Power, such person shall, in those cases where absolute military security so requires, be regarded as having forfeited rights of communication under the present Convention.

In each case, such persons shall nevertheless be treated with humanity and, in case of trial, shall not be deprived of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed by the present Convention. They shall also be granted the full rights and privileges of a protected person under the present Convention at the earliest date consistent with the security of the State or Occupying Power, as the case may be."

Posted by: at April 27, 2006 01:45 PM (5f4Yy)

71 "Lets start heavily funding the non-sharia regions in Nigeria, send them farm equipment, seed stock, schools, teachers, medicine, etc, etc. But only to those area where sharia is NOT enforced." ...

Not a bad idea, on its own.

But if you think (forgive me for assuming here) that IRAQ was a distraction ... Nigeria? That's your plan?

That'd be like reacting to Pearl Harbor by ... making sure South America didn't go (completely, it already kinda was) fascist.

You're talking about containment. You're fighting the last war.

Posted by: Knemon at April 27, 2006 01:48 PM (a3KVd)

72 Hmmm. right at the top:

"Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations. They shall furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power, if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof."

href="http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/Human_Rights/geneva1.html" target="_blank" class="text">Fourth Geneva Convention

Tob

Posted by: toby928 at April 27, 2006 01:48 PM (PD1tk)

73 Above was me.

"I'd rather you be a little more awake. If you want to make some silly comment on bombing Japan, do it on someone else's time and with someone else's post. I'm not here to provide you with opportunities to change the conversation."

It wasn't silly at all, you just failed to understand it. My point was that in any situation in which we were reduced to considering nuclear war, conventions would have no relevance. The ultimate flaw of conventions is that people will not forfeit their cause for laws or rules, in an age of limited war, yes, but not in the age of total war. A cause they find worth fighting for will be one they find worth cheating for.

But I'll remember for the future, less subtle.

And oh yeah, with regard to my own opinion: "drop that fucker, twice."

Posted by: Cutler at April 27, 2006 01:49 PM (5f4Yy)

74 Obviously that html is crap. How about this

Unless its been superceded that seem pretty clear but I'm no international lawyer.

Tob

Posted by: toby928 at April 27, 2006 01:50 PM (PD1tk)

75 "Where in occupied territory an individual protected person is detained as a spy or saboteur, or as a person under definite suspicion of activity hostile to the security of the Occupying Power, such person shall, in those cases where absolute military security so requires, be regarded as having forfeited rights of communication under the present Convention.

You DID see the "OR," right?

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 01:51 PM (qF8q3)

76 Thanks Toby. That's why it refers in article 5 to "an individual protected person" ...

Posted by: Cutler at April 27, 2006 01:53 PM (5f4Yy)

77 It wasn't silly at all, you just failed to understand it. My point was that in any situation in which we were reduced to considering nuclear war, conventions would have no relevance.

Criminy, you're a moron.

Geneva wasn't as emcompassing during World War II as it is now. It primarily took shape AFTER that war.

Regardless, the conventions that WERE in place CERTAINLY HAD RELEVANCE before, during, and after we dropped those bombs. Before we dropped them we had to have justification under Geneva or else we would have been guilty of war crimes. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were military targets at the time, hence it was justified under Geneva.

WAKE UP!!!

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 01:58 PM (qF8q3)

78 I read it differently. There is a subcatagory of protected people within those groups: "spies, sabateurs, or as a person under definite suspicion of activity hostile to the security of the Occupying Power." They're not protected unless they fall within that catagory, and following the conventions is one qualification.

Posted by: Cutler at April 27, 2006 02:01 PM (5f4Yy)

79 "Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations."

Hey, thank you for proving what I just told you, Toby. That took a big man.

As that clearly states, the US must abide by the Conventions during mutual relations whether the other parties are signatories or not.

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 02:03 PM (qF8q3)

80 My understanding of the Geneva Conventions is similar to Toby928's.

Here is Alberty Gonzales, saying, "The President determined that Geneva does not apply with respect to our conflict with al Qaeda."

And here is Ari Fleischer making similar statements.

Posted by: sandy burger at April 27, 2006 02:07 PM (K2rlS)

81 I read it differently. There is a subcatagory of protected people within those groups: "spies, sabateurs, or as a person under definite suspicion of activity hostile to the security of the Occupying Power." They're not protected unless they fall within that catagory, and following the conventions is one qualification.

I don't care how you decide to read it. It's taught to our soldiers the way it's written.

If it meant what you're wanting to see, it would have been written...

Where in occupied territory an individual protected person is detained as a spy or saboteur, or IS under definite suspicion of activity hostile to the security of the Occupying Power, such person shall, in those cases where absolute military security so requires, be regarded as having forfeited rights of communication under the present Convention.

...or...

Where in occupied territory an individual protected person is detained as a spy or saboteur, or as a PROTECTED person under definite suspicion of activity hostile to the security of the Occupying Power, such person shall, in those cases where absolute military security so requires, be regarded as having forfeited rights of communication under the present Convention.

It's clearly written to make a distinction between the different situations/persons.

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 02:08 PM (qF8q3)

82 "Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations."

The way I read it:
Assume three countries go to war. Two are parties to the convention, one isn't. The two countries who are parties must apply the convention in their mutual relations (i.e. with each other), but not to the third country who is not a party.

Posted by: sandy burger at April 27, 2006 02:12 PM (K2rlS)

83 "Criminy, you're a moron.

Geneva wasn't as emcompassing during World War II as it is now. It primarily took shape AFTER that war.

Regardless, the conventions that WERE in place CERTAINLY HAD RELEVANCE before, during, and after we dropped those bombs. Before we dropped them we had to have justification under Geneva or else we would have been guilty of war crimes. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were military targets at the time, hence it was justified under Geneva.

WAKE UP!!!"


Besides insulting, you're simply under-educated.

The Geneva conventions were in some areas even more encompassing before World War II. It was only in 1949, after World War II, for example, that any recognition for "insurgents" was built in. Before so, underground warfare was strictly forbidden, having been mostly absent in World War I and anathema during the 19th century. The Marquis were frankly speaking, illegal at the time.

Look, I'm well aware that the individual bombs were at least obstensibly targeted on military bases, i.e. naval bases. Furthermore they knew that the entire city was going to go up also if the bomb went off. If you want to say that's a military target, then I bet so is any number of our cities that Al Qaeda may or may not attack with a nuclear weapon.

You don't need to limit it to the atomic bombs. Normal raids in World War II, in both the European [8th Air force] and Pacific [Lemay] used thousands of planes, because the bombing errors were so large. This is why precision bombing quickly turned into carpet and firebombing [during which neither us or the British even pretended to attack military targets, we simply re-qualified civilians are targets because they contributed to the enemy war effort [total war]. Not exactly legal, but I support it considering the circumstances. It was total war.

You can also look at the Pacific, where we used illegal submarine warfare the entire war. What works, works. People don't follow things unless they get something out of it. The writers of the Conventions realized this.

Posted by: Cutler at April 27, 2006 02:14 PM (5f4Yy)

84 "Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations. They shall furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power, if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof."

And I'm the one who can't read.

Seriously, you're not only belligerent, you're an ass.

Posted by: Cutler at April 27, 2006 02:17 PM (5f4Yy)

85 Alas no, I'm not that big. I believe that you misunderstand me.

The quoted text says that we, as signatories in a conflict with other signatories, must obey the conventions in our, ie the signatories, mutal relations. It further notes that nonsignatories should be accorded same if they obey the conventions just as the signatories do. I was actually refuting you assertion.

As I said, I'm not an international lawyer and I'm not current on what our soldiers are told but the plain text, as I read it and if it hasn't been superceded, is clear. Signatories are not required to obey the conventions when dealing with nonsignatories who are not themselves obeying the conventions.

Or I'm illiterate or blind or both ;-)

Tob

Posted by: Toby928 at April 27, 2006 02:17 PM (PD1tk)

86 jinx

Posted by: Toby928 at April 27, 2006 02:19 PM (PD1tk)

87 My understanding of the Geneva Conventions is similar to Toby928's.

Then perhaps you noticed that he's corrected himself once.

