Raging Right Wing Republican

For those of us who are politically informed, and therefore Republican.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Geneva Convention offers troops no protection

There's probably dumber arguments that can be made for coddling terrorists than the one made by Lindsey Graham, but so far it's a mystery. Lindsey Graham, who, as usual, is playing Robin to McCain's Batman, chimes in on the interrogation of terrorists:
"Weakening the Geneva Convention protections is an unnecessary step and will put our military members and others defending our nation at risk by jeopardizing the protections they currently are provided.

"What is being billed as 'clarifying' our treaty obligations will be seen as 'withdrawing' from the treaty obligations. It will set precedent which could come back to haunt us."
Exactly what protections are provided by the Geneva Convention? None. Did the Geneva Convention stop John McCain from getting tortured? No enemy we've ever fought has actually abided by them, of course. If we suddenly withdrew from the Geneva Convention tomorrow, in other words, it would have no impact on how our troops are treated because they're not being treated in accordance with it anyway.

The Convention doesn't even apply to the terrorists. It's meant to apply to uniformed soldiers fighting on the field of battle, not attacking women and children before darting back into the shadows. One of the express purposes of the Geneva Convention is supposed to be preventing exactly the sort of behavior al Qaeda engages in by promising that soldiers will be treated well as long as they behave honorably. It's a two way street. The fulfillment of that promise hinges on the soldiers following through with their obligations to act honorably during war. As such, the treatment of terrorists on the same level as honorable soldiers despite their flouting of the requirements for such treatment effectively does away with the incentives to follow the Convention to begin with.

The argument European and American liberals float up is that we should treat the terrorists we've captured by the rules of the Geneva Convention -- actually, better than what the rules require -- even if they haven't signed onto the treaty. But if that's the case, why shouldn't the same rules apply the other way around? Even if we were throwing their captured soldiers into industrial paper shredders for the hell of it, shouldn't they give our soldiers the benefit the Geneva Convention requires?

Of course not. But that applies equally to al Qaeda. If al Qaeda is torturing and murdering our troops, why should we treat their captured prisoners as well as say, American soldiers that are thrown into the brig? Why should we treat some raving lunatic from Saudi Arabia who wants to massacre Americans by the millions like he's a uniformed soldier who follows the rules of war, or worse yet, like he has the same Constitutional rights as an American citizen?


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