Monday, March 26, 2007

Geneva Amnesia

[posted by Callimachus]

Andrew Sullivan, whom I still read -- obviously -- and enjoy, has taken up BDS with a zealotry only a convert can muster. I suppose it's understandable. But I really think he has better ideas than this one, regarding the current crisis between Britain and Iran:

And if these British sailors are found to have been mistreated and their "trials" tainted, who in the international community is now going to come to Britain's and America's defense?

Need we have such a low opinion of "the international community" to think that the RoW would shrug at torture if it was done to Americans or their allies?

No, scratch that. That's the response I would have liked to have been able to write. And in a perfect world, would have. The real answer is, "What makes Andrew think the activities of the Bush Administration, however execrable in places, would be to blame for this indifference? Or that it wouldn't have gone on before 2000, or be true today whether Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo never had existed?

As Belmont Club recently put it:

As currently interpreted the Geneva Conventions only apply to individuals bent on destroying America. Individuals who blow up elementary schools, kidnap children, attack churches and mosques, kill invalids in wheelchairs, plan attacks on skyscrapers in New York, behead journalists, detonate car bombs with children to camouflage their crime, or board jetliners with explosive shoes -- all while wearing mufti or even women's clothing -- these are all considered "freedom fighters" of the most principled kind. They and they alone enjoy the protections of the Geneva Convention. As to Americans like Tucker and Menchaca or Israeli Gilad Shalit -- or these fifteen British sailors for that matter, it is a case of "what Geneva Convention?"

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