Here is Alberty Gonzales, saying, "The President determined that Geneva does not apply with respect to our conflict with al Qaeda."

I take it you notice that this is an empty platitude. Geneva refers to governments and states, not terrorist groups. He also states that Geneva does apply to the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, hence any Al Qaeda caught there fall under Geneva.

And here is Ari Fleischer making similar statements.

Yes, thank you, particularly for THIS statement...

Al Qaeda is an international terrorist group and cannot be considered a state party to the Geneva Convention. Its members, therefore, are not covered by the Geneva Convention, and are not entitled to POW status under the treaty.


...and he's right, Geneva doesn't cover them as POWs.

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 02:22 PM (qF8q3)

88 "Al Qaeda is an international terrorist group and cannot be considered a state party to the Geneva Convention. Its members, therefore, are not covered by the Geneva Convention, and are not entitled to POW status under the treaty."

This is supposed to help your case?

Posted by: Cutler at April 27, 2006 02:24 PM (5f4Yy)

89 Even more interesting re Iraq and protected persons in general:

"Nationals of a State which is not bound by the Convention are not protected by it."

Seems bad for the protected persons side but its immediately followed byL:

"Nationals of a neutral State who find themselves in the territory of a belligerent State, and nationals of a co-belligerent State, shall not be regarded as protected persons while the State of which they are nationals has normal diplomatic representation in the State in whose hands they are."

Don't Iraq, Pakistan, SA, Jordan and pretty much everyone else but Iran and Cuba have normal diplomatic relations with us? Does this in and of itself make AQ nonprotected persons or would that only be true if Iraq as still belligerent to us?

Tob

Posted by: toby928 at April 27, 2006 02:25 PM (PD1tk)

90 CAPS LOCK et al:
There ain't no honor in war its just killing people. You both have a JOB to do, whoever is first and best gets to live and go home. The fastest way to live and go home is to destroy the LEADERSHIP. FAILURE TO FOLLOW THE ORDER OF BATTLE, MEANS FAILURE IN THE MISSION. Now CAPSLOCK here would rollover and let the enemy fuck him, if the President and the rest of the REPUBLICRATS suggested it because they were SMART enough to NOT follow the ORDER OF BATTLE and went after someone OTHER THAN THE LEADERSHIP. (i.e. OSAMA BEN FORGIVEN AND FORGOTTEN)

Posted by: Mike Meyer at April 27, 2006 02:29 PM (Mco9Q)

91 "and went after someone OTHER THAN THE LEADERSHIP. (i.e. OSAMA BEN FORGIVEN AND FORGOTTEN)"

If you know where he is, I'm sure that the Pentagon will take your call and reward you well. Otherwise, piss off. We're talking sense here.

Tob

Posted by: toby928 at April 27, 2006 02:31 PM (PD1tk)

92 Honestly, I don't know what to make of that Toby. I don't think it would cover anymore since Iraq is no longer a co-belligerent, but I'd still be surprised to see that during the short span that it was an official belligerent.

Point is I think that the decline of the nation state [copyright Van Crevald] and rise of NGOs, IGOs, and other actors is playing hell with international law in more ways than one.

Posted by: Cutler at April 27, 2006 02:33 PM (5f4Yy)

93 Hey, Mike Meyer - if you know where Osama is and are so keen to take him out, let me know, I'll buy you a plane ticket. You can teach our military how much of a man you are.

Posted by: adolfo velasquez at April 27, 2006 02:33 PM (O0OTt)

94 YES, Cutler you ARE the one who can't read. Meet Toby. You have a lot in common.

Read...it...again...

Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations. They shall furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power, if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof.

Now, one sentence at a time...

Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations.

Now, to translate for the cerebrally impaired...

Say you have Countries A and B. Country A is a signatory. Country B is not.

With me so far?

Well, anyway...

Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention -- Country B -- the Powers who are parties thereto -- Country A -- shall remain bound by it in their mutual -- Country A and B -- relations -- fighting each other.

Which is what I've said; the Us is vound to abide by Geneva whether the enemies they're facing are or not.

Now, if you can't get that then there's just Zero Hope.

All right, now the SECOND sentence...

They -- Country A and B BOTH -- shall furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power -- Country A -- if the latter -- Country B -- accepts and applies the provisions thereof.

Do you know what that means? That means if Country B agrees to abide by Geneva WITHOUT actually SIGNING, then Country B is bound to abide by Geneva upon its word. This caveat was put into place for the countries who were interested in abiding by Geneva but had not ratified/formally recognized it yet.

Now, LET THAT MARINATE for a while and let's see if you have the intelligence to realize you're wrong and the integrity to admit it.

And, as for your rant on WW II crap, Cutler, I already said I wasn't going to let you drag this off-topic. The fact remains that the conventions applied and you didn't know that, Dunce.

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 02:35 PM (qF8q3)

95 is playing hell with international law in more ways than one.

True that.

bbeck, I'd be curious for you to ask your Major again on this point. It just seems that all throughout the 4th Geneva Convention it says repeatedly that soldiers of nonsignatories are not protected by it. I would really like confirmation of what we are currently telling our soldiers as what you said is not how I remember it. It was more along the line of Follow Orders! Obey the UCMJ! If they say: Protect the fiends, you do it. They didn't try to justify it as part of the GC per se but I'm old and senile (or so says my wife, and crotchety too she says).

Tob

Posted by: toby928 at April 27, 2006 02:41 PM (PD1tk)

96 "Al Qaeda is an international terrorist group and cannot be considered a state party to the Geneva Convention. Its members, therefore, are not covered by the Geneva Convention, and are not entitled to POW status under the treaty."

Why yes, it does.

I have NEVER said AL QAEDA falls under Geneva. I've said the opposite. Go look.

Also, I've never said ANY terrorist gets POW status. Geneva does not give insugents that level of protection.

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 02:41 PM (qF8q3)

97 "By a broad spectrum of diplomacy, financial rewards for compliant gov'ts, financial detriments to stubborn gov'ts, covert "wet ops", cooperative allies, hell, even proxy wars, we could win this war faster and cheaper than by the brute force approach."

Larry, all these things you mention are good ideas. That's why the US is already doing them. We're using financial carrots and sticks with just about everybody, and we have Special Forces and USAID people in all kinds of funny places, like in the the countries of the Sahel and the Horn of Africa, helping the locals to resist the spread of Wahabism.

For example, Mali is a moderate Muslim democracy, and we have people there who are trying to help keep it that way, in the face of the "bearded ones", who have radicalized so many Muslims around the world.

Posted by: stace at April 27, 2006 02:41 PM (A56/D)

98 "Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention -- Country B -- the Powers who are parties thereto -- Country A -- shall remain bound by it in their mutual -- Country A and B -- relations -- fighting each other."

You mis-translated. As someone said above, it should be:

"Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention -- Country B -- the Powers who are parties thereto -- Countries A and C -- shall remain bound by it in their mutual -- Country A and C -- relations -- fighting each other."

I.e., during World War II Germany and Britain abided by the convention, but Germany and the USSR did not in so far as they were concerned.

Now, translated the rest.

"They -- Country A and C BOTH -- shall furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power -- Country B -- if the latter -- Country B -- accepts and applies the provisions thereof.

Do you know what that means?

Yes, it means that for someone who throws out a lot of insults, you're sure an asshat.

Posted by: Cutler at April 27, 2006 02:43 PM (5f4Yy)

99 International terrorists are by their nature not fighting for a nation state. The conventions were not designed to afford protections of any kind to terrorists. The conventions do outline quite clearly that only soldiers who wear the uniform of a country to identify them from the civilian population can even begin to qualify for the GC.

But thats not the point of why the left always brings up the GC. The US by its own choice operates almost universally under the principles of the GC. It is a choice we as a nation make on our own and not because of some vague concept of international law. We do hold ourselves to a higher standard as well we should.

But when we are fighting a collection of terrorists and mercenaries (which the GC specifically notes are not covered by the GC) and who are fighting to the death and not for a piece of land or to settle a conflict, I have no problem with our troops doing whatever they need to do to win. The left will never agree to this and is more interested in the US fighting with a knife while our enemies fight with a gun.

Posted by: JackStraw at April 27, 2006 02:43 PM (rnOZq)

100 bbeck, I'd be curious for you to ask your Major again on this point. It just seems that all throughout the 4th Geneva Convention it says repeatedly that soldiers of nonsignatories are not protected by it. I would really like confirmation of what we are currently telling our soldiers as what you said is not how I remember it. It was more along the line of Follow Orders! Obey the UCMJ! If they say: Protect the fiends, you do it. They didn't try to justify it as part of the GC per se but I'm old and senile (or so says my wife, and crotchety too she says).

Toby, honey, stop burying yourself and read the post I just wrote.

And don't confuse having POW status with NOT being covered by Geneva.

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 02:44 PM (qF8q3)

101 I'm grilling a t-bone right now.

mmmmmmmmm.... t-bones

and yes, Moses gets the bone. and you pervs shut up, I'm not Mike he gets the steak bone

Posted by: Dave in Texas at April 27, 2006 02:50 PM (mZKIF)

102 I don't want to make an enemy with you bbeck but your plainly wrong about the construction of that sentence. Note the plural "the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations." It posits more than one signatory having mutal relations. The 'party thereto' is refering to the convention not the conflict. It then notes that the third party, if it also complies, must be treated as though it were a signatory.

And this assertion is simply a tautology and not relevent:

"Do you know what that means? That means if Country B agrees to abide by Geneva WITHOUT actually SIGNING, then Country B is bound to abide by Geneva upon its word."

Of course its abiding by the conventions while its abiding by the conventions. The actually meaning is that country A is bound to the GC in its relations with country B as long as country B, though not a signator, is observing it.

Sorry, don't take my word for it. Show the text to someone you trust in meatspace and ask them.

Tob

Posted by: toby928 at April 27, 2006 02:50 PM (PD1tk)

103 There are things that are right and things that are wrong. Human rights are inherent in the person and they are from God. It does not matter if they are a Muslim or Arab or whatever.

No amount of wrangling and fiddling with this truth will make it okay to offend the dignity of the human person. It is seriously warped to think that Nazis are more "honorable" than Muslims.

I sincerely hope, Ace, that you are just trying to make a provocative argument to promote a discussion of how honorable our military behaves relative to our enemies. --Something which makes us all proud.

But if this post is serious, you're either possessed by the moral relativistic spirit of Bill Clinton or you are actually advocating a satanic position. Maybe it's time to start a third party, because I don't think you'll find much support for your view in this administration.

Posted by: mr. whizzer at April 27, 2006 02:53 PM (RA3GB)

104 I'm beginning to realize why this 'other guy' ran away.

Posted by: Cutler at April 27, 2006 02:53 PM (5f4Yy)

105 By the way, that's my last post on the GC (wild cheering) although I am going to read it again straight through, so far, its about what I remembered.

Tob

Posted by: toby928 at April 27, 2006 02:56 PM (PD1tk)

106 Ace this should have been said a LONG time ago. We need to get serious. Fuck these son of a bitches. Let's get it on while we still have the advantage. The longer we wait the less advantage we have. They know that, why don't we get it?

Chamberline lives! "Peace in our time!" How many democart assholes even rememeber that quote? Nuke 'em all. NOW.

Posted by: kemperman at April 27, 2006 03:09 PM (Wc54u)

107 And don't confuse having POW status with NOT being covered by Geneva.

That is a very good point. The left/terror-symps/Euroweenies like to conflate this point in order to cast the US as an outlaw state - and I think some well-intentioned commenters here have gotten tripped up in the distrinction.

The Admin's position is not blanket that "Geneva does not apply" (as countless leftists and loser urbanites try to cast it to make the US seem like an outlaw state), but rather, it is that, after examining and applying Geneva, the US finds that members of Al Queada, etc., do not qualify for POW status thereunder, and therefore do not get the customary treatment granted to captured soldiers (materials to write home with, tools, educational material and a prohibition against coercive interrogation, among others). Soldiers were granted these rights on the assumption that most soldiers are just good-hearted 18 year olds doing their bit for king and country, and are not intent on murdering civillians etc. On a practical level, it was also done because that's what we hoped the enemy will do to our soldiers (the reciprocal nature of the conventions).

The reciprocity is mostly unstated, but historically has been the best way of ensuring general compliance - even a semi-civilized country was generally willing to act decently in order to spare their own troops from unnecessary hardship. In the absence of any "higher power" able to enforce compliance, this reciprocity worked pretty well (this is a general principal of international law, which, despite the mewling and pretentions of the lefties and European polticians (redundant), only really functions when both parties are incentivized to obey it (Int'l relations still being more like the state of nature than the social contract). Today there is still no final arbiter to decide who is in default, though there are plenty of self-appointed, self-aggrandizing experts who claim to be. Unfortunately, we are fighting an enemy that revels in his barbarism - no amount of kid-gloves-on the Koran treatment is going to keep the head-hackers from making their grisly snuff flicks.

All that said, the UCMJ still applies to US Forces.

Posted by: holdfast at April 27, 2006 03:17 PM (Gzb30)

108 Everybody just relax and let the international community sort things out...

Officials: Remilitarized Germany Is "Years Away" From Posing Threat

Posted by: The Sanity Inspector at April 27, 2006 03:18 PM (Idzvw)

109 toby92b:
I surely wish I did know where OSAMA was cause adolfo and I would strike a deal. I'd invite adolfo along to pay the expences and see if I really am a man or not. I don't need to show the military how to do their job as, truth be known, they trained me and I still remember my shit real well. The military has ALL those satelites we spent trillions of TAXDOLLARS on so we can find persons such as OSAMA BEN LADEN. If they can get us in the neighborhood of OSAMA BEN LADEN then maybe adolfo and I can leave the world a little better place than when we found it. Whatcha say, adolfo, OSAMA BEN LADEN WON'T GET FOUND IF NO ONE TRIES.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at April 27, 2006 03:24 PM (Mco9Q)

110 Well said holdfast. Much better than my ramblings.

"All that said, the UCMJ still applies to US Forces."

And don't forget the ROE, those are totally binding unless unlawful and our ROE are usually the most generous in the history of human conflict.

Tob

Posted by: toby928 at April 27, 2006 03:26 PM (PD1tk)

111 OSAMA BEN LADEN WON'T GET FOUND IF NO ONE TRIES.<.i>

Damn your good, why didn't I think of that, we should just look for him. Wow.

*click*

Tob

Posted by: toby928 at April 27, 2006 03:35 PM (PD1tk)

112 Right on, Kemperman! Caligula had it right - better to be feared than respected.

Posted by: Tgonzo at April 27, 2006 03:36 PM (nJgxa)

113 Don't forget to sign Juan Cole's petition. All the cool kids are. Juan Cole Anti-Semite

Posted by: shawn at April 27, 2006 03:36 PM (wvZPG)

114 (i.e. OSAMA BEN FORGIVEN AND FORGOTTEN)

Wow. That's so original.

Now take your drool cup and go play somewhere else.

Posted by: CAPS LOCK at April 27, 2006 03:39 PM (aGpO3)

115 I see the marinating didn't soak in.

Note the plural "the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations."

Um, then why even bring up the non-signatory Power BEFORE they mentioned "mutual relations" in the same sentence? They wouldn't have; the "mutual relations" encompasses ALL of the mentioned powers, which includes both signatories and those who AREN'T. If they wanted the "mutual relations" to ONLY apply to signatories, there would have been NO NEED to even mention the non-signatory in that sentence.

It posits more than one signatory having mutal relations.

But it doesn't cover JUST signatories, for the reasons I stated above.

It then notes that the third party, if it also complies, must be treated as though it were a signatory.

They're already protected by Geneva from the first sentence, and the second holds them responsible for abiding by Geneva without formalities.

It's not a tautology for a country to agree to abide by Geneva before officially ratifying it. This country has abided by plenty of treaties before they were ratified.

I'm beginning to realize why this 'other guy' ran away.


It's because he was wrong too and couldn't bring himself to admit it.

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 03:41 PM (qF8q3)

116 Holdfast is not only correct in his statements, he quite deftly tread on this material without getting tangled up in it.

HF, the POW status problem is something the liberals STILL have problems with. What people here are also having problems with is the distinction between Geneva and and Law of War/Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC). The point being, even though the GC and the LOAC are different sets of rules, they are definitely related...

-- Geneva binds US soldiers to be trained under the LOAC

-- Certain terms such as POWs, combatants, non-combatants, etc are used in the LOAC but are defined by Geneva

-- If a soldier violates the LOAC, depending upon the offense, they can be tried by both the UCMJ and for violating international law

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 04:00 PM (qF8q3)

117 Um, then why even bring up the non-signatory Power BEFORE they mentioned "mutual relations" in the same sentence? ,/i>

Perhaps the first word of the sentence: 'Although' is a clue.

I see the marinating didn't soak in.

Just curious, did you get any outside opinions on the meaning of the sentence? Cause, you know, English is my primary language, and I really think that I'm right on this sentence even if you wont trust me on it ;-)

Even more so, I liked this sentence:
"Nationals of a State which is not bound by the Convention are not protected by it."

Perhaps that's clearer, unless you wish to argue that nonsignatories (or powers that have refused to pledged to abide by the conventions) are still bound by the conventions, in which case the sentence would be meaningless.

Tob

Posted by: toby928 at April 27, 2006 04:16 PM (PD1tk)

118 And don't confuse having POW status with NOT being covered by Geneva.

This is not settled by any means. As a matter of fact, this is the exact arguement the Bush administration has used at GITMO. The Bush administration has argued that by the nature of their actions, the lack of uniform, command structure, etc., these detainees are not POW's and not by definition accorded Geneva rights. Any priviledges they are granted are just that, privledges and they don't have them by any international covenant, including the GC.

You guys can argue this all night but thats a fact.

Posted by: JackStraw at April 27, 2006 04:21 PM (rnOZq)

119 JackStraw - but that whole analysis is based on an interpretation of the text of the Geneva Conventions to which the US is a party (ie not the final and most retarded one) - thus Geneva was applied , but certain prisoners were found, by dint of reading the text, not to fit the Geneva requirements for POWs. Thus Geneva applies, and was applied. Moreover, the Bush Admin conclusion is amply supported by both the text and customary international usage. The Lefty interpretation is supported by wishful thinking and praying for emanating prenumbras (known in the legal field as making shit up).

In fact, under customary international law, the Al Quaeda prisoners most fit the definition of spies, liable to summary execution.

Posted by: holdfast at April 27, 2006 04:28 PM (Gzb30)

120 Thus Geneva applies, and was applied

And they were found not to be protected persons under the GC, which is what both of you were saying. Now its bbeck that we have to convince, although, of that I despair.

They're pirates, I tell ya, Pirates!

Tob

Posted by: toby928 at April 27, 2006 04:35 PM (PD1tk)

121 For a while now I've been of the opinion that the Geneva Conventions need to be updated to match today's reality in war. Big uniformed armies on big fields of battle that play more or less by the rules are a thing of the past, and the Geneva Conventions need to reflect or at least address this change.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at April 27, 2006 04:44 PM (1Vbso)

122 I think thats a pretty tortured analysis of how it was argued, HF. The Bush admin, which was upheld by the Justice Dept (which you can either argue is an independent agency or a tool of any current admin) argued that by dint of their actions the people held in GITMO were not covered by the GC and therefore not entitled to POW status or the rights of a POW. Meaning, of course, that Geneva has never been considered yet alone applied. The same status has been applied to the dirty bomber.

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely agree with this interpretation. I don't think these guys qualify as any type of soldier in defense of any one country. They more closely resemble spies or mercenaries. And I believe the Bush admin is bowing to international pressure in granting these thugs some level of protection and care they neither deserve nor will it prove to be helpful to our own troops.

By their nature, as Ace noted when he started this thread, these people are members of a death cult. They will never see us as anything other than their inferior and worthy only of death. Trying to play by Marquis of Queensbury in this case is deadly, to us only.

Posted by: JackStraw at April 27, 2006 04:46 PM (rnOZq)

123 For a while now I've been of the opinion that the Geneva Conventions need to be updated to match today's reality in war.

It definitely needs something but I can't think of how it would likely be changed that would not be to our detriment. The unratified, by us, 1977 Proto 1 tried to make changes to reflect irregular forces but some of them were unacceptable because they put us at a such a severe disadvantage. After that one, its hard for me to imagine that, in this climate, we would get anything better?

Tob

Posted by: toby928 at April 27, 2006 04:53 PM (PD1tk)

124 I don't know, BBeck. I just can't parse that sentence the way you do.

As to the war in Iraq, the Geneva Conventions applied because Iraq was a party to the conventions.

In Afghanistan, the US government decided that it would apply the Geneva Conventions to the conflict. There was some question about whether or not this was necessary, because whereas Afghanistan the nation was a party to the conventions, the US didn't recognize the Taliban as its government. But America decided to assume that Geneva probably does apply (which seems to me like the right decision, since the alternative is too weird). This does not mean that the Taliban get POW status, though, since they break the rules of war, e.g. by looking like civilians. It just means that the war against the Taliban was fought according to our Geneva obligations.

It's almost a moot point, though, since almost every nation on Earth has signed the Geneva Conventions.

Posted by: sandy burger at April 27, 2006 05:00 PM (FmfCF)

125 Perhaps the first word of the sentence: 'Although' is a clue.

Why yes it IS, the "although" supports the fact that the non-signatory is included because it implies that ALTHOUGH it's not a signatory, it's still protected by the signatories.

Just curious, did you get any outside opinions on the meaning of the sentence? Cause, you know, English is my primary language, and I really think that I'm right on this sentence even if you wont trust me on it.

Thanks, but not only is English my primary language too, I know that US soldiers apply Geneva because the US is bound by it.

"Nationals of a State which is not bound by the Convention are not protected by it."

Gee, WHY would they feel compelled to put that in the Fourth Convention if it's ALREADY been stated that non-signatory States ARE NOT protected?

Are you seeing your problem yet?

You can't take individual sentences out of the context of the Geneva articles and then apply them broadly. If you did, Geneva would be contradicting itself with all its various definitions and exceptions in given situations.

Perhaps that's clearer, unless you wish to argue that nonsignatories (or powers that have refused to pledged to abide by the conventions) are still bound by the conventions, in which case the sentence would be meaningless.

Uh, no, I never said that non-signatories are BOUND by Geneva. (However, they can be found guilty of war crimes.)

The argument you're making is the same one that Germany made in its treatment of the Jews, that they weren't covered by Geneva so they could treat them any way they wanted to. It didn't work.

(And NO, I'm not comparing us all to Nazis, I'm pointing out some of the history behind this.)

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 05:04 PM (qF8q3)

126 "I think thats a pretty tortured analysis of how it was argued, HF. The Bush admin, which was upheld by the Justice Dept (which you can either argue is an independent agency or a tool of any current admin) argued that by dint of their actions the people held in GITMO were not covered by the GC and therefore not entitled to POW status or the rights of a POW"

Actually, it's called legal reasoning, the same one applied by the Bush Admin. The US is a party to Geneva, and thus, acting in accordance therewith, detirmined that the AQ prisoners did not fit the definition of POWs. If the definition is not meant to be applied judiciously, then why have such a complicated definition in the first place? It is imperative to use precise language so as to deny the lefties the ability to say that Bush has "thrown out the Geneva Conventions", which is clearly not the case. I am even open to the argument that if a specific unit of the Taliban (NOT Al Quaeda) surrendered to US forces and the members of said unit were found to have acquitted themselves more or less in accordance with Geneva, that they would qualify for POW status, as unlikely as such a scenario might be given the nature of the Taliban.

Posted by: holdfast at April 27, 2006 05:05 PM (Gzb30)

127 Thanks, but not only is English my primary language too, I know that US soldiers apply Geneva because the US is bound by it.

So I take it that your answer is no, you haven't asked anyone you trust to read the sentence and give you their interpretation. sigh.

Okay, good night.

Tob

Posted by: toby928 at April 27, 2006 05:20 PM (PD1tk)

128 Actually, it's called legal reasoning, the same one applied by the Bush Admin.

Actually, no its not. You don't argue a murder case by taking the case to court and arguing that he isn't a murderer. You do it by saying the charge doesn't apply and never going to trial, which this won't. Thats why the President argued that these people are not enemy combatants and not covered by the GC and therefore not entitled to POW status. The President has the ability to determine who is and who isn't a covered combatant which is exactly what has pissed off the left and those who don't believe in a the power of the executive.

Bush pre-empted any chance of "legal reasoning" by making an executive decision that this was not a case covered by the GC so POW status would not apply. This means many things, including the detainees could in theory by held indefintely. THATS what has the left all a twiter. Its all a matter of record.

Posted by: JackStraw at April 27, 2006 05:20 PM (rnOZq)

129 In Afghanistan, the US government decided that it would apply the Geneva Conventions to the conflict. There was some question about whether or not this was necessary, because whereas Afghanistan the nation was a party to the conventions, the US didn't recognize the Taliban as its government. But America decided to assume that Geneva probably does apply (which seems to me like the right decision, since the alternative is too weird). This does not mean that the Taliban get POW status, though, since they break the rules of war, e.g. by looking like civilians. It just means that the war against the Taliban was fought according to our Geneva obligations.

Of course the Taliban doesn't get POW status because they don't fit the definition under Geneva. They do fit the definition of combatants which have limited protection.

The LOAC accepts Geneva's definitions of POWs, and even if the Bush Administration didn't recognize them as combatants under Geneva, we'd have to under the LOAC.

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 05:20 PM (qF8q3)

130 So I take it that your answer is no, you haven't asked anyone you trust to read the sentence and give you their interpretation. sigh.

Sigh all you like Toby, there are still people on this planet who place actual application of a law over your interpretation of it.

Otherwise, we could just nuke a few non-signatories for target practice...

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 05:27 PM (qF8q3)

131 The LOAC accepts Geneva's definitions of POWs, and even if the Bush Administration didn't recognize them as combatants under Geneva, we'd have to under the LOAC.

The Geneva Conventions are a part of the Law of Armed Conflict. They are one of the treaties that make up the customary behavior of nations.

Not to be pedantic, or to become more turdlike in your eyes, but I think that when the Administration says that they have reviewed the status of combatants, I'm sure that they mean under the LOAC as broadly interpreted (broad being the only way that a convention that includes 'custom' could be interpreted) and only with such exception as we have stated. I don't think that they could just use one of the LOAC's parts and ignore the rest.

Tob

Posted by: toby928 at April 27, 2006 05:38 PM (PD1tk)

132 Sigh all you like Toby, there are still people on this planet who place actual application of a law over your interpretation of it.

I will and I guess the answer is still no. What do you mean by 'actual application' of the law? Doesn't that put you at odds with the Administration who are not applying your interpretation? I think that what you mean is that you simply like your interpretation better than mine. Fanciful as that may seem to me its not suprising. So do we all. Its in our nature.

Tob

Posted by: toby928 at April 27, 2006 05:43 PM (PD1tk)

133 My two cents,

Larry, you are a smart guy. We don't always agree, but you make good points (sans military industrial complex, come on buddy check your facts not some garbage "documentary".)

The "liberal" "conservative" back and forth is a good thing because it keeps the nation from being too aggressive and too weak at the same time.

Posted by: Mike S. at April 27, 2006 05:48 PM (FnVST)

134 This Geneva Convention stuff is too complicated. I suggest that our troops shoot jihadis in the neck and save themselves the trouble of taking prisoners.

Posted by: adolfo velasquez at April 27, 2006 05:48 PM (O0OTt)

135 And wth does this mean Otherwise, we could just nuke a few non-signatories for target practice...

We could just as well nuke signatories under the GC. Now, other treaties prevent us from target practice, the UN charter comes to mind, but not the GC. (and yes the UN charter is a part of the LOAC too :-)

Tob

Posted by: toby928 at April 27, 2006 05:59 PM (PD1tk)

136 Toby, on this issue she's too arrogant to admit that she's wrong. So instead she'll have a hissy fit and declare herself the winner.

One more time for those who haven't staked their ego on their argument:

"Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention -- Country B -- the Powers who are parties thereto -- Countries A and C -- shall remain bound by it in their mutual -- Country A and C -- relations -- fighting each other."

I.e., during World War II Germany and Britain abided by the convention, but Germany and the USSR did not in so far as they were concerned.

Now, the rest translated.

"They -- Country A and C BOTH -- shall furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power -- Country B -- if the latter -- Country B -- accepts and applies the provisions thereof."

Thank you for playing, you're still an asshat.

Posted by: Cutler at April 27, 2006 06:12 PM (5f4Yy)

137 The Geneva Conventions are a part of the Law of Armed Conflict. They are one of the treaties that make up the customary behavior of nations.

And the LOAC is recognized by US military law under a DoD regulation. If you violate the LOAC, you can be court-martialed as well as brought up on international charges under Geneva, depending on the crime. Which is what I just said.

I will and I guess the answer is still no.

I don't care.

What do you mean by 'actual application' of the law?

I mean how Geneva is actually applied in Real Life by Real Soldiers. They've been treating all the combatants in this war over the last several years as required by Geneva.

Doesn't that put you at odds with the Administration who are not applying your interpretation?

Uh, the Bush Admnistration HAS been abiding by Geneva.

I think that what you mean is that you simply like your interpretation better than mine. Fanciful as that may seem to me its not suprising. So do we all. Its in our nature.

No, toby, I don't have to settle on interpretation, I see it being EXERCISED. Legal combatant or not, if you think the US has been violating Geneva, then you're watching WAY too much CNN.

You keep saying "good night" and "that's all" but you're not shutting up.

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 06:12 PM (qF8q3)

138 "By their nature, as Ace noted when he started this thread, these people are members of a death cult. They will never see us as anything other than their inferior and worthy only of death. Trying to play by Marquis of Queensbury in this case is deadly, to us only."

I think the best analogy is to think of all those stories we were told in grammar school about the stupid Redcoats marching down the road to Concord, cursing the lowly Americans who didn't have the honor to come out of the trees.

Yeah, now we're the Redcoats.

Posted by: Cutler at April 27, 2006 06:17 PM (5f4Yy)

139 Toby, on this issue she's too arrogant to admit that she's wrong. So instead she'll have a hissy fit and declare herself the winner.

Everybody, on this issue Cutler can't carry his own water, so he's delegated himself to Cheerleader while he admits he's a loser...and not just because of THIS thread.

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 06:18 PM (qF8q3)

140 It is revealing that many of the posters on this thread use the term "Islamist" which has a precise definition different than "Islam". It appears that some believe that ALL Muslims are worthy of killing. Which groups are you referring to when you write "Islamist"? Is it the Muslim Brotherhood? How about the Muslims that govern Turkey or Indonesia?

Also, you more bloodthirsty types should take some grotesque solace in the fact that it is Muslims killing Muslims in Iraq by the truckload everyday. Our boys just happen to be in the middle of all this carnage until our "Mission Accomplished" and "Bring it on" President is done with his disasterous reign.

Posted by: Vinny From Indy at April 27, 2006 06:21 PM (wZLWV)

141 We could just as well nuke signatories under the GC.

Yes, you're being pedantic.

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 06:25 PM (qF8q3)

142 I'm an active-duty GI (Air Force) who's flown Iraq (both DESERT STORM and OIF) and Afghanistan, in addition to mucho experience in the Balkans back in the 90s.

I understand your point, but the fact is that treating the enemy humanely (aside from killing them when they are actively fighting you) makes practical military sense. An enemy who realizes he will be treated well, if he surrenders, is much more likely to surrender.

I've worn the uniform of the United States with pride for over 20 years. I enlisted in '85 because I believed in Ronald Reagan when he told us it was our duty to stand up to Soviet totalitarianism, and I stuck around because I believed we were doing the right thing during military operations in the 90s (to include helping those Muslims in Somalia, Bosnia, and Kosovo).

But if we become a military that tortures and kills innocents, I hang up my uniform tomorrow. If that means we fight with one hand tied behind our backs, so be it.

Posted by: Cat4AMT at April 27, 2006 06:29 PM (3quZI)

143 It is revealing that many of the posters on this thread use the term "Islamist" . . .

It's more revealing that some ill-informed liberal wanders in and decides to focus on semantic shorthand rather than the real issues. Suffice to say, the commenters on these threads believe that the enemy is those who propose the violent prosecution of Islam, and those who propose replacement of democratically-established law with sharia.

And since we are the ones advocating leaving the troops in place until the country is stabilized, it's hardly fair to claim that we take solace in innocent Muslim deaths. Red-on-red encounters, on the other hand, bring us great joy.

Finally, your resurrection of the "Mission Accomplished" and "Bring it on" canards tells us exactly how little you have to contribute to the discussion.

Posted by: geoff at April 27, 2006 06:31 PM (nH1Ad)

144 This word "islamist" conceals important information, which is that these "islamists" are merely muslims who believe the koran. Sura 9 of the koran, especially verse 5, reads the same for all muslims. Sura 9 isn't hard to understand; it's frightening on its face, and the more attentively you read it, the more its horror becomes apparent. Even if we were to grant a distinction between muslims and islamists, then, a muslim would be someone who is just one good sermon away from being an islamist.

I won't think Americans are serious about staying alive and being free until they resolve themselves that no one may enter or remain in United States territory as long as he remains a member of a religion that holds sura 9 of the koran to be god's word. The question needs to be put starkly to anyone who by national origin, race, or habits seems to be muslim:In sura 9 of the koran, mohammed says that god says it's all right to ambush, kidnap, kill, forcibly convert, or extort money from people who aren't muslim. The laws of the United States forbid these things. Do you admit that the teaching of the prophet in sura 9 is bad? Do you swear that you forsake sura 9 and that you will obey the laws of the United States as long as you live?No one should bother replying that faith and devotion to the teachings of sura 9 is constitutionally protected. If I thought the Constitution is a suicide pact, I would repudiate the Constitution; however, I flatly deny that the Constitution was intended to protect anyone who prefers sura 9 to our laws.

Kralizec

Posted by: Kralizec at April 27, 2006 06:33 PM (9Dsr/)

145 Actually, no its not. You don't argue a murder case by taking the case to court and arguing that he isn't a murderer. You do it by saying the charge doesn't apply and never going to trial, which this won't. Thats why the President argued that these people are not enemy combatants and not covered by the GC and therefore not entitled to POW status. The President has the ability to determine who is and who isn't a covered combatant which is exactly what has pissed off the left and those who don't believe in a the power of the executive.


The first part of your analogy makes very little sense. One can dispute a murder charge in two ways - you can say "I didn't do it" (ie I did not commit that homicide) or you can argue that yes, you committed that homicide, but it was self defence (duress not being a defense to murder), lack of mental capacity, lack of mens rea (and thus plead to a lesser offence) etc, and thus you should not be found guilty of murder. Either way, whether or not you appear in court is not up to you as a defendant. Additionally, as I noted about 60 or so posts up, international law is fundementally different from domestic law as there is no higher power capable of compelling the parties to conform/perform.

Nevertheless, to try to extract some residual value from the murder analogy, if one is to dispute a murder charge in a jurisdiction with a statutory criminal code, one must refer to the definition of "murder" in such code if one wishes to dispute the charge. Similarly, Bush had legal memoranda prepared which applied the Geneva definition of POW to the fighters captured by US forces, and detirmined that they do not fit within the definition of POW as set forth therein.

Posted by: holdfast at April 27, 2006 06:34 PM (Gzb30)

146 Ace, what happened to the enemies list?

Posted by: Mike S. at April 27, 2006 06:46 PM (FnVST)

147 it's hardly fair to claim that we take solace in innocent Muslim deaths

It's fucking asinine leftist bullshit but you're nicer than I am geoff.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at April 27, 2006 06:51 PM (mZKIF)

148 I wish people had just one tenth the energy for arguing about how to destroy Islam that they have for wrangling about their damned geneva conventions.

Posted by: Kralizec at April 27, 2006 06:52 PM (9Dsr/)

149 It's fucking asinine leftist bullshit but you're nicer than I am geoff.

You're still awake? How was the t-bone?

I wish people had just one tenth the energy for arguing about how to destroy Islam that they have for wrangling about their damned geneva conventions.

Heh.

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 06:55 PM (qF8q3)

150 Geoff, you're uncharacteristically curt, tonight. Usually you enjoy stringing out our moonbat visitors, setting them up for your famous combination -- a left jab and a right hook.

Tonight, you're going straight for the KO.
I like the new geoff.

Posted by: Doctor Bart at April 27, 2006 06:56 PM (ny3Mf)

151 How was the t-bone?

Perfect.

The dog is pretty happy about the whole thing too.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at April 27, 2006 06:57 PM (mZKIF)

152 I have nothing to say.

I just wanted to use the new name I had created.

Posted by: Girls Gone Amish at April 27, 2006 06:59 PM (ny3Mf)

153 Perfect.

The dog is pretty happy about the whole thing too.


Oh good for you both. We ate a very early dinner here. I'm waiting for Hubby to land.

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 07:05 PM (qF8q3)

154 Happy landings for hubs. Moses is snoring, having devoured his bone. I'm fixin to call it a night.

Gratuitous custom bass shot. I like this one.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at April 27, 2006 07:09 PM (mZKIF)

155 Geez, I thought you meant a FISH.

You're going to buy a guitar? I take it you play.

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 07:12 PM (qF8q3)

156 fish? ick.

I had them make me a custom 5 string a few years ago... Hawaiian Koa with maple neck... love that bass. I also play guitar, got a standard American strat, and a 52 re-issue Telecaster. But this is the one I really really really want

ok, no more link whoring from me.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at April 27, 2006 07:18 PM (mZKIF)

157 LOL. Wow, you can't miss that on stage.

I saw that picture you posted the other day about the coffin. Very sad.

BUT, don't mean to bring the room down...

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 07:23 PM (qF8q3)

158 yeah. that poor kid.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at April 27, 2006 07:28 PM (mZKIF)

159 Dave,

Wow! Now that is an eye catcher and you can BBQ what a guy!

-------------

bbeck... I am waiting for the Clipper's game to finish....this east coast time zone is killing me.

Posted by: bodaciousflirt at April 27, 2006 07:33 PM (HEjoD)

160 It definitely needs something but I can't think of how it would likely be changed that would not be to our detriment. The unratified, by us, 1977 Proto 1 tried to make changes to reflect irregular forces but some of them were unacceptable because they put us at a such a severe disadvantage. After that one, its hard for me to imagine that, in this climate, we would get anything better?

Well, with Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Tsunami cleanup, President Bush demonstrated a powerful, active, and effective community exists in the world that can function without the UN. This kind of coalition would be the basis for any sort of changes. I agree if we went through the usual channels it would end up being "how can we screw the US" rather than any rational effort.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at April 27, 2006 07:33 PM (1Vbso)

161 Do you ever get a chance to play in front of other people? Or do you just screw around at home?

(You don't have to answer tonight if you're tired. )

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 07:34 PM (qF8q3)

162 Yeah... about to call it a night, I play in two bands, a 70s rock kinda cover band (some 60s, some 90s and newer stuff) and an 80s cover band. Bass mostly, some guitar. It's all just fun stuff, the occasional local gig.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at April 27, 2006 07:37 PM (mZKIF)

163 bbeck... I am waiting for the Clipper's game to finish....this east coast time zone is killing me.

Yeah, I need to get to bed, too. How's the game going?

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 07:38 PM (qF8q3)

164 Mr. Taylor, the world needs the U.N. Imagine if the U.N. didn't help in the Congo, Rawanda, Iraq, Uganda (h anyone), Sudan, Sierra Lionne...

Posted by: Mike S. at April 27, 2006 07:40 PM (FnVST)

165 night ladies. BF, as a manly man, I love cooking meat with fire.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at April 27, 2006 07:41 PM (mZKIF)

166 Um, I'm not sure if it was mentioned in the 160 or so posts, BUT:
"Nazi soldiers -- were owed humane treatment because the Nazis, despite their other evils, did in fact treat American and other allied prisoners of war reasonably well."
Sadly, the French and Americans after WW2 killed upwards of 1 million "disarmed enemy soldiers". The USA insisted they were NOT "POWs" and therefor were not covered by the Geneva Convention or allowed to recieve assistance from the Red Cross. This was after VE day and after VJ day.

When the USA started putting prisoners into Guantanimo Bay and calling them "terrorists" not prisoners, it was just like after WW2.

Don't get me wrong! I think the USA is currently doing the job the UN was supposed to do, a thankless job at that. But we can't forget history.

Also, Ace is bang-on in the rest of his analysis of Islam & Islamic "morals".

PS Stalin and the USSR also murdered about 1 million German POWs, and another million or more Russians who'd been captured by the Nazis (long after the war was over) ...

Posted by: 5Cats at April 27, 2006 07:42 PM (cVijR)

167 Clippers are losing last few minutes of the game.

Posted by: bodaciousflirt at April 27, 2006 07:43 PM (HEjoD)

168 night ladies. BF, as a manly man, I love cooking meat with fire.

LOL....gets my vote! that and the dog and you can play the guitar (means your must be good with your hands). Thats always good thing in a manly man.

hehehe

Posted by: bodaciousflirt at April 27, 2006 07:47 PM (HEjoD)

169 G'night, Dave.

I'm sorry to hear that, BF. I think.

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 07:48 PM (qF8q3)

170 G'night Dave and Bbeck....

Beck.....Yeah well I am a luke warm Clipper's fan, actually I am a die hard Laker's fan.. But my west coast was showing so I was supporting a home town team.

But I am off to bed...gotta get the kids up for school in the morning.

Hope your hubby's plane comes in safe and soon. been there done that!

Posted by: bodaciousflirt at April 27, 2006 07:55 PM (HEjoD)

171 interesting sidenote. according to the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War
we have a lot of obligation to POWs. Interesting among them is

Article 72

Prisoners of war shall be allowed to receive by post or by any other means individual parcels or collective shipments containing, in particular, foodstuffs, clothing, medical supplies and articles of a religious, educational or recreational character which may meet their needs, including books, devotional articles, scientific equipment, examination papers, musical instruments, sports outfits and materials allowing prisoners of war to pursue their studies or their cultural activities.

...

The only limits which may be placed on these shipments shall be those proposed by the Protecting Power in the interest of the prisoners themselves, or by the International Committee of the Red Cross or any other organization giving assistance to the prisoners, in respect of their own shipments only, on account of exceptional strain on transport or communications.


I wonder if we're letting AQ's receive their packages of scientific equipment.

Tob

Posted by: toby928 at April 27, 2006 08:11 PM (PD1tk)

172 Thank you BF, the pause in response just now was my husband coming home.

I'm about to go to bed, but before I do, one last nail in the coffin...

PARAGRAPH 3 -- CONFLICTS IN WHICH THE BELLIGERENTS ARE NOT ALL
PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION

1. ' Relations between belligerents parties to the Convention '

The first sentence of this paragraph is taken with slight changes from Article 25 of the 1929 Convention , in which it ran as follows: "...If, in [p.34] time of war, a belligerent is not a party to the Convention, its provisions shall, nevertheless, be binding as between all the belligerents who are parties thereto."
The provision seems a perfectly natural one. But this was not always the case. The 1864 Convention was silent on the subject; but the authors both of the 1906 Convention and of the 1899 Convention for the adaptation of the 1864 Convention to maritime warfare introduced a ' clausula si omnes, ' under which the Convention was not applicable unless all the Parties to the conflict were equally bound. That was the position when the First World War broke out in 1914; and it is interesting to note that as one of the smallest of the belligerent States, Montenegro, was not party to the Convention, the Convention was not in theory applicable by any of the belligerents. Happily none of them claimed exemption on this ground. All in general honoured their signatures, even though strictly speaking they were not bound to do so. For once, as the commentator on the 1929 Convention remarked, "the facts, backed by the signatures of the signatories and by the humanitarian interests of all, outweighed the law". (10)
It was essential, however, to clarify the position, and to prevent a recurrence in the future of a situation similar to that of 1914. The horrors of the Second World War justify the belief that, if the ' clausula si omnes ' had still been in force then with no further provision governing the situation, the consequences in one connection or another might have been disastrous.

(Emphasis added just to RUB IT IN.)

*****

The site referenced, The International Committee of the Red Cross, also goes into detail on the meaning of the second sentence in question but it's rather lengthy. I've ALREADY TOLD YOU what it meant, anyway.

So, on that happy note, a very Good Night to you all.

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 08:23 PM (qF8q3)

173 (Emphasis added just to RUB IT IN.)

Now I'm really baffled. I followed the link, read paragraph 3 and it even more clearly states that:
2. ' Relations between Contracting and non-Contracting Parties '

The second sentence added by the Diplomatic Conference of 1949 has certainly the characteristics of a compromise, inasmuch as it does not come to a decision between the suspensive and the resolutory conditions. At first sight it appears to incline towards the Belgian amendment. (11) But, whereas the latter did not make the Convention applicable until after the formal acceptance of the non-Contracting Power, the sentence adopted by the Diplomatic Conference drops any reference to an invitation to be made to the non-Contracting Power, and substitutes [p.35] for the words "as from the latter Power's acceptance" the words "if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof".


And further: In practice any Contracting Power in conflict with a non-Contracting Power will begin by complying with the provisions of the Convention pending the adverse Party's declaration. It will be guided first and foremost by the latter's actions.Furthermore, although the Convention, as a concession to legal form, provides that in certain circumstances a Contracting Power may legally be released from its obligations, it leaves the Power in question completely free to continue to honour its signature, whatever grounds the adverse Party may afford it for failing to do so.

So we may or may not, at our own discretion stay bound while in conflict with a nonperforming nonsignatory. What else can that mean?

It seems your own sources discredit you.

Tob


Posted by: toby928 at April 27, 2006 08:48 PM (PD1tk)

174 Toby, I really do not think you are that stupid. I understand you don't want to admit being wrong, but you didn't say a PEEP about the paragraph I just posted and instead ran over to that site and pasted a mess of out-of-context goop.

So, let's go back and LOOK at the paragraph covering the FIRST sentence.

As the paragraph I cited above explains, ALL parties in a conflict are to be treated as if they are ALL signatories by those parties who ARE signatories.

Read the original version of the first sentence, which states it more clearly than the current version...

"...If, in time of war, a belligerent is not a party to the Convention, its provisions shall, nevertheless, be binding as between all the belligerents who are parties thereto."

In the NEXT version of Geneva, however, they made an exception called clausula si omnes, which SPECIFICALLY exempted non-signatories from falling under Geneva.

Clausula si omnes was in place during World War I, and Montenegro was NOT a signatory. However, as the paragraph states...

Happily none of them claimed exemption on this ground. All in general honoured their signatures, even though strictly speaking they were not bound to do so.

After World War I clausula si omnes was removed so once again ANY country, signatory or not, would...be...protected. As it states...

It was essential, however, to clarify the position, and to prevent a recurrence in the future of a situation similar to that of 1914. The horrors of the Second World War justify the belief that, if the ' clausula si omnes ' had still been in force then with no further provision governing the situation, the consequences in one connection or another might have been disastrous.

Now, what word don't you understand???

Posted by: bbeck at April 27, 2006 10:03 PM (qF8q3)

175 These islamist devils deserve no protections, no considerations, no quarter, and no mercy. They are a virus afflicting humanity. They deserve to be shot on sight. They deserve to be murdered by the bushel.

How about this: America fights the War on Terrorism not to not lose, but to win outright? To win decisively, and in such a brutal, final fashion that none dare try us again?

Nuclear weapons will go off before this War is won. You can say you read it here first, and that you knew me back when.







It's a bit of a stretch, but consider this: 2 atomic bombings of Japan in August 1945. Not a peep out of the Japanese in the 60 years since.

Posted by: Barry at April 27, 2006 10:10 PM (kKjaJ)

176 Sheikh Khlalid was water-boarded after conventional techniques did not work. The CIA did this to a handful of the top AQ people we have.

This is exactly as it should be: first try the nice way, then have you SECRET organization do it the other way, but limit this almost extralegal torture lite to the hardest of the hard.

Then take any intel with a grain of salt.

If there ever was a walking, living example of the ticking bomb it would be Sheikh Khalid.

Posted by: Aaron at April 27, 2006 10:41 PM (J8HOx)

177 Also, the interogators who waterboarded KSM (certainly not one of the "innocent", by his own admission) had previously been subjected to waterboarding themselves, so that they would understand its effects. This is a technique that should be reserved for only the most vital cases (and I think that Al Quaeda's Ops Officer qualifies). Moreover, though the effect is to feel as if one is drowning, there is no appreciable danger of actually drowning - rather it is a very nasty psycohological effect. Not something that the US should make a habit of (and something to be handled by CIA interrogators, not some mouth-breather from the WVa Guard), but a necessary tool that can provide info capable of saving thousands of lives. Given the terrorist threat, any president who refused to use these tools would, to my mind, have abrogated his duty to the country.

Posted by: holdfast at April 27, 2006 11:24 PM (Gzb30)

178 Charles Martel in the Battle of Tours; Gates of Vienna 1683. When is the next one?

Posted by: nikkolai at April 28, 2006 12:32 AM (70wcC)

179 The first part of your analogy makes very little sense.

Thats possible. However, the point I was trying to make absolutely does. The prisoners in GITMO were decided to be outside the protection of the GC by an executive decision, there was no court action because of that decision. The prisoners, therefore can't go into court and claim their GC rights are being violated because they don't have any.

See we are doing the cut and paste thing

The President has determined that neither members of al-Qaeda nor Taliban fighters are entitled to the protections of the Geneva Convention. While some lower courts and some critics have carped about this decision, there can be no doubt that al-Qaeda and the Taliban fail to meet the Geneva Convention's eligibility criteria.

The Geneva Conventions award protected POW status only to members of "High Contracting parties." Al-Qaeda, a non-governmental terrorist organization, is not a High Contracting party. This places al-Qaeda - as a "group" - outside the laws of war. Furthermore, al-Qaeda and the Taliban fail to meet the eligibility criteria set forth in Article 4 of the Geneva Convention. To qualify for protected status, the entity must be commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates, be outfitted with a fixed distinctive sign, carry their arms openly, and conduct their operations in accordance with the laws of war.


This most fundamental exercise of Executive authority is binding on the courts. Furthermore, the United States has made "group" determinations of captured enemy combatants in past conflicts. Accordingly, "the accepted view" of Article 4 is that "if the group does not meet the first three criteria the individual member cannot qualify for privileged status as a POW."

This is the testimony of William Barr, former Assistant Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, Attorny General, member of the White House Staff and served at the CIA, before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

He concluded

As far as I can tell, none of the President's critics have advanced any set of facts that would call into question the merits of the President's decision.

I would have to agree with him. Nobody has presented any facts here that state that non-signatories automatically get the protection of the GC because America is a signatory either. Indeed, current facts prove otherwise.

Posted by: JackStraw at April 28, 2006 12:54 AM (rnOZq)

180 I see alot of circular arguments here.

Let's make this simple. Jihadi tactics and methods use RUTHLESSNESS as a club to gain their desired ends.

Now then, the question before you is this: how ruthless are YOU prepared to be to defend and preserve the civilization and governmental framework you cherish.

This is not a casual question, nor is there one correct answer. Stop beating each other over the head about 'how many angels can dance on the head of a pin' BS.

There is a reason why no one nation has fought a war with America more than twice. Bonus points for insightful answers.

[Hint: the words 'sensistivity' and 'understanding' are not found in the answer; use of said words will give you a automatic ZERO grade.]

Posted by: CPT. Charles at April 28, 2006 02:27 AM (NRrvx)

181 It is cynical of them to fight this way, but they do so for good reason: It works.

Michael, this was the point of Ace's essay; the Islamist tactic of using the GC against us only works because we allow ourselves to be bound by it.

In other words, it's time for us to realize this is a gunfight not a duel, and replace our rapier with a MAC-10.

Posted by: Scott at April 28, 2006 02:57 AM (f8958)

182 holdfast,

Of course, it would be better if the CIA actually kept this secret...

Posted by: Aaron at April 28, 2006 03:26 AM (PNKLc)

183 Larry:

Caspera: Muslim business men and oil shieks see we torture and provide funding for the jihadis.

No, they fund jihadis because they know it buys them influence with the only true power brokers in the area, those being imams, mullahs etc - people they would have no dealings with in the first place if they truly had a problem with human rights abuses. This is pretty self-evident BTW...

For example: Lets start heavily funding the non-sharia regions in Nigeria, send them farm equipment, seed stock, schools, teachers, medicine, etc, etc. But only to those area where sharia is NOT enforced. In 5-10 years, the 50/50 Muslim/Christian split would be significantly altered (by infant survivability, if nothing else!) We send a clear message we support human rights , retain our dignity AND fight Islamist spread.

Of course this solution is unthinkable because it doesn't involve the military industrial complex.

No, it's unthinkable because the sharia-based muslims would help themselves to our donated farm goods in the time honored fashion that local warlords have always made off with the vast majority of donations from well meaning but short sighted westerners, i.e. by force of arms (non-muslims after all have no property rights, you may recall).

I think the real issue you're having here is that to you and many on the Left, any option having anything to do with "the military industrial machine" is unthinkable on its face, and so you will contort yourselves into pretzels trying to think of some way to fight terrorism non-violently whilst completely rejecting any option involving even the remote possibility of force (but kudos for at least trying - most on the Left just seem content to pretend there is no threat at all).

Posted by: Scott at April 28, 2006 03:30 AM (f8958)

184 holdfast,

Of course, it would be better if the CIA actually kept this secret...


Well, yeah there is that. My point was that it's probably best kept out of the hands of the military, mostly for the good of the military. Still, maybe it will help us root our a few more traitors at the CIA - and I use that word very deliberately (Yes Mary, I'm looking at you).

Posted by: holdfast at April 28, 2006 03:36 AM (Gzb30)

185 But not for Islamists. The dishonorable and inhuman is permitted as long as the victims of such dishonorable and inhuman treatment are not practicing Muslims.

Funny, if they followed their own law there would be little-to-no violence in Iraq.

Posted by: FireHead at April 28, 2006 03:54 AM (AhCOe)

186 I'm not going to wade into the debate over whether the GC is or isn't worded to apply to non-signatories, because to me it's immaterial; the GC is ultimately a contract like anything else requiring signatures, and contracts require among other things consideration - which in a contract means "you get a hat for a hat, a cat for a cat, and nothing for nothing". So on this grounds alone, the GC can stipulate whatever it likes, but any language regarding non-signatories who don't even make an effort to act in accordance with its provisions is ipso facto non-binding.

Posted by: Scott at April 28, 2006 04:48 AM (f8958)

187 Mr. Taylor, the world needs the U.N. Imagine if the U.N. didn't help in the Congo, Rawanda, Iraq, Uganda (h anyone), Sudan, Sierra Lionne...

I imagine there would be fewer raped little girls and no real difference in misery, death, and starvation. The world needs an organization like the UN was intended to be, but not the organization the UN is.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at April 28, 2006 05:40 AM (1Vbso)

188 Ace-

This is ridiculous. Islam is truly the religion of Peace.

Here, check out these references:

http://www.newwave.net/~haught/Koran.html

I demand that you retract your statements or I will kill your infidel ass.

Moe. H. Mad (The last name is pronounced "m-ahhhh-d")

Posted by: Moe at April 28, 2006 06:40 AM (5HveT)

189 Waterboarding? Piffle.

An "old school" NYPD detective I used to hang out with years ago used to say "nothing hurts like pain" as he was preparing to extract some info from a hesitant informant with a pair of pliers, duct tape and blowtorch.

They always talked, and it was always good - they didn't want a followup "interview".

Posted by: Purple Avenger at April 28, 2006 07:54 PM (XbJeu)

Posted by: yujinxiang at March 25, 2009 10:43 PM (x6PsB)

